When the Georgian town of Zestafoni opened this ferroalloy factory in 1933, it did so knowing the building’s heating furnaces could never be allowed to go cold. So even when they ran out of things to forge, as happened intermittently over the decades, they kept it going. Eighty-six years later, the place is still running hot.
Ryan Koopmans and Alice Wexell visited the Not-So-Little Factory That Could for Calvert Journal, capturing a fully functional industrial time capsule. Across a series of photographs and a short video, they show 1930s-era blast furnaces still up and running, alongside slowly eroding Soviet mosaics and sculptures. While seemingly frozen in time, it’s still somehow far from dormant.
“The factory is still an important employer for workers in Georgia, and still produces a very large amount of product that is shipped around the world,” Koopmans told Calvert Journal. “It is still significant in its function, even though its decrepit exterior alludes to an era from the past.”