Manufacturing processes beautifully illustrated in cutaway drawings

On the Vintage Ads LJ group, the fabulous Man Writing Slash has posted a set of "industrial cut-aways" by Frank Soltesz -- these being elaborate diagrams showing the details of manufacturing processes and businesses (brewing, making ice-cream, hotels). If you like comic-book villain-lair cutaways, you'll love these.

More Frank Soltesz Industrial Cut-aways


  1. Richard Scarry used to do similar drawings, showing the plumbing in a house or how a windmill worked.
    Except he always had a worm wearing a hat hanging out of one of the pipes.
    Made me want to work in engineering.

  2. When I was in grade school, some time ago, we took a field trip to see an ice cream plant. Do kids still get to go on tours of industrial facilities, or is it all about safety and IP nowadays?

    1. We went to an armory and a nuclear research lab. Apparently, our elders had rather different agendas.

    2. Wonder bread factory.  I was 6.  

      It was so incredibly industrially epic, I have never forgotten it.  Giant bins of dough.  Conveyor belts *everywhere* with loaves of bread going by.And the fresh, warm, just-cooked Wonder bread was delicious.  

      Have to point out that NoluckBoston suggested this as background music while viewing these drawings: It’s perfect.

    3. We never went to industrial facilities even in the seventies. Living in a big city teachers get lazy and drag the kids round the same old museums year after year. We did get lots of day trips to France, though. The kids spent their time hanging round town (Calais, Boulogne) smoking and drinking while the teachers all made a beeline for the nearest bar and did the same. We didn’t learn much but if nobody got arrested it was a successful trip.
      All we’ve got left in London is banks and if it wasn’t for health and safety the kids would be better off down the pub now anyway.

    4. We did too! I still remember all the fresh, free ice-cream we had. And all the ice-cream headaches on the trip back. 
      They even gave us a box to bring home. 

  3. It’s refreshing to read a description of a factory from the perspective of the insulation salesman. 

  4. I love the art deco facade over the entryway, but even with that I somehow doubt that they’d be able to build a big otherwise-ugly factory like this right smack downtown in front of the courthouse, across the street from a riverside park.

  5. As a young boy scout in central PA, I used to collect donated newspapers to drop off at the Armstrong factory in Lancaster to be turned into ceiling tiles. Bonus: my last name is also Armstrong.

  6. I thought ice cream was made by putting a bucket of cream inside a bucket of really cold stuff, and then slowly scraping the icy cream off the wall of the ‘inside’ bucket.

    /love my Donvier

  7. If you read the copy at the very end of some of these you’ll see that they were giving away large (21″x 22″) color print versions simply for the asking! They didn’t even charge for postage! Amazing! It would be wonderful to have a set of these.

  8. That’s not  how ice-cream is made.  That’s how a corporation makes ice-cream.  Not the same thing in the slightest. 

    It’s like teaching kids that milk and apples come from a supermarket.  Nice art, but depressing in the extreme.   

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