Focusing on two Arizona towns that had their origins in mining bonanzas—Tombstone and Jerome—historian Eric L. Clements offers a rare study dissecting the process of bust itself—the reasons and manners in which these towns declined as the mining booms ended. Tombstone was the site of one of the great silver bonanzas of the nineteenth century, a boom that started in the late 1870s and was over by 1890. Jerome’s copper deposits were mined for much longer, beginning in the 1880s and enduring until the 1930s. But when the mining booms ended, each town faced its decline in similar ways. The process of decline was more complex than superficial histories have indicated, and Clements discusses the role of labor unions in trying to stave off collapse, the changing demography of decline, the nature and expression of social tensions, the impact on institutions such as churches and schools, and the human responses to continued economic depression. But bust involved more than a steady decline into ghost-town status, Clements discovers: the towns' remaining residents employed numerous strategies to survive and reduce household expenses. In the end, both towns reinvented themselves as late-twentieth-century tourist attractions.
The Archaeology of the Colorado Coalfield War Project has conducted archaeological investigations at the site of the Ludlow Massacre in Ludlow, Colorado, since 1996. With the help of the United Mine Workers of America and funds from the Colorado State Historical Society and the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities, the scholars involved have integrated archaeological finds with archival evidence to show how the everyday experiences of miners and their families shaped the strike and its outcome.The Archaeology of Class War weaves together material culture, documents, oral histories, landscapes, and photographs to reveal aspects of the strike and life in early twentieth-century Colorado coalfields unlike any standard documentary history. Excavations at the site of the massacre and the nearby town of Berwind exposed tent platforms, latrines, trash dumps, and the cellars in which families huddled during the attack. Myriad artifacts—from canning jars to a doll’s head—reveal the details of daily existence and bring the community to life.The Archaeology of Class War will be of interest to archaeologists, historians, and general readers interested in mining and labor history.
Mining was crucial for the development of nineteenth-century Peru. Silver mining in particular was a key to both the export sector and the creation of an internal market and national development. The Bewitchment of Silver is an inquiry into the impact of that mineral on a national economy in a country at the periphery of nineteenth-century capitalism.
José Deustua argues that developing countries must be understood in terms of achieving domestic development as well as in their role in generating foreign exchange and in linking themselves to the world economy. Focusing on various sectors of Peru’s mining production, the mines, owners and mine workers, the transportation networks and the use of muleteers, this study is also concerned with market-building and domestic development in nineteenth-century Latin America.
The Bodie Mining District was established in 1860 after the discovery of gold deposits in the area. Bodie's largest boom ended just over twenty years later, but the town survived into the twentieth century supported by a few small but steady mines. Mining ended with World War II. What remained of the town became a state park in 1964.
In Bodie's Gold, author Marguerite Sprague uncovers the original sources of information whenever possible, from the first mining claims to interviews with former Bodieites. Enhanced with numerous historic photographs and extracts from newspapers of that period, as well as by the reminiscences of former residents, the book offers a fascinating account of life in a Gold Rush boomtown. The book is now available in a new, easier-to-handle paperback edition that will make it more convenient for readers who want to carry if with them in a car or backpack.
The image of Old West saloons as sites of violence and raucous entertainment has been perpetuated by film and legend, but the true story of such establishments is far more complex. In Boomtown Saloons, archaeologist Kelly J. Dixon recounts the excavation of four historic saloon sites in Nevada’s Virginia City, one of the West’s most important boomtowns, and shows how the physical traces of this handful of disparate drinking places offer a new perspective on authentic life in the mining West. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the Comstock Lode’s mineral wealth attracted people from all over the world. At its peak, Virginia City had a cosmopolitan population of over 20,000 people. Like people everywhere, they sought to pass their leisure time in congenial company, often in one or another of the four saloons studied here. Dixon’s account of the role these four establishments played in the social and economic life of Virginia City offers keen insight into the businesses and people who made up the backdrop of a mining boomtown. The saloons in this study were quieter than legend would have us believe; they served relatively distinct groups and offered their customers a place of refuge, solidarity, and social contact with peers in a city where few people had longtime ties or initially any close contacts. Boomtown Saloons also offers an equally vivid portrait of the modern historical archaeologist who combines time-honored digging, reconstruction, and analysis methods with such cutting-edge technology as DNA analysis of saliva traces on a 150-year-old pipestem and chemical analysis of the residue in discarded condiment bottles. The book is illustrated with historical photographs and maps, as well as photographs of artifacts uncovered during the excavations of the four sites. Dixon’s sparkling text and thoughtful interpretation of evidence reveal an unknown aspect of daily life in one of the West’s most storied boomtowns and demonstrate that, contrary to legend, the traditional western saloon served an vital and complex social role in its community.Available in hardcover and paperback.
California’s Calaveras County—made famous by Mark Twain and his celebrated Jumping Frog—is the focus of this comprehensive study of Mother Lode mining. Most histories of the California Mother Lode have focused on the mines around the American and Yuba Rivers. However, the “Southern Mines”—those centered around Calaveras County in the central Sierra—were also important in the development of California’s mineral wealth. Calaveras Gold offers a detailed and meticulously researched history of mining and its economic impact in this region from the first discoveries in the 1840s until the present. Mining in Calaveras County covered the full spectrum of technology from the earliest placer efforts through drift and hydraulic mining to advanced hard-rock industrial mining. Subsidiary industries such as agriculture, transportation, lumbering, and water supply, as well as a complex social and political structure, developed around the mines. The authors examine the roles of race, gender, and class in this frontier society; the generation and distribution of capital; and the impact of the mines on the development of political and cultural institutions. They also look at the impact of mining on the Native American population, the realities of day-to-day life in the mining camps, the development of agriculture and commerce, the occurrence of crime and violence, and the cosmopolitan nature of the population. Calaveras County mining continued well into the twentieth century, and the authors examine the ways that mining practices changed as the ores were depleted and how the communities evolved from mining camps into permanent towns with new economic foundations and directions. Mining is no longer the basis of Calaveras’s economy, but memories of the great days of the Mother Lode still attract tourists who bring a new form of wealth to the region.
