Jessica M. Yu

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20082009 Forum on Change

Jessica M. Yu


College '10

Up in Smoke: The Afterlife of America’s Industrial Beacon

The clock is ticking for smokestacks in America. For the relics of 20th century industry, the transition to softer commerce has penned dates for their destruction. Hundreds of people attend festivals to witness the explosions and artists capture on canvas the moments when Worcester, MA, and Bethlehem, PA, bid farewell to a bygone era. Smokestacks, once an icon of economic progress, are now an ironic symbol in present-day deindustrialization. As Rust Belt cities dispel their manufacturing identities, what are they transitioning into and which relationships are being replaced?