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Mineral industry in early America.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, SP 1-77, 1977 Jan; :1-62
Mining activity began in colonial times with ironmaking operations scattered along the eastern seaboard. Iron furnaces and forges manufactured iron implements from bog iron ores using charcoal from the extensive forests as a fuel. Lead ores were mined in the Mississippi Valley and copper ore in the Lake Superior region. However, the real beginning of the American mining industry did not occur until the 19th century. The history of American mining is organized around three epochal events. The first was the discovery of gold in California in 1848, which marked the beginning of a period of apprenticeship in mining and metallurgical techniques. The second was the discovery of the fabulous comstock lode in western Nevada in 1859, which expanded mining throughout the far west and led to large-scale underground mining and the development of smelting techniques for lead, silver, and copper ores. The third event was the buidling of a transcontinental railroad system after the civil war, which brought about the consolidation of the industry from a large number of independent mines, mills, and smelters into integrated operations run by large corporations. Thus developed the mining industry that today supplies the energy and critical materials for the greatest industrial complex the world has known.
Iron-and-steel-industry; Lead-ores; Copper-ores; Silver; Gold; Smelting; Fossil-fuels; Coal; Petroleum; Mineral-deposits; Mining; Metal-industry
NTIS Accession No.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, SP 1-77
CA; MS; NV
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division