Camp Century: City under the Ice.

An enjoyable read about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s nuclear-powered city tunneled into the Greenland ice cap. The base was 130 mi. from Thule, 100 from a slightly nearer base (Tuto), and thus Camp Century. It operated for about six years and was intended as a model for future bases. I don’t know if there is any summary study of its accomplishments. This is the human interest part of it, not long after it opened up, a rather saccharine account. There are some casual mentions of the library and plate 1 has a picture of the library at Camp Century. Plus these citations:

p. 75: “There’s a girl behind every tree in Greenland.” In case you’ve forgotten there are no trees in Greenland.

And there are no pretty girls at Century.

Not live ones—but there are large color photos from such literary magazines as Playboy. It was such a picture that may have contributed to Joe Kumbar’s weird adventure in the 165-foot shaft that led to the frozen chamber at the bottom of the well…. [Goes on to tell story of the distracting pinup almost causing an accident.]

p. 90, in the living cubicles: Some of the men have added small personal reading lamps, and short-wave radio receivers, and portable hi-fi phonographs are quite common.

p. 94: Although Century is fairly isolated…, every mailbag brings in weekly news magazines and other periodicals (Saturday Evening Post, Time, Reader’s Digest, Life, Newsweek, Look, etc.) as well as bundles of daily newspapers. The unit funds of the Century contingent have been used to buy subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post. The camp also receives the Chicago Tribune as a gift, a present paid for by the board of that publication.

…nearly a dozen ordinary U.S. citizens have paid for memberships in the Book-of-the-Month Club. The books go to Century, and the bills to the stateside donors who have no personal connection with the strange outpost. The men inside the glacier are deeply grateful, and quietly delighted that their fellow citizens are so proud of their lonely work.

p. 105: After dinner, the men of the isolated outpost have about three hours free for recreation and personal activities. The Post Exchange in Trench Ten is quite busy with shoppers buying stationery and color film and magazines, and many of the men drift on to the library in the same building to examine what new books have arrived. The men at Century do a lot more reading than soldiers at an ordinary military installation in the continental United States. They also do more writing….