This book, written by two mining engineers, offers a fascinating in-depth picture of the burgeoning gold-mining industry in South Africa at the end of the 19th century.
Frederick H. Hatch (1864-1932) wrote extensively on the geology of various parts of the world, with specific reference to mineralogy and petrology, at a time when the oil and other mining industries were beginning to develop. A later volume (1919) described the iron and steel industry of the UK under wartime (WWI) conditions. His co-author, John Alexander Chalmers (1864-1912) was an associate of the Royal School of Mines, and a mining engineer, resident in Johannesburg, and a member of the South African Association of Engineers and Architects (founded in 1892). In 1895 he became a naturalised citizen of the South African Republic (Transvaal). He also wrote extensively on the geology of East/Southern Africa, and would appear to have spent his entire life in that part of the world.
Our book is in very good condition for its age, having presumably been privately owned and not subject to the wear and tear of a library. Bound in red cloth with impressed double line border to the top & bottom edges (gilded on the spine and top front cover, otherwise now ungilded) and with gilt title etc on the spine, it has some shelfwear at top & bottom of the spine, and all corners are somewhat bumped but without frank damage. The spine is darkened and grubby, and there are some light marks on the covers, with a little fading around the edges, but all in all the external condition is good. Internally, the black endpapers are intact, the back one protecting a pocket which contains two maps (in addition to the foldout maps within the book block). Containing 80 illustrations and 14 photographic plates, the binding is firm, and the text clear though marked throughout with light brown staining (?foxing?). The pages are rough cut. A fascinating volume for anyone interested in the history of South Africa, the Transvaal in particular, or the mining industry (particularly gold mining).