This lavishly illustrated story of technology, people, and commerce describes the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway's hauling of vast amounts of copper ore from Butte Hill, Montana, westward to smelter operations at Anaconda--a distance of twenty-six miles. Charles V. Mutschler puts the saga in context, whether discussing the labor violence of the 1890s, the role of steam during America's Gilded Age, or the expansion of highway competition since the 1920s.
Founded in 1892 and owned by Anaconda Copper, the BA&P led the way in early twentieth century electrified railroading. In 1912, General Electric was contracted to convert the short line's operations from steam to electric. The BA&P became a proving ground for railroad electrification and the center of attention for electric-power advocates. In particular, the Milwaukee Road--soon to be a leader in main line electrification--took a very keen interest in the BA&P.
For the first time in book-length treatment, Wired for Success delineates the BA&P's essential role in the development of electric railroads in the United States.