Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Still Mill and Coke plant (Joliet, Illinois)
Still Mill and Coke plant (Joliet, Illinois)
TitleStill Mill and Coke plant (Joliet, Illinois)
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingSeptember 12, 1928
DescriptionDrawing of mill and plant. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleSlag mountain at Coke plant yields beauty : assumes many fantastic shapes as it reflects colors of rainbow.
Date of ArticleAugust 12, 1928
Transcript of the ArticleWritten in pencil at bottom: "Slag" From Joliet Herald-News Sunday August 12, 1928 "Slag! Who could find beauty in slang, nothing but ashes, cinders, surplusage excess the elavings, the very fag ends and off-scourings of the earth? It's incredible, so you would think, but so you may think until you have known slag and looked upon its beauties. But this particular slaggy mountain range with all its undulations and heavings creekings and waving will be hard to find. And you never will find it, near as it is and in plain sight, unless you stumble down a hill from the highway, thru weedy woods, pick your way down a stony path, cross water twice, walk a mile on a rough black read, climb one slag embankment, climb another slag hill, step foot on what seems to be a dark morass in which huge pachyderms have been imbedded—that is to say, elephants and hippopotami, to say nothing of ancient mammoths and pre-flood mastodons all wriggling much larger than life. Reflects Many Colors. It is at this spot you begin to perceive the beauty of slag, for the prehistoric monsters are not really wriggling, the dark mountain top lake is solid under your foot steps. Indeed the pachydermatic forms are not animals at all. They are just places where the once red hot liquefied slag has hardened into those most interesting forms and colors. Altho dark in its general tone, slag reflects the prismatic colors—lovely blues, greens, pinks and flashes of gold, rose and violet. It is a startling and unusual effect, a sort of goblin beauty, unearthly and unreal. View Coke Ovens. But you pass over this supernatural lake with its mythological monsters that never peep, quite unlike our vision of the Styx—you find a little prismatic path which leafs you safely down to the scene of the sketch, in a neighboring column. Nothing has bitten or barked or burned you in spite of the so seeming fiery significance of the place. But here you are, your imagination quite in obeyence. In front of you, against the sky are the big stacks and tanks of the coke ovens of Illinois Steel company, quite material and sensible and solid and matter of fact. But every few minutes comes the fairy-like transformation. First a tiny jet of steam showing near the small pointed tower near the center of the picture. And in a moment clouds and clouds of steam, active, moving, swirling, boiling in beautiful pearly tones both dark and light. It dies down and repeats the lovely show at intervals never varying. Carried by Cranes. This is what happens when a carload of hot coke—or what was coal and will be coke, incandescent and brilliant, is run down from the oven to a tower or crane that lets water flow on the hot stuff. The steam ascends hundreds of feet. Strange products, including ammonia and benzol, are made from the coke gases. All this is on the farther side of the track. On this side you are viewing only a portion of the works of the Illinois Slag and Ballast company—a kindred organization, that deals only with slag. This is furnished for hundreds of commercial purposes. An imposing array of tracks, cars, buildings, bins for holding slag on trucks, and two enormous cranes or shovels for lifting anything, including slag, the residue of the steel works. Watchman in Charge. Hobard McColla is the dignifies but alert young night watchman, who comes on as the other workmen leave, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. His job is to see that the three engines are properly banked and cared for so that they do no harm to themselves nor to anything else, and are ready and fired for the morning's work. Young McColla is handy with engines—he has a way with them. This is quite natural, for he is an engineer. He took the position of night watchman here because he has a charming young wife, two young sons and a baby daughter, besides a house and lot of his own. It is a charming little home on the Patterson road. They have gardens and flowers and walks. But both the young parents are ambitious. Both are studying to improve themselves. Papa Hobart is studying stationary engines with electric equipment to equip himself for a better job. And Ruth, the pretty young mother, is studying poultry keeping and gardens, two harmonious and practical helps to a comfortable and prosperous home. Hobart was in the army for a year and his bride is of French descent. In addition he feels confident that Hoover will make a very successful president and he means to vote for him."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description30 cm. x 22.5 cm.
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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