20 thoughts on “Looking At Torrington

  1. I like this photograph. It’s a reminder of the value of a simple image of a place at an instant in time. The character of the architecture of the building on the right is interesting. Was it an old manufacturing plant perhaps?

    In my earlier life the company I worked for used Torrington needle bearings in our products so that added a little extra interest for me. It also triggered my question about the manufacturing plant. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mic., I like your point about an instant in time, because when I took it it reminded me of something Bresson might’ve looked at and ever since I’ve been meaning to bring a couple of his books up from the basement.

      This scene was at the corner of Main Street and Mason, and that building is currently an inn. A friend who grew up in Torrington tells me that the needle bearing company was on Field Street and that at least half the people he knew had at least one family member working there.

      What company did you work for?

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      1. I worked for The Hoover Company…vacuum cleaners. Much like your friend’s description of Torrington needle bearings, generations of families worked their whole lives at Hoover. Every year the company would have two 25th Anniversary dinners for employees who reached that many years of service. When I went to mine there was a guy there who was attending his second dinner…he had worked there 50 years! From what I can tell Torrington Bearing Company doesn’t exist anymore except as a brand name, the same fate that Hoover met. Those old home grown manufacturing companies were amazing and still are when you find them still operating. Sorry for the diversion…I like the photograph! 🙂

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        1. I hadn’t realized The Hoover Company was based in Ohio, and didn’t know that you’d worked so many years there. Thanks for writing about it- a wonderful memory, with a connection to a town in northwest Connecticut.

          As you know, New England is full of shuttered mills, with at least some in various states of incremental restoration. But from what I gather, the Midwest has gone through a tsunami of plant closures, each with scores of stories like yours.

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        2. Yes…changes in economics and society. So I’ll also add this: The Hoover family was in the leather goods industry, as I recall, making harness for horse-drawn carriages. They acquired the patent for the electric carpet cleaner and started The Hoover Company in 1908, the same year the Ford Model T came out. 🙂 Thanks, John.

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    1. It’s interesting that you mention the manhole circles because without them, this becomes a very different, and less evocative scene. I felt lucky that they were there in those two spots, receding into the background.


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