Feb 12-12

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2012: February: Feb 12-12
Calumet Miners 1905    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Library of Congress
A few smiles    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Library of Congress
Some weathered faces    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Library of Congress
Mustached workforce    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Library of Congress

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:04 am:


Do you think there are some pasties in those pails?

Probably not. The shift is over. On this particular day in 1905 the photographer from the Detroit Publishing Company captured this relatively jovial crew of men from Calumet and Laurium. Maybe they were telling jokes on the way up ? :o)

A lot of these guys look like people we know. Some look like Detroit Red Wings. Then there's the big dude in the third row who played Biff in "Back to The Future". And that must be George Clooney's grandfather in the bottom left seat.

If you really want to see these 1905 faces up close and personal - (and don't mind waiting 10 minutes for it to load if you are on dial) - click here.

Our thanks to the staff at the Library of Congress for their role in preserving such Copper Country scenes, and to our friends a Shorpy.com for restoring the detail.

And as always, thanks for stopping by Pasty Central. Have a good week :o)
Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:11 am:

There is one guy that looks a lot like a guy I dated before Bob!

By Bil T. (Beertuna) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:11 am:

They look quite clean to be on the way up at the end of a shift.

By FJL (Langoman) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:14 am:

One could be my Grandfather. Great photo's.

By dane l. christensen (Danech55) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:15 am:

"Relatively jovial" all right. They look about as happy as anyone can be when you've finished your shift, but have to sit there even one minute longer before you can go home.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:17 am:


By RD, Iowa (Rdiowa) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:21 am:

I'm with Dane. Something almost seems fishy here. Look at that last closeup again and imagine the guys all thinking, "How much did he say we'd get paid for this??"

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:46 am:

Looks like moustaches were really popular back then....also pipe-smoking. Had to laugh at the first photo....looks like the fella standing was thinking he would be out of the picture way over there. A bunch of dedicated brave souls, I'd say!

By Donna (Donna) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:46 am:

I'm with FJL....could be an ancestor there! Great stuff.....

By Diana P. (Diana) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 09:58 am:

Really neat photo! There is one guy who appears to be smoking a pipe, and the guy next to him holding a pipe in his hand ... but maybe they just wanted to be ready to light up when they were able ... can't imagine that smoking would have been allowed while coming up from a mine. Anyone know what those things on the front of their helmets are?

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:03 am:

I think the pictures are too old for any of them to be my grandfathers, maybe my great-grandfathers?? Don't know. Fun to look back at these, though.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:13 am:

Diana, I'm certainly not sure about the answer to your question, but I have to wonder if those helmet 'adornments' are their candle holders. I was shocked when learning on Pasty not too long ago, that miners 'wore' candles.

By Kent Sampson (Ksampson) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:22 am:

Those are oil lamps on their heads which were used after candles and before carbide lamps were invented. They look like a small pitcher with a piece if material in the spout to soak up the oil and work as a wick.

By JoAnne Stefanac (Davejostef) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:28 am:

I just cannot imagine wearing an open flame atop my head! Oh dear... What amazing guys these were. Wonder if they know how brave they were?

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:32 am:

The big guy in the middle of the third photo reminds me of the song, "Big Bad John".

Or maybe this was what the Skipper did before the Minnow
John W Anderson (Wd8rth) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:35 am:

Please sit back, and keep all hands in the car.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 11:26 am:

Wow...as Charlie said, that guy is a "big dude". I just noticed in the first pic, that his left bicep is as big as the man's head sitting next to him :-0
He was probably as gentle as lamb, too.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 11:34 am:

That 'dude' looks like a young Archie Bunker. Bet he kept the others 'in line'.


E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 11:42 am:

I saw those man cars come up many times at different mines in the 60's. I used to drive injury car to transport miners for medical treatment. It was usually a smashed finger or toe.
It was part of the family business and I would be picked up from highschool. I had to drive to the mine to wait for the skip to bring the injured miner to surface.
I would then drive him to the infirmery in Calumet and wait until he was treated. It was time consuming and I was supposed to be studying while waiting.
I don't ever remember studying but learned a lot anyway.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 11:57 am:

Diana & JoAnne,
I believe the lamps they are using were called "Sunshine" lamps which may have been a brand name. They worked as Kent described and were an improvement over the old candles. The carbide lamps were the next step. The carbide lamp held water in the top half and calcium carbide in the bottom. There was a valve that controlled the drip rate. Water on the calcium carbide produced acetylene gas which burned in a very luminous and sooty flame. The more water, the bigger the flame. I'm sure the electric miner's lamps that came later were welcomed.

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 12:05 pm:

The man behind the big guy looks a little like Robert Mitchum.


Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 03:25 pm:

The Calumet area mines closed in 1968, are there some of the underground miners that are still around and have related their experiences to the local students.

By RD, Iowa (Rdiowa) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 03:39 pm:

At second glance, instead of George Clooney, I'd say our front row left anchor is more like a young Tom Sellick.


Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 04:36 pm:

Maybe, RD, but I think he looks more like Glenn Ford (without the moustache, of course).


below the bridge (Wolterdr) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 04:48 pm:

blow the pic up; first row on top, fella on the left
looks like he's sleeping, & next row down 3rd guy
looks like he may look like a leprachan!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 05:19 pm:

What good eyes you have, 'below the bridge', I see now what you're referring to. But if it hadn't been for the leprachan's cigarette smoke rising, I wouldn't have noticed him. Hope someone kept the 'sleeper' from falling out.

By D. A. (Midwested) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 07:53 pm:

Last summer I took most of the tours offered at the Quincy Mine hoist historic site by both the Quincy Mine Hoist Association and the National Park Service. They were all extremely interesting and enlightening.

The guys in the above picture were riding in 20th century luxury. From what I learned, the previous methods were far more dangerous and strenuous. Until the first versions of man lifts were installed in the latter part of the 19th century the miners had to climb in and out using wooden ladders. It often took and hour to climb in and an hour to climb out, and your shift didnít start until you reached the bottom so the climbing was all on your time.

Too bad there's not more of the C&H site remaining or restored yet.

By Uncle Chuck (Unclechuck) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:00 pm:

Alex, nah, that's me n the big Marty!

By Uncle Chuck (Unclechuck) on Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 10:29 pm:

Alex, btw, we both stand 6'6", weigh 275, eat alot of good food and never shoot no deer, but •••• do we have fun in the U.P. each year!



By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Monday, February 13, 2012 - 09:17 am:

For goodness sake, Charlie, where'd you get all those 'star' photos?;)

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions