March 21, 2018
What does “Electrical Mining” have to do with archaeology?
We just received a wonderful donation of the periodical here at the GBL Library!
“Electrical Mining” was a monthly periodical produced by the Goodman Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois, beginning in the early 20th Century.
A short history:
The Goodman corporation had its beginnings in the late 19th Century, when the first Goodman locomotive was created by Elmer Ambrose Sperry. His brother-in-law, Herbert Goodman, began marketing the equipment in 1890. The company was formed April 23, 1900, when it took over the electrical business from Link Belt Company and was able to move production to a facility at Halsted Street and 48th Place. By 1904, Goodman locomotives were delivering freight to merchants in tunnels beneath Chicago’s downtown streets; by 1906 the company had launched into international exportation. In the 1930s Goodman began manufacturing diesel-powered versions of its mining locomotives for hard rock mining. In 1965, Goodman was sold to Westinghouse Air Brake Co., but was purchased by investors in 1971. Goodman Equipment Corporation ceased operations in 2003 when Bateman Trident South Africa acquired most assets and Williams Distribution, a division of W. W. Williams Company, acquired all of the parts and intellectual material necessary to continue making the products.
By 1903 the company began producing short monthly magazines containing all sorts of goings-on about the company and mining at large.
Our recent donation was salvaged in the early 2000s by a former student of the GBL’s director. We now have 43 issues of “Electrical Mining” from the 1940s.
And let me tell you…they are FASCINATING.
Just take a look at some of the covers.
They’re beautiful. Many are hand drawn, others are photographic, but they all reflect the times.
It’s amazing to flip through these magazines and see how World War II affected the people at home: how many men enlisted and therefore weren’t working; how the women stepped up and took over the men’s positions; shortages of butter; summaries from the war department. It’s also amazing to see that life did go on at home: bowling league scores; the latest mining equipment; family illnesses; marriages and births; poems; roller skating party photos.
These notes are often right next to each other! A notice for “Orchids for Order” is listed next to one saying “Coal is a war essential” and a notice on “Revised procedure for handling new equipment…”
It’s nice to have this little diversion come across my desk. From looking on World Cat, no participating repository holds these 1940s issues of “Electrical Mining.” These magazines are maybe a little off-topic for an Archaeological library, but they remind this librarian that life happens all at once: the good, the bad, the sad, and the mundane. These magazines are little glimpses into the history of the Midwest.