NMIH regularly receives amazing artifacts from companies, individual donors, and various sources across the country. One such set of artifacts are these amazing logs that detail the daily life of one of Bethlehem Steel’s mining operations in Amapa, Brazil. While many in Bethlehem don’t realize that the company had large steelmaking facilities across the country, even less know that they also oversaw mining operations in places as far away as Brazil, Chile, and Cuba. These stunning logbooks, from the late 1940s through the mid-1960s, are both handwritten and typed, and assembled in a scrapbook manner with various newspaper clippings about Bethlehem Steel and whimsical comics from magazines. They detail the day to day life of the mining team, from surveying and exploration to traveling to a neighboring city for lunch and the mundane Sundays spent in Amapa. These logs were donated by Michael Karabin earlier this year and belonged to Robert D. Butler, a managing director of the ICOMI village construction program, an affiliate of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
Artifacts like these are important reminders of our industrial past and how far-reaching American companies were. They detail a life from another time and provide important insight into how our world worked and how our infrastructure was built. Many of these items are lost to time, but the National Museum of Industrial History’s mission is to preserve these artifacts for future generations and inspire new generations to carry on our rich heritage of innovation and invention. To help stabilize, conserve, and preserve artifacts like these, please consider using the below button to donate to the museum.