Winner of the Mining History Association Clark Spence Award for the Best Book in Mining History, 2017-2018
Brian James Leech provides a social and environmental history of Butte, Montana’s Berkeley Pit, an open-pit mine which operated from 1955 to 1982. Using oral history interviews and archival finds, The City That Ate Itself explores the lived experience of open-pit copper mining at Butte’s infamous Berkeley Pit. Because an open-pit mine has to expand outward in order for workers to extract ore, its effects dramatically changed the lives of workers and residents. Although the Berkeley Pit gave consumers easier access to copper, its impact on workers and community members was more mixed, if not detrimental.
The pit’s creeping boundaries became even more of a problem. As open-pit mining nibbled away at ethnic communities, neighbors faced new industrial hazards, widespread relocation, and disrupted social ties. Residents variously responded to the pit with celebration, protest, negotiation, and resignation. Even after its closure, the pit still looms over Butte. Now a large toxic lake at the center of a federal environmental cleanup, the Berkeley Pit continues to affect Butte’s search for a postindustrial future.
When it comes to Nevada history, men get most of the ink. Comstock Women is a collection of 14 historical studies that helps to rectify that reality. The authors of these essays, who include some of Nevada’s most prominent historians, demographers, and archaeologists, explore such topics as women and politics, jobs, and ethnic groups. Their work goes far in refuting the exaggerated popular images of women in early mining towns as dance hall girls or prostitutes. Relying primarily on newspapers, court decisions, census records, as well as sparse personal diaries and records left by the woman, the essayists have resurrected the lives of the women who lived on the Comstock during the boom years.
The Eyes of the World focuses on the lives and experiences of Eastern Congolese people involved in extracting and transporting the minerals needed for digital devices.
The digital devices that define our era exist not only because of Silicon Valley innovations, but due to a burgeoning trade in dense, artisanally mined substances like tantalum, tin, and tungsten. As James H. Smith argues, in the Eastern DR Congo these minerals are also socially dense, fueling movement and collaborations that encompass diverse actors, geographies, temporalities, and dimensions.
Based on long-term research, The Eyes of the World examines how Eastern Congolese understand the work in which they are engaged, the forces pitted against them, and the total process through which substances in the earth and forest are converted into commodified resources. Smith shows how the experience of violent dispossession has fueled a bottom-up social theory that valorizes movement and collaboration—one that directly confronts tracking initiatives designed to ensure that the minerals in digital devices are “conflict free” by excluding certain actors and places. While global watch groups espouse Western-style bureaucratic methods that prioritize transparency and purity, Smith explains why Congolese understand these exclusionary interventions as potentially violent and predatory efforts to further separate them and their histories from supposedly “clean” technologies.
Face Boss tells a story that few people have heard: what it is really like to labor inside the dark and dangerous world of a vast underground coal mine. With unflinching honesty, as well as considerable humor and insight, Michael Guillerman recalls his nearly eighteen years of working as both a union miner and a salaried section foreman-or “face boss”-at the Peabody Coal Company's Camp No. 2 mine in Union County, Kentucky.
Guillerman undertook this memoir because of the many misconceptions about coal mining that were evidenced most recently in the media coverage of the 2006 Sago Mine disaster. Shedding some much-needed light on this little-understood topic, Face Boss is riveting, authentic, and often raw. Guillerman describes in stark detail the risks, dangers, and uncertainties of coal mining: the wildcat and contract strikes, layoffs, shutdowns, mine fires, methane ignitions, squeezes, and injuries. But he also discusses the good times that emerged despite perilous working conditions: the camaraderie and immense sense of accomplishment that came with mining hundreds of tons of coal every day. Along the way, Guillerman spices his narrative with numerous anecdotes from his many years on the job and discusses race relations within mining culture and the expanding role of women in the industry.
While the book contributes significantly to the general knowledge of contemporary mining, Face Boss is also a tribute to those men and women who toil anonymously beneath the rolling hills of western Kentucky and the other coal-rich regions of the United States. More than just the story of one man's life and career, it is a stirring testament to the ingenuity, courage, and perseverance of the American coal miner.
Michael D. Guillerman worked for the Peabody Coal Company from 1974 to 1991. Over his long career, his jobs included belt shoveler, timberman, shooter, drill and shuttle car operator, rock duster, and finally section foreman. Now retired, he lives with his wife, Marie, in Union County, Kentucky.
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.
Despite mining's multidimensional role in the history of Utah since Euro-american settlement, there has never been a book that surveyed and contextualized its impact. From the Ground Up fill that gap with a collection of essays by leading Utah historians and geologists. Essays here address the geology of the state, the economic history of mining in Utah, and the lore of mines and miners. Additionally, the book reviews a handul of particularly significant mineral industries---saline, coal, uranium, and beryllium---and surveys important hard-rock mining regions of the state.
