[Chiba, Japan: 1957]. Title leaf, plus  leaves, illustrated with forty-three large photographs, between 4 x 6 and 8 x 10 inches, including a few small panoramic images, most with typed captions mounted beneath the pictures. Oblong folio. Contemporary light brown leather. Minor scuffing and edge wear. Very good plus. Item #3436
A unique photograph album created for an American businessman named Richard F. Quandt, "In Remembrance of Your Visit to Chiba Iron and Steel Works on May 14, 1957," according to the printed dedication on the title leaf. The printed message is signed by the founder of Kawasaki Steel, Yataro Nishiyama. The album is populated by over forty photographs featuring the construction and operation of Kawasaki Steel's new integrated steel mill in Chiba City, Japan. The photographs picture the staff of Chiba Works, a schematic of the plant, aerial views of the plant, images of the blast furnace, coke oven, ore yard, and other exteriors. Some of the exterior shots include small panoramas of the plant's construction, most notably a three-panel panorama showing the "Entire View of Hot & Cold Strip Mill Plant's Construction Work." The interior photographs document the heat control center, open heart furnaces, soaking pits, and several candid shots of Mr. Quandt touring the plant with the managers of Kawasaki Steel.
According to his 1974 obituary in The New York Times, Richard Frederick Quandt was a Hungarian-born businessman who emigrated to the United States after World War II. He first worked for the Hambro Trading Company in 1949. At the time he visited the Chiba Iron and Steel Works, he was serving as a loan officer for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the lending arm of the World Bank. He was quite likely visiting the Chiba Works at the request of their principal, Yataro Nishiyama, in search of funding for the steel mill. Nishiyama was an engineer who built Kawasaki Steel into one of the most important steel manufacturing companies in Japan in the ensuing decades.
A wonderful and informative photographic artifact of American economic diplomacy in postwar Japan.