A walk through the Volklingen Ironworks facility in the western German state of Saarland is a reminder of the immense power behind how manufacturing once dominated the economy.
Today we get our information by our phones; we order everything we could possibly need or desire by clicks and swipes.
At the factory, the workers are all gone now and nature has taken over in a place of steel and iron and concrete where conditions were so harsh that nothing could grow around it.
These production facilities were once technological milestones. The Volklingen Ironworks factory covers 6 hectares and handled everything from raw materials to export.
It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994, just eight years after production ceased for good in 1986.
The overall appearance of the facility is the same as it was in the 1930s since no new installations were added after 1935. One of the pieces from 1873, part of the machinery, remains preserved at the site.
The engines and machinery are now cold and dormant. But the factory remains, even after the departure of the thousands of workers who toiled here, a symbol of human achievement.