ABOUT THIS BOOK
Winner, ISHS Best of Illinois History Award, 2019
This first-ever pictorial record of the people and methods of the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District from the 1900s to the 1990s covers early and modern means of extracting, hoisting, processing, and transporting the mineral from mine mouth to end user. Nearly one hundred images carefully selected by author Herbert K. Russell show early pick-and-shovel extraction and open-flame lighting as well as primitive drilling methods and transportation by barrels, buckets, barges, mule teams, and trams, in addition to the use of modern equipment and sophisticated refinement procedures such as froth flotation. Russell also provides an overview of the many industrial uses of fluorspar, from metal work by ancient Romans to the processing of uranium by scientists seeking to perfect the atomic bomb. Preserving what is known about the industry by miners, managers, and museums, this detailed and fascinating pictorial history looks both above and below ground at fluorspar mining.