JF Ptak Science Books Quick Pos
I'm not that convinced that a lot of "cooling off" was being done down in the tunnels of the Comstock Lode, though I guess it is all relative, and so perhaps these guys were able to enjoy themselves a little compared to swinging a pick axe or shoveling with a shovel in a cramped, damp, loud, dark place, underground.
I found this in the detail of a great cross section image on the Library of Congress site http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/pga.01999/:
- "Mining on the Comstock / drawn by T.L. Dawes ; engraved and printed by Le Count Bro's., San Francisco"
which was printed by lithography by Le Count Brothers in San Francisco in 1877.
The cross section shows how life and business was being conducted underground, and gives a sense of the claustrophobia-making closeness of it all:
In any event, it was very difficult work in a difficult spot, using difficult tools, breathing difficult air, and this cross section gives a pretty good idea of what that could have been like.