DEPSITE THE FACT THAT THIS IS THE CRUDEST OF ALL OF THE PHOTOS IN THE COLLECTION… ITS DEFINITETLY MY FAVORITE. CLICK TO ENLARGE.
One thing that has been suspiciously absent from the Manville blog is the Asbestos producing giant Johns Manville. I think up to now I’ve left it out just because its a negative stigma on the town, and I wanted this thing to be celebratory. But history is history… you can’t change it. All you can do is confront it in the best and most integral way you can. There are a lot of families with history wrapped up in JM, and many good times were had in the orbit of factory happenings. It was the catalyst for the town to expand. Neal Ranauro, my favorite Manville photographer was a photographer for JM. Who knows if most of these photos I have on this blog would have existed if JM never employed him. JM helped the town in so many ways… they even helped pay for the public schools. With that said it was also a monster. A black perpetual cloud cast upon the town forever. Even as a young kid, before I knew of all the court cases, health issues, and company cover ups… Before I knew there was a monetary formula that decided that it was better to just let their company workers work, get sick, and die than to stop production, I did know there was this decrepit old building, surrounded by a decrepit old green fence… I knew my grandparents and great grandparents worked there, and I knew it was a terrible place. I don’t want to take it to bummer town right at this moment, because THIS post is a positive one. One about hardworking industrial families, in a town that was still coming of age. Despite the tragedies that happened at Johns Manville there were lots of proud folks who spent their lives working hard to provide for their families, folks who believed in the power of what they were producing. This great photo collection came to me through Manville Councilman , and fellow Manville history buff, Richard Onderko. He also, got me digital versions of a couple of the JM “Quarter Century Club” celebration programs which will be making a near future appearance on this site. But for now enjoy these great JM worker photos. You can click on them to enlarge them. Thanks again Rich!