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Tough Men in Hard Places: The Electrification of Colorado's Western Slope
Tough Men in Hard Places: The Electrification of Colorado's Western Slope

Tough Men in Hard Places: The Electrification of Colorado's Western Slope

February 12 - September 18, 2015

Based on the book of the same name, the Tough Men in Hard Places exhibit displays the remarkable era of innovation in bringing electrical power to the mines, ranches, and homes of Southwest Colorado beginning in the 1890s, and documents the men who braved wild electrical storms, avalanches, rugged mountain terrain, and extreme weather at the turn of the last century in these selected historic photographs. Tough Men in Hard Places speaks to the tenacity, vision, imagination, and toughness of electrical workers everywhere, past and present.

The photographs are part of the Western Colorado Power Company Collection (CSWS P009 & P001), archived in the Center of Southwest Studies’ Delaney Southwest Research Library and Archives, which holds over 8,000 images from the company’s former archives. Most of the photographs in the collection were taken by Philip “P. C.” Schools, Chief Engineer of the Western Colorado Power Company, documenting every step of the “new” power process and the coming of electricity to Southwest Colorado.

The book, TOUGH MEN IN HARD PLACES: A Photographic Collection, was researched and written by Esther Greenfield, a long-time volunteer at the Center of Southwest Studies, where she processes old records and photographs, organizing them so that researchers will have ready access. In fact, it was her three-year-long project to help organize the Western Colorado Power Company Collection that led directly to the book. The new exhibit beautifully displays selected images in a large-format scale, accompanied by artifacts of the era.

For more information on the publication, visit Facebook: ToughMeninHardPlaces or www.EstherGreenfield.com.

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