Old Pa Pitt can only say this is not bad for a first try. He has always admired this little masterpiece of industrial architecture (which surprisingly still houses a pipe, valve, and fittings company), and set himself the task of getting a picture of the Sidney Street face, which covers the entire block between 20th Street and 21st Street on the South Side. The evening sun was not kind to him, so he may try again on a cloudy day; but this is still the only picture of the whole Sidney Street face on the entire Internet, so Father Pitt gives himself credit for that much. Below, a more conventional (and much easier) view from the corner of 20th and Sidney Streets, with the usual utility cables.
The Duquesne Brewery mushroomed into a titanic operation after the Second World War, and then rapidly collapsed in the 1960s and was gone by the 1970s. At its peak it took up three blocks on the South Side, and of course it was famous for the largest clock in the world. This 1899 building, the center of the empire, was abandoned for some time, then taken over by artist squatters, and finally, as the Brew House, became lofts and studios. It is an architectural curiosity, added to over the course of the brewery’s history with some regard for consistent style but no regard at all for symmetry.
How do you give a good impression of how big the Westinghouse dynamo factory is? This extraordinary film from 1904 begins with an aerial tracking shot that goes on uninterrupted for two minutes. Then we see an army of women assembling the more delicate parts, and finally quitting time, when many of the younger workers literally run out the doors.
“Night Scene on the Monongahela River Near Pittsburgh, Pa., Showing a Portion of the Plants of the Pittsburgh Steel Co.” A striking view from a booklet published by the Pittsburgh Steel Company in 1911.
“Taylor Allerdice was accustomed to meeting all kinds of situations but here was something entirely different. So far as he knew, it had never been done before, except in the making of an occasional educational film, but this man didn’t look as though he were concerned in making just the short length educational subject.
“ ‘What kind of a picture?’ he asked.
“ ‘What we call a feature presentation, Mr. Allerdice. I have brought a company of players, including the principals and important members of the cats, cameramen and the necessary crew to handle the mechanical end, across the continent to picturize in its actual locale Herschell. S. Hall’s Saturday Evening Post story Steel Preferred. The plant at the National Tube Company seems to be the one best suited to the requirements of the story.’ ”
The entire article, “On Location in a Steel Mill,” appears in The Director for July, 1925.