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Sun May 26, 2019, 12:48 PM

Was there a time when we were awash with blasting caps everywhere?

If you grew up in the 50's and 60's and watched television for any length of time (of course you did!), you would see several public service commercials every day warning children about the dangers of touching or handling blasting caps.

Apparently, adults just left these things lying around in those days. Also, we were "free-ranging kids", so if we decided to wander through a construction site - it wasn't that uncommon. And in the 60's it, seemed everywhere was a construction site.





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Reply Was there a time when we were awash with blasting caps everywhere? (Original post)
ThoughtCriminal May 2019 OP
hlthe2b May 2019 #1
rampartc May 2019 #2
Adsos Letter May 2019 #3
abqtommy May 2019 #4
ThoughtCriminal May 2019 #5
Adsos Letter May 2019 #6
PufPuf23 May 2019 #7
hunter May 2019 #8
jpak May 2019 #9
KY_EnviroGuy May 2019 #10

Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:50 PM

1. Sometimes I wonder how we made it through childhood.

Now, it is a wonder any kid makes it through his/her teens.

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:56 PM

2. those were the days!

need a stump removed? dynamite!

can't get a bite ? dynamite! blast every aquatic creature in the pond to the surface.

come to think of it, there aren't too many problems the old timers couldn't solve with dynamite. available mail order from sears.

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 01:25 PM

3. Willie Mays

I remember a spot on SF Bay area tv stations back in the day, with Willie Mays telling young viewers "Remember now, don't touch them!"

Hadn't thought of that in a long time.

Found a link:"

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 01:48 PM

4. When I was a kid in the '50s

we were shown films in school about the dangers of forest fires and how to survive. (This was in Montana.) We were given all the warnings about dynamite and blasting caps. When I was 6 years old I stayed with my grandparents for a time. My uncle showed me a box in the barn that held dynamite and told me to leave it alone. I did. When I was in high school I met another kid who had 3 fingers on one hand missing due to his handling a blasting cap when he was younger. I guess lots of us are teachable and some of us aren't! It's good that we're presented with facts and warnings, though.

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 01:54 PM

5. And there were signs near blasting areas

Warning us to "Turn off 2-way radio", because apparently, that could set them off.

?c=2&imbypass=on

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Reply #5)

Sun May 26, 2019, 02:04 PM

6. I can recall seeing those signs up in the Sierra.

They were blasting out a road somewhere around Lake Fordyce.

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 02:07 PM

7. Back in the 60s and 70s blasting caps were easy to obtain where I lived.

Blasting caps and dynamite were used in road building and logging (the main local economy) and there was not the strict controls now placed on their use.

A fellow I grew up with (and we are still friends) was a heavy equipment operator and logger who was sent to Vietnam. When he came back he spent years as an outlaw, growing pot.

Once he knew that there would be a "powder monkey" spending the weekend blowing stumps from a recently cleared new logging road right of way in the National Forest.

Maybe he knew the powder monkey (probably grew up and had worked together)? At the same time the stumps were being blown, he used blasting caps and dynamite to create grow holes for his crop (so the solitary blasts could be thought the nearby stumps being blown (and just maybe the powder monkey was the source of his material).

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 03:13 PM

8. Both my grandfathers remembered buying dynamite in the hardware stores.

My mom had a friend who blew his hand off as a young man.

Alas, I had to make my own explosives.

Fortunately the agricultural chemical store would sell anything to a kid driving his dad's truck.

But blasting caps were getting a little hard to get by then.

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 03:45 PM

9. Yes - half the kids in my'50's and early '60's neighborhood lost hands to them

They littered the landscape - everywhere.























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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 03:45 PM

10. Wouldn't say we were awash with them but plenty were used....

to blast through the ever-present layer of limestone where I was raised in TN. Mostly saw it where water and sewer lines were being laid, or around road improvements. Caps were pretty well controlled by the construction men. Farmers that could afford it loved using dynamite to blast out large stumps.

As a kid I went after the wire, which I could use for my experiments in electronics and pulled a bunch out of rock piles. I think the first crystal radio I built used some blasting cap wire.

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