Friday, November 13, 2015

"Gold, Steel & Ice" book documents remarkable mining machines used in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve


I just received a fascinating book published this year by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The book is Gold, Steel & Ice, A History of Mining Machines in Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. Written by National Park Service historian, Chris Allan; and illustrated with historical photos, as well as modern photos taken by Todd Croteau and Yasunori Matsui, the 113 page, 11” x 8 ½” book documents some of the archetypal mining machines used in the region. 

The book has sections on steam traction engines, donkey engines, steam boilers, gold dredges, prospecting drill, and caterpillar-style tractors. Profusely illustrated, and with an informative but easy-to-read style, the book is a pleasure to read or just peruse. The photos, both historic and modern are remarkable, and as a bonus, the headpiece illustration for each section is a watercolor sketch done by Mr. Croteau. 

It is a well-crafted book and I urge you to check it out if you can. I’m not sure where people outside Fairbanks can find it, but the ISBN is 978-0-692-50483-3. I talked with Chris Allan, the author, and he said there are copies at the Park Service office in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center here in Fairbanks.

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