New portfolio of photographs of antique hand tools will be called "The Dignity of Work," and honors the great age of American industry and American workers
Old hand tools are intrinsically beautiful objects, but also very personal. These are items that belonged to people. When you hold them in your hands, you have a direct connection to the hands of the workers who used these tools decades ago.
Video introduction to the new portfolio of photographs of antique tools
In this video, Keith introduces the rationale and ideas behind the new portfolio, which will be a work in progress over the next several months.
These images would make remarkable conversation pieces in a modern setting like high-tech firms, where the contrast of antique and new industry would be intriguing.
Many of the photographs are designed to be reproduced at monumental sizes in large spaces, like corporate lobbies or conference rooms, or in hotels and hospitality settings.
Very large format photograph of an antique pipe wrench
For example, the highly-detailed antique pipe wrench (below) was photographed in sections, and stitched together digitally to allow for a very high-resolution image that can be reproduced at 40 x 90 inches. The wooden handle cracked at some time in its usage, and the thrifty worker repaired it with a leather strap that held the handle fast and also served as a grip.
Antique Pipe Wrench with Cracked Wooden Handle - Large format black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Buy a fine art print here.
Black and white photograph of an antique Westcott S-shaped wrench
Westcott wrenches were manufactured in Buffalo, NY from the late 1800s until the mid-1900s. The factory building, now abandoned, still stands in Buffalo (see the historic image below).
The distinctive S-shape gave workers the ability to use the wrench in tight spaces and possibly saved them from bruised knuckles. This wrench carries the engraved initials of its former owner on both sides. Here they can be faintly seen on the left of the wrench head.
Antique S-Shaped Westcott Wrench: Black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Click the photograph to buy a fine art print.
Keystone Manufacturing Company of Buffalo, NY., pictured in 1904. Keystone assumed manufacturing of Westcott wrenches in 1900.
Google street view of the remains of the Keystone plant in Buffalo (circa 2012).
Abstract view of an antique wrench
Some of the images will be abstracted views of the design details of the tools, like this tightly framed image below. Others will have multiple tools in the shot.
Abstract detail photograph of a rusty antique wrench, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson.
The portfolio of photographs of rusty old tools will be a work in progress over coming months. Check back often to see what new photographs (and what tools) have been added.
Antique Samson 83 metal shears with red handles, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Buy a fine art print here.
Jared's Old Tractor Wrench, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Click to buy a fine art print. The framing illustrated here is for demonstration purposes only.
This old International Harvester tractor wrench has the name "Jared S." scratched into its handle, providing a direct tie back to the man who held it. This panoramic style wide-aspect print is designed to be a stunning conversation piece, appearing dimensional as it dominates a wall, revealing a landscape of rusty detail and textures.