Books about Mining
Reviewed by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

Blown to Bits in the Mine: A History of Mining & Explosives in the United States, by Eric Twitty. Western Reflections Publishing Company. 2001. Hardback. 208 pages.

Cripple Creek Bonanza,
by Chet Cunningham
Republic of Texas Press. 1996. Paperback. Cost: $12.95. 218 pages
This is an interesting history of one of Colorado's most famous gold towns. It is filled with vintage photographs that alone make the book worth purchasing.
Reviewed January 15, 1999

Fire in the Hole: The Untold Story of Hardrock Miners, by Jerry Dolph. Washington State University Press. 1994. Hardback. 174 pages.

Inside the Mountains: A History of Mining Around Central City, Colorado,
by Terry Cox
117 pages. Paperback. Cost around $10.00. Copyright 1989. Pruett Publishing Company.

This delightful book was written by a professional geologist. This is my favorite introduction to gold mining. Although it concentrates on the Central City area, it also contains much history of gold mining is general. The book touches on all aspects of gold mining, from panning to processing. It contains 26 illustrations, with many of them showing corss-sections of area gold mines. The 58 black and whites show everything from air drills to panoramas of mountainsides full of gold mines.

If you are only going to read one book on mining, this is it. Although very short, it provides a good overview of mining in the Rockies. I bought my copy at Caboose Hobbies in Denver in 1990.
Reviewed May 28, 1997.

Men Mining & Machines: Hardrock Mining in Summit County, Colorado,
by Sandra F. Pritchard
71 pages. Paperback. Cost around $10.00. A Summit Historical Society Publication. Copyright 1996.

Sandra F. Prichard is a professor in the Department of Geology and Astronomy at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She teaches geology, meterology and geomorphology. She spends her summers in Summit County.

Although her book emphasizes Summit County, it is really a brief introduction to gold mining. It contains 22 black and whites and 4 illustrations. This is not an in depth treatment, but it lightly touches on several aspects of gold mining. The pictures suffer from the coarse printing and lack the detail one finds in other books.

More detail would have been appreciated. I purchased my copy in July of 1996.
Reviewed May 29, 1997.

Western Mining: An Informal Account of Precious-Metals Prospecting, Placering, Lode Mining, and Milling on the American Frontier from Spanish Times to 1893,
by Otis E. Young, Jr.
342 pages. Paperback. Cost around $13.00. Published by University of Oklahoma Press. Copyright 1970.

This is a very thorough history of mining techniques from the simple to the complex. The 86 illustrations are excellent. There are only 8 black and whites.

Although the writing style is sometimes technical, this is a "must have" volume that contains much useful information. Young is a knowledgeable writer and a Professor of History at Arizona State University.

This is not a good introductory book, but it is thorough. I rate the illustrations as A+ and worth the cost of the book in themselves. Not light reading but a great reference book. Purchased At the Western Museum of Mining in Colorado Springs in December of 1990.
Reviewed May 29, 1997.

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