© David Plowden, 1968, Great Northern RLY. Freight Train West of Havre, Montana / USA

“Someone was telling me how nice it was that I photographed the age of mechanics and the age of hands-on work and, you know, it’s true. I love photographing shovels; I love photographing gears; I love photographing machinery that took people to run. There’s nothing more beautiful than a shovel. Did you ever watch anybody shovel coal in a locomotive, or shoveling wheat? It seems almost like a ballet, it’s so beautiful. You look at the handles of the shovels and they’re all worn. Those things, to me, are very indicative of an important part of something that’s gone.” (David Plowden)