If you’ve read Good Bones, you know that among the challenges facing Dylan is to design a house for Cassidy and Pomegranate, the futon queens. Their futon factory plays a part in my (free!) short story, The Gig.
While Cass and Pom are purely fictional, the inspiration for their business is real: my sister-in-law has sold futons for years. She’s always manufactured them, but a couple years ago she opened a factory. It was a tour of the factory that made me think of The Gig.
When the photo above was taken, the factory was still under construction. There are more shelves now, and a section where people assemble and sew the mattresses.
And there’s the machine.
Bales of raw cotton go into this beast and eventually neat, clean pads come out. It’s enormous and noisy. It’s many decades old and requires its own machinist to keep running. It sprays cotton fluff everywhere. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
For the sake of scale, here’s my 10-year-old standing in front of part of the machine.
And here’s a short clip of the machine in action:
This machine once lived in a factory in Seattle, but my SIL bought it, took it apart, trucked it to Portland, and reassembled it. And as soon as I saw it (and met the machinist), I thought, Wow! What a great job for Travis! Here’s the machine shop:
The factory has other great machines too, like this quilting machine from the 1940s:
But the futons still require hand assembly. Here’s an action photo, complete with child labor:
It’s okay. They were making a futon for Older Daughter’s bed. The guy in the background is operating the tufting machine.
And that’s the view from the factory, augmented by Younger Daughter.
Next week: The Speechless dream