Boing Boing is my favorite blog. Recently they featured a piece about the huge forging presses that once made heavy bombers and gigantic transports in the United States. This is from an article from The Atlantic Magazine and it is about the mammoth machines we created to make the machines we used to wage war.
There were only nine of these behemoth steel and aluminum forges ever built in the United States during the 1950s in a program that was entitled the Heavy Press Program. The one pictured here is nine stories tall and weighs 16 million pounds and in the words of the article’s author, Tim Heffernan: “like Vulcan’s own waffle iron, squeezes ingots of solid metal between its jaws until they flow like batter”.
This machine was 300 feet long, weighed eight tons and machines like it no longer exists in the United States.
Sources: Boingboing.net, The Atlantic Magazine, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/iron-giant/8886/