Comment 79020

By lakeside (registered) | Posted June 30, 2012 at 02:35:37

Doors Open Industrial? Yes, please.

The first few times I came to Hamilton was via public school steel mill tours.

An experience I can never forget is when the siren and strobe lights activate, then the explosives that were cast into the concrete bung plug going off, a huge explosion in a giant indoor space, followed by the molten steel running down the trough. When you see it in a video, the world doesn't shake like that.

We saw the finished plasma-breathing coke being pushed from the train cars after a day-long slow anaerobic burn.

Massive pieces of mining equipment being used move the cooled slag to the screening area with its mountainous heaps.

Rose-coloured memories of those field trips are now part of the retro-faux legend that tries to fill in the gaps between a childhood spent elsewhere and current life in my adopted hometown. We definitely got that sort of industrial powerhouse feel that you still hear about today. I always wondered if local kids got the same tours too.

Today,they'd never allow a group of people of any age to experience the bone-shaking reality of steel-making that we did but it sure would be nice to get a look at what happens inside all those corrugated buildings.

Competition, modern marketing and video, 9/11, and the school boards near-elimination of field trips have have all contributed to the disappearance of plant tours.

That said, there was surely a time, before Doors Open, when companies probably thought they'd never want to open things up to the general public. Now many see the value in showing us what's inside.

Comment edited by lakeside on 2012-06-30 02:51:50

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