Citation
Riding the High Wire: Aerial Tramways in the West

Material Information

Title:
Riding the High Wire: Aerial Tramways in the West
Series Title:
Riding the High Wire: Aerial Tramways in the West
Creator:
Dempsey, Stanley
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Record Information

Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Riding the High Wire: Aerial Tramways in the West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/riding-high-wire-aerial-tramways-west[12/8/2015 1:18:01 PM] Home Riding the High Wire: Aerial Tramways in the WestRiding the High Wire: Aerial Tramways in the WestSubmitted by nwharton on 8-1-2002 12:00 AMAuthor: Robert A. Trennert Publishing: Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 2001. Index, bibliography, glossary of tramway terms, notes, photos, maps, drawings. viii + 140 pages. Reviewer: Stanley Dempsey Aerial mine tramways, built to carry ore from mine to mills or rail sidings, were dramatic elements of many mining landscapes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These devices made it possible for miners to work in areas too rough for transport by wagons or even animals, and they became a very reliable and low-cost means of transporting ore and mine supplies. Using buckets hung onor traveling oncables strung between wooden or steel towers, these interesting machines scaled incredible mountain heights and spanned deep canyons, leaving observers to wonder at the boldness of man in overcoming geography to win gold, silver, and other valuable minerals. They were precursors of the chairlifts and gondolas now used so effectively by the ski industry all over the world. Riding the High Wire tells the story of aerial mine tramways in the western parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Wire rope manufacturers first developed single-rope tramways that transported ore from mines to mills or railroad sidings, and these were eventually supplanted by more sophisticated double-rope systems. Manufacturers sold the equipment involved, and in many cases undertook installation. The book traces the history of the various types of tramways and their manufacturers, tells how the tramways worked, and then describes some of the more interesting tramways built in western North America. It also describes some of the incidents arising out of operation of the tramways, particularly those dealing with accidents and the hair-raising adventures of people who dared to ride the buckets. Robert A. Trennert, a professor of history at Arizona State University and a former president of the Mining History Association, has done an outstanding job of research, effectively using the rich literature of western mining and his contacts within the Mining History Association. The book is well written and illustrated, with high-quality photographs and maps, and the University Press of Colorado deserves a compliment for the excellence of its design. Trennerts work would be an excellent model for anyone undertaking to write about mining equipment and the firms that manufactured and sold such equipment. Trennerts final chapter describes the decline and obsolescence of mine tramways and addresses opportunities for preservation of significant examples of these interesting machines. There appear to be a number of tramways that would be good candidates for preservation activities. Hopefully, the National Park Service and other custodians of historic sites will preserve at least some of the better examples of these machines. EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWe were most agreeably surprised to find him a polished gentleman. Description of James P. Beckwourth, African American mountain man, fur trader and explorer.

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Riding the High Wire: Aerial Tramways in the West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/riding-high-wire-aerial-tramways-west[12/8/2015 1:18:01 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Reviewer Info: Stanley Dempsey is chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Gold, Inc., a Denver-based gold-mining firm, and former chairman of the Colorado Historical Society, the Colorado Mining Association, and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. A former president of the Mining History Association, he is the recipient of its Rodman Paul Award. He is coauthor, with James E. Fell, of Mining the Summit, Colorados Ten Mile District, 1860 .