25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Miners enjoy a break from work for a photograph. The Aspen Democrat predicted a prosperous 1908 for the mining industry. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Ernest Shaw and Bert Seymour, who have been in town the past few days, returned to the Mountain Ranger prospect yesterday morning. They purchased snowshoes while in town to be used in traveling from their cabin to the mine this winter, the snow being several feet deep on Richmond hill.

With the opening of the New Year comes considerable encouragement to the people of the whole country and especially to the people of Aspen and Pitkin county [see photo].

From New York comes the cheering news that within the week all the large financial institutions will have brought their reserve funds up to the standard. …

The Democrat this morning has the pleasure of announcing some good news of the bright mineral outlook for the Richmond hill territory … [and with] the recent opening of new ore bodies on the Topliff and the shipment of high grade minerals from that property and the Mountain Ranger … With normal conditions in financial circles and the metal market, it would seem Aspen’s future is assured.

Electrical wonders will be exhibited at the Presbyterian church next Monday night, Dec. 30.

“The Light of the Future,” represented by the Moore tube, will be shown. Such a tube, perfected by Cooper Hewitt of New York, will be lighted by passing the current through a human body.

Wireless telegraphy will be demonstrated with the use of a transmitter so compactly arranged that it can be carried around in the audience, so that anyone can transmit messages to the platform. Not only this, but a large size locomotive on a long track is started and stopped at will. A fire alarm is sounded, a cannon is discharged, a phonograph is started, etc. … when the long brilliant sparks flash out with a roar before the astonished audience, a feeling of awe is experienced. Reproduced are many of the famous experiments of Nikola Tesla.

The X-ray is a never failing source of attraction in this lecture, and all will be delighted to see it more clearly demonstrated than ever before.

There is no place in this world quite like Little Nell. It smells like a beach and looks like a carnival and is in truth a very unprepossessing slice of mountain. Yet there are people in Aspen who regularly go to Little Nell, neither to ski nor to instruct, but to watch. These spectators try not to guffaw too gustily at the wild cavorting of the snow bunnies, while simultaneously maintaining a nonchalant and bored mien for the truly ace skiers. …

Already recognized for his succinct comments on the world at large, Freddie “Schnicklefritz” Fisher last week topped himself. In discussing skiing, Fisher summed up his feelings in a sentence. “I’m too poor to go up and too smart to come down.”

On midnight last Saturday, Dec. 28, a flip of a switch, or, to be exact, several switches, gave Aspen residents a new telephone dialing system and a complete set of new numbers.

The transfer from a simple local system using four-digit numbers to the integrated national system using seven-digit numbers took place in the dial office of the phone company in the alley behind Magnifico Sports. …

Strangely enough, it was discovered by the Aspen Times staff following the inauguration of the new system that local calls could still be made using only four digits. …

In addition, the new equipment increased the local call potential to a total of 80 at any given time and swelled the total number of out of town calls to 10 incoming and 10 outgoing, an increase of about 50 percent over the former capacity.

The Aspen Highlands helicopter skiing operation is struggling to get off the ground.

Highlands President Whipple Van Ness Jones recently sent a letter to the county commissioners complaining that the project has been tangled so badly in red tape by the planning department that it might never fly. …

According to Jones, he was required to apply for special review approval, even though he didn’t think it should be required, for his plan to fly skiers to the Highland Bowl.

Last year, skiers were allowed to hike up to the Highland Bowl, under close supervision, but that arrangement aroused little interest and was dropped in favor of the planned heli-ski operation.

Jones said he had to pay a $1,200 fee for the special review … and then, when the application was filed, the planners added the extra requirement of a geologist’s report.

This cost $400 and, according to Jones, “seems a total waste of time, money, and effort,” since “it concluded the obvious: that care had to be taken to avoid avalanches.”

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