Gambling on Ore examines the development of the western mining industry from the tumultuous and violent Gold Rush to the elevation of large-scale copper mining in the early twentieth century, using Montana as representative of mining developments in the broader US mining west. Employing abundant new historical evidence in key primary and secondary sources, Curtis tells the story of the inescapable relationship of mining to nature in the modern world as the United States moved from a primarily agricultural society to a mining nation in the second half of the nineteenth century.
In Montana, legal issues and politics—such as unexpected consequences of federal mining law and the electrification of the United States—further complicated the mining industry’s already complex relationship to geology, while government policy, legal frameworks, dominant understandings of nature, and the exigencies of profit and production drove the industry in momentous and surprising directions. Despite its many uncertainties, mining became an important part of American culture and daily life.
Gambling on Ore unpacks the tangled relationships between mining and the natural world that gave material possibility to the age of electricity. Metal mining has had a profound influence on the human ecology and the social relationships of North America through the twentieth century and throughout the world after World War II. Understanding how we forged these relationships is central to understanding the environmental history of the United States after 1850.
When brothers Ethan and Hosea Grosh left Pennsylvania in 1849, they joined throngs of men from all over the world intent on finding a fortune in the California Gold Rush. Their search for wealth took them from San Francisco into the gold country and then over the Sierra into Nevada’s Gold Canyon, where they placer-mined for gold and discovered a deposit of silver. The letters they sent back to their family offer vivid commentaries on the turbulent western frontier, the diverse society of the Gold Rush camps, and the heartbreaking labor and frustration of mining. Their lively descriptions of Gold Canyon provide one of the earliest accounts of life in what would soon become the fabulously wealthy Comstock Mining District.
The Groshes’ letters are rich in color and important historical details. Generously annotated and with an introduction that provides a context for the brothers’ career and the setting in which they tried to make their fortune, these documents powerfully depict the often harsh realities of Gold Rush life and society.
No other Western settlement story is more famous than the Donner Party’s ill-fated journey through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. But a few years later and several hundred miles south, another group faced a similar situation just as perilous. Scrupulously researched and documented, Grit and Gold tells the story of the Death Valley Jayhawkers of 1849 and the young men who traveled by wagon and foot from Iowa to the California gold rush. The Jayhawkers’ journey took them through the then uncharted and unnamed hottest, driest, lowest spot in the continent—now aptly known as Death Valley.
After leaving Salt Lake City to break a road south to the Pacific Coast that would eliminate crossing the snowy Sierra Nevada, the party veered off the Old Spanish Trail in southern Utah to follow a mountaineer’s map portraying a bogus trail that claimed to cut months and hundreds of miles off their route to the gold country. With winter coming, however, they found themselves hopelessly lost in the mountains and dry valleys of southern Nevada and California. Abandoning everything but the shirts on their backs and the few oxen that became their pitiful meals, they turned their dreams of gold to hopes of survival.
Utilizing William Lorton’s 1849 diary of the trek from Illinois to southern Utah, the reminiscences of the Jayhawkers themselves, the keen memory of famed pioneer William Lewis Manly, and the almost daily diary of Sheldon Young, Johnson paints a lively but accurate portrait of guts, grit, and determination.
The Cortez Hills Expansion Project archaeological excavations uncovered a wealth of information about the Cortez Mining District, from its beginning in 1863 to the government-mandated end to the mining of precious metals in the district during World War II. Obermayr and McQueen use archaeological data as a foundation to tell the story of life in one of Nevada’s most intriguing, long-lived mining districts. Archaeologists excavate and analyze many thousands of artifacts, uncovering the homes and workplaces—and even trash dumps—of prospectors and miners, mill workers, charcoal burners, brickmakers, blacksmiths, teamsters, and families. They present an archaeological view of everyday life: how Cortez was populated by a variety of ethnic groups, how they lived, what products they bought or consumed, what their social status was, and how, even in this remote location, they created their own version of lives exemplifying the era’s Victorian ideals. Readers interested in the archaeology of the West, mining history, and the history of Nevada will find this book fascinating.
No aspect of Nevada's history has captured so much attention as the heady boomtown days of the Comstock Lode strike in the mid-nineteenth century. The History of the Comstock Lode, first published in 1943, provided mining investors, engineers, and western historians with the first comprehensive, chronological history of mining operations on the Comstock from 1850 to 1997. Grant H. Smith labored on this project for over a decade to produce a volume that has become a classic in its field and a mainstay in all mining history collections. Of particular note is Smith's progressive record of the ways the mines were developed, the failures encountered, the bonanzas discovered, and the production of the mines. New edition co-published with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.
The story of how the Utah Construction Company, founded in Ogden, Utah in 1900, became Utah International, a multinational corporation, is known to historians of the American West but perhaps not by the general public. The publication of this book remedies that omission.
During its first decades, the company built railroads and dams and was one of the Six Companies Consortium that built Hoover Dam. Utah Construction was also engaged in numerous war-contract activities during World War II. In the postwar period, the company expanded its activities into mining and land development and moved its headquarters to San Francisco. Changing its name to Utah Construction and Mining, and eventually to Utah International, the corporation became one of the most successful multinational mining companies in the world. In 1976, Utah International and General Electric negotiated the largest yet corporate merger in the United States.
