The Hutchings Museum features an extensive mining display that includes a handful of items regarding mine safety. The Bureau of Mines and the Mine Safety Appliances Company distributed many of these items.

Mining First Aid Kit by Archive MaterialHutchings Museum Institute

Mining first aid kit

Ren Willie found this unused mining first aid kit as he was gathering his collection. It is completely intact and because the box is metal, everything is in good condition. 

Murine by The Murine Co. Inc.Hutchings Museum Institute

Eye drops were helpful to help lubricate and clean the irritated eye after being in the mine around dust caused by drilling, digging, and blasting.

Triangular Bandage by Archive MaterialHutchings Museum Institute


For many accidents, bandages and gauze were used to help keep the wound clean. This bandage package was distributed by the Mine Safety Appliances Company, a division of the U.S. Bureau of Mines whose purpose was to improve and regulate mine safety.

Gauze Bandage by CurityHutchings Museum Institute

A gauze bandage box from the miner's first aid kit. Before it was discovered that mercury is quite bad for their health, miners would use Merthiolate that contained mercury to sterilize wounds. Thankfully, mercury is no longer used in this way due to its health hazard. 

Manual of First Aid Instruction for Miners (1922) by Archive MaterialHutchings Museum Institute

Included with the first aid kit is a manual, distributed by the Bureau of Mines. Inside are instructions on administering first aid for a myriad of situations found within mines.

Carbon Monoxide Detector by Mine Safety Appliances CompanyHutchings Museum Institute

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Miners would use this tool to test the levels of carbon monoxide in the mines. The user would suck air into the glass tube which caused the minerals to change color based on the amount of carbon monoxide in the sample. This detector would read carbon monoxide levels before the human body would react with a headache.

Safety Glasses (circa 1915) by Archive MaterialHutchings Museum Institute

Safety Glasses

This pair of glasses was one of the first pairs made for safety purposes. They date pre-1920's.

Glasses Glasses by Archive MaterialHutchings Museum Institute

A later pair of safety glasses. This pair was worn and owned by Ren Willie, the collector of this exhibit. He used them while he was working on the surface (not underground) of the Lark Mine in Lark, Utah.

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