Andre Kertész (Hungarian, 1894 – 1985)
DateOriginal photograph 1947; this print 1972
DimensionsMat : 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Sheet/image : 8 7/16 x 6 5/8 in. (21.43 x 16.83 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelThroughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries, many European and American industrial factories used nearby rivers, lakes and oceans as convenient dumping grounds for the unwanted byproducts of their manufacturing operations. These byproducts often contained long-lasting toxic chemicals that polluted the water and contaminated the sediments at the bottom of the waterways. This photogravure print of a photograph taken in 1947 by the Hungarian-born photographer André Kertész depicts a factory in Akron, Ohio. In the middle decades of the 20th century, Akron was known as “The Rubber Capital of the World” for its extensive tire manufacturing industry. Today few tires are made in Akron but water and soil pollution caused by that industry remain an ongoing problem.