Last week while exploring a beach on the northern California coast I was startled to come upon the mammoth ruins of some ancient iron machinery protruding from the rocky shoreline. This rusted beast, a tangle of gears, wheels and girders was half-embedded and seemingly welded to its rocky graveyard. I guessed I was looking at either a train wreck or the engine room of a beached ocean-going steam freighter. As I walked around the other side, I found a large manufacturer’s plate that provided the information I needed to solve the mystery of these relics.
<a href=”http://martyknapp.zenfolio.com/p527003023/e5cd702bf” title=”Steam Shovel Bones 76″><img src=”http://martyknapp.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v10/p1557594815-2.jpg” width=”400″ height=”275″ alt=”Marty Knapp: Rusted Steam Shovel &emdash; Steam Shovel Bones 76″ /></a>
An online search of the text on the plate revealed it was an abandoned power steam shovel, manufactured in the 1920s. This equipment was used to mine the shoreline rocks, perhaps building the rock wall it was now buried in. Did a Pacific storm topple and trash it? Or, was it abandoned during the perilous economic times of the late 20s into the 30s? I wasn’t able to find out why it was buried where it was. Nearly a hundred years of storm and salt had done its work, creating a gorgeous patina of rust on the ruined hulk. I set up my camera and went to work. These rusted iron bones captivated me. I returned a week later to photograph it again in late afternoon light. On my second visit, I brought my macro lens to pull out details of the incredible textures and shapes within the rusted carcass. View the online collection from both days here: Rusted Steam Shovel
<a href=”http://martyknapp.zenfolio.com/p527003023/e5cd7165d” title=”Steam Shovel Bones 90″><img src=”http://martyknapp.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v155/p1557599837-2.jpg” width=”400″ height=”275″ alt=”Marty Knapp: Rusted Steam Shovel &emdash; Steam Shovel Bones 90″ /></a>
<a href=”http://martyknapp.zenfolio.com/p527003023/e5cd71cdf” title=”Steam Shovel Bones 97″><img src=”http://martyknapp.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v52/p1557601503-2.jpg” width=”372″ height=”400″ alt=”Marty Knapp: Rusted Steam Shovel &emdash; Steam Shovel Bones 97″ /></a>