Based on the Utah International archives housed in the Stewart Library at Weber State University, the story of Utah International describes more than projects: it is also the story of how two remarkable entrepreneurs, Marriner Stoddard Eccles and Edmund Wattis Littlefield, transformed the company incorporated in 1900 by the Wattis brothers into the largest and most profitable mining company in the United States.
While copper seems less glamorous than gold, it may be far more important. Copper proved vital to the industrial revolution and indispensable for electrification of America. Kennecott Copper Corporation, at one time the largest producer of copper in the world, thus played a key role in economic and industrial development. This book recounts how Kennecott was formed from the merger of three mining operations (one in Alaska, one in Utah, and one in Chile), how it led the way in mining technologies, and how it was in turn affected by the economy and politics of the day.
As it traces the story of the three mines, the narrative follows four mining engineers—Stephen Birch, Daniel Cowan Jackling, William Burford Braden, and E. Toppan Stannard—self-made men whose technological ingenuity was responsible for much of Kennecott’s success. While Jackling developed economies of scale for massive open-pit mining in Utah, Braden went underground in Chile for a caving operation of unprecedented scale for copper. Meanwhile, Birch and Stannard overcame the extreme challenges of mining rich ore in the difficult climate of Alaska and transporting it to market. The Guggenheims, who brought these three operations together provided the funding without which the infrastructure necessary for the mining operations might not have been built. The railroad required for the Alaska mine alone cost more than three times what the United States had paid to buy all of Alaska only forty-five years earlier.
As a geologist with first-hand knowledge of mining, author Charles Hawley aptly describes the technology behind the Kennecott story in a way that both specialists and the general reader will appreciate. Through engaging stories and pertinent details, he places Kennecott and the copper industry within their historical context and also allows the reader to consider the controversial aspects of mineral discovery and sustainability in a crowded world where resources are limited.
Klondike Women is a compelling collection of historical photographs and first-hand accounts of the adventures, challenges, and disappointments of women on the trails to the Klondike gold fields. In the midst of a depression near the turn of the twentieth century, these women dared to act on the American dream. As they journeyed through the Northwest wilderness, they explored and extended not only the physical frontiers of North America but also the social frontiers about the “women’s place.”
Challenging the myth that the only women who participated in gold rushes were prostitutes and gold-diggers of the euphemistic sort, Melanie Mayer shows us that Klondike women came from all walks of life—socialites to poor immigrants, single women, wives, widows, and children. They planned to make their money through many different undertakings including mining, business, entertainment, professional, and service enterprises. Their approaches to life were as varied as their roles—optimistic or skeptical; cautious or adventuresome; gregarious or self-contained; contemplative or active. There was no typical Klondike woman. Individually, their stories can be funny, hopeful, tragic, or poignant. Taken together, they give rich, complex images of the people, times, and places of the gold rush.
A visually exciting book, Klondike Women features over 150 photographs and illustrations. This volume should appeal not only to the general reader, but to those interested in history, women’s studies, and the Pacific Northwest as well.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Europeans raised a number of questions about the nature of reality and found their answers to be different from those that had satisfied their forebears. They discounted tales of witches, trolls, magic, and miraculous transformations and instead began looking elsewhere to explain the world around them. In The Limits of Matter, Hjalmar Fors investigates how conceptions of matter changed during the Enlightenment and pins this important change in European culture to the formation of the modern discipline of chemistry.
Fors reveals how, early in the eighteenth century, chemists began to view metals no longer as the ingredients for “chrysopoeia”—or gold making—but as elemental substances, or the basic building blocks of matter. At the center of this emerging idea, argues Fors, was the Bureau of Mines of the Swedish State, which saw the practical and profitable potential of these materials in the economies of mining and smelting.
By studying the chemists at the Swedish Bureau of Mines and their networks, and integrating their practices into the wider European context, Fors illustrates how they and their successors played a significant role in the development of our modern notion of matter and made a significant contribution to the modern European view of reality.
The Matter of Empire examines the philosophical principles invoked by apologists of the Spanish empire that laid the foundations for the material exploitation of the Andean region between 1520 and 1640. Centered on Potosi, Bolivia, Orlando Bentancor’s original study ties the colonizers’ attempts to justify the abuses wrought upon the environment and the indigenous population to their larger ideology concerning mining, science, and the empire's rightful place in the global sphere. Bentancor points to the underlying principles of scholasticism, particularly in the work of Thomas Aquinas, as the basis of the instrumentalist conception of matter and enslavement, despite the inherent contradictions to moral principles. Bentancor grounds this metaphysical framework in a close reading of sixteenth-century debates on Spanish sovereignty in the Americas and treatises on natural history and mining by theologians, humanists, missionaries, mine owners, jurists, and colonial officials. To Bentancor, their presuppositions were a major turning point for colonial expansion and paved the way to global mercantilism.
Mercury and the Making of California, Andrew Johnston’s multidisciplinary examination of the history and cultural landscapes of California’s mercury-mining industry, raises mercury to its rightful place alongside gold and silver in the development of the American West.
Gold and silver could not be refined without mercury; therefore, its production and use were vital to securing power and wealth in the West. The first industrialized mining in California, mercury mining had its own particular organization, structure, and built environments. These were formed within the Spanish Empire, subsequently transformed by British imperial ambitions, and eventually manipulated by American bankers and investors. In California mercury mining also depended on a workforce differentiated by race and ethnicity. The landscapes of work and camp and the relations among the many groups involved in the industry—Mexicans, Chileans, Spanish, English, Irish, Cornish, American, and Chinese—form a crucial chapter in the complex history of race and ethnicity in the American West.
