The Return of Real Labor. Maybe.

America is also becoming a lower-cost manufacturing destination when companies consider the “total cost of ownership,” or TCO: the cost of quality, delivery, transportation, energy consumption, labor monitoring, carrying stock, freight, packaging, and all other aspects of production, as well as labor costs. Energy costs are particularly important, and thanks to shale gas, energy in […]

Read more "The Return of Real Labor. Maybe."

No Man is an Island

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. – John Dunne, Meditation XVII Factories and their smokestacks didn’t pop into existence in a mythological big bang of prosperity.  Instead, prosperity is built over time by educated scientists, engineers, apprentices and entrepreneurs relying on previous experiences and advancements […]

Read more "No Man is an Island"

Steel and Lace

I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace. ― Natalie Lloyd   Only the French would use steel to build something so beautifully unique, delicately intricate and sexually suggestive. Ironically, it was intended as a “temporary” display for the 1889 World’s Fair to be dismantled in 1909 when ownership of the park reverted back to the City of Paris. […]

Read more "Steel and Lace"

The Ghosts of Bethlehem

Over the next several weeks I am going to write a bit more about Bethlehem Steel and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (and eventually Bethlehem Steel aka Lackawanna Steel, Buffalo, NY) because so much of this Bethlehem’s story is unknown outside the area. For now I will simply say, that at its manufacturing height, Bethlehem Steel Corporation was the United States’ second-largest steel […]

Read more "The Ghosts of Bethlehem"

Chasing smokestacks

The wonderful part of my job and professional life is that I am free to chase smokestacks. It is not that these monoliths to American history, ingenuity and industry are running but so often I am. About five years ago my life changed and I took two weeks at the end of March and drove […]

Read more "Chasing smokestacks"