This drypoint was created during World War I while McBey was stationed in Boulogne, France. During this period France was second only to the United States of America in regards to being an industrialized immigrant society. Immigrant workers contributed to the war effort by supporting the industrial production. Looking at this piece you can see blurred edges on the working figures, which make the lines appear to be very dark. Using drypoint gives the appearance of this blurred surface, which is very different from the precise lines of engravings or etchings. The stark contrast between these dark lines and the white of the paper create the allusion of light and shadows. There appears to be a bright light emanating from the furnace onto the walls that is then causing the figures within the image to cast shadows on the ground.
-Haley Boothe, Class of 2016