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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Dick Swanson: Diamond in the Back: Chain Links and Row Houses, Philadelphia, 1973 (II)


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Painter working on chain link fence, Philadelphia



View north from Swanson and Catherine Streets, Philadelphia




Littered embankment near Vine Street exit of I-95. Center city office buildings in background, Philadelphia




Gulf and Arco plants. Schuykill Expressway and Penrose Avenue, Philadelphia



Gulf and Arco plants. Schuykill Expressway and Penrose Bridge across the Schuykill Priver, Folcroft, Pennsylvania






Gulf Refinery -- from the Penrose Bridge, Eastwick, Philadelphia




Gulf and Arco installations, Camden, New Jersey



Gulf and Arco refineries, Philadelphia




Gulf and Arco plants, Philadelphia




City incinerator on the Delaware River, Camden, New Jersey



US Steel Fairless Works on the Delaware River, Camden, New Jersey




US Steel Fairless Works on the Delaware River, Camden, New Jersey



US Steel Fairless Works on the Delaware River, Camden, New Jersey




US Steel Fairless Works on the Delaware River, Camden, New Jersey




The polluted Schuykill River and center city in background, Philadelphia




North Philadelphia junkyard stacked with cars for scrap metal



Stacked cars in city junkyard will be used for scrap, North Philadelphia




Stacked cars in city junkyard will be used for scrap, North Philadelphia


 


Row houses stretching out from center city, Philadelphia


 


Row houses, Philadelphia




Row houses, Philadelphia




Row houses, Philadelphia




Row houses, Philadelphia




Row houses and skyscrapers in center city area, Philadelphia


 


Pennsylvania, Northwest Philadelphia




Center city, Philadelphia, at sunset



Philadelphia suburb and cemetery
 


Painter working on chain link fence, Philadelphia


Photos by Dick Swanson, August 1973 for the Environmental Protection Agency's DOCUMERICA Project (U.S. National Archives)

3 comments:

TC said...

I think this EPA endeavour to reveal the perishing republic as it then was represents a beautiful last apparition of the spirit of the Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration photographic projects of the 1930s.

Dick Swanson's chain-link fence painter, the brave chemically- toxified-worker descendant of John Vachon's Sun-Ray Man.

Wooden Boy said...

The John Vachon echo is uncanny. A strange bravery but bravery nonetheless. A human figure in the midst of those uniform habitations, cars and the poison (and the wages) of heavy industry.

TC said...

"A human figure in the midst of those uniform habitations, cars and the poison (and the wages) of heavy industry."

The shrinking of the human figure from an effective agent in the world to a dwindled object of use by something larger, something mysterious, something never quite understood by any but the (very few, usually distant) users who framed this whole system of arrangements for their own convenience... is that inexorable process of diminution not known as history?