Friday, November 9, 2007

Bethlehem 48" Mill Rebuild Photos

I just bought a series of 68 photos on ebay of what was advertised as a 48" mill rebuild at Bethlehem Steel. The pictures came today, and as I started looking through them (they are in chronological order), they start with the removal of the roller tables, removal of mill stand, then go into the dismantling of a Tod twin tandem compound reversing engine. The next few photos show digging out of the engine foundation, then placing concrete forms, rebar, then pouring concrete. Now I'm thinking to myself that the next photos will be of a big electric drive motor being installed. After all that was all the rage in the 1950s.

But instead of that I start seeing the engine being reassembled on the new foundation! Huh? What the... What would posess them to rip out the engine and put in a new foundation for it? Now this is 1958, right when everyone else in their right mind is pulling out blooming mill engines and putting in electric drives. Why would Bethlehem decide to replace the engine foundation? Not that I am complaining, a Tod engine is a mighty fine piece of engineering!

Anyways, the photos are safely here with me now, and will someday be published in some manner in booklet form. BTW I noticed that I was the only bidder for these photos. It would have been no use bidding anyways. I knew there were rolling mill engine pictures in this set, and Tod engines at that, so there wasn't any chance these pictures would have ended up anywhere else than in the files at the Tod Engine Foundation!

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