One of my hobbies is the study of large manufacturing and exploring the remnants of these once mighty industries. The San Francisco Bay area has been a major manufacturing center from the time of the gold rush and is loaded with potential dig sites. I have an old book on machine design with a fellows name in it that was an engineer and draftsman at the Globe Iron Works which was located on Fremont back in the day. The date of his beautiful cursive hand written entry in the book is April 1885. This machine shop specialized in the manufacture of mining and logging equipment as well as a iron foundry and supplied the machinery and expertise that built the city. I have seen some of their equipment at abandoned mining sites in the Nevada desert.
All this industry was located on what is now a bunch of non nondescript mirrored glass towers most likely full of cubicles and computers screens. The property became much too valuable to be a mere iron foundry. Possibly the children of the company founders did not want to mess around with all the dirty stuff their fathers and grandfathers built, perhaps instead cashing in on the most profitable use of the property.
I have had the good luck to have seen some of these utterly impressive places as they became unwanted and embarrassing to the new world business model.
One of the places that I spent some time at was the old Hunters point naval shipyard. When I was there the military was in its last throes and rented the bulk of the shipyard to private enterprise. The only thing of importance to them was the huge drydock next to the building I managed a machine shop in. It was pretty interesting to see the military ships come into the dock and have repairs made. Each day you could watch the progress as the ship was swarmed over by an army of contractors and navy people performing various tasks.
Next up in this industrial archaeology series is the instrumentation and calibration building which was penetrated in the digital era. No more crappy scans.