Duncan Money deposited American Mining Engineers and the Global Copper Industry, 1880–1945 on Humanities Commons 1 year ago
Transnational mobility was characteristic of the profession of mining engineer in the early twentieth century and the skills required in this profession encompassed both wide-ranging technical competencies and labour management, which clearly was racialized.
The chapter uses these two features of the profession of mining engineer to make two contributions to the literature. The first is a case study of the mobility of American mining engineers in the copper industry using a database constructed from the 1937 membership list of the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America (MMSA). This was an invitation-only society for mining professionals in the upper echelons of the industry, most of whom were closely connected to the copper industry. It is often argued that mining engineers are particularly mobile professionals, and using this case study I show this quantitatively. The second contribution shows the strength of taking a global perspective by examining the connections among copper mining regions in North America, Latin America, and Central Africa. I use these connections to explain how these distant and disparate places became similar to each other, a process Christopher Bayly referred to as the rise of “global uniformities.” One driver of the creation of these similarities was the activities of American mining engineers, who were remarkably and customarily mobile in their careers and consciously sought to emulate and reproduce ideas and practices from other mining regions.