New Additions

Over the past few months, I’ve added a few new and interesting hard-to-find items to my online museum. Most recently, a Pickands Mather Company safety award carbide cap lamp manufactured by Justrite was added. The Pickands Mather safety awards story is an interesting one that reflects on the iron mining companies of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and their pattern of paternalism to keep their employees happy and stem the influence of disruptive labor unions during the early 1900s. An increased emphasis on miner safety was a key aspect of this “keep the unions out” approach and the reason behind the safety first awards. Check out the Pickands Mather Safety Awards pics and the related story in my Miscellaneous Mining Items section. Other recent additions include a special-edition Justrite XRay lamp with the Hardsocg Imperial marked base, a Justrite Jiffy three bottom carbide carrier and an interesting copper wire candlestick. Justrite Mfg. Co. sold two special-edition cap lamps based on the XRay design to other companies complete with each company’s own private-label stamping. Both are hard to find. One of these, already shown in my cap lamp pics, is marked on the base for the Emmons-Hawkins Hardware Co. of Huntington, WV and the Fulton Tool Works. The new addition is the much harder to find lamp with the Hardsocg Imperial marking on the base. Both come from the 1919 timeframe. Multiple carbide base carriers are popular with collectors and difficult to find in nice condition. The Jiffy carrier is no exception. Patented by chief Justrite designer Augie Hansen, the Jiffy carrier includes three unfired bases with the fancy Jiffy marking. The copper wire candlestick is the only one I’ve ever seen. Found at the Smuggler Mine outside Aspen, Colorado, it seems to go nicely with other copper sticks from the Butte, Montana area. Other recently added items include a brass carbide bicycle lamp known and marked as the Baldwin acetylene lamp (with original wooden box), a Grier three bottom carbide carrier, and an early Western Federation of Miners ribbon for the Terry’s Peak South Dakota No. 5 miners’ union. The Baldwin lamp is the subject of Frederic E. Baldwin’s noteworthy patent for an acetylene gas lamp filed on Oct. 18, 1899 and awarded on Aug. 28, 1900 as patent No. 656,874. The lamp is historically significant in that the follow-on modification to this lamp known as the Full Moon became the first carbide lamp advertised and marketed for mining use. The Grier carrier, ca. late 1910s, includes three unfired brass bases each with a smooth bottom seam and three ribs embossed on the side. The Western Federation of Miners (WFM) ribbons are also very popular with collectors. The Terry’s Peak Miners’ Union was organized on Aug. 12, 1891 and represented the miners of South Dakota’s Ruby Basin Mining District. The Terry’s Peak union along with fellow South Dakota miners’ unions in Lead and Deadwood were all early members of the WFM. I’ve also added a couple souvenir spoons to that section of pics to introduce historically interesting mining locations. The Porterhouse Turquoise Mines of Silver City, NM were the start of commercial turquoise mining in the United States. Another copper spoon is associated with Copper Flat and the famed open-pit copper mines of eastern Nevada around the early part of the twentieth century. I hope you enjoy the site and find it as interesting as I do in putting it together.

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