In the late 20's, our town drew the attention of German and Dutch investors who came to the area and built two large plants for the manufacturing of rayon - the North American Rayon Corporation (closed in the 90's), and the J.P. Bemberg Company. At the height of their manufacturing in 1949, NARC and Bemberg employed over 6,100 people and we still see the influence of their time here all over town - including the very house where I sit typing this post. Our home was one of the last worker houses built in 1940, a new development of cookie cutter homes that were added just prior to WWII. During the war, both NARC and Bemberg were nationalized (due in part to the German ownership), but were turned over to private investors again in 1949.
After Bemberg closed in the mid-70's, the buildings slowly fell into disrepair and a fire took out much of the NARC facilities in the 90's - the remainder of which was removed a few years ago to make room for a new Super Wal-Mart and Lowe's because life goes on. However, several of the old Bemberg buildings have survived, including the original smoke stack baring the company name in white bricks. While I was participating with You Capture last year, I took several photos of the stack for an "assignment" and I really liked the way they turned out.
A few months ago, I heard about a website (Canvas People) offering a free 8 x 10 photo canvas (you pay for shipping) to try them out. I looked at it, but decided to hold off until last month when I was planning the decor of the Project House. Thinking it would be a good opportunity to turn some of the pictures I've taken into "hang-able art" for the PH (and since you never know when they will take a wrecking ball to the smoke stack), I decided it would be a nice ode to the town to hang a picture of a local landmark. I chose a photo out of my collection and then opted to size up to an 11 x 14 for a $6.95 more. When the canvas arrived, I was so pleased with the outcome that I actually hung it on the brick wall in our library.
Right now, Canvas People is running another free-trial special (they have them all the time) - a free 8 x 10 (plus shipping) or $50 off any other size canvas. I'm seriously considering having another print made, but I would go slightly bigger than the 11 x 14 next time. However, if you're looking for a fun family gift for in-laws or grandparents, now would be the time to take advantage of the free 8 x 10. And for the record, I am in no way affiliated with Canvas People, nor have they asked me to write a glowing review of their product - I'm actually that pleased with my purchase!