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3 1223 05428 8494 

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Henry G. Hanks, State Mineralogist. 


State Mineralogist 

For the "Year Ending IVIav 15, 1884. 





622, C12 m , 1884 

B^u rnia " StatS "*"*"* 
Report of the Board of 
Trustees & State 

SAN fhajwwoo 



3 1223 05428 8494 

To his Excellency George Stoneman, Governor of California: 

Sir : I have the honor herewith to submit to you the fourth annual 
report of the State Mineralogist of California, in compliance with 
section three of an Act of the Legislature, entitled "An Act to pro- 
vide for the establishment and maintenance of a Mining Bureau," 
approved April 16, 1880. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 


State Mineralogist. 

San Francisco, June 15, 1884. 


For the past year, satisfactory progress may be reported. 

The Mining Bureau still continues to occupy the rooms No. 212 
Sutter Street, although they are unsuited for the purpose, for the 
reason that the danger of lire is very great, as mentioned in the last 
two reports, and alluded to again because the State Mineralogist 
feels it his duty to warn the people of California of the danger of 
destruction by fire of the now very valuable Museum and Library, 
which could never be replaced if destroyed. It is to be hoped that 
the next Legislature will give this matter their serious consideration. 
The situation of the Museum over a stable causes other inconven- 
iences, such as disagreeable ammoniacal and hippuric odors, and dis- 
turbance of arranged specimens in the cases, by the jarring made by 
the hoisting of hay by tackles attached to the under side of the 
Museum floor. The California State Museum is well worthy of a good 
and thoroughly fireproof building. 


The Museum has grown beyond all expectation, and it is a question 
if any similar institution has gained so rapidly as this. This has 
been the subject of remark by strangers visiting the rooms, on being 
informed that the collections had been made within four years, 
and it is for this reason that the specimens have not been so fully 
classified as the management would wish. Specimens come in faster 
than they can be arranged and entered in the catalogue, and many 
fine, valuable, and interesting specimens have been temporarily laid 
away in drawers awaiting the careful attention that must be given, 
before they can be assigned to cases in the Museum. There are 
6,000 specimens now on the catalogue, or arranged and ready for 
such entry. 


The three former reports have been wholly distributed. The rule 
adopted by the Mineralogist has been to deliver to all applicants, 
either personally or by letter, a copy of the report, unless he or she 
has already received one. A large proportion has been distributed 
by members of the State Legislature, and now many applications are 
received from the Eastern States and from abroad which cannol be 
supplied. The publications of the Mining Bureau should be sold 
at actual cost— a plan adopted by the State of Pennsylvania for the 
distribution of the publications of the Second Geological Survey, 
and the money resultingfrom thesaleof publications returned to the 
State Treasury. Should this plan be adopted, more money should 
be placed at the disposal of the State Mineralogist, to enable him to 


furnish more information and to produce better reports by employing 
competent assistants, and means to travel within the State, to gather 
personally information bearing on the mineral interests of the State. 
All the reports thus far, have been made under great difficulty from 
causes set forth in former reports. 

The Library now contains 257 works in 602 volumes. Of maps, 
atlases, views, and large photographs, there are 156; besides which 
there are a large number of pamphlets, circulars, mining companies' 
reports, proceedings of societies, etc., arranged in uniform shelf files. 
If these were bound, they would add largely to the Library. A cata- 
logue of the books, maps, and photographs is now in the hands of the 
State Printer, and when printed will be the first library catalogue 

The following newspapers have been sent to the Mining Bureau 

1. Engineering and Mining 'Journal, New York. 

2. Mining Record, New York. 

3. Mining Review, Chicago, Illinois. 

4. Economist, Boston, Massachusetts. 

5. Daily Report, San Francisco, California. 

6. Daily Grass Valley Union, Nevada County, California. 

7. Daily Evening Gazette, Reno, Nevada. 

8. Sierra County Tribune, California. 

9. Humboldt Standard, Eureka, Humboldt County, California. 

10. Inyo Independent, Inyo County, California. 

11. Arizona Gazette, Phoenix, Arizona Territory. 

12. Ventura Free Press, San Buenaventura, California. 

No special effort has been made to add to the collection of books, 
but the importance of having an extensive library of reference on all 
subjects relating to mining, mineralogy, palaeontology, and general 
geology, open to the public, has never been lost sight of. A few rare 
and important books have been obtained by purchase, a considerable 
number by donation, and others by exchange. Now that the publi- 
cations of the Bureau are in demand, it is to be hoped, and it is con- 
fidently expected, that publications of foreign and domestic societies 
and institutions will be sent in exchange. Quite a number of such 
exchanges have already been received. 

The names of 14,165 visitors have been entered on the Museum 
Register up to May 15, 1884, the date of this report. This does not 
by any means indicate the number of visitors, for the reason that 
many do not care to enter their names, and many who frequently 
visit the Museum decline to register after the first time. If some 
method had been adopted from the first to register all who have 
visited the Museum, the number would have been very largely in 
excess of the entries. 


The following is a list of donors who have contributed to the 
Museum during the past four years. Many have given a number of 


specimens, some have contributed largely, and many of the dona- 
tions are of great value. The name of Mr. J. Z. Davis appears 368 
times in the catalogue, although but once in this list. Other names 
appear many times. It would be impossible here to enumerate all 
the specimens given by each donor. This information can be gained 
by referring to the catalogue, or the museum cases: 


Acker, E. 0. F. 
Alderman, E. M. 
Allen, C. F. 
Allen <fe Lewis. 
Allen, W. D. 
Aldrich, H. A. 
Abbott, Henry. 
Alexander, L. L. 
Alexander, A. M. 
Alexander, F. H. 
Amick, M. J. 
Ambler, S. F. 
Ames, F. W. 
Andrews, L. 
A rev. Captain R. B. 
Atchison, L. E. 
Attosen, Mr. 
Attwood, M. 
Attwood, Frank. 
Armstrong, W. T. 
Ayres, Wm. 

