Charles Mutschler 192 pages softcover
This lavishly illustrated story of technology, people, and commerce
describes the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway’s hauling of vast
amounts of copper ore from Butte Hill, Montana, westward to smelter
operations at Anaconda—a distance of twenty-six miles. Charles V.
Mutschler puts the saga in context, whether discussing the labor
violence of the 1890s, the role of steam during America’s Gilded Age, or
the expansion of highway competition since the 1920s.
Founded in 1892 and owned by Anaconda Copper, the BA&P led the
way in early twentieth century electrified railroading. In 1912, General
Electric was contracted to convert the short line’s operations from
steam to electric. The BA&P became a proving ground for railroad
electrification and the center of attention for electric-power
advocates. In particular, the Milwaukee Road—soon to be a leader in main
line electrification—took a very keen interest in the BA&P.
For the first time in book-length treatment, Wired for Success
delineates the BA&P’s essential role in the development of electric
railroads in the United States.