Looking down the Indiana Harbor Canal at the former steel mill of Inland Steel. (I think Mittal is operating it now.) This area in Northern Indiana, southeast of Chicago, was home to four or five steel mills in a row along the shore of Lake Michigan, including LTV Steel, US Steel's Gary Works, and the Burns Harbor plant of Bethlehem Steel. Some would also include the defunct Acme Steel. (Photo courtesy of Samuel Love)

Rolling Mills of the former Inland Steel Company in East Chicago, Indiana(Photo courtesy of Samuel Love)

A view of Gary, IN with the U.S. Steel Gary Works in the background (Photo courtesy of Strawberrylizzie)

Carl Helsing contributed this picture of an ore carrier leaving the USS Gary works. He writes, "I have attached a photo of the Benjamin Fairless, steam ship-ore carrier. It had a sister ship,the Sloan. The Benjamin Fairless was scrapped in the 70's or 80's. The Sloan was still afloat in 2002. Both were built in the 1940's. My father worked on both ships. "

Here's a very sad picture - after 85 years of production General Motors' manual transmission plan in Muncie, IN was closed in 2006. That's why the parking lot is empty.

Pigeons fly over the closed G.M. transmission factory in Muncie, which made "rock crusher" transmissions for some of the renowned muscle cars of the 1960s.

This part of the plant probably dates back to the days when it was operated by Warner Gear.

Know where your bread is buttered - a sign on the front parking lot at the idled G.M. transmission factory in Muncie.

Workers' housing around the transmission plant probably dates back to its opening in the early 1920s.

Two trains rumble through Muncie, In on a summer Sunday afternoon.

Another transmission factory in Muncie, this one owned by Borg-Warner, dates back to 1928.

Though the historic nature of the Borg-Warner plant is visable in this July 2006 photo, one would assume that the plant has been modernized with current technology. But the plant was closed in April 2009. It has been estimated (by the Indianapolis Business Journel) that Indiana has lost over 20,000 automotive manufacturing jobs since 1999.

More detail of the back of the Borg-Warner gear factory at Muncie. A reported 780 people were thrown out of work when the old plant was idled.

Often the midwestern factories have an elevated water tank to provide more "head" for the water pressure they need in the manufacturing process. This one is at the Muncie Borg-Warner plant.

The Guide Corporation factory in Anderson, IN was a manufacturer of automotive lighting, and a former division of General Motors. (The orignal name of the company was The Guide Motor Lamp Company).

Another part of the Anderson Guide Corp. plant. The plant was still active on this sunny summer morning in 2006, but was shut down for good in January 2007, and its equipment was auctioned off in March 2007. This was the last GM-related factory in a city that was once home to many GM factories, but now has been left to fend for itself.

Storage tanks at the Guide plant in Anderson.

The lifeblood of Anderson, IN has been the auto industry. Evidently, the town was really booming in the 1950s and '60s because that's when much of the architecture in the town looks like it was constructed or remodled. However, most of the plants, like the one pictured here, have closed.

Cleaning up rubble where, just a year before, stood a Delphi (formerly AC Delco) generator factory. There is one more Dephi plant in Anderson, but it is scheduled to close as well. UAW pensions may keep the town afloat for a little while. The Anderson Herald Bulletin read, "The recent announcement of Delphi’s pending closure in Anderson, set for June, means that all remnants of General Motors will be gone from a city that was once a proud standard bearer of GM ... Some people probably refuse to accept the fact that mass auto production on a GM scale is gone for good from Anderson, but it is."

However, Delphi still operates this profitable plant in nearby Kokomo, IN. The factory is busy, but this section of the parking lot is mostly empty due to downsizing.

This is the older, but still operational, Chrysler transmission factory in Kokomo. The famous Torque-Flight transmission was manufactured here.

The Eagles Club across the street from the Chrysler transmission plant gives blue collar employees a place to relax after their shift is over.

Chrysler has also constructed these two new (2003) transmission factories in Kokomo. Like the Southern Ohio portion of the Industrial Heartland, most of the people in Eastern Indiana are White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, and many are very religious.

This General Motors stamping plant in Marion, Indiana has been here since 1955. When I photographed it in November 2008 General Motors was in negotiations with Congress to help them avoid financial insolvency. That week an editorial in the local Chronicle-Tribune newspaper read, "In our community, the Marion plant has an estimated $75 million payroll and provides about 1/15th of the county’s tax base. It is an economic engine that might have reduced its size over the years but continues to provide a pillar for our quality of life, including the quality of our city schools. We live in a place where the pain of the end of GM would arrive with the impact of a sledgehammer...we realize that people at the top of the Big Three are likely to remain financially secure no matter what Congress decides. They are not the ones needing rescue. We are."

GM Marion plant as viewed from a field beside the factory.

The Plymouth Club down the street from the GM plant in Marion.

Near the GM plant in Marion, IN lies this driveshaft factory of the once-mighty Dana Corporation. A few months before I took this photo of the plant the Indiana Economic Digest reported, "Several heavy-duty machines have recently been removed from Dana Holding Corp.'s Marion facility as the company shifts some production processes to Mexico. Eventually, the movement of that work out of Marion will result in between 130 and 180 fewer jobs at the local facility, he said." Workers at the plant are represented by United Steelworkers Local 7113.

Behind the Dana Marion plant.

This corner of a factory building is all that remains of Chrysler's New Castle, Indiana factory. Built in 1907 as part of the old Maxwell Motor Company, it was part of the original six factories of the Chrysler Corporation in 1925. The high school in New Castle was even named New Castle Chrysler High School, though in 2011 "Chrysler" will be removed from the name. This is probably because Chrysler ditched the factory in 2002. A more modern parts factory operated by Metaldyne is still there (in the background of this photo), but the historic sections of the Chrysler factory have been demolished, save this wall. (Even the UAW Local 371 hall has been converted to a pet grooming shop.) A plaque on the factory remnant reads, "...For more than four generations workers produced vehicles and parts for Maxwell, Chrysler, DaimlerChrylser, and Metaldyne, as well as making major contributions to our country's efforts in World Wars I and II. When razed in 2004 it was the oldest continuously operated automotive factory in the world..."

Former factory of Crosley automobiles in Richmond, IN. Crosley was a compact car with an engine made of sheet metal rather than cast iron or cast aluminum. Auto production of this plant lasted from 1939 until the mid 1940s, but Crosleys were made in a Marion, IN plant until 1952.

This large building in Richmond, Indiana is a relic from the Industrial Revolution. It was the factory of the American Seeding Machine Co. until 1920, when it became the Internation Harvester Richmond Unit. I.H. production here ceased in 1957.

Detail of fire esape on the former International Harvester plant in Richmond.