This pioneering study explicates the mutual structuring of the built environments of the mercury-mining industry and the emergence of California’s ethnic communities. Combining rich documentary sources with a close examination of the existing physical landscape, Johnston explores both the detail of everyday work and life in the mines and the larger economic and social structures in which mercury mining was enmeshed, revealing the significance of mercury mining for Western history.
In Mining Among the Clouds, Harvey N. Gardiner examines what one reporter dubbed "aerial" mining - silver mining at such high altitudes that the miners were literally working among the clouds. In the summer of 1871, two prospectors ventured high up Mount Bross in Colorado's Mosquito Range. There they discovered an outcropping of silver ore in blue limestone. An unprecedented find, it set off strike after strike in Park County. Thus began the silver boom that gave rise to Leadville, laying the foundation for Colorado's Silver Decade.
Mining in World History
Martin Lynch Reaktion Books, 2004 Library of Congress HD9506.A2L9 2002 | Dewey Decimal 622.09
This book deals with the history of mining and smelting from the Renaissance to the present. Martin Lynch opens with the invention, sometime before 1453, of a revolutionary technique for separating silver from copper. It was this invention which brought back to life the rich copper-silver mines of central Europe, in the process making brass cannon and silver coin available to the ambitious Habsburg emperors, thereby underpinning their quest for European domination. Lynch also discusses the Industrial Revolution and the far-reaching changes to mining and smelting brought about by the steam engine; the era of the gold rushes; the massive mineral developments and technological leaps forward which took place in the USA and South Africa at the end of the 19th century; and, finally, the spread of mass metal-production techniques amid the violent struggles of the 20th century. In an engaging, concise and fast-paced text, he presents the interplay of personalities, politics and technology that have shaped the metallurgical industries over the last 500 years.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the US-Mexico border was home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced industrial copper mines. This despite being geographically, culturally, and financially far-removed from traditional urban centers of power. Mining the Borderlands argues that this was only possible because of the emergence of mining engineers—a distinct technocratic class of professionals who connected capital, labor, and expertise.
Mining engineers moved easily between remote mining camps and the upscale parlors of east coast investors. Working as labor managers and technical experts, they were involved in the daily negotiations, which brought private US capital to the southwestern border. The success of the massive capital-intensive mining ventures in the region depended on their ability to construct different networks, serving as intermediaries to groups that rarely coincided.
Grossman argues that this didn’t just lead to bigger and more efficient mines, but served as part of the ongoing project of American territorial and economic expansion. By integrating the history of technical expertise into the history of the transnational mining industry, this in-depth look at borderlands mining explains how American economic hegemony was established in a border region peripheral to the federal governments of both Washington, D.C. and Mexico City.
From sun-baked Black Mesa to the icy coast of Labrador, native lands for decades have endured mining ventures that have only lately been subject to environmental laws and a recognition of treaty rights. Yet conflicts surrounding mining development and indigenous peoples continue to challenge policy-makers.
This book gets to the heart of resource conflicts and environmental impact assessment by asking why indigenous communities support environmental causes in some cases of mining development but not in others. Saleem Ali examines environmental conflicts between mining companies and indigenous communities and with rare objectivity offers a comparative study of the factors leading to those conflicts.
Mining, the Environment, and Indigenous Development Conflicts presents four cases from the United States and Canada: the Navajos and Hopis with Peabody Coal in Arizona; the Chippewas with the Crandon Mine proposal in Wisconsin; the Chipewyan Inuits, Déné and Cree with Cameco in Saskatchewan; and the Innu and Inuits with Inco in Labrador. These cases exemplify different historical relationships with government and industry and provide an instance of high and low levels of Native resistance in each country. Through these cases, Ali analyzes why and under what circumstances tribes agree to negotiated mining agreements on their lands, and why some negotiations are successful and others not.
Ali challenges conventional theories of conflict based on economic or environmental cost-benefit analysis, which do not fully capture the dynamics of resistance. He proposes that the underlying issue has less to do with environmental concerns than with sovereignty, which often complicates relationships between tribes and environmental organizations. Activist groups, he observes, fail to understand such tribal concerns and often have problems working with tribes on issues where they may presume a common environmental interest.
This book goes beyond popular perceptions of environmentalism to provide a detailed picture of how and when the concerns of industry, society, and tribal governments may converge and when they conflict. As demands for domestic energy exploration increase, it offers clear guidance for such endeavors when native lands are involved.
Twenty years after the decline of the magnificent Comstock Lode, Nevada’s prosperity and population had diminished to such a degree that some popular articles questioned whether to deprive Nevada of her statehood. Then in the spring of 1900, a miner discovered silver in south-central Nevada. This casual find precipitated a spectacular latter-day mining boom that, among other things, helped to restore prosperity.
With its wealth of little-known historical data, Nevada's Twentieth-Century Mining Boom chronicles the classic pattern of gold and silver rushes and emphasizes the differences between Nevada's two boom periods, pointing to the stability of the second bonanza. The author also details the entrance of radical labor into the new camps and the violent strikes that followed at Goldfield, McGill, and Tonopah. This labor strife had a significant impact on Nevada mining for many years.
The first in-depth study of Nevada’s latter-day boom period, this informative book gives balance to the history of mining in Nevada. Foreword by Jerome Edwards.
This volume of seven essays on the 1987 Nicaraguan constitution does not accept a priori the judgment that Latin American constitutions are as fragile as egg shells, easily broken and discarded if found to be inconvenient to the interests of the rulers. Rather, they are viewed as being central to understanding political life in contemporary Nicaragua.
