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Hittel on Gold Mines and Mining   By: (1825-1901)

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Hittel on Gold Mines and Mining by John S. Hittell is a remarkable and substantial work that delves deep into the world of gold mining. Hittell's extensive knowledge and expertise on the subject are evident throughout the book, making it an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the history and practical aspects of gold mining.

The book primarily focuses on the mid-19th century, a time when gold mining was at its peak. Hittell provides a comprehensive overview of various mining processes, giving readers an in-depth understanding of the techniques used during that era. He explores everything from placer mining to hydraulic mining, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

What sets this book apart is its meticulous attention to detail. Hittell leaves no stone unturned as he describes the equipment used, the geographical constraints faced by miners, and the economic impact of gold mining on society. It is evident that the author conducted extensive research, drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources to present a comprehensive and accurate account.

Moreover, Hittell's writing style is engaging and accessible, making even the technical aspects of gold mining understandable to non-experts. He effortlessly weaves together historical anecdotes, statistical data, and personal observations to create a narrative that is both informative and enjoyable to read.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this book is its exploration of the human element in gold mining. Hittell provides insights into the lives of the miners themselves, their struggles, and the unique challenges they faced. By humanizing the subject matter, he transcends the technicalities and offers a glimpse into the human experience behind gold mining.

While the book might primarily appeal to historians, it also caters to those interested in geology, economics, and environmental studies. Hittell's examination of the ecological consequences of gold mining, particularly the devastating effects on rivers and forests, adds another layer of significance to the book.

In conclusion, Hittel on Gold Mines and Mining is an essential addition to any library or personal collection dedicated to the study of mining history. John S. Hittell's expertise and captivating storytelling make this a definitive work on gold mining during the mid-19th century. Whether you are a passionate historian, a curious reader, or simply fascinated by the world beneath our feet, this book is an enlightening and enthralling journey into the history and intricacies of gold mining.

First Page:









Chief Industry. Mining is the chief industry of California. It employs more men and pays larger average wages than any other branch of physical labor. Although it has been gradually decreasing in the amount of its production, in the profits to the individuals engaged in it, and in its relative importance in the business of the state, it is yet and will long continue to be the largest source of our wealth, and the basis to support the other kinds of occupation.

Metals obtained. Our mines now wrought are of gold, silver, quicksilver, copper and coal. Ores of tin, lead, and antimony in large veins, beds of sulphur, alum and asphaltum; lakes of borax and springs of sulphate of magnesia, are also found in the state, but they are not wrought at the present time, though they will probably all become valuable in a few years. Platinum, iridium, and osmium are obtained with the gold in some of the placer mines, but are never found alone, nor are they ever the main object sought by the miner. The annual yield of our gold mines is about forty millions of dollars, of our quicksilver two millions of dollars. Our silver, copper and coal mines have been opened within a year, and their value is yet unknown... Continue reading book >>

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