Butte's biggest bonanza was copper. The red metal mined from the "Richest Hill on Earth" and smelted in Butte's sister city of Anaconda electrified the streets and homes of America and built war machines for two world wars. In the early 1900s, N. A. Forsyth photographed these copper anodes at the Washoe Smelter in Anaconda. The photo is titled Tons of Copper ready for the market. Washoe Smelter.
The covers of this issue underscore the changes that Butte mining has undergone in the past half century. The remnant head frame on the front cover, a reminder of Butte's underground mining heritage, is Russell Chatham's Orphan Girl Mine (2004, oil, 12" x 16"), courtesy the artist and Clark City Press, Livingston, Montana. On the back cover, more recent open-pit mining is illustrated in Ray Campeau's The Pit (1966, watercolor, 21" x 29"), courtesy the artist and Montana Museum of Art & Culture, Missoula.
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