American Museum of Natural 

Ballarat School of Mines. 
Bacon, John P. 
Barber, Dr. 
Baird, C. 
Baruey, Jas. M. 
Barnard, Charles. 
Baker, J. H. 
Bailey, J. W. 
Balch, Henry. 
Banghart, W. 
Barnes, Edward. 
Barton, W. H. 
Battersby, Capt. R. 
Barnes, E. G. 
Balser, Geo. 
Barstow, A. 
Barton, B. F. & Co. 
Banks, Chas. W. 
Barnard, Jno. K. 
Basse, Louis. 
Bassett, Wm. D. 
Bateman, A. 
Barnes, Elisha. 
Bell, John. 
Behrens, J. 
Bevan, W. J. 
Benjamin, F. A. 
Benton, W. F. 
Beard, C. 
Beardsley, Geo. F. 
Begon, L. de. 
Belknap, D. P. 
Beatty, T. N. 
Berger, C. 
Blair, A. W. 
Bluxome, Isaac. 
Blanding, Mr. 

Bleasdale. John I. 
Blinn. Marshall. 
Blackburn. D. 
Blair, M. Y. 
Blake, W. P. 
Blade, S. P. 
Bigelow, C. L. 
Billy, Theo. G. 
Bixby, Jno. F. 
Bingham, Adolph. 
Bosqui, E. 
Boynton, U. 
Bowie, Aug. J., Jr. 
Bowman, J. E. 
Bock, H. 
Borden, R. V. 
Boushey, Stephen. 
Boyd, Mrs. A. 
Boyd, John F. 
Bogart, 0. H. 
Booth, Edward. 
Brumagim, J. W. 
Brumagim, Miss Blanche. 
Brumagim, Miss Jennie. 
Brumagim, Mark. 
Brastow, S. D. 
Bryant, W. 
Brooks, H. S. 
Brown, Chas. W. 
Brown, W. D. 
Brown, W. G. 
Broome, Wm., Jr. 
Briggs, Rev. Mr. 
Brownell Bros. 
Brannan. Wm. 
Bradv, R. H. 
Burns, Hon. D. M. 
Butler, J. H. 
Bush, Mrs. A. E. 
Burke, Morris. 
Buckingham, N. D. 
Bunker, W. M. 
Burrows, H. L. 
Bullock, L. L. 
Buswell, W. J. 
Burkhardt. Max. 
Buckley, Capt. T. 
Burch, E. 
Burke, W. F. 

Callahan, H. B. 

Calmes, Mr. 

Capp, Chas. S. 

Carpenter, Ezra. 

California Iron Company. 

California Cement Company. 

California State Geological Soc 

Calvert, John. 

Carmany, J. H. 

Casanueva, F. 

Casarello, J. 

Caldwell, H. M. 

Cain, J. W. 

Classen, J. M. 

Clarke. Wm. 

Clark k Sons. 

Clark. R. R. 

Chilaud, E. 

Church, A. S. 

Chauvin, E. 

Chalmers, Lewis. 

Cherry, Wm. 

Chase, Lt. A. M. 

Clements, Mrs. Joseph. 

Cincinnati Soc. Nat. History. 

Coleman, W. T. 

Collins, J. W. 

Collins, S. W. 

Collins, S. P. 

Collins, R. M. 

Collins, Johu. 

Collins, C. J. 

Cole, A. M. 

Comstock, Charles H. 

Connelly, T. F. A. 

Coughlin, J. D. 

Coleman, N. J. 

Cox, Lon. 

Costa, Lewis. 

Connor, S. P. 

Cook, E. W. 

Cohen, Richard. 

Colerich, J. R. 

Cooledge, C. C. 

Cooke, J. 

Coe, J., Jr. 

Coolidge, Capt. J. A. 

Cornish, Mark. 

Corcoran, Phillip. 

Cook, Prof. George H. 

Coffin, Mrs. M. M. 

Cohen, Mrs. Morris. 

Coburn, S. A. 

Cook & Spinks. 

Cogswell, L. M. 

Cook, Seth. 

Cobb, H. A. 

Comstock, A. M. 

Cohen. M. 

Cozzens, D. 

Cresswell, John. 

Cresswell, Mrs. J. 

Crane, E. M. 

Craig, W . 

Crane, L. E. 

Crossman. J. II. 

Cronise, W. H. V. 

Culver, J. H. 

Cutting, E. 

Curtin, A. 

Cutler, Cyrus. 

Cummings, George. 


Cummings, Frank. 
Gurrie, Win. 

Da ven j >ort Academ3-of Sciences 

Dana, D. S. 

Dana, A. W. 

Daggett, John. 

Davis, J. Z. 

Davis, N. S. 

Davis & Cowell. 

Davies, Pliillip. 

Daunet, I. 

Day, Mrs. H. H. 

Decker, Peter. 

De Goha, J. W. 

Department of the Interior, 

United States. 
Dewoody, J. F. 
Dietzler, Gen. Geo. W. 
Dixon, John. 
Donnelly, Dr. E. 
Dons, M. 
Do'an, J. J. 
D'irnian, Levi. 
Donough, T. 
Doran, R. 
Du Bois, P. C. 
Dunn.R. L. 
Drake, Frank. 
Dufresne, J. P. 
Durden, H. S. 
Durbrow, H. K. 

Eger, Dr. L. 
Edman, J. A. 
Eissler, M. 
Electric Man'fg Co. 
Elmore, R. P. 
Eldridge, H. C. 
Eleau, H. 
Ellis, John E. 
Elliott, Andrew. 
Ehvyn, F. 
Elzy, E. J. 
Emersly, J. D. 
Emerson, Geo. W. 
Engels, H. A. 
Enright, Jas. 
Ergels, H. 
Everett, Jas. W. 
Everett, T. B. 
Ewing, Thos. 