The perspectives of the analysts and their conclusions are not consensual. They prohibit glib and facile general conclusions. Some find the constitution to be nothing more than a façade for arbitrary and capricious rule; others that the document reflects clear commitments to the democratic rule of law. Thus far the implementation of the constitution has resulted in the peaceful transition of power from the Sandinistas to the National Opposition Union.
Elko County, in the old heart of Nevada, is rich in historic sites, many of them hitherto uncharted and some verging on disappearing. For the first time, historian Shawn Hall identifies and locates the ghost towns and old mining camps of Elko County and recounts their colorful histories. Following a guidebook format, Hall divides the county into five easily accessible regions, then lists the historic sites within each region and provides directions to reach them. He offers a brief history of each site as well as a description of its extant structures and their present condition. The result is a lively compilation of local history and mining and ranching lore that records the dramatic past of Nevada’s northeast corner, its pioneers and prospectors, its towns and mines, its outlaws, ranchers, merchants, mining concerns, and civic leaders. The book offers never-before available information about the old heart of Nevada and the people who settled there. It will be of enduring value to tourists and weekend explorers, historic preservationists, and all those interested in the history and artifacts of this region.
In 1978, a geologist working for the Homestake Mining Company discovered gold in a remote corner of California’s Napa County. This discovery led to the establishment of California’s most productive gold mine in the twentieth century. Named the McLaughlin Mine, it produced about 3.4 million ounces of gold between 1985 and 2002. The mine was also one of the first attempts at creating a new full-scale mine in California after the advent of environmental regulations and the first to use autoclaves to extract gold from ore.
One Shot for Gold traces the history of the McLaughlin Mine and how it transformed a community and an industry. This lively and detailed account is based largely on oral history interviews with a wide range of people associated with the mine, including Homestake executives, geologists, and engineers as well as local neighbors of the mine, officials from county governments, townspeople, and environmental activists. Their narratives— supported by thorough research into mining company documents, public records, newspaper accounts, and other materials—chronicle the mine from its very beginning to its eventual end and transformation into a designated nature reserve as part of the University of California Natural Reserve System.
A mine created at the end of the twentieth century was vastly different from the mines of the Gold Rush. New regulations and concerns about the environmental, economic, and social impacts of a large mine in this remote and largely rural region of the state-required decisions at many levels. One Shot for Gold offers an engaging and accessible account of a modern gold mine and how it managed to exist in balance with the environment and the human community around it.
This comprehensive treatment of the smelting industry of Colorado, originally published in 1979, is now back in print with a new preface by the author. Packed with fascinating statistics and mining data, Ores to Metals details the people, technologies, and business decisions that have shaped the smelting industry in the Rockies.
Although mining holds more of the glamour for those in and interested in the minerals industry, smelters have continuously played a critical role in the industry’s evolution since their introduction in Colorado in the 1860s. At that time, miners desperately needed new technology to recover gold and silver from ores resistant to milling. Beginning as small independent enterprises, progressing to larger integrated firms working in urban centers, and finally following a trend toward mergers, the entire industry was absorbed into one large holding company—the American Smelting and Refining Company. Over time, fortunes were won and lost, business success was converted to political success, and advances were made in science and metallurgy. Drawing on archival material, Fell expertly presents the triumphs and troubles of the entrepreneurs who built one of the great industries of the West.
Ralph J. Roberts is not a household name in Nevada, but it should be—it was he who discovered the Carlin Belt gold deposits that created a major mining boom in the state in the last four decades of the twentieth century. But this discovery was only one episode of his remarkably eventful life. This colorful and personal account of the author's search for his passion—gold—is a story as adventurous as that of any fictional character.
Nye County is Nevada’s largest and least populated county, but it is also the site of many of the state’s most colorful ghost towns and mining camps. The county’s economy throughout its history has been largely based on its mines--first, exploiting veins of gold and silver, and more recently deposits of raw materials for modern industry, such as molybdenum and barite. It was here that famous boomtowns like Tonopah and Rhyolite sprang up after the discovery of nearby lodes brought in rushes of prospectors and the merchants who supported them. But the county includes many smaller, shorter-lived camps and numerous abandoned stagecoach and railroad stops associated with defunct mining operations.This book offers a lively, informative record of Nevada’s isolated interior. Hall first published a guide to Nye County’s ghost towns in 1981. Since then, he has continued his research into the county’s past and has uncovered much new information and corrected some errors. To prepare this revised and greatly expanded edition, he revisited all 175 sites recorded earlier and has added more than 20 previously unlisted sites.
Riding the High Wire is the first comprehensive history of aerial mine tramways in the American West, describing their place in the evolution of mining after 1870. Robert A. Trennert shows how the mid-nineteenth century development of wire rope manufacturing made it possible for American entrepreneurs such as Andrew S. Hallidie and Charles Huson to begin erecting single-rope tramways in the 1870s and 1880s. Their inventions were followed by the more substantial double-rope systems imported from Europe. By the turn of the century, aerial tramways were common throughout western mining regions, hauling everything from gold and silver ore to coal and salt and changing the face of the industry.
Aerial mine tramways proved to have a special fascination; people often rode them for a thrill, sometimes with disastrous results. They were also very temperamental, needed constant attention, and were prone to accidents. The years between 1900 and 1920 saw the operation of some of the west's most spectacular tramways, but the decline in high-country mining beginning in the 1920s--coupled with the development of more efficient means of transportation--made this technology all but obsolete by the end of the Second World War.
