Business & Industry

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Title Article Type Author
Absaroka Mountains, mining in Encyclopedia Brian Beauvais
Airmail, U.S. in Wyoming Encyclopedia Steve Wolff
American Indian tribes, trade among Encyclopedia Samuel Western
Arnold, Thurman, Laramie lawyer and New Deal trustbuster Encyclopedia Dee Pridgen
Atlantic City, Wyo. Encyclopedia Lori Van Pelt
Automobile, Wyoming’s first Encyclopedia Phil Roberts

The history of Japanese people in Wyoming is most often connected with the World War II internment camp at Heart Mountain. Yet Japanese railroad laborers were in Wyoming as early as 1892—and some may even have helped lay the tracks that delivered the internees to Heart Mountain two generations later.

Playing a large trout without losing your fly; keeping the line taut while using the latest technology in reels and rods—dedicated fishermen and women enjoy all these things. How did the craft of tackle-making begin and evolve in Wyoming?

No landscape is beyond the reach of history. The wilderness of the Absaroka Mountains, bordering the west side of Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin, is no different. Evidence of early mining activity still endures in isolated pockets, and searchers can still find cabin ruins, tailings and a few crumbing tunnels.

Contrary to legend, the sole purpose of the Pony Express was to secure a $1 million U.S. Mail subsidy by showing mail could be delivered on time between Missouri and California—even through winter. But in the contest between the Pony Express and Wyoming winter, winter won.

After World War I, people in America’s fast-growing, car-purchasing middle class could afford pleasure trips and began sending home picture postcards. The cards reveal a great deal about the attitudes, class and prejudices of their senders and vendors, and hint at what Wyoming people wanted the world to see.

Connecticut-born Edward Gillette came west 1878, eager for excitement. His expertise as a surveyor led eventually to his leading the party that located the Burlington Railroad route through northeast Wyoming. Though Gillette, Wyo., was named for him, he finally settled in Sheridan to a life of successful business and public service.

A Nobel Prize, big business and scientific breakthroughs including Covid-19 tests and vaccines were decades in the future when microbiologist Thomas D. Brock began taking samples from Yellowstone Park’s hot springs in the summer of 1964.

Skiing for fun began on Casper Mountain in the 1920s. People cut a few scattered slopes, added rope tows, started a ski patrol and held races. Hogadon Basin Ski Area was founded in the late 1950s. Today, Hogadon, 26 miles of Nordic trails and a world-class biathlon course lure skiers from everywhere.

Hawaiian cowboys, competing at Frontier Days in 1908, kicked off Wyoming’s Hawaiian music (and culture) craze. The “paniolo” dominated the world championships that year. Wyomingites bought ukeleles, phonographs and records and attended Hawaiian plays, musicals, dances and concerts for decades. Interest was still strong well into the 1950s.

Wyoming traces its outfitting industry to an 1899 law requiring out-of-state hunters to hire guides. Guiding clients like Charles “Spend-a-Million” Gates eventually became good business, bringing wealth to the West and protecting wildlife from the slaughter of earlier generations, all while starting a gradual, statewide shift toward tourism and service economies.