jet age machinery

With all the hype around information technology in all its guises as our times’ core technology, about virtual worlds and social media, Tim Heffernan’s The machines that made the Jet Age (a follow-up to his Iron Giant in the Atlantic) comes handy as a healthy reality check. Heffernan explains and stresses the role of gigantic forging presses as the machines that made the jet age possible. ‘This is the story of the birth of the Jet Age—but it’s anchored firmly to the ground:’
The magnificent machine pictured above is a closed-die forging press, one of the biggest in the world.
Isn’t it a wonderful irony [pun not intended] that in order to make machines as light as possible you do need incredibly heavy machines. I think that steampunk and related æsthetics serve as reminders to the reality of heavy machinery and hardware in general.