Recent Library Donation: ‘Electrical Mining’

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.

Resources:

“Rail-car Maker Finds Gold Underground.” (1990 Jan 02). Chicago Tribune.

“Williams Distribution to Support Goodman Equipment Corp. Locomotive & Personnel Carrier Lines; Follows Acquisition of Goodman by Strategic Partner.” (2003 June 18). BusinessWire.

“Goodman, Herbert E.” Inductee Database. National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum.

Spring 2017 Donation Summaries

May 1, 2017

by Melody Pope, Curator of Collections

Robert F. Braunlin, M.D., and G. Louise Braunlin Collection

The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology announces the donation of significant artifacts, books and related documents from the family of Robert F. Braunlin, M.D., and G. Louise Braunlin.  Dr. Robert F. Braunlin was an avid collector of Native American material culture especially in the 1930s and 1940s.  The collection was passed down to Dr. Braunlin’s son William.  William Braunlin’s son, also Robert F. Braunlin, and his sons completed the transfer to the GBL in December 2016.  The items will be part of the laboratory’s permanent archaeological collection, and will also be part of the donated collections that explore the practice of collecting antiquities during the early part of the twentieth century.   The collection numbering nearly 1,200 items includes ceramic vessels, pipes, atlatl weights, bone tools, plummet stones and numerous chipped and ground stone tools.

 

Jeremiah Mattix Collection

The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology announces the donation of a small collection of artifacts from the family Jeremiah Mattix.  Mr. Mattix farmed in Indiana Creek Township, Pulaski County, and Liberty Township, White County, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; this donated collection reflects the collecting of Native American artifacts turned up by his plow.  The collection was passed down to the granddaughter of Jeremiah Mattix, Orpha Wickersham, and then to her executor who was the mother of David Lottes of Fairmount, Illinois.  Mr. Lottes donated the items to the GBL on behalf of Jeremiah Mattix.  The items will be part of the laboratory’s permanent archaeological collection, and will also be part of the donated collections that explore the practice of collecting antiquities during this time period.  The collection includes numerous projectile points that will be part of a project that maps spatial distributions of point types and raw materials across land forms and regions in Indiana.

 

Anonymous Collection

The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology announces the donation of a small collection of artifacts from an anonymous donor.  This collection includes numerous projectile points found in Tippecanoe County near Lafayette, Indiana, between 1975 and 1977.  The donor was affiliated with Purdue University at the time and was involved in corn research that required traveling the county and surveying fields for weeds, insects and diseases.  The collection will be part of a project that maps spatial distributions of point types and raw materials across land forms and regions in Indiana.