JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
There's a definite real-or-imagined synesthesic olfactory reaction to this image--for me, at least. The ceiling seems a little low for what's going on inside this building, and none of the skylights seem to be open, and the windows in the walls don't seem to be letting much air in, which means that there is probably a high order of oil and carbon and other hammering smells going on here, locomotives being assembled/fixed check-to-jowl. It looks to be about 12/15 locomotives in one stage of completion or another in this structure, which means that there must've been 100-200 engineers and workmen in there too. The Baldwin Works--pictured here in a detail of the front page of the Scientific American for May 31, 1884--is shown at a very strong point in U.S. railroad development, and there's nothing quite like an image like this that spells out "work" than something like this.