Not long ago I was in Leadville, a mining town you get to from Aspen by going over Independence pass and then down into the valley. (It is apparently North America’s highest -in elevation- incorporated town, being at over 10K feet… Its roots are in gold and silver mining, starting back in the mid 19th Century.) I love visiting the big store that sells all sorts of curiosities and antiques there, and then after wading through lots of bits and pieces, going to the saloon bar for Irish coffees.
This time I actually bought something. Two things in fact – Some old handbooks for mine crew personnel of the Climax Molybdenum Company, from 1978. They are quite small, about 5 by 4 inches, but they are packed with delightfully presented dos and don’ts about how to do the job, including safety practices, and warnings about what might go wrong if you do things the wrong way. I particularly love the fact that the pages are done in a sort of graphic novel style, with illustrations by Ted Mullings. (I found a little bit about him here.) The pages are done with good humour, while remaining informative. Interestingly there’s no index, so it seems that you were supposed to just sit and read the thing through and memorize as much as you could. Since it’s from 1978, I hope that nobody minds if I share a few pages with you over the course of some blog posts. The page I show is part of a sequence about drilling… (Click for a larger view.)