Wearisome Work: Mapping Labor Routines at a Small-Scale Gold Mill

Author(s): Paul J White

Year: 2018


Archaeological investigations of industrial workplaces have often revealed the existence of unique technological arrangements, yet a gap remains in translating this to the laboring experience. The difficulty rests partly upon the divide between principles and practice—in which knowing a machine’s operating mechanics is not the same as knowing how to work a machine. This poster summarizes archaeological investigations at the Gold Cord Mine, a small-scale family operated gold mine in southcentral Alaska, where a circa 1930s ore processing mill remains remarkably intact, and where the owner recalls running the facility up through the 1970s. He notes idiosyncrasies in the operation of specific machines and recalls the routines that he developed to run multiple machines simultaneously. Such information draws attention to what was left for people to learn on the job as well as the individualized nature of task scheduling.

Cite this Record

Wearisome Work: Mapping Labor Routines at a Small-Scale Gold Mill. Paul J White. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441741)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 455