Fair, J. G. 

Farrington & Moss. 
Faulhaber, C. 
Fay, Caleb T. 
Faust, H. W. 
Febiger, C. 
Fern bach, Victor. 
Ferris, D. C. 
Ferris, C. F. 
Figuera, L. 
Figel, Phil I. 
Filcher, J. A. 
Finch, Dr. W. W. 
Finlavson, James R. 
Fisher, J. M. 
FigS, E. P. 
Flanagan, L. T. 
Fleming, John. 
Flick, Wm. F. 
Flood, J. 0. 

Flovd, Jas. G. 

Floyd, Thos. 

Folinscsby, T. H. 


Fowler, William. 

Fowler, C. C. 

Foye Bros. 

Fracker, A. II. 

Franconi, L. 

Franconi, F. 

Frank, C. J. 

Franklin, E. 

Fraser, C. 

Frenzel, E. A. 

Fresno Enterprise Company, 

Friend <fe Johnson. 

Friend, Charles W. 

Frost, C. W. 

Frost, J. S. 

Frost, S. W. 

Fulweiler, F. 

Fuller, 0. 

Fulton, R. L. 

Funda, Mrs. 

Galbreath, R. II. 
Gale, Charles G. 
Garber, John. 
Galbergue, Mr. 
Gale, Mrs. A. S. 
Gallagher, Ewd. A. T. 
Gallagher. Frank. 
Gallagher, Hugh. 
Gardner, G. W. 
Gardiner, Robert. 
Gascoyne, W. J. 
Gashwiler, J. W. 
Gates, Harry. 
Gannon, Patrick. 
George, Dr. S. G. 
George, Arthur T. 
Gerold & Weidenhofer. 
Garratt, W. T. 
Germon, A. <fe Co. 
Ghisculius, George R. 
Gladding, McBean & Co. 
Glass, Louis. 
Gibbes, Charles D. 
Gibbons, Miss E. P. 
Gil more, Thomas. 
Godfrey, Jas. T. 
Golden Gate Plaster Mill. 
Goldstone, L. P. 
Gonzales, A. 
Gorley, Captain H. A. 
Gould, James. 
Gove, A. W. 
Gourguet, Mr. 
Gosland, Mr. 
Goodwin, Charles. 
Grattan, Miss B. A. 
Grattan, Mrs. M. II. 
Grayson, Geo. W. 
Grace, Joseph. 
Graham, J. M. 
Grattan, W. H. 
Graves, Hon. W. J. 
Green, J. C. 
Green, II. 
Green W. II. 
Griffith, Griffiths. 
Griffin, Thomas. 
Griffin, J. B. 

Grigsby, R. F. 
Grogan, M. 
Gu miner, W. P. 
Gunn, B. M. 
Gutzkow, Fr. 
Gwynn, Chas. 

Haft, E. E. 

Haggin, J. B. 

Hague, Capt. J. C. 

Haher, E. C. 

Hahn, E. C. 

Hain, E. 

Hale, Wm. E. 

Haley, S. B. 

Hall, Wm. 

Hall, J. R. 

Harford, Wm. G.W. 

Harford, John 

Hartson, C. 

Hawes, G. H. 

Harris, W. N. 

Harrison, B. A. 

Hawkshurst, H. 

Hartley, H. H. 

Harvey, Dr. P. 

Hartson, C. 

Hart, R. G. 

Harbeu, M. 

Havens, A. W. 

Harmony Borax Company. 

Hazen, Gen. Wm. B. 

Hearn, Dr. F. G. 

Healy, Chas. T. 

Healv, Lt. M. A. 

Heald, E. P. 

Hendy, Joshua. 

Henderson, Geo. 

Henderson, J., Jr. 

Hensley, John. 

Heuter Bros. & Co. 

Hellman, W. M. 

Hellings, W. B. 

Herendeen, Capt. L. N. 

Herrick, R. E. 

Herrick, W. F. 

Heydenfeldt, Judge S. 

HeVdenfeldt, S., Jr. 

Heverin, M. 

Hicks, J. K. 

Hiscox, II. 0. 

Hittell, John S. 

Hoaglaud, Osborne & Co. 

Hoagland, Jas. A. 

Hob'art, J. H. 

Hobson, J. B. 

Hoitt, J. S. 

Holcombe, S. E. 

Holden, G. A. 

Holmes, A. J. 

Holmes, H. T. & Co. 

Holt, J. H. 

Holt, Mrs. John H. 

Holt, W. II. 

Horton, Mr. 

Howe, H. M. 

Howell, L. V. B. 

Rowland, B. F. 

Rowland, W. F. 

Hollis, Wm. 

Holliday, S. W. 

Hood, G. W. 

Hughes, Dr. C. B. 



Hughes, C. A. 
Hughes, 1). T. 
Huggin, J. D. 
Hulford, E. W. 
Hullings, M. 
Hume, Geo. W. 
Hunter, Thos. G. 
Huntley, Wm. 
Hurley, Horace. 
Hyde,H. C. 
Hyde, Wm. B. 

Idaho Mining Company. 
[sham, J- G. B. 

Jacks. David. 
Jackson, R. B. 
Jaeobi, M. 
Jacques, Mrs. Jas. 
Jaquith, A. , 

Jacobs, A. 
James, C. A. 
James, Chris. 

James, D. B. 

Jenney, Walter P. 

Jennings, B. A. 

Jarboe, Lfc. C. W. 

Jewell, T. E. 

Jones, J. C. 

Jones. Dr. Win. 

Jones. C. C. 

Johnson & Bicknell. 

Johnson, J. W. 

Johnson, A. 

Johnson, J. F. 

Johnson, Wm. Neely. 

