America’s Ancient Industry: a documentary about indigenous copper mining

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Produced by Bob Kreipke, of Ford Motor Company Historian and with Janine McFadden. It is about UP Copper trade thousands of years ago. They traveled around the UP for their documentation. They came to my house with a camera crew to learn from the family of Fred Rydholm, author of ”Michigan Copper, The Untold Story”.
Many PBS stations will be showing this film. In Marquette Area:
January 3, 2013 8:00 PM Channel 13.1 and 13.2
January 4, 2013 noon same
January 6, 2013 4:00 Sunday same
Detroit extended area, on channel 56, 8:00 January 2, 2013.
Check with your local PBS stations. Tell them you want to see this as a program.
This is an important chapter of our Upper Michigan History and it is not often mentioned in our history books. I congratulate the efforts of this team of researchers for putting this very good film together for us to enjoy. We want to encourage this making of the film and the presentation on PBS. The stations would like to hear from you after you have seen this film.
“AMERICA’S ANCIENT INDUSTRY” was filmed and directed by Robert Kreipke and produced by Janine McFadden with underwater sequences filmed by Luke Clyburn and Kathy Trax. The mission of the Noble Odyssey Foundation is to advance knowledge of the Great Lakes through seagoing education and research projects. The Noble Odyssey professional staff, directed by Luke Clyburn brings together scientists and educators to conduct research projects in and around the Great Lakes. The results of this research are conveyed to the public through documentary films, publications, exhibits and lectures presented throughout the Great Lakes region. In recent years the NOF has produced a series of award-winning films called “Great Lakes, Ancient Shores, about historical and prehistoric discoveries under the lakes.
The nonprofit Noble Odyssey Foundation (a Michigan 501c3) depends on grants and contributions to carry out its unique mission of education and research on the Great Lakes. Through nationwide training of young Navy Sea Cadets as research divers, the foundation also develops appreciation and promotes wise stewardship of Great Lakes resources among America’s future leaders.
Captain Luke Clyburn, President
Noble Odyssey Foundation
Or visit for more information.


  1. I caught the documentary “America’s Ancient Industry” and was fascinated.
    Last September my wife and I circled Superior looking for more information and were very pleased with the trip because I wanted to some of the results were upstream we weren’t disappointed but there is so much to learn and so little time. We hope to repeat that trip.
    I regard viewing your documentary a real gift.
    I live “downstream” from you at North Bay, Ontario and for the last 15 years have become fascinated with post glacial drainage through the Ottawa Bonnechere Graben (a series of rift valleys) which the meltwater of the Wisconsin (Laurntide) glacial came through because the ice stopped it from going north. I have made up a series of web pages with this in mind and which to put a link to this if possible.
    Thank You
    Roy Summers

    • Roy,
      I am also fascinated with post glacial drainage, only my fascination is with the AuTrain-Whitefish channel that was created. It literally cut the UP in half and had to be quite a spectacular river. I would love to see your series of web pages showing your information, and you can see slides about AuTrain-Whitefish Channel if you google it. There’s a geologist at MSU who has put some slides online. Next time you’re in the UP, look me up, eh!
      I thought Bob and Janine did a great job presenting the material!

  2. Is there somewhere to obtain a copy of this video? We loved it! If others are interested, there is a Upper Peninsula organization that is about the native copper culture here in the UP: Ancient Artifact Preservation Society:

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