• Where Nitroglycerin is Made

    Where Nitroglycerin is Made

    The inherent danger in explosive making can not be overstated; nitroglycerin – the explosive agent in dynamite – is extremely unstable at high temperatures and highly sensitive to physical...

  • The Horse Barn

    The Horse Barn

    Due to the vast size and scope of the Atlas facility – over a thousand acres and a hundred separate buildings – an internal narrow gauge railroad was built connecting the various component...

  • The Age of the Loci

    The Age of the Loci

    While horse power in the rest of the country was quickly being replaced by the automobile, horses continued to serve the Atlas plant well past the war. Gas powered machines were too dangerous to have ...

  • One Last Look

    One Last Look

    After close to a month I’m happy to say that its time to say goodbye to the Atlas Powder Plant and move one to the next exploration. But before we do I thought I’d through together a map o...

Atlas Powder Company

“The mine’s of the Copper Country were generally self-reliant except for three things which they could not find along the peninsula: coal, iron, and explosives. For that time these items were transported here from elsewhere at high cost to the mine companies. In an attempt to lower these costs, the controlling interests of the Tamarack and Osceola Mines invested in the construction of the area’s first explosives plant at Woodside in 1884. By the turn of the century the plant had come under the control of C&H (who had bought up the Tamarack and Osceola properties) and Dupont (who had bought up the plant’s parent company) but by that time the plant had become obsolete and unprofitable. C&H and Dupont then proceeded to invest in the construction of a new modern plant deep within the Dollar Peninsula in a place that would become known as Senter…..”

Change Houses


Nitroglycerin had several bad habits, the least of which was its tendency to explode violently when agitated. Even more of a problem for workers at Atlas was the chemical’s seemingly natural attraction to their clothing. Even if you never handled ... More »

The Horse Barn


Due to the vast size and scope of the Atlas facility – over a thousand acres and a hundred separate buildings – an internal narrow gauge railroad was built connecting the various components of the explosive making process. While steam ... More »

Powder Magazines


After the dynamite sticks were completed and boxed, they would then be loaded onto narrow-gauge rail cars for transportation over to the storage buildings at the other side of the property. Atlas had three separate storage buildings (known as powder ... More »

Shell Packing


After being mixed into a Playdo-like consistency at the Mix House, the nitroglycerine was then loaded onto small rail cars and pushed by hand to the nearby Hall House. Here a series of machines would use the nitro mix to ... More »

The Shell House (p1)


During World War II most civilian explosives plants across the country were drafted into military service, producing explosive shells and other military explosives for the war effort. The Atlas Plant at Senter, however, had never been converted to ammunition production. ... More »

The Power Plant


Of course being so far removed from the rest of Copper Country civilization insured that the Atlas Plant had to construct its own power house to provide the amount of electric power and steam heat a facility of this size ... More »

Warehouse Row


Though used as a commuter train for Atlas employees, the Copper Range trains also delivered the wide range of exotic supplies that an explosives plant required. These supplies included a wide range of chemicals used to make the nitroglycerine along ... More »