I would almost call it a landmark but I doubt most people are even aware of what it is. It is something I have passed probably a dozen times or more each year since I moved to the Mohawk Valley 21 years ago. You can see it as you drive along Mill St., from Martin St. to East Dominick St. You might notice it among the southern skyline of Rome, NY as you drive along Route 365. And lately I have become fascinated with photographing it.
It is the water tower from the old General Cable Corporation facilities next to the NY State Barge Canal just off of Mill St. in Rome, NY. It is old, weathered and a little worse for wear but I have been having a great time trying to capture unique images of it. It started a couple of weeks ago when I went down to get photographs of the spillway were the Mohawk River empties into the Barge Canal. Before I could even get to my destination I was captured by the presence of this water tower.
This is the first picture I took that evening. I don’t think the name and logo even registered with me at the time. I was enthralled by the tower and my plans for the evening changed immediately. I was on a new mission. To see what images I could get and how I could best capture this lonely sentinel.
I grabbed a few more pictures from across the street and then I headed down to the spillway. I was able to get a few distant pictures using the trees from the park to frame the water tower. I was trying different things and actually came home with more ‘keepers’ than I anticipated.
It wasn’t until I was able to upload the pictures to my PC and start processing them that I noticed the name on the tower, General Cable. A quick internet search provided me with a little more information and a few more days of digging produced some really interesting facts.
- General Cable Corporation was incorporated in 1927 in New Jersey. It brought together facilities from various companies started in the late 1800’s; Phillips Wire and Safety Cable Company, Rome Wire Company and Standard Underground Cable.
- Rome Wire Company developed the Romex ® brand of non-metallic building wire in 1922.
- Rome Wire Company was built near the New York Central and Ontario & Western railroad lines and had direct dockage on the New York State Barge Canal.