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  Pickands Mather Safety Awards.JPG - PICKANDS MATHER SAFETY AWARDS - Justrite lamp, match safe (compliments of Tony Moon) and knife (compliments of Neil Tysver).  Pickands Mather and Company was a Cleveland, Ohio-based mining and shipping firm and a major supplier of iron ore and coal to the steel industry, with one of the largest fleets of freight carriers on the Great Lakes.  Lamp collectors are familiar with the hard-to-find nickel-plated Justrite carbide lamp with the red, white and blue Pickands safety award plaque.  An article in the April 1992 issue of the Eureka Journal by Dave Johnson addressed the company safety awards.  A more in-depth discussion of the company and the safety awards of interest to the mining artifact collecting community is provided here.Pickands Mather and Company was formed in 1883 by James Pickands, Samuel Mather, and Jay C. Morse dealing in iron ore and pig iron, and mining iron ore from two mines in the Marquette Iron Range. Pickands had risen to the rank of colonel in the 124th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War. In 1867, he moved to Marquette, Michigan, where he opened a hardware store selling tools and supplies to iron mining companies. He opened a fuel coal supply business three years later. He was elected mayor of Marquette in 1875, and five years later formed the Taylor Iron Co. (an iron mining concern) with Jay C. Morse. After Pickands' wife died in 1882, he moved to Cleveland. Jay C. Morse was a shipping agent for the Cleveland Iron Mining Company in Marquette. He invested widely in Michigan iron mines, and by 1882 was a wealthy man ready to form his own company. Samuel Mather was the son of Samuel Livingston Mather, founder of the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, later in 1891 to become the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. While recuperating from a mining accident, he met and married Flora Stone, daughter of Cleveland industrialist and railroad magnate Amasa Stone. Determined to make his own fortune and impress his father-in-law, Mather sought out business partners. In the 1880s and 1890s, Pickands Mather rapidly added to their iron mine holdings, and expanded into coal mining, iron ore and coal shipping, dock ownership, and the manufacture of coke and iron and steel rolling mills. In April 1886, Mather hired local stenographer Harry Coulby, who swiftly worked his way up in the corporate ranks to become head of the company's Marine Department. After some years leasing and managing the freighters of other companies, in 1894 Pickands Mather formed the Interlake Company (later the Interlake Steamship Company). By 1912, Interlake had grown to be the second-largest shipping fleet on the Great Lakes, with 37 freighters.  The Interlake fleet expanded to 52 ships in 1916.  After 1900, Pickands Mather began acquiring blast furnaces to manufacture pig iron, and continued to expand its iron mining interests. By 1920, the company was the second-largest iron mining company in the United States operating 27 active mines. In the late 1890s, the iron mining companies of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan developed a pattern of paternalism to keep their employees happy and stem the influence of disruptive labor unions.  Along with low-rent improved company housing and neighborhoods, came hospitals and recreational facilities.  The visiting nurse program was especially attractive to the miners’ families.  A major element of the paternalism approach to keeping an experienced and contented labor force was miner safety.  Led by Cleveland-Cliffs, in 1911 they became the first American mining company to hire a full-time safety director and quickly became a strong promoter of the “Safety First” movement.  Other companies including Pickands Mather instituted similar systems to emphasize safe practices and to require foremen and bosses to prepare regular accident reports.  Eventually the “Safety First” movement led to maintenance of a safe working environment as an important element in the remuneration of supervisory personnel.  The system apparently worked. In Michigan iron mines the annual fatality rate dropped from 4.6 per 1000 men employed from 1901 to 1910 to 2.75 per 1000 employed from 1910 to 1930, and the rate of decline for non-fatal accidents was even greater.It was in this climate of enhanced safety practices and recognition that the Pickands Mather Safety First awards were created.  It is known that the Safety First award for 1915 was a patented match safe with the Pickens Mather Company plaque attached.  Only two complete examples are known in collections, one for the Bangor Mine in Minnesota and the other for the Brotherton Mine in Michigan,  making it an exceedingly rare item.  The Bangor Mine match safe was awarded to miner John Stanich whose name appears engraved on the safe.  Stanich was an Austrian immigrant in the year 1909 at 22 years of age. He lived as a single boarder with an Austrian family in Stuntz, St. Louis County, Minnesota.  The award for 1918 was the Justrite carbide lamp.  This lamp was awarded to Pickands Mather miners with a 5 year employment history of accident free work.  It is nickel plated brass with a turned under lever-feed water control and a flat hook with the PM Safety First plaque on the side.  It is thought this lamp was a special order from Pickands Mather to Justrite.  The basic lamp configuration was not available to the public and is only known with the PM plaque.  