Daily Archives: September 27, 2010

The Farmer’s Handbook of Explosives

Just when I thought that I’d never find a classic old library book more entertaining than How to Be Happy While Single, the good people in Reference Services handed me this Dupont company gem – The Farmer’s Handbook of Explosives


It looks so harmless.

You won’t find it in our circulating collection or even in our catalog, because it’s one of those great old reference books that (gasp!) fell through the cracks – it doesn’t even have a barcode.

It’s pretty rare, too. According to WorldCat (the grand catalog of library catalogs), there are only two more known copies of this 1910 edition out there in libraryland. Of course, there could be others in private collections, or perhaps in your great-grandfather’s attic.

I didn’t read our copy from cover to cover, as it’s in serious need of preservation work. But I scanned a few pages and stopped to enjoy the lovely old photographs of explosions before returning the book to its caretakers.   

Remember, DON’T operate blasting machines half-heartedly. That’s sound advice in any age.  

 – Amy, still not writing about Film or Audio


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