Sunday wasn’t looking up to be a very productive day. The weather once again was overcast, rainy and overall crappy. We could have just as easily sat around indoors that afternoon hoping for better weather while watching wasted hours pass by.
Long story short we had decided we would tough it out and find something to do, some place to go, or some place to explore. I’m not sure how it came up, maybe it was Jeremy Jr. who suggested we should go explore The Scranton Lace Factory. One of those places that has been on our list of things to do for quite some time.
I personally have put off exploring the Scranton Lace Factory just because of how publicized the place had become over the years, with the Discovery Channel, or one of those networks featuring it on national TV. After that it was like a free for all. Just do a search for The Scranton Lace Factory on YouTube once and you’ll see what I mean.
But I had been catching wind of Scranton’s plans to do something with the property, like turn it into a parking lot. So if ever there was a time to go check this place out it is now.
We packed up our ever growing collection of cameras, lenses and other photographic gear and off we went. It’s only a 10 minuet drive or so from Wilkes-Barre, so even if things don’t work out we still have plenty of time to shift gears and divert to another location.
Luck is on our side today, we reach the old manufacturing facility in Scranton PA in one piece. We take a decent amount of time measuring the place up and exploring the perimeter of the complex. Walking around the north corner of the old abandon Scranton Lace Factory we realize there is a road way that divides the entire complex which is wide open. If we wanted to we could have drove right in. Along the length of the road on both sides are dozens of doors which are also wide open. Over head there are several cat walks connecting the west and east sides of the abandon complex. It’s very surreal, like a scene out of The Walking Dead or something.
This place is enormous and old! You can feel the history seeping from it as you walk about the property.
After spending a bit of time exploring the west side of abandon manufacturing facility I start to get a pretty good idea of the general layout of this place. This section had to be the warehouse where manufactured goods and intellectual property was kept. By intellectual property I mean there were hundreds of pallets stacked with punch cards, or pattern cards which were used to program the looms. There were shelving units, vintage furniture and other supplies and surplus.
Also on the west side of the complex was the recreational area. A gym and auditorium with a movie theater, which also dubbed as a basketball court. Also on the property were bowling allies, shuffle board and more for the employees of the Scranton Lace Factory. I guess when you have have 13 year old kids working your factory you need to supply some sort of entertainment and this was it I suppose.
Recreational activities for the younger workers. This would have been out of the norm for the period. People only really focus on black slavery in America because it can be used as political and social tool. People forget that America sunk even lower when it allowed business owners to basically enslave children in life threatening and inhumane working environments. This was a real problem, kids would literally be forced to pick coal in the mines around the area until their fingers bled. To this day you still don’t hear anything about this dark side of American history.
This place and others like it around the country were the heart and soul of America despite their dark history. Most are gone now, hundreds and thousands, shoot most likely millions of American jobs gone? Today we have Walmarts in every city selling garbage manufactured in China, India and Mexico. Our manufacturing base is all but gone, stolen from us by the people we elected, we trusted these people and were greatly wronged! If you born previous to the late 70’s you have most likely been directly effected by these global trade treaties and acts that have raped America raw. Our country has figuratively had it’s heart ripped right out of it’s chest. But I digress.
Much of this factory almost seems like it’s been frozen in time. Like the looming machine pictured above. Lace that was being ran the last time this loom was operated still sits half woven on it’s rollers. Yet other scenes are a clear reminder of mother natures ever insistent urge to reclaim our accomplishments. The ferns and multiple other species of plant life growing in, on and about the place echo a beautiful kind of destruction that only nature can deal out.
Hopefully the city of Scranton Pennsylvania will decide to do something constructive with this property. It would be a dam shame to watch it go the way so many other historical landmarks have went in the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton area.
Im done ranting for now, but will be back to do some really soon, so stay tuned!
Thanks for dropping by and until next time, eyes to the sky and keep your camera focused!