In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

11: OYER TIME Bonanza and Borrasca (I877-I942) After celebrating . .. the golden anniversary ofthe Comstock for three days, Virginia City last night closed the carnival. -Reno Evening Gazette, July 6, 19°9 It is heartening in the midst ofobvious decline to know how glorious the past has been. -Dorothy Nichols interview On September r, r878, Adolph Sutro's workers completed the last of the three-and-a-half-mile tunnel, breaking into the Savage Works at the r,64o-foot level. The sudden source of ventilation and the difference in air pressure in the two chambers released a rush of hot, putrid air into the Savage, and the fierce wind persisted until the pressure equalized. Such are the peculiar dynamics of underground mining. Lord estimates that the cost of the project was more than $2 million. J Clearly, the Sutro Tunnel was yet another dramatic technological achievement of the Comstock . Still, it came too late, and substantial profits would remain elusive. Always the visionary, Sutro recognized the situation early and quietly dumped his stocks while prices remained high. The mining entrepreneur retired to San Francisco, where he lived in luxury, became mayor, and pursued such monumental projects as the building of the Sutro Baths.2 Ironically, Sutro's most impressive Comstock achievement, his excavation , pierced the Lode after shafts had probed much deeper than the point of intersection. The mines still needed pumps to raise water to the point where it could flow down the tunnel. 11: OYER TIME Bonanza and Borrasca (I877-I942) After celebrating . .. the golden anniversary ofthe Comstock for three days, Virginia City last night closed the carnival. -Reno Evening Gazette, July 6, 19°9 It is heartening in the midst ofobvious decline to know how glorious the past has been. -Dorothy Nichols interview On September I, 1878, Adolph Sutro's workers completed the last of the three-and-a-half-mile tunnel, breaking into the Savage Works at the 1,640-foot level. The sudden source of ventilation and the difference in air pressure in the two chambers released a rush of hot, putrid air into the Savage, and the fierce wind persisted until the pressure equalized. Such are the peculiar dynamics of underground mining. Lord estimates that the cost of the project was more than $2 million. J Clearly, the Sutro Tunnel was yet another dramatic technological achievement of the Comstock . Still, it came too late, and substantial profits would remain elusive. Always the visionary, Sutro recognized the situation early and quietly dumped his stocks while prices remained high. The mining entrepreneur retired to San Francisco, where he lived in luxury, became mayor, and pursued such monumental projects as the building of the Sutro Baths.2 Ironically, Sutro's most impressive Comstock achievement, his excavation , pierced the Lode after shafts had probed much deeper than the point of intersection. The mines still needed pumps to raise water to the point where it could flow down the tunnel. Ofmore profound significance, however, was that the big bonanza was ending. A subtle economic chill began to descend on the Comstock in 1877. Even before that time, most of the mines had not been profitable for months or even years. They relied on stock assessments and other supplements from foolish investors. As long as Virginia City captured headlines and imaginations, however, euphoria dominated the district. Optimism drove the underground search elsewhere for further successes. The spectacular nature of the 1873 discovery masked the failure of other claims for a while, but eventually a different reality was destined to rise to the surface. The big bonanza had also attracted more workers to the district than could find employment. Even in the most prosperous times of the midI870s , the economy was not growing. In early 1877 word began to spread that the end of the flush times was in sight. Mackay's firm had sufficient ore to remain profitable for a few more years, but the idea that miners were about to exhaust the richest concentration of gold and silver ore sent ripples through a community that thrived on hope. Some of the more marginal operations slowed or stopped work. Unemployment rose steadily. The mines, as well as other parts ofsociety, felt the effect of economic decline: the construction trades, for example, depended on growth and new development, and so even the anticipation of depression was devastating for the many carpenters, masons, joiners, and others.3 With every job lost, there were fewer dollars circulating, and so restaurants, saloons , stores...

pdf

Additional Information

ISBN
9780874174175
Related ISBN
9780874173208
MARC Record
OCLC
45731915
Pages
384
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.