The Leaning Tower of Texas
2 in stock
Just off Interstate 40 in Groom, Texas lies a curious anomaly. The “Britten USA” water tower looms just off the highway with it’s distinctive lean being instantly noticeable. I’ve come to call the Britten water tower “the leaning tower of Texas” and like it’s more infamous Italian counterpart, it’s become a weird beacon for curious travelers over the years.
The story of the tower is a strange tale of cleverly executed marketing and ultimately a story of personal loss. Sometime around 1980, Ralph Britten moved the tower from Lefors, Texas to it’s current location in Groom. He purposefully placed the tower at a tilt of about 10 degrees. It wasn’t long before curious (and concerned) truckers and travelers began to stream into Ralphs’s truck stop to inquire about the oddity they had seen along the road. Sadly, the truck stop burned to the ground and was never rebuilt. The Leaning Tower of Texas still stands, still drawing the attention of east and westbound travelers.
This print is available in a variety of square format versions, all ranging approximately 8×7.5 to 8×8 inches. You’ll notice there are two borderless prints as well as two distinctive different borders. If you prefer either of the prints featuring a border, please click on their pictures below to be taken to the correct ordering page. To order the print without a border, please use the order button at the top of this page. Future printings of this negative will likely exclusively include a border.
These particular photographs were captured on black and white Arista EDU Ultra 100 film in 4×5 format. The camera used was Marcus, my 70 year old Graflex Speedgraphic Pacemaker. The substantial field blur was accomplished in-camera using a front standard lens tilt…fitting.
Wet-printed on fine Ilford Multi-Grade IV Classic Fiber Gloss paper. Developed in a 1:3 Kodak Dektol solution. The finished print was then bathed in a 1:3 Selenium solution for maximum archival life but not for a duration as to visibly effect the coloration. Archival cleansing was achieved using my custom-made archival washer before a final bath/rinse in a 1:4 dilution of Kodak Hypo-Clear. Archival life is approximately 100 years with appropriate mounting conditions.