Historians and the general reader will be equally enthralled by Trennert's fascinating story of the rise and fall of aerial mine tramways.
"Professor Trennert has explored a new area of mining history, and is to be commended for his pioneering work." --Liston Leyendecker, author of The Griffith Family and the Founding of Georgetown.
Nevada’s Comstock Mining District has been the focus of legend since it first burst into international prominence in the late 1850s, and its principal settlement, Virginia City, endures in the popular mind as the West’s quintessential mining camp. But the authentic history of the Comstock is far more complex and interesting than its colorful image. Contrary to legend, Virginia City spent only its first few years as a ramshackle mining camp. The mining boom quickly turned it into a thriving urban center, at its peak one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi, replete with most of the amenities of any large city of its time.
The lure of the area’s fabulous wealth attracted a remarkably heterogenous population from around the world and offered employment to dozens of trades and thousands of people, both men and women, representing every one of the region’s diverse ethnic groups.
Ronald James’s brilliant account of the Comstock’s long and eventful history—the first comprehensive study of the subject in over a century—examines every aspect of the region and employs information gleaned from hundreds of written sources, interviews, archeological research, computer analysis, folklore, gender studies, physical geography, and architectural and art history, as well as over fifty rare photographs, many of them previously unpublished.
Drawing on county records, newspaper microfilm, personal interviews, and on-site investigation, Hall provides the reader with a history of 175 significant sites, rendering a treasury of interesting facts on every page. This book blends history and old photographs with an update on the present condition of each ghost town or landmark. The sites and towns are arranged alphabetically, county by county, for quick reference.
Deep in the desolate Mojave Desert in Nevada’s extreme southern tip lies a small mining town called Searchlight. This meticulously researched book by Searchlight’s most distinguished native son recounts the colorful history of the town and the lives of the hardy people who built it and sustained a community in one of the least hospitable environments in the United States. Its story encompasses both Nevada’s early twentieth-century mining boom and the phenomenal growth of southern Nevada after World War II. Searchlight is a valuable contribution to the history of Nevada and a lively account of life in the forbidding depths of the Mojave Desert.<br> <br>
Digging mineral wealth from the ground dates to prehistoric times, and Europeans pursued mining in the Americas from the earliest colonial days. Prior to the Civil War, little mining was deep enough to require maps. However, the major finds of the mid-nineteenth century, such as the Comstock Lode, were vastly larger than any before in America. In Seeing Underground, Nystrom argues that, as industrial mining came of age in the United States, the development of maps and models gave power to a new visual culture and allowed mining engineers to advance their profession, gaining authority over mining operations from the miners themselves.
Starting in the late nineteenth century, mining engineers developed a new set of practices, artifacts, and discourses to visualize complex, pitch-dark three-dimensional spaces. These maps and models became necessary tools in creating and controlling those spaces. They made mining more understandable, predictable, and profitable. Nystrom shows that this new visual culture was crucial to specific developments in American mining, such as implementing new safety regulations after the Avondale, Pennsylvania fire of 1869 killed 110 men and boys; understanding complex geology, as in the rich ores of Butte, Montana; and settling high-stakes litigation, such as the Tonopah, Nevada, Jim Butler v. West End lawsuit, which reached the US Supreme Court.
Nystrom demonstrates that these neglected artifacts of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have much to teach us today. The development of a visual culture helped create a new professional class of mining engineers and changed how mining was done. Seeing Undergound is the winner of the 2015 Mining History Association’s Clark Spence Award for the best book on mining history.
This book includes the story of 240 of Colorado’s mining camps, with emphasis on the human side. The men who swarmed to the mountains to find precious metal came in successive waves from the late 1850s on, combing the gulches, scrambling over the passes and climbing the peaks. Their story is full of adventurous chances, lucky strikes, boom conditions, reckless spending, banditry, claim jumping, railroad wars and labor troubles.
The author searched the Colorado Rockies from the time she saw and sketched her first ghost town until she had rediscovered and painted the vanishing mining camps. Twenty-two maps give the location of each one and serve as a guide for those who want to reach them by car or jeep, by horseback or on foot.
The hardships of the early prospectors, the strikes they made, the gold and silver mines they uncovered, the towns they established, and the rise and fall of their fortunes are vividly recorded.
Names and dates are given of the earliest finds, of the most important mines and the money they made, of the newspapers printed, and of the hotels, churches and theaters erected. The difficult supply routes into the rocky fastnesses are also clearly traced. But all these facts are humanized by an author who is an artist rather than a historian, and to whom all this mining in the Colorado Rockies is essentially the story of heroic pioneer effort—the men and women behind the deeds.
The book contains 212 separate sketches made by the artist-author on the spot at the oftentimes remote and completely deserted mining camps. These pictures, as well as her 1200 other lithographic sketches of Colorado towns, form an invaluable record of places which are rapidly disappearing under the ravages of fire, wind and snow.
This book offers a pioneering window into the elusive workings of state-corporate crime within the mining industry. It follows a campaign of resistance organised by indigenous activists on the island of Bougainville, who struggled to close a Rio Tinto owned copper mine, and investigates the subsequent state-corporate response, which led to the shocking loss of some 10,000 lives.