A folding knife was the 1919 award and 400 watch awards were distributed in 1920. The knife with a Pickands Mather plaque attached to the handle was awarded to each miner at the Cary Mine near Hurley, WI noting the safety record and engraved with the employee’s name. The Cary Mine had the lowest accident rate of any of the Pickands Mather mines in 1919. The Pickands Mather safety award knife shown here was awarded to Louis De Diana, a 1907 Italian immigrant and Cary miner.  An Engineering and Mining Journal article in Vol. 110 for 1920 notes that Pickands Mather awarded up to 400 watches to miners from the Majorca and Albany Mines on the Mesabi Range who tied for the lowest disability accidents for the year 1920.  Beyond that, we know very little about what other year’s awards were or how many were given out.  We do know that the lamp awards were based on 5 years of continuous accident free work with the company.  The number of lamps that were awarded is not known although the lamp is considered rare in the lamp collecting community.  Similarly, the 1919 knife award went only to the mine employees of the Cary Mine.  An early 1900s photo of the Cary miners shows a total of 19 employees in the picture, indicating a rather low total of awards.Pickands Mather formed a subsidiary, the Interlake Iron Corp., to hold its smelters, and expanded coal mining into Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In the 1930s, Pickands Mather began researching how to turn taconite into a useable form of iron ore. This research bore fruit in the 1940s, and Pickands Mather formed the Erie Mining Co. to process taconite into usable taconite pellets. Pickands Mather was making large profits from taconite within a decade.  Coulby died in 1929 and Mather in 1931. Elton Hoyt II, who had succeeded Coulby as head of the Marine Department in 1929, became president and chief executive officer of Pickands Mather in 1939. He died in March 1955, and was succeeded by John Sherwin. To enable the company to better meet the challenges of the rapidly changing economic environment, Sherwin incorporated Pickands Mather in 1960.  In 1968, Sherwin engineered the sale of Pickands Mather to the Diamond Shamrock Corporation, a Cleveland-based shipping, chemical manufacturing, and oil refining and consumer sales company. Diamond Shamrock held the company for just four years. In December 1972, Diamond Shamrock sold Pickands Mather for $66 million to the Moore-McCormack Company, operator of a large fleet of international freighters and some of the last American-owned passenger ocean liners.  In 1973, Elton Hoyt III was named president and chief executive officer of Pickands Mather, a position he held until his retirement in 1983. Continuing downward price pressure on commodities and shipping rates significantly harmed Pickands Mather's revenues in the 1970s and 1980s. Moore-McCormack sold the iron and coal mining businesses of Pickands Mather to Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. in November 1986.  
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Pickands Mather Safety Awards | PICKANDS MATHER SAFETY AWARDS - Justrite lamp, match safe (compliments of Tony Moon) and knife (compliments of Neil Tysver). Pickands Mather and Company was a Cleveland, Ohio-based mining and shipping firm and a major supplier of iron ore and coal to the steel industry, with one of the largest fleets of freight carriers on the Great Lakes. Lamp collectors are familiar with the hard-to-find nickel-plated Justrite carbide lamp with the red, white and blue Pickands safety award plaque. An article in the April 1992 issue of the Eureka Journal by Dave Johnson addressed the company safety awards. A more in-depth discussion of the company and the safety awards of interest to the mining artifact collecting community is provided here. Pickands Mather and Company was formed in 1883 by James Pickands, Samuel Mather, and Jay C. Morse dealing in iron ore and pig iron, and mining iron ore from two mines in the Marquette Iron Range. Pickands had risen to the rank of colonel in the 124th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War. In 1867, he moved to Marquette, Michigan, where he opened a hardware store selling tools and supplies to iron mining companies. He opened a fuel coal supply business three years later. He was elected mayor of Marquette in 1875, and five years later formed the Taylor Iron Co. (an iron mining concern) with Jay C. Morse. After Pickands' wife died in 1882, he moved to Cleveland. Jay C. Morse was a shipping agent for the Cleveland Iron Mining Company in Marquette. He invested widely in Michigan iron mines, and by 1882 was a wealthy man ready to form his own company. Samuel Mather was the son of Samuel Livingston Mather, founder of the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, later in 1891 to become the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. While recuperating from a mining accident, he met and married Flora Stone, daughter of Cleveland industrialist and railroad magnate Amasa Stone. Determined to make his own fortune and impress his father-in-law, Mather sought out business partners. In the 1880s and 1890s, Pickands Mather rapidly added to their iron mine holdings, and expanded into coal mining, iron ore and coal shipping, dock ownership, and the manufacture of coke and iron and steel rolling mills. In April 1886, Mather hired local stenographer Harry Coulby, who swiftly worked his way up in the corporate ranks to become head of the company's Marine Department. After some years leasing and managing the freighters of other companies, in 1894 Pickands Mather formed the Interlake Company (later the Interlake Steamship Company). By 1912, Interlake had grown to be the second-largest shipping fleet on the Great Lakes, with 37 freighters. The Interlake fleet expanded to 52 ships in 1916. After 1900, Pickands Mather began