A number of interesting historical items were recently donated to and are now on display at the John L. Lewis Mining and Labor Museum in Lucas.
One item is a Surveyor’s Engineer Level, which was used for surveying properties along with mines. “They were used to survey the mines as a way of measuring them and laying them out in a map,” said Dan Allen, the husband of Museum Curator Becky Allen.
Another very similar looking item on display is a Surveyor Transit, which was also used for surveying but it was more developed than the Level in that it had a compass in it that could tell the direction in which someone was looking. It also had a slightly fancier design with the arches located below the lenses.
Rick Stickley of Russell donated both the Surveyor’s Engineer Level and the Surveyor Transit.
Also on display are some scatter tags that were thrown in loads of coal in order to tell where the coal came from and used as a way of trade marking the coal as well. Jim Alderson of Illinois donated the scatter tags.
Another new item is a wooden dynamite box that was used to carry sticks of dynamite. John Jacobs of Rose Hill, Iowa, donated the wooden dynamite box. Rose Hill is located just east of Oskaloosa.
Also on display is a salesman drill sample that salesmen went around selling from door to door to different coal companies. It includes the different drill parts along with the 1904 patent for the drill by What Cheer Drill and Mining Tool Company of What Cheer, Iowa.
Read the July 11, 2019 edition of the Chariton Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.