Kaufman, Charles. 
Keep, Mrs. A. 
Keep. Col. Albert, 
Heeler, Hon. J. M. 
Keller, Alexander. 
Kelley. Jay G. 
Eeeney, J. B. 
Kelly, "Win. N. 
Kelly, Alf. M. 
Kelly, G. P. 
Kendall, S. 
Kennedy, James S. 
Kesseler, J. & F. 
Ketchum, A. A. P. 
Keves, W. S. 
Klein, P. R. 
Kidd, George W. 
Kinney, Dr. Aug. C. 
Kinney, George. 
Kimble. George W. 
Kirkpatrick, J. 
Knapp,C. R. 
Knight, L. F. 
Knox. B. F. 
Knox & Osborne. 
Kuhl. H. G. 
Kustel. G. 

Kustel, Captain A. 
Kruse & Euler. 

Laine A Son. 
Laine, Maurice. 
Laine. Jules. 
Laine, Manuel. 
Lamont, F. A. 
Lambing, J. P. 

Law, G. W. 
Lawver, Mr. 
Land is, John. 
Laws, Charles A. 
Larson, A. 
Lavelle. Mr. 
Lauer, Mr. 
Lansweert, L. 

Leavitt, L. 

Leary, John. 

Lent'. W. G. 

Lent. Win. M. 
Levy, II. M. 

Lent, Miss F. A. 

Lee, Albert T. 

Lee, Bruce. 

Lewis, Wm. A. 

Lewis, Sam. C. 

Leavenworth, C. F. 

Leechman, John. 

Linton, W. D. 

Litton, Capt. 

Linkton, S. 

Liversidge, Prof. A. 

Lobree, Isaac. 

Lombard, Thos. R. 

Loomis. J. W. 

Love, Miss Lily. 

Love, H. P. 

Lorquin, E. F. 

Lofland, W. 0. 

Luckhardt, C. A. 

Lyle, F. B. 

McCormick, Hugh. 
McCully, Thos. 

McCurdy, J. C. 
McDonald, Capt. J. M. 
McBermot, C. V. 
McDonough, T. 
McBougal, W. C. 
McGillevray, Mr. 
McGrew, Win. K. 
McNeir, G. 
McLaughlin, Mr. 
Mcti raw, E. W. 
Mcintosh & Co. 
McGoeghegan, Jno. T. 

McMillan, J. H. 

McQuesten, Dr. Chas. 

McWorthy, T. J. 

Mackay, Jno. W. 

Mackay, P. N. . 

Mackillican, Wm. 

Macomber, Henry S. 

Madeira, Geo. 

Manter, J. A. 

Maize., II. B. 

Ma honey, T. 

Manning, •'• G. 

Manrow, J. P. 

Manegault, G. E. 

Maltby, Anson. 

Masker, William. 

Marvin. 1 >. B. 
Mason, W. B. 
Marcus, Morris. 
Marcou, Jules. 
Martin, G. W. 
Martin. E. W. 

Mariotte, Noel. 
Marion, ( ■• F. 

Maxwell, Dr. R. T. 

Morrissey, Peter. 

Maxwell, Jas. 

Martin. Miss Kate. 

May, Henry. 

Mai-ion, Sam. 

Mayon, C. B. 

May, Noel. 

Maynard. II. G. 

Matthews. Hon. J. H. 

Mercantile Library Association. 

Minister of Mines, B.C. 

Men-ill. C. R. 

Merrill, F. H. 

Metich, George. 

Meves, Otto. 

Miesegaes, A. D. 

Minor. B. B. 

Miller, C. S. 

Mitchell, Charles. 

Mitchell, H. K. 

Mitchell, Hank. 

Mills, David J. 

Mills, Mrs. E. 

Milles, C. L. 

Mintzer, William II. 

Mitchell. A. M. 

Michael, G. W., Jr. 

Minor, A. J. 

Mitchell, G. W., Jr. 

Miller, Henry. 

Moore, William II. 

Moore, L. A. 

Mooklar, Dr. J. P. 

Moody, William H. 

Moraga, J- G. 

Montgomery, William. 

Morgan, D."W. C. 

Morgan. Benjamin. 

Morell, J. A. 

Morales, A. 

Morgan, Mrs. Ben. 

Monteverde, F. E. 

Mount Auburn G. M. Co. 

Mosheimer, J. 

Moss, Joshua. 

Munroe, Professor Charlee E. 
Murphy, J. L. 
Murdock, Captain G. L. 
Murray, Welwood. 
Murdock, W. B. 
Muir, John A. 
Murray. W. II . 
Munzinger, Loui3. 
Musto Bros. 
Myers, A. 

New York and Bakota M'g Co. 
Neale, John II. 
Newman. Carlton. 
Newsome, D. F. 
Newton, Henry A. 
-. Charles B. 
Nichols, George. 
Norris, William. 
Norris, Richard. 
Norris, Smith. 
Nougues, P. T. 

Oakland Gold Mining Co. 

onnor, Con. 
0'l>alv. John Ingham. 
O'Keiffe, T. J. 
O'Neil, Alexander. 



Ogg, C. 

Oliver, William L. 

Onstott, J. H. 

Orengo, B. 

Oregon Iron Company. 

Oregon Steam Navigation Co. 

Osborn, H. E. 

Osborn, Joseph. 

Osborne, Thomas. 

Owens, T. J. 

Parker, Dr. W. C. 

Palmer, J. C. 

Parker, James E. 

Parsons, S. M. 

Pail bet, E. W. 

Patterson, W. D. 

Paul, A. B. 

Perrin, R. J. 

Perley, C. W. 

Peterson. Gus. 

Perkins, Phillip J. 

Peticolas, C. L. 

Peck, M. H. 

Perkins, Henry C. 

Pew, J. W. 

Pittsburg Plate Glass Company. 

Phillipin, John B. 

Phillips, George. 

Pilsbury, C. J. 