acquiring blast furnaces to manufacture pig iron, and continued to expand its iron mining interests. By 1920, the company was the second-largest iron mining company in the United States operating 27 active mines. In the late 1890s, the iron mining companies of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan developed a pattern of paternalism to keep their employees happy and stem the influence of disruptive labor unions. Along with low-rent improved company housing and neighborhoods, came hospitals and recreational facilities. The visiting nurse program was especially attractive to the miners’ families. A major element of the paternalism approach to keeping an experienced and contented labor force was miner safety. Led by Cleveland-Cliffs, in 1911 they became the first American mining company to hire a full-time safety director and quickly became a strong promoter of the “Safety First” movement. Other companies including Pickands Mather instituted similar systems to emphasize safe practices and to require foremen and bosses to prepare regular accident reports. Eventually the “Safety First” movement led to maintenance of a safe working environment as an important element in the remuneration of supervisory personnel. The system apparently worked. In Michigan iron mines the annual fatality rate dropped from 4.6 per 1000 men employed from 1901 to 1910 to 2.75 per 1000 employed from 1910 to 1930, and the rate of decline for non-fatal accidents was even greater. It was in this climate of enhanced safety practices and recognition that the Pickands Mather Safety First awards were created. It is known that the Safety First award for 1915 was a patented match safe with the Pickens Mather Company plaque attached. Only two complete examples are known in collections, one for the Bangor Mine in Minnesota and the other for the Brotherton Mine in Michigan, making it an exceedingly rare item. The Bangor Mine match safe was awarded to miner John Stanich whose name appears engraved on the safe. Stanich was an Austrian immigrant in the year 1909 at 22 years of age. He lived as a single boarder with an Austrian family in Stuntz, St. Louis County, Minnesota. The award for 1918 was the Justrite carbide lamp. This lamp was awarded to Pickands Mather miners with a 5 year employment history of accident free work. It is nickel plated brass with a turned under lever-feed water control and a flat hook with the PM Safety First plaque on the side. It is thought this lamp was a special order from Pickands Mather to Justrite. The basic lamp configuration was not available to the public and is only known with the PM plaque. A folding knife was the 1919 award and 400 watch awards were distributed in 1920. The knife with a Pickands Mather plaque attached to the handle was awarded to each miner at the Cary Mine near Hurley, WI noting the safety record and engraved with the employee’s name. The Cary Mine had the lowest accident rate of any of the Pickands Mather mines in 1919. The Pickands Mather safety award knife shown here was awarded to Louis De Diana, a 1907 Italian immigrant and Cary miner. An Engineering and Mining Journal article in Vol. 110 for 1920 notes that Pickands Mather awarded up to 400 watches to miners from the Majorca and Albany Mines on the Mesabi Range who tied for the lowest disability accidents for the year 1920. Beyond that, we know very little about what other year’s awards were or how many were given out. We do know that the lamp awards were based on 5 years of continuous accident free work with the company. The number of lamps that were awarded is not known although the lamp is considered rare in the lamp collecting community. Similarly, the 1919 knife award went only to the mine employees of the Cary Mine. An early 1900s photo of the Cary miners shows a total of 19 employees in the picture, indicating a rather low total of awards. Pickands Mather formed a subsidiary, the Interlake Iron Corp., to hold its smelters, and expanded coal mining into Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In the 1930s, Pickands Mather began researching how to turn taconite into a useable form of iron ore. This research bore fruit in the 1940s, and Pickands Mather formed the Erie Mining Co. to process taconite into usable taconite pellets. Pickands Mather was making large profits from taconite within a decade. Coulby died in 1929 and Mather in 1931. Elton Hoyt II, who had succeeded Coulby as head of the Marine Department in 1929, became president and chief executive officer of Pickands Mather in 1939. He died in March 1955, and was succeeded by John Sherwin. To enable the company to better meet the challenges of the rapidly changing economic environment, Sherwin incorporated Pickands Mather in 1960. In 1968, Sherwin engineered the sale of Pickands Mather to the Diamond Shamrock Corporation, a Cleveland-based shipping, chemical manufacturing, and oil refining and consumer sales company. Diamond Shamrock held the company for just four years. In December 1972, Diamond Shamrock sold Pickands Mather for $66 million to the Moore-McCormack Company, operator of a large fleet of international freighters and some of the last American-owned passenger ocean liners. In 1973, Elton Hoyt III was named president and chief executive officer of Pickands Mather, a position he held until his retirement in 1983. Continuing downward price pressure on commodities and shipping rates significantly harmed Pickands Mather's revenues in the 1970s and 1980s. Moore-McCormack sold the iron and coal mining businesses of Pickands Mather to Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. in November 1986. Download Original Image
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