Nevada Executive Branch Agencies
State Mining Inspector
The mining industry was and continues to be essential to the political and economic development of the State of Nevada. Mining activity took place throughout the state and nearly all minerals were present, not just the gold and silver which first attracted the attention of mid-nineteenth century Americans. The office of the Inspector of Mines was created by Nevada statute in 1909. The Inspector was authorized and directed to visit in person each mining county in the state; to examine all such mines therein for the purpose of determining the condition of such mines as to safety; and to collect information and statistics relative to mines, mining, and mineral resources. He was also to arrange and classify mineral and geological specimens found in the state and to forward same to the State School of Mines at the University of Nevada in Reno, and to establish a uniform code of signals.
The office of State Mining Inspector was an elected position, initially for a term of two years. Statutes enacted in 1911 extended the Inspector's initial two-year term of office, 1909-1911, for one year, after which the position was one of four years. In 1973 the State Mining Inspector became a position appointed by the Nevada Industrial Commission and now is head of the Mine Safety and Training Section of the Industrial Relations Division of the Department of Business and Industry.
Under the 1909 mining statutes, the Mining Inspector had the right to enter any and all mines at any time but had few powers of enforcement. In 1910, the second inspector, Edward Ryan, developed a standard code of signals, and formulated a set of rules and regulations related to mine safety and the protection of workers, such as provisions to improve mine ventilation and assist in dust control. Ryan persuaded each mine to have mine-rescue apparatus and provided the opportunity for first-aid training. The 1911 Legislature formalized those measures and as a result, the number of fatal and serious accidents in the Nevada mining industry was reduced.
An important part of the Mining Inspector's duties was the collection of data about mines and their operations. Reports, either from mine operators or from the Inspector's personal visits to mines, supplied data on fatal and non-fatal injuries, dust counts, complaints, names and locations of mines in operation, quantities of men working in each mine, which mines were extracting various kinds of minerals, and which mines required hoisting engineers. The raw reports are part of this record series and the compiled information is available in formal reports the Inspector submitted to the Legislature, which are part of the published Biennial Reports to the Legislature. The first published report is in vol. 2 of the 1911 reports.
||Volume: 25 c.f.
|The series consists of health and safety reports, reports of fatal and nonfatal accidents, dust counts, complaints, and special investigations.
|About 4 c.f. of materials documenting fatal accidents (alphabetically and chronologically arranged); card files on the same, showing the names of the deceased, company, county, date, and cause of death; Nevada mine management personnel (arranged alphabetically, including the company name, addresses and references); Nevada mine report index, alphabetically arranged, and including company name, county and district, and years of reported activity; Nevada mineral producers' records, arranged by type product; Nevada mines, minerals, and smelter, arranged by company name; new mines and idle mines, according to county and company name; non-fatal accidents according to year, county, company, individual, and date; perennial mine and mill list, in alphabetical order according to company name, county, and years the mining reports were filed; mine reports, in alphabetical order; recommendations, arranged chronologically; alphabetical list of mines, mills and smelters (1918-1975); hoisting engineers license papers; mine serial numbers issued by the War Production Board during World War II, and a ledger of property inventory (1917-1918). The cards constitute the bulk of this series.
|The correspondence file reflects a significant period grouping: 1909-1951, and the 1955-1970 group labeled "daily reading file." The first period corresponds to the earliest office of the Inspector of Mines. There is an unexplained gap between 1951 and 1955, bringing the series to the last 20 years before the Office came directly under the Industrial Commission and before the functions of the Office were assumed by the Department of Industrial Safety.