American Industry is as much a celebration as it is documentation. Through his unique vision and privileged access, photographer Kim Steele has achieved a spectacular distillation of a variety of icons of power. Some of these places of power are literal: sources of hydro-electric energy, such as dams or atomic and accelerators. Other places of power are more metaphorical: the might of massive construction as only heavy industry can achieve, whether in architecture or ships; or the romance of aviation and the exploration of space.
The photographic images are as iconic as their subjects. Formally pure and powerful in their scale and clarity, they mirror the ambitious and inspirational quality of what are now understood to be quintessential and classic symbols of American ingenuity and drive. Together, the seven chapters, Hydro Power, Aviation, Heavy Industry, Energy, Space, Atomic Energy, and The Future, create a visual tapestry of American industrial power in the twentieth century. A testimony of a guilded age of American Industrial might.