The Romance of Nickel

The Romance of Nickel coverThe Romance of Nickel
International Nickel Company of Canada

Submitter: My submission is a short paean to nickel, called The Romance of Nickel. The cover does little to convince me, however, as it shows the desolate wasteland created by nickel mining. This slim volume (a mere 80 pages) was created by The International Nickel Company (motto: “Inco Nickel… Your Unseen Friend”) to sell its product, and the spin is a little much. Judging by the cover illustration, the environmental damage of nickel mining is extreme; no romance there!

Holly: That cover! It’s all bent up with peeled-off stickers, and I agree with Submitter that the image is less than romantic. It would work for the cover of a dystopian romance novel. This is too old to be useful to anyone. It was found in a community college in Colorado. Mining is of interest in Colorado, for sure, but I’m not sure a community college is the place for this little booklet from 1957.

Nickel in everyday life

At breakfast

In the home


    1. “… severe local ecological damage. […] near-total loss of native vegetation. […] the now exposed rocky outcrops, […] have been permanently stained charcoal black, first by the pollution wafting over the decades […] then by the acid rain.”
      Description of Sudbury, from Wikipedia’s “Inco Superstack” article.
      Fits the cover, not so much the word “Romace”.

  1. In this modern world of your grandparents’ time, where coffee is being poured from a device mostly found in history museums…

  2. And the inside looks more like a children’s book. But I must admit whenever I think of nickel I think of the coins. It never occurred to me be that without nickel we may never have wonderful modern luxury items such as coffee, soap, and toothpaste!

    1. that was the first thing that came to my mind……….

      Zinc, Zinc, Ziiiiiiiiinc!!!

  3. WTF is it with naming books about geologic commodities “The Romance of …”? I remember this site featuring the “Romance of Oil”, now Nickel?

  4. The only place such a tome belongs is either in a shredder or in the library collection of a museum dedicated to the metals mining industry. Now, as it turns out, you can find those in a few places like Colorado and Arizona…..

  5. The cover is truly depressing, while the title and subject matter sound like a program on Radio Tirana in the 1980s.

  6. You would not make your coffee in a silver-plated nickel percolator — you would never put a silver-plated anything on the stove. Maybe some kind of table coffee maker into which you pour boiling water — but I can’t really imagine a silver-plated drip or French press one, either. They are reaching too far.

  7. As a geologist I kind of love this book, but not in a romantic way.

    But I’d definitely keep it in my personal collection for the cover alone.

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