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Suggestions for what to do with Great Pacific Iron Works photos

      I started climbing in 1967, and yes I have an old wood ice axe.  I have a few items I think someone might like to have, such as an original copy of "Belaying the Leader", and in about 1970 took a trip to Yosemite and then went over to the coast.  We stopped at "The Great Pacific Ironworks" just to see what we expected to find a was a modern manufacturing building  and instead pulled up to a very dilapidated sheetmetal building.  We could see thru the open doors cases and cases of climbing rope.  The building was a bit small, so they had one employee on an antique flywheel punch press making the new "bong" items.  In addition to Royal Robins, Tom Frost was drafting on a portable drafting surface propped up on a pair of 55-gallon drums outside.  When we stopped and walked over towards Tom, he took a handful of newspapers and covered up the drafting work.  To this day I wonder what he was working on.

     OK,a long tale to say that I am 71, and I took several photos round the building and would like to see them go to someone/someplace that would appreciate them.  Do you have any suggestions where or who might like to have them?  Does REI have any kind of museum to show the younger people what the climbing equipment was like 50 years ago?  I appreciate your help in finding a home for these items.

Robert Isaacson



5 Replies

@Sailorbob97056  I'll bt Patagonia would  very much like to have them.  The sequence is Great pacific Iron Works -Chouinard Equipment - Patagonia.  Black Diamond later split from Patagonia (long story), using the black diamond in the Chouinard Equipment logo,

That building still exists (or it did the last time i was down there)  Patagonia is just down the street....

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@hikermor  Great idea, I don't know why I did not think of that as I am sure they would like them.  I can scan the photos then anyone can have access.



Hi Robert - Thank you so much for reaching out! As a climber myself who really appreciates the history of the sport, seeing this message made me very happy. Your story about Frost hiding a project behind some newspapers is incredible! Just this February I was in front of the infamous tin shed, chatting about the infamous Dolt pitons nonetheless. Glad to hear you were able to make a visit to the site during its heyday!

If you are interested, we would love to chat with you about our archives. We will connect with you via direct message with more details. @hikermor's suggestion is also a great one. Lots of nice options for fun items like these!

Is there any way you can scan them and post them here in the community as well? It would be incredible to see the shots!

Thanks again for joining our community. We’ll be in touch via direct message soon!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Sailorbob97056 why don't you go ahead and scan them and post them here? (pretty please!)

REI Member Since 1979

Second thee motion!!!!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.