The Romanticism Of Ancient Machinery & The Need Of Modernization – Streit’s Matzo Factory

Matzo breaking on the first floor

 

Photographer Joseph O Holmes is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  These images are from his project ‘The Souls of Machines – Streit’s‘.  To see Joseph’s projects click on any image.

 

Flour Dumping Station Number One

Flour Dumping Station Number One

 

Rabbi Kirshner

Rabbi Kirshner

 

Matzo stippler and cutter

Matzo stippler and cutter

 

Streit’s Matzo

The Final Days of the Lower East Side Factory

Joseph O. Holmes carried his camera and tripod into the aging Streit’s matzo factory in the spring of 2015, intending to spend a few days capturing the workers and the ancient machines. But the machines were not cooperating, and instead Holmes watched the chief mechanic scramble to kick the aging mechanisms into working order. That scene exemplified the reasons the Streit family reluctantly decided to abandon the Lower East Side and build a modern factory outside the city.

Holmes ended up shooting for five weeks in the Rube Goldberg plant, through four buildings and six floors, observing first-hand how the flour moved through pneumatic tubes upstairs to the dumping stations, then back down through the floor to mixers, from there to the cutters with their stipplers and perforators and into the 75-foot 900-degree ovens, and finally transported on a series of gondolas through holes in the floors and walls to the packaging and wrapping machines — all under the supervision of rabbis.

Soon after Holmes shot his final photo, almost exactly 90 years after Aron Streit built the factory on Rivington Street, the family began the move to a new home 26 miles up the Hudson River.

 

Matzo conveyor

Matzo conveyor

 

First floor lockers

First floor lockers

 

five-pound-wrapping-machine

Five-pound wrapping machine

 

Ramon and Mike

Ramon and Mike

 

Charlie in the break room

Charlie in the break room

 

Sheeted matzo dough just before baking

Sheeted matzo dough just before baking

 

See also:

Custom Machinery

By Joseph O Holmes

 


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