Early Promotional Literature for the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy

By on March 22, 2013

After the campus moved to its current location following a devastating 1916 fire to its original campus near Fort Bliss, the School of Mines sought to publicize its new facilities and attract prospective students.  In addition to newspaper articles mentioning the new campus, the School printed various publications.  One of the earliest promotional booklets was Views of the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. Along with many photographs of the campus, the publication praised the School of Mines’ site and its resources for mining and metallurgy students.  Published in 1917, the booklet contended that “El Paso is an ideal location for a mining school, as it is the center of the mining interests of Western Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona…with Mexico’s mines at its doors.”  The booklet praised the School of Mines’  “buildings are situated about a mile from the center of El Paso” and large campus that extended “over 23 acres of land,” while highlighting its accessibility from “two street car lines” that provided “easy access to the school.”  In 1917 school buildings consisted of the Main Building, the Chemistry Building, the Dormitory, the Power House, and the Ore Mill.  Descriptions of the buildings noted their “Bhutanese Indian” architectural style and construction from “rock and reinforced concrete,” which were “plastered outside in a rich cream tone, with ornamental trimmings of red brick and vari-colored tile with roofs of red crushed brick.”  Additionally, the booklet highlighted the campus Geology Museum, Physics and Blow Pipe Laboratories, Dormitory Building, and the Ore Testing Mill.  The Mill was particularly important for students who learned not only how to treat ores, but also how to design a mill.  Also of significance was the construction of a practice mine for students to gain practical experience in mining and metallurgy.  According to the booklet, “this feature will make the Texas School of Mines distinctive among mining schools, for it will be the only school in the world to have a practice mine on its own campus.”    

Cover, promotional booklet, 1917

Cover, promotional booklet, 1917

  

diningRoom

interiorMill

physicsLab

Another early promotional booklet touted the College of Mines and Metallurgy as “a splendid school in a wonderful outdoor climate.” Published around 1925, this booklet listed the school’s advantages:

  1. Standard courses in academic and engineering subjects.
  2. Wholesome student activities.
  3. The health advantages of El Paso’s miracle climate – almost constant sunshine, clean, dry desert air, moderate altitude, outdoor weather nearly every day of the year.
  4. A small school with personal instruction; yet a completely equipped school with every facility for thorough work.
  5. A school where living expenses are moderate, and the year’s total cost low.

The publication also emphasized the College of Mines’ “extremely reasonable” cost to students.  Although fees and deposits for laboratory work averaged about $46 per session, books about $50 per year, and room and board in the men’s dormitory was around $34, the school charged no tuition fees.

Photograph from promotional booklet, about 1925.

Photograph from promotional booklet, about 1925.

 

Photograph from promotional booklet, about 1925.

Photograph from promotional booklet, about 1925.

[Sources: Views of the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy, 1917; Recruitment publication, about 1925]

Abbie Weiser is the processing archivist at the C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department of the UTEP Library. She earned a BA in history from George Washington University, a MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin, and a MA in history from UTEP. She is certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists.