Tim Frakes Productions

Joliet Iron Works

The Joliet Fun little shoot at the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site. Panasonic DMC GH4, MC Peleng f:3.5 Fisheye, Nikkor 105mm f:2.5, Minolta Rokkor MC 50mm f:1.7. M43 adaptors on all three lenses.

The Joliet Iron and Steel Works was once the second largest steel mill in the United States operating from 1869 until all operations ceased in the early 1980’s. At it’s height, the Joliet Iron Works employed 2,000 workers from Southern and Eastern Europe. The work was dangerous. Hazards included toxic fumes, falls from high places, and extensive heat. Illinois Steel Company owned five plants, North Chicago, South Chicago, Chicago Union, Milwaukee, and the Joliet works.

Illinois Steel owned land and coke ovens in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, iron ore in Michigan, Wisconsin, and limestone quarries in Indiana as well as controlling interest in railroads connecting Joliet with raw material for production. By 1899 Illinois Steel shipped to every US state, Canada, Mexico, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. In the 1990s, the Forest Preserve District of Will County purchased the ruins of the Joliet ironworks and established the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site.

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