Today we have two scenes, filled with billowing gases and vapors and industry smoke stacks. The older print, a 1927 etching by Anton Schutz, depicts the Brooklyn Edison Plan. When it opened in 1901, Brooklyn Edison’s Waterside station was physically the world’s largest generating plant. With a rated capacity of 120,000 kilowatts, it had more than 10 times the capacity of their earlier-built plant on Pearl Street. Waterside eventually became a pioneer of what today is called cogeneration; the plant produced steam for heating and cooling with electricity as a by-product.
The other selected print is by Richard Florsheim, a 20th century artist who, in his later work, focused on the impact of lights and industry on our landscape. He is famous for scenes of city lights reflecting and refracting in water, and the flames and smoke of industry set against night skies. He found beauty in the landscape of industry and in man-made creations like skyscrapers and street lights.
Image on the Left: Brooklyn Edison Plant. (First state). By Anton Schutz. Etching, c. 1927. Signed in pencil. Inscribed “First state.”
Image on the Right: Catalysts. By Richard Florsheim. Color lithograph, 1978. Trial proof before the edition of 220. Signed in pencil. Commissioned by the Rexnord Corp., Milwaukee, Wisconsin.