Alfred T. Palmer took this photograph of raw industrial beauty in Alabama, 1942. What you're seeing is an enormous, high-tech (at the time) furnace for making elemental phosphorus, a chemical widely used in fertilizers. You can see the some of the engineering features of this machine in today's ultra-modern server rooms.
The wires on the furnace are bound together in a pattern (and with ginormous ties) that's remarkably similar to these wires in a server room. OK, that's not a big revelation in engineering terms, but it's interesting to see what features are preserved in the evolution of industrial design.
Thanks, once again, to the Library of Congress for making so many cool public domain photos available for free on Flickr. Check out the whole glorious LOC stream.