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Mining and Wagons. What’s the Connection?

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The Library does not actually have a copy of every book ever printed, but we are always adding to the collection mostly through Copyright deposit or purchase. In 2019, we acquired a few things we wanted to publicize.

Images from: New-York Directory and Register for the Year 1792
Cover: Nevada County Mining and Business Directory.

Directory sources are a seemingly never-ending resource for answering business-related questions at the Library, so we keep our eyes out for ones we don’t already have.  While we have many geographic directories, we aren’t complete. Also, industry-focused directories can be great for information not available in more general directories, so we like those as well.  When we find something we don’t have that becomes available, we do try to add it to our collection and this year we snagged two.

Images from: Tonopah Mining Company of Nevada.

We also look for material that can help researchers understand the past. Sometimes that means material that is helpful in understanding the places, people, and events of America’s past and even the more distant past.  This year we found four items we purchased in this category.

The first title is from the Tonopah Mining Company of Nevada. It contains the meeting minutes from their first company meeting on July 17, 1901 and on through to May 8, 1907. It touches on various topics, including a number of claims such as Desert Queen, Burro, Valley View, Silver Top, Buckboard, and Mizpah, as well as notes from the Treasurer and information on other day-to-day activities.

wagon images
Images from: Musterblätter des Modernsten Nordamerikanischen Wagenbaues
wagon image
Images from: Musterblätter des Modernsten Nordamerikanischen Wagenbaues

The next title, Musterblätter des Modernsten Nordamerikanischen Wagenbaues from 1857 may not at first blush be something we would collect, but this publication was written by C.W. Günther, the Director of the wagon construction company Felch & Ritches, in Cincinnati. It describes the characteristics of mid-19th century American wagon construction and includes discussion of topics like wheel placement, padding and cushioning, and other aspects of wagon design. It is illustrated with a number of beautiful, intricate, and detailed plates – a few of which I have featured here.

Images from a collection of documents related to silver mines in Mexico.

The next item is actually a collection of documents from the 16th century. These documents relate to one of the first great silver mines in Mexico and even includes documents in Nahuatl. The documents in this collection formed the evidence presented to the courts of New Spain in the matter of a law suit filed in 1576 by Don Luis Castilla, the owner of a silver mine at Taxco, against his manager, Luis Martin Lozano.  They record all aspects of the Taxco silver mine including: inventories of the mine tools, smelting ovens, and irrigation troughs; information on the workers, including the slaves and their housing and feeding; data on the ages, races, birthplaces, and years of service of the workers; certified copies of miners’ wills, bills of sale; and the original royal grant of the right to work the properties at Taxco.

Lastly, is Geldmangel in Teutschlande und dessselben gründliche Ursachen, nach Anleitung des warhafften Verlaufs des, in unserm Vaterlande, von etlich vielen Jahren her, verführten Wese by Gottlieb Warmund (a pseudonym of Erasmus Francisci). It is a first edition of a well-known treatise on the causes of the debasement of the currency in Germany after the Thirty Years’ War.

Who knows what we will add to the collection next year.


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