Friday Serendipity

Couple of years ago, when the WSGS confernce featured David Rencher and was in Ellensburg, I took the opportunity to visit the Central Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives. While there I scanned through whatever looked interesting to me.

The M.W.A.K. Columbia (the Mason Walsh Atkinson Kier Company, builders of Grand Coulee Dam) was a newsletter for the citizens of Mason City. This city was built for the workers and their families. The first issue announced a contest with prizes of $1 up to $10. The contest asked for “a list of the four most dangerous hazards which you have observed and suggest how you would correct each of them.” (Meaning working conditions. Never found the results.)

That issue also touted that “Mason City, only three months ago a sage brush waste is now an ultra modern city with 64 homes, businesses, a soda fountain, a bank and a general store.”  And “free typhoid fever inoculations offered!”

Another item: “The workers’ payroll runs to $121,000 per week…mid Feb to mid-Mar there were 3218 employees…and 157 accidents, including two fatal ones.”

The April 1935 issue featured an anatomical drawing showing the workers where the pressure points were on the human body to use in an accident to stop the bleeding.”

Will continue with this theme next week………….