How many caps does a single household possess? As a partial answer to that question, I did a quick sweep of our apt, and the above inventory is what I found. I barely touched the fridge, my art supplies or the spice cupboard. Didn’t even open the liquor cabinet. And I excluded most duplicates. Total number of caps: 98. Fascinated by the notion of an industry which is built upon the production of a single item in all of its iterations.
For some it’s shoes. For others it’s bags. While I have an affinity for both, my real weakness is the label. Plain and simple. Always has been. Always will be. See here. My friend Craig gave me this roll that she found in her parents’ home. She knows me well. And yes, Craig is a woman.
This is the best I could do for today. Not a bad day to be inside blowing one’s nose. Off to make some tea.
There is a theme here. Yes, I am cleaning out the archives.
Better than any museum or guided tour of Montreal was our visit to a really big industrial glass factory. We’re talking production of 500,000 beer bottles in any 24 hour period. This doesn’t include the liquor bottles, mayonnaise jars or other glass vessels that get produced at the same time. I’ve been to a number of factories (glass in particular), but this place was outright SCARY and DANGEROUS and LOUD and GREASY and BEYOND FASCINATING!! I think the word I am looking for here is gobsmacked!
Friends of friends of ours live in Montreal, and the husband works on the line in the factory. He very generously showed us around to every station of the plant. Truly, this was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. I do wish the videos were longer and that I could have taken more footage, but I think that would have broken the rules. What really stuck with me was the level of extreme hazard. I’m talking weaponized molten glass! We have come to think of factories as largely automated or adhering to strict safety measures, but this was anything but. One false move and WHAMMO…there goes your finger or your hand or, for that matter, your whole freakin’ arm. And this doesn’t even begin to address the slippery floor. All those machines need lubrication, and it’s inevitable that in the process of doing so, all the other surfaces get covered in many layers of black oil. It immediately brought to mind the book Fast Food Nation, in which the writer Eric Schlosser describes conditions in our nation’s meat packing industry. I have an entirely new level of respect, and concern, for anyone who manufactures the things we use. Especially at an industrial scale. As a contrast to my experience, look at this sanitized, but highly educational video of the glass making process.
Did I mention how hot it was?
Lendy’s Electric, on Grand Street in Manhattan, is one of those holdouts from an earlier time when small scale manufacturers and their accompanying tradesmen (tradeswomen?) dominated the downtown landscape. I always enjoy my visits there: so many unfamiliar things to look at, and I always learn something new. Even if that means appropriating some strange slang for a particular electric receptacle or seeing these schematics for plugs and whatnot. These Select-A-Spring photos are from a visit a couple of years ago.
Box of plastic gloves found in my mother’s attic. They were most likely my step-father’s. Pretty sure they pre-date my mother. Each glove is affixed to a sheet of what looks like butcher paper. Strange and graphic. Subtle variations in color and shape, not to mention the odd hand shape, add to their intrigue. I may frame them all together. And…Sensi-Touch appears to still be going strong when it comes to the manufacturing of surgical gloves.