Lathe, Akeley Machine Shop, New York
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© Aperture Foundation

Paul Strand
American, New York City, about 1923
Gelatin silver print
9 9/16 x 7 9/16 in.

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The Akeley [movie camera] was assuredly the chief stimulus to my active interest in the machine…I photographed lathes, milling machines, drillers, etc., etc., made in the shops of the Akeley Camera Company.

Thus Paul Strand described the making of this photograph. In 1922, having collaborated the year before with Charles Sheeler on a film of the urban high-rise environment in New York City, Strand purchased an Akeley camera. "It's really a piece of craftsmanship different from anything our friend George Eastman makes," enthused Strand, comparing his new ninety-pound machine to the still cameras made popular by Eastman, who is credited with having invented the first snapshot camera. This photograph of a machine that helped construct Strand's movie camera is an homage to the physical beauty and visual power of technology.