Drawing on internal records and interviews with senior officials, Kristian Lasslett examines how an articulation of capitalist growth mediated through patrimonial politics, imperial state-power, large-scale mining, and clan-based, rural society, prompted an ostensibly ‘responsible’ corporate citizen, and liberal state actors, to organise a counterinsurgency campaign punctuated with gross human rights abuses.
State Crime on the Margins of Empire represents a unique intervention rooted in a classical Marxist tradition that challenges positivist streams of criminological scholarship, in order to illuminate with greater detail the historical forces faced by communities in the global south caught in the increasingly violent dynamics of the extractive industries.
Mongolia’s mining sector, along with its environmental and social costs, have been the subject of prolonged and heated debate. This debate has often cast the country as either a victim of the ‘resource curse’ or guilty of ‘resource nationalism’. In The State, Popular Mobilisation and Gold Mining in Mongolia, Dulam Bumochir aims to avoid the pitfalls of this debate by adopting an alternative theoretical approach. He focuses on the indigenous representations of nature, environment, economy, state, and sovereignty that have triggered nationalist and statist responses to the mining boom. In doing so, he explores the ways in which these responses have shaped the apparently ‘neo-liberal’ policies of twenty-first-century Mongolia, and the economy that has emerged from them, in the face of competing mining companies, protest movements, international donor organizations, economic downturn, and local and central government policies. Applying rich ethnography to a nuanced and complex picture, Bumochir’s analysis is essential reading for students and researchers studying the environment and mining, especially in Central and North-East Asia and post-Soviet regions, and also for readers interested in the relationship between neoliberalism, nationalism, environmentalism and state.
In The Trail of Gold and Silver, historian Duane A. Smith details Colorado's mining saga - a story that stretches from the beginning of the gold and silver mining rush in the mid-nineteenth century into the twenty-first century. Gold and silver mining laid the foundation for Colorado's economy, and 1859 marked the beginning of a fever for these precious metals. Mining changed the state and its people forever, affecting settlement, territorial status, statehood, publicity, development, investment, economy, jobs both in and outside the industry, transportation, tourism, advances in mining and smelting technology, and urbanization. Moreover, the first generation of Colorado mining brought a fascinating collection of people and a new era to the region.
Written in a lively manner by one of Colorado's preeminent historians, this book honors the 2009 sesquicentennial of Colorado's gold rush. Smith's narrative will appeal to anybody with an interest in the state's fascinating mining history over the past 150 years.
In 1868, the discovery of an exceptionally rich silver ore on Treasure Hill in eastern Nevada led to an intense but short-lived boom. The White Pine Mining District was quickly organized, and in time a new Nevada county was created with that name. The boom lasted only two seasons, but dogged investors, mostly British, spent more than twenty years pursuing the dream of making White Pine a prosperous mining district before they withdrew and left behind only disappointment and ghost towns. W. Turrentine Jackson’s study of Treasure Hill, first published in 1963, has endured as a classic case study of a typical mining district in the western United States. Much more than events at the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, the rush to White Pine, its brief season of glory and excitement followed by sudden decline, typifies the pattern of development in the majority of mining districts in the West. Far more than a tale of sudden wealth and lawlessness—although both were abundant—Treasure Hill encompasses the impact of growing international capitalism and labor movements on the mining West, the bitter politics surrounding the creation of towns and counties, and the human costs of boom and bust. Available again in a new paperback edition, with a foreword by mining historian Joseph V. Tingley,Treasure Hill offers readers a lively, thoroughly researched account of one of Nevada’s richest and briefest mining booms.
Tungsten is a rare ferrous metal whose ability to form molecular compounds with other elements has made it one of the essential elements in steelmaking, electronics, and various military technologies. This is the first comprehensive study of the use of tungsten and its role in modern technology, politics, and international trade. The book combines a detailed general overview of tungsten’s uses in science and technology with a history of tungsten mining in the U.S. and elsewhere; international competition for tungsten supplies, especially between the two world wars of the twentieth century; and the complex national and international politics involved in supporting and protecting the U.S. tungsten supply and tungsten-mining industry. Tungsten in Peace and War, 1918–1946 is a significant addition to the history of technology and a revelation of the complex role that tungsten and other critical metals play in national and international politics and in the world economy.
Now expanded to include the story of nuclear testing and its consequences, Uranium Frenzy has become the classic account of the uranium rush that gripped the Colorado Plateau region in the 1950s. Instigated by the U.S. government's need for uranium to fuel its growing atomic weapons program, stimulated by Charlie Steen's lucrative Mi Vida strike in 1952, manned by rookie prospectors from all walks of life, and driven to a fever pitch by penny stock promotions, the boom created a colorful era in the Four Corners region and Salt Lake City (where the stock frenzy was centered) but ultimately went bust. The thrill of those exciting times and the good fortune of some of the miners were countered by the darker aspects of uranium and its uses. Miners were not well informed regarding the dangers of radioactive decay products. Neither the government nor anyone else expended much effort educating them or protecting their health and safety. The effects of exposure to radiation in poorly ventilated mines appeared over time.
For more than one hundred years, until the 1920s, coal production involved blasting a seam of coal and loading it by had into a mine car. In the late 1920s, operators introduced machines into the mines, including the coal loader. In this book, Keith Dix explores the impact of technology on miners and operators during a crucial period in industrial history. Dix reconstructs the social, political, technical and economic environment of the “hand-loading” era and then views the evolution of mechanical coal technology, including the inventions of Joseph Joy. He also examines the rise of the United Mine Workers under John L. Lewis, and the expanded role of the state under New Deal legislation and regulations.