Pownall, J. B. 

Pope, 0. C. 

Porter, W. H. 

Porter, David. 

Price, Col. E. H. 

Price, Edward M. 

Pratt, W. M. 

Putnam, Mr. 

Purdy, Charles. 

Purrington, C. P. 

Pritchard, James A. 

Quayle, William. 
Queensland Museum. 

Ramsay, Professor Alexander. 

Randall, William II. 

Raymond, W. H. 

Raymond, A. S. 

Randol, J. B. 

Ralston, A. J. 

Raynor, William. 

Ralston, John. 

Randolph, D. L. 

Reagan, B. W. 

Reed, Ira H. 

Red way, J. W. 

Redington & Co. 

Redmond, J. H. 

Redstone, A. E. 

Rey, J. J. 

Rhodes, John. 

Ries, L. 

Richards, Josiah H. 

Rich, G. 

Richards, William H. 

Robinson, Tod. 

Roberts, George D. 

Rogers, R. H. 

Roderick, Frank. 

Roberts, E. W. 

Robertson, Ella. 

Robinson, C. P. 

Roby, F. M. 
Roberts, A. E. 
Robinson, L. L. 
Rosecrans, General. 
Ross, C. L. 
Rowley, A. B. 
Rupert, J. A. 
Ruffino, S. 
Russell, B. D. 
Russell, David. 
Ryan, J. F. 
Ryan, Matthew. 

Salamander Felting Company 
Salisbury & Palen. 
San Bernardino Borax Co. 
Sanford, J. L. 
Sarvis, George C. 
Schneider, C. J. 
Scbaeffle, E. H. 
Scott, Chalmers. 
Schultz, George. 
Schuyler, W. S. 
Schneider, C. 
Schlageter, F. 
Scbofield, General J. M. 
Schofield & Tevis. 
Schmidt, William. 
Schenck, George H. 
Schuyler, James D. 
Scupham, J. R. 
Scupham & Childs. 
Scupham & Bullock. 
Sears, William H. 
Sellers, Charles. 
Selby, Prentiss. 
Selby Lead and Smelting Co. 
Secretary Gt. Republic Mg. Co. 
Sheldon, N. P. 
Shepard, Prof. C. W. 
San Francisco Journal of Com- 
Sherwood, Henry. 
Sherman, Chas. E. 
Sheerer, Jos. 
Shuster, F. 0. 
Shimmin, E. R. 
Sherburne, J. S. 
Shilling, J. S. 
Shaw, S. W. 
Sifers, A. 
Simpson, W. H. 
Sin ton, R. H: 
Sine, Wm. K. 
Simondi, A. L. 
Simkins, C. H. 
Sierra Iron Co. 
Silver, Lovvry. 
Skillings, E. M. 
Skinner, Robt. 
Skinner, M. 
Skinker, John. 
Sleeper, W. 0. 
Sleeper, T. P. 
Sletcher, F. 
Slocum, Mrs. Chas. 
Smith, Mrs. F. E. 
Smith, E. B. 
Smith, E. M. 
Smith, F. M. 
Smith, F. E. 
Smith, J. T. 
Smith, F. W. 

Smith Bros. 
Soto, M. A. 
Sommer, Ad. 
Spencer, J. W. 
Spaulding, Geo. 
Spaulding, John. 
Spencer, E. G. 
Speckerman, Wm. 
Squire, Miss A. M. 
Stambaugh, S. S. 
Staples, F. H. 
Stanley, W. H. 
Steel, T. 

Stateler, J. W., Jr. 
Stegman, W. G. 
Stewart, Hon. W. M. 
Sternberg, Dr. Geo. M. 
Steinhagen, P. 
Stone, Geo. W. 
Stone, D. L. 
Stone, D. C. 
Stone, Chas. S. 
Stokes, W. C. 
Stoutenborough, J. H. 
Strong, Mr. 
Strother, E. 
Sublette, Wm. 
Suffern, J. A. 
Swan, T. M. 
Swan.G. W. 
Sweet, S. S. 
Sweet, C. 
Swearingen, S. E. 
Szabo, Dr. 

Tanner. Mrs. J. G. 
Tarpy, D. P. 
Taylor, J. M. 
Taglibue, Frank. 
Temescal Tin Co. 
Thaver, B. B. 
Thibodo, Dr. A. J. 
Thrall, H. H. 
Thorpe, Col. W. 
Thorn, I. N. 
Thrift, A. M. 
Thomas, R. B. 
Thornton, H. J. 
Toomey, M. 
Townsend, Mrs. 
Townsend, W. R. 
Tranger, J. H. 
Trask, J. L. 
Trask, Dr. J. B. 
Traylor, W. W. 
Tread well, J. B. 
Truitt, M. F. 
Try el, Mr. 
Tubbs, Hiram 
Tutt, Barney. 
Tuttle, P. G. 
Tuck, J. H. L. 
Tyler, Charles M. 

Utter, George W. 

Utter, F. 

Union Pacific Salt Co. 

Vassault, F. 
Verdenal, D. F. 
Ventura Rock Soap Co. 
Vincent, George A. 
Von Lindner, M. F. 



Vosburgh, J. J. 

Walkinshaw, Robert. 
Walsh, Judge James. 
Wand, T. N. 
Ward, Prof. Henry A. 
Ward, II. H • 
Ward, W. B. 
Wagoner, Luther. 
Waller, T. P. F. 
Wataon, William H. 
Wagner, Joseph. 
Walker. Dr. D. 
Watson, E. H. 
Wallace, Thomas. 
Wasson, Hon. Jos. 
Waterman, J. S. 
Way son, James. 
Webb, A. T. 
Wellin, P. M. 
Wegener, B. 
Wellendorf, L. 
Weir, James C. 

West, D. W. 
Wheeler. M. A. 
Whittier, Fuller & Co. 
Whisby, L.N. 
White," D. Morgan. 
White. Mr*. J. S. 
Whitman, S. 
Wilson, J. Downes. 
Wilcox, A. 0. 
Wilcox, J. W. 
Winder, W. A. 
Williams. P. 
Winall, Mrs. M. A. 
Winall, S. A. 
Williams, G. F. 
Williams. Colonel A. F. 
Wilson, W. II. 
Wilson, J. F. 
Wight, Captain J. N. 
Wilkinson. Jos. 
Williamson, Colonel R. S. 
Williams & Blanchard. 
Wilson, George R. 

Winans.J. C. 

Wightman Bros. 

Wilkinson, J. W. 

Winterburn, John 

Woodbury, .1. <:. 

Woodhul'l, S. 1». 

Woodward, R. B. 

Woodward, E. W. 

Wolverton, J. R. 

Wolleb, E. 

Woodley, W. J. 

Worcester Roval Porcelain W'ks 

Wright, Alfred. 

Wright, J. E. 

Wyman, G. D. 

Wynants, N. 

Yale, Charles G. 
Young, J. W., Jr. 
Young, William W. 

Zuber, G. L. 


From May 15, 1S80, to May 15, 1884, inclusive. 

Bureau Fund $25,972 44 

Advances bv Wells. Fargo k Co 3,968 73 

Warrants for State Mineralogist's salary 12,000 00 


Rent $S,675 00 

Safe 325 00 

General expenses 5,934 21 

14,934 21 


Secretary $4,660 00 

Janitor". 2,2!5 00 

Compilers and writers 710 00 

Chemist 1,125 00 

Copyists 127 50 

Museum attendance 123 70 

Labor 7 75 

8,968 95 

Salarv State Mineralogist 12,000 00 

Postage 224 75 

Museum — - 3,608 39 

Maps 160 35 

Library.. 345 00 

Traveling expenses *8« 6 » 

Interest 1,130 65 

Cash on hand 81 22 

$41.'.I41 17 $41,941 17 

San Francisco, June 1, 1884. 
I hereby certify that I have made a thorough examination of the books of the State Mining 
Bureau from May 15, 1880, to May 15, 1884, inclusive, and found the same to be correct. 

EDWIN BONNELL, Accountant, 


There is but little to report for this department. Since the discon- 
tinuance of laboratory work, and discharge of the efficient chemist— 
for want of funds— but little chemical work has been attempted 


beyond the examination of many minerals which have been sent in. 
This work has generally been done at odd times, mostly at night. 
The following is a record of analyses of minerals, etc., which are 
entered in the catalogue. The State Mining Bureau should be pro- 
vided with a first-class chemical and metallurgical laboratory, and 
with funds to use in the employment of assistants, who should be 
engaged continually in the analysis of California minerals, ores, rocks, 
mineral waters, building stones, etc., and the results published 
annually as part of the report of the State Mineralogist. The want of 
a laboratory is daily realized. A chemical laboratory and library of 
reference should be considered the foundation of an institution such 
as the Mining Bureau was intended to be, and it will be impossible to 
make the institution worthy of the name without them. 


2034. Pyrite, containing gold and silver: 

Gold, per ton $51 00 

Silver, per ton 222 00 

$273 00 
3358. Copper Ore, Pioneer Mine, Boliuas Bay, Marin County : 

Silver, per ton $22 00 

Gold Trace 

Copper. 11 per cent 


1939. White Marble, Section 15, Township 13 north, Range 8 east, M. D. M., Placer County, 
California. This marble has been used in San Francisco for the generation of carbonic acid in 
the manufacture of artificial mineral waters: 

Silica .15 

Sesquioxide of iron .35 

Lime 55.72 

Carbonic acid 43.78 


2035. Cement rock, Washington Corners, Alameda County, California: 

Silica .05 

Sesquioxide of iron .16 

Carbonate of magnesia .65 

Carbonate of lime 99.14 


2036. Arquerite — Silver amalgam, Vital Creek, British Columbia, latitude 53° north : 

Mercury 11.90 

Silver 86.15 

Silica .45 


2404. Stalactites (?) deposited by jets of steam at the Mud Volcanoes, Township 11 south, 

Range 13 east, San Diego County, California. Qualitative analysis shows carbonate of lime, 

with silica, iron, alumina, and magnesia, sulphuric acid in small quantities, and considerable 

common salt. 

2443. Incrustation, Mud Volcanoes, Township 11 south, Range 13 east, San Bernardino 
Meridian, Colorado Desert, San Diego County, California: 

Water 2.35 

Chlorideof sodium 1.26 

Sesquioxide of iron 2.16 

Sulphate of lime 1.79 

Carbonate of lime 78.10 

Carbonate of magnesia 2.84 

Silica, clay, etc 9.97 



1675. Concentrations from hydraulic washings, Jackson, Amador County, California- 
mechanical analysis: 


Portion A— Coarse non-magnetic. 
Portion B— Fine non-magnetic. _ 


Portion C— Magnetic 25 -° 


A— Contains garnets, sulphides of iron, varrous dark colored grains, and striated mineral, 
which, under the microscope, resembles selenite. 

B— Ts principally quartz sand. There are some amorphous particles of a red color, and the 
mineral resembling selenite. 

C — Is almost entirely magnetite. 

5213. Mechanical analysis of auriferous gravel, from Nevada hydraulic mine, Chalk Bluffs, 
Nevada County, California. (See Second Annual Report, 1382, folio 97) : ^ ^ 

Per Cent. Quartz. 

Portion -A." zircon sand JJ-JJ ------ 

Portion "B," large pebbles 39.S0 

Portion "C,"coarse gravel Vm "» 

Portion "D," remained on No. 10 sieve <-J>7 57 

Portion "E," remained on No. 20 sieve 1-03 59 

Portion "F," remained on No. 40 sieve 3.13 78 

Portion "G," remained on No. 60 sieve 3.90 86 

Portion "11," remained on No. 80 sieve 1-53 80 

Portion "K," remained on No. lOOsieve 1-37 82 

Portion "L," passed No. 100 sieve ,J„I m , !, 

Portion "M/'slickens 10.29 N'lyalL 

1883. Indurated Clay, corner of Filbert and Leavenworth Streets, San Francisco 



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Sesquioxide of iron 









1944. Clay, near Lincoln, Placer County, California. Called by the potters, blue plastic clay : 




Hvgroscopic water *■*• 

Carbonate of lime ^ 


Sesquioxide of iron '-j™ 

Loss — _ 



Alumina - 

Combined water 


1945. Clay, near Lincoln, Placer County. Called by the potters, white non-plastic clay 

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Hygroscopic water * 

Carbonate of lime t 

Boda .... 


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This first attempt to represent the bountiful mineral resources of 
California in particular, and the Pacific Coast in general, was the 
result of the citizens' meeting of March 26, 1883, called by the State 
Mineralogist to take into consideration the future of the State Museum. 
While the meeting did not accomplish directly the end for which it 
was called, it resulted in good to the State and added largely to the 
collections in the Museum. 

The preliminary steps taken by the committees are recorded in the 
Third Annual Report. The occasion of the Mineral Exposition was 
the meeting at San Francisco of the Triennial Conclave of Knights 
Templar of the United States. It was considered that intelligent 
representatives from every part of the Union would meet in San 
Francisco, and would expect to be shown the natural resources of 
the State, and that many persons not connected with the Order would 
visit California at the same time, making the occasion one of special 

In response to circulars, many specimens were sent to the Museum, 
some as donations, others as loans. Several counties appropriated 
money to furnish special cases in which to display county specimens. 
To enable the management to arrange the exhibits, the Museum was 
closed to the public for a few weeks. The exposition was formally 
opened on the morning of August 15, 1883. Lieutenant-Governor 
John Daggett addressed those who were present as to the value of the 
exposition. He enlarged on the extraordinary mineral wealth of 
California, and the importance of making it known to the world, and 
the fitting occasion afforded by the meeting of the Triennial Con- 
clave. Then, on behalf of the State, he declared the exposition open, 
and delivered the special. exhibits into the charge of the State Min- 

Besides the large collections of the State Mining Bureau arranged 
and in cases, all the specimens in process of classification were pro- 
vided with temporary written labels and placed on tables and in 
twenty-four cases hired for the occasion. The exhibition attracted 
much attention, and was largely visited both by citizens and strangers. 

Italian Collection. This collection has been acquired by exchange 
and by purchase. It fills four cases, and consists of minerals, ores, 
rocks, including ancient and modern marbles, fossils, etc. The 
Italian citizens of San Francisco evinced considerable interest in 
this collection, and added to it by loaning a fine Italian flag and 
photographs of ancient buildings in Home. 

Part of the Honduras collection, consisting of antiquities, woods, 
etc., was left by President Soto during the Exposition. The antiqui- 
ties have since been removed, but duplicate samples of the woods 
were donated, and form an attractive feature in the State Museum. 

On application, the Chief of Police detailed two officers, \V. J. 
Shaw and G. W. Curtis, who remained in charge night and day dur- 
ing the Exposition. Nothing was lost or stolen. 


John Meelen loaned a large American flag, which was hung in the 


The following counties furnished money to purchase special county 
cases in which to exhibit the mineral resources of each: Butte, 2 cases; 
Invo, 2 cases; Mono, 2 cases; San Bernardino, 2 cases; Tuolumne, 1 
case; Humboldt, 1 case; Calaveras County sent the money for 2 cases, 
which, through a mistake, did not reach the management until after 
the Exposition closed. 

The following list of the most important special exhibits, gives also 
the names of those who made them: 

Adams and Carter. Frue concentrator. The whole apparatus was 
set up in the Museum. The apparatus is for the concentration of 
"slimes," and finely crushed material; for treatment of gold and 
silver mill tailings, and direct concentration of ores of silver, lead, 
copper, tin, zinc, etc., after stamps or pulverizers. It is automatic, 
and requires but little power or attention. Nearly 600 are now in 
use, manufactured in San Francisco. 

M. P. Boss. Two highly finished mechanical drawings, designed 
by him and executed by D. J. Osborne. One showing the details of 
the Boss continuous system of pan amalgamation. The second a 
side elevation of the same. This process was first introduced into 
the Noonday mill at Bodie, Mono County, in May, 1880. 

A. C. Bowen. Crystals of gold. Banner mine, near Michigan 
Bluffs, Placer County. Two pieces, the largest of which was a 
paneled octahedron, weighing 30.6 grams, one of the finest ever found 
in the State. The smaller was a flat piece covered with small octa- 
hedral crystals. Loan. 

A. L. Burbridge. Three large specimens of silver ore, coated with 
embolite. Etna mine, Globe District, Pinal County, Arizona. Loan. 

William Cameron. Ores containing free gold, with pyrite. Hidden 
Treasure mine, Placer County. 

,/. H. Carmany. Free gold in porphyry, associated with pyrolusite. 
Banghart mine, Shasta County, California. Magnificent specimen. 
Loan. Gold specimens. Mad Ox mine, near Washington, Shasta 
County, California. Loan. 

John Daniel. Granite vase, from Lee's quarry, Placer County, Cal- 
ifornia. Loan. 

J. Z. Davis. Four cases containing specimens from his private col- 
lection, selected for their beauty, rarity, and interest. Also, many 
curiosities of great interest from his private collection. The exhibit 
was one that attracted much attention, and although entered as a 
loan, it still remains in the Museum. Gold watch, made in Dublin 
120 years ago. Loan. 

N. Dodge. Placer gold of unusual shape. Also, wire silver and 
gold in quartz. Loan. 


W. E. Duncan. Specimens of gold quartz. Butte County. Cali- 
fornia. Loan. 

Mrs M. Burden. California woods, and an oil painting of Sutter's 
Mill, El Dorado County, the locality at which gold was first discov- 
ered. Loan. 

Thomas Euring. Providence Mountain, San Bernardino County. 
One case of rich silver ores from the mines which he is now success- 
fully working. Ores, Belle McGillivray mine: suite of typical speci- 
mens. Providence Mountain. Ores from Bonanza King. Bonanza 
King Consolidated Mining Company, of New York. Providence 
Mountain. A full suite of very rich specimens from all the work- 
ings. All the specimens and the case containing them were donated 
by Mr. Ewing. 

N. C. Faxsctt, Superintendent. Silver ores from the Belmont mine, 
Belmont, Nevada. Assay value. S4,000 per ton. Loan. 

Louis Glass, Cherokee, Butte County. Specimens representing 
hydraulic mining at Cherokee. Blue gravel, bottom stratum. 6 to 10 
feet thick. Yellow or rotten bowlders, from 1 to 10 feet thick, rich 
in gold, overlying blue gravel. White top gravel, 20 to 400 feet thick, 
overlying rotten bowlders. Basalt capping overlying white top 
gravel. "Donation. Specimens of hydraulic gold, from large nug- 
gets to the finest of placer gold. Loan. Gold amalgam, before retort- 
ing. Loan. Gold amalgam, after retorting, called retorted amalgam. 
Loan. Diamondiferous sand or gravel. Platinum found with gold 
in cleaning up. Donation. Placer gold and black sand clean up. 
Loan. Diamonds, cut and uncut, found in the mine from time to 
time — very interesting specimens. Loan. 

.1. J. Howth. Thinolite. Mono Lake. A fine specimen. Con- 

Hunt and < 'hoce. Harris dry gold separator. The complete machine 
was on exhibition. It is so constructed that it can readily lie taken 
apart and packed in small space. The machine is turned by hand. 
Two currents of air are produced, while the dry material is agitated; 
on.' assists in the agitation, the other carries oil' the lighter particles. 
Capacity claimed is 20 to 30 tons per dav.and the cost of the machine 
fg%150 to $250. 

D. B. Janus. Full-sized mining car for use in tunnels, drifts, etc 

Joviah A'"/'- Alameda, California. California shells ami a book 
published by him on conchology. Loan. The shells were princi- 
pallyfrom Monterey Pay, but also from other localities. The work, 
"Common Sea Shells of Calif ornia" contains 16 plates illustrating 
about Kin California species, from drawings made from nature. 

Marcus Laville. Plumbago, Tuolumne County. 

John Leechman. Placer gold, Cave Diggings; Sections 28and 29, 
2 T 


Township 1 north, Range 16 east, Tuolumne County, California; in 
Limestone belt. Loan. A full suite of the ores and wall rock of the 
Soulsby mine, Tuolumne County. Donation. 

W. N. Martin. Very fine specimens of free gold in quartz, from 
the New El Dorado gold mine, Greenwood Township, El Dorado 
County, California, formerly known as the North Cederberg. Loan. 

Alvin Matins. One case private collection, consisting principally 
of specimens from California quicksilver mines. Sixty-four fine 
specimens, many beautifully crystallized. Loan. 

B. B. Miner. Gold specimen. Fine Gold Gulch, thirty miles east 
of Madera, Fresno County, California. 

F. E. Monteverde. Rare and beautiful specimens, as follows. 
Loaned: Gold in calcite, Calaveras County. Gold crystals, Calaveras 
County. Gold crystals, White Bull mine, Linn County, Oregon. 

Joseph L. Moody. Special case of very rich gold specimens from 
the Four Hills gold mine, Sierra County, California. Loan. 

This was a remarkable exhibit, the value of the gold in the speci- 
mens was estimated at $10,000. In some there was more gold than 
quartz in all a striking illustration of the richness of some of the gold 
mines of California. 

W. D. Minckler. Susan ville, Lassen County. A collection of inter- 
esting specimens. Donated. Pebbles from Pyramid Lake shore. 
Red obsidian; tourmaline in quartz; jasper in several varieties; 
arrowheads, etc. 

H. H. Noble. Large and magnificent specimen of silver ore, with 
much native silver," and crystals of polybasite. Silver King mine, 
Pinal County, Arizona. Loaned. Also fine specimens crystallized 
native silver, same mine. 

A. B. Paul. Placer gold. Red Hill hydraulic mine, Butte County, 
California. Loaned. Masonic lambskin apron, worn by Masons one 
hundred years ago. Loan. Placer gold, west branch of Feather 
River, Butte County, California. Loan. Relics, objects, and manu- 
scripts, bearing on the early history of the Comstock silver lode, 
Nevada, framed and glazed; a very interesting collection. Loan. 

L. Radovich. Two cases ores and minerals, and fine specimen 
native silver, from Nevada. Also, working model of rock-breaker. 

J. B. Randol. Specimen of cinnabar weighing 290 pounds, nearly 
pure, from New Almaden Quicksilver Mine, Santa Clara County. 

Large iron dish filled with metallic mercury (quicksilver), New 
Almaden mine. Loan. This exhibit attracted special attention. A 
large iron bolt weighing several pounds floated on the surface of the 
liquid metal. Hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors thrust their 
hands beneath the surface. Ladies with gloved hands caught the 


infection, and could not be restrained from lifting handfuls of the 
bright metal, and allowing it to run in silver streams between their 
fingers. Some would remove their gloves, and, although warned of 
the effect, would plunge their ringed hands beneath the surface, and 
were surprised on removing them to find that their gold rings had 
turned white from amalgamation with the mercury. 

I. J. Rapp. Gold in quartz. "Our Flag" mine, Carson Hill dis- 