It was one of those experiences that make our photo safaris memorable. Susie took us over to Melvin’s farm to meet Melvin and make some photographs. We were not the first to photograph Melvin. The many portraits of Melvin neatly stapled to the wall of his mobile home gave witness to Melvin’s popularity with local photographers.
One of the places we photographed at Melvin’s Farm was his shop. Melvin had a “single shaft machine shop” in his barn. A single motor of indeterminate vintage drove a wide leather belt that rotated a single shaft suspended from the rafters. Each machine in the shop was connected to the single shaft by its own leather belt. This level of technology was state of the art at the beginning of the century. That would have been the beginning of the twentieth century.
I wondered if the machines were older than my wooden 5x7 view camera. I began photographing with a smile on my face because it just seemed right to be photographing hundred year old equipment with a hundred year old camera.