Thursday, March 27, 2008

Original Forge #03 Before And After 1913 Fire.

This is the northern end of the forge/brass and aluminum foundry plant facing south. This is the same area shown from the outside in the photo below. This structure burnt in a fire and explosion in January of 1913.
Link for more on the fire including a photo.
This view from the north is looking across Division st. at the area between factories #12 and #03 forge around 1911.

Notice the hammer-man lighting his pipe from a glowing piston rod.

Robert EVANS: Well, the first job I got with General Motors, it was so long ago. I have been trying to take notes here and trying to straighten it out in my own mind. But, the first job I got in General Motors, I think, was in the last part of 1933. I was 18. I got a job over in Buick in the drop forge. The older men that worked there, like the hammer men and that and heaters, they hired me for a heater, but I ended up running what they called a trim press. The hammer man runs the hammer and forges the forging and in this case it was steering knuckle for a front wheel. I would take it over to another press and lay it in there in the die and step on a throttle and this machine would trim off the excess metal off this forging. So that's what I was doing there. But these guys, the older men, they resented anybody coming in there, any new blood, a young guy especially, see. Back in the drop forge at Buick. I worked there quite a long time, and then in '36 I was able to work better down there, because there was younger men down there, see. They didn't bother you too much. And then they was all getting used to the idea, anyway, that they were not gonna last forever, these old guys. So I worked for this guy down there, and he was younger. I stayed in there until it got hot weather in '36, ‘til it started warming up. Oh, man, it really got hot in that drop forge. I worked right in like a nest of furnaces and, hell, you could throw a bucket of water on the floor?they had brick floors, you know?and the damn water was sweating steam. Now I didn't like that. I thought that was too hot, so I went to the foreman's office and asked for a transfer to something else. So they put me over on Plant 25 at Buick, which is a maintenance plant. They maintain all the other plants, see. That summer they had a program where they was gonna put roof coating on all their own roofs instead of contracting it out to private roofers. They decided to do it their self, because most of it they was gonna put a cold tar on there or a coating of some kind that didn't have to be hot, see. So I worked there the rest of that summer in '36, and I got laid off. Along in the fall, it must have been just before Christmas, Buick called me back. They wanted me to go to work in the foundry like that at all. I called in sick and I told them?well, I didn't tell them. I just called in sick. But in the meantime I heard that Chevrolet was hiring again, so I went over there. That's when I hired into Plant 4, sometime there in?it's hard to keep it all straight in your mind. It was so long ago. But anyway, I went over to Chevy... Link: Factory #37 Heat Treat + Factory Fire Mystery

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