Page 20 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - February 2019
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continued from page 18             prove access to information on ropeways
         ing to Lisa Dunn, Research Librarian   technology; promote ropeways to CSM   ETH ZÜRICH ROPEWAY
         and Special Collections Manager. She   and the public; and preserve the history   LITERATURE DATABASE
         adds  that many people visit the site   of the ropeways industry and the people   The Institute of Mechanical Sys-
         to research  mechanical  and material   who shape it.” Dunn adds, “As the in-  tems, Ropeway Techniques  divi-
         failures,  to research  history of types   dustry evolves, we are going to evolve to   sion  (formerly the Inst. of Light-
         of transport, or to marvel at the visu-  meet the needs of industry.”   weight Structures and Ropeways)
         al nature of ropeways. She says, “We   Collections include a foundational   at the  Swiss  Federal Institute of
         have things no one else has.”      gift from Charles Dwyer,  the Casper   Technology  (ETH) in Zürich  has
           The mission of The Information Cen-  Meals  Collection,  the  Bob Heron  Col-  a  significant  literature  collection
         ter for Ropeway Studies is to “inspire   lection, the AWRF Collection, the Roo-  of  about 15000 items concerning
         discovery, education, and research; im-  sevelt Island Tram Collection and the   Ropes and Ropeways. This col-
                                                                                 lection  is  housed  in  and can  be
                                                                                 studied at the ETH Library. A da-
                                                                                 tabase has  been made containing
                                                                                 bibliographic records  for 5000 of
                                                                                 the most important documents, in-
                                                                                 cluding items (in several languag-
                                                                                 es) such as journal articles, books,
                                                                                 conference  proceedings, standard
                                                                                 specifications,   communications,
                                                                                 patent specifications and grey lit-
                                                                                 erature (unpublished  reports) –
                                                                                 but no confidential documents.
                                                                                  From: OIPEEC Databases, https://

                                                                               Donald Sayenga Collection. The Rope-
                                                                               way Database has more than 5,600 re-
                                                                               cords in the Mines Library’s catalog.
                                                                               Historical and Technical Artifacts
                                                                                 One of the largest artifacts on display
                                                                               is a restored ski lift chair, currently in-
                                                                               stalled in the hallway, because it doesn’t
                                                                               fit into the Center’s archive room. The
                                                                               Center is always interested in learning
                                                                               about potential additions to its collec-
                                                                               tions, and contributors are advised to
                                                                               contact them (see sidebar on page 24).
                                                                               They are please to receive reports, con-
                                                                               ference proceedings, manufacturers’
                                                                               catalogs, photos, and older publications.
                                                                               Working papers are especially valuable,
                                                                               typically donated when people retire, as
                                                                               is documentation on ski lift sites when
                                                                               resorts close or replace them. Often,
                                                                               when there is a ski ropeway accident,
                                                                               the Center notes an uptick in requests
                                                                               for information.
                                                                                 Papers of historical interest, particu-
                                                                               larly those  with  technical  diagrams
                                                                               of wire rope installations are appreci-
                                                                               ated. Dunn says, “We were lucky to get
                                                                               the Roosevelt Island Tramway papers
                                                                               with their records of the site. This is so
                                                                               important in documenting the history
                                                                               of the industry as these installations
                                                                               evolve and disappear.”
                                                                                 Next spring, a scale working model of
                                                                               a gondola system will be added to the
                                                                               display cases. It is being created by Bil-
         One of the artifacts the Center displays is this lift chair, dated 1941. It is a fully restored ex-  ly Beasley, a second year mechanical
         ample of one of the earliest aerial tramway chairs to be built in America. Manufactured by the   engineering  student at the  Colorado
         American Steel and Wire Company, adapted from a tried and trusted conveyer used to transport
         bananas, these chairs were installed by the Union Pacific Railroad Company at the Sun Valley   School of Mines who is fascinated with
         ski resort in Idaho. The restoration was done by Butch David, Breckenridge Lift Maintenance.  continued on page 22

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