Gambling on Ore
The Nature of Metal Mining in the United States, 1860–1910
Publication Year: 2013
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.
Published by: University Press of Colorado
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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...1nine.oldstylenine.oldstylezero.oldstyles, I thought I might have an interesting environmen-instantâs truce between wrong and right.â I donât think he in the early 1nine.oldstylenine.oldstylezero.oldstyles with a sense of horror about the pol-the impacts and scars I found throughout the western mountains. I concluded, how-ever, that the story of mining was most interesting in those elusive moments where ...
Introduction: Arsenic in the Wilderness, or Knowing Nature through Mining
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Georgius Agricola, De Re Metallica, translated from the first Latin edition (1556) by Herbert Clark Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover (1950 )just filed a story about a massive fish kill in the nearby Clark At the time, the Butte and Anaconda Superfund Complexâtens of thousands of acres of heavy-metalâladen earth, piles of mining waste, huge swathes of forest acid-...
1: Producing a Mining Landscape
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DOI: 10.58seven.oldstyle6/9seven.oldstyle8160seven.oldstyle322351.c01miners moved on to other locations, prospecting mountain streams until they found gold once again and formed a new district. Through these processes, between 18four.oldstyle9 and 1860, which Rodman Paul has rightly called the mining frontier, the mineral west came into being. By 1860, gold seekers had started and abandoned small and ...
2: The Value of Ores
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DOI: 10.58seven.oldstyle6/9seven.oldstyle8160seven.oldstyle322351.c02J. Ross Browne, Report on the Mineral Resources of the States and be excavated with shovels, for example, but required picks and drills and even explo-sives. In addition, the metals had not been eroded out of their hard, rocky mineral veins like the placer deposits had, so hard-rock miners had to crush and sometimes ...
3: Turning Copper into Gold
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DOI: 10.58seven.oldstyle6/9seven.oldstyle8160seven.oldstyle322351.c03Mountains, which supplies, added to those already produced elsewhere, are barely sufficient when combined to meet the worldâs constantly increasing demand for this metal with which to harness the new steed, Electricity, and make it subservient to the The dev.scelopment of copper resources in the mountain west heralded a ...
4: The Ecology of Ore Processing
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DOI: 10.58seven.oldstyle6/9seven.oldstyle8160seven.oldstyle322351.c0four.oldstylePete OâFarrell, Butte: Its Copper Mines and Copper Kings (1899)Horace J. Stevens and Walter Harvey Reed, The Copper Handbook (1910)Electricity was first used in the urban streetcar systems constructed in the 1890s but was then extended into the apartments and houses of city dwellers served by ...
Conculsion: Producing a Mining Society
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...plans and investments were made on the basis of mineral resources as they existed in the market rather than as they existed in the ground. Miningâs environmental story was driven by minersâ ef_forts to close that gap. Gold miners worked against a persistent uncertainty, never satisfied by a single successful washing of creek gold and structurally alienated from the cumulative products of their mining districts ...
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Page Count: 252
Illustrations: 22 b&w photographs, 3 line drawings, 4 maps
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Mining the American West
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth