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Charles Sheeler, American, 1883–1965, Ford Plant, River Rouge, Bar and Billet Mill Motor Room, 1927; gelatin silver print. Courtesy the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Lane Collection.

Throughout the Rouge, Sheeler found beauty in the elegant shapes, contours, and precise lines that formed the machinery. The circular shapes pictured here are drive reducers, more than fifteen feet high. These mechanisms are connected to driveshafts that run the rollers, producing lengths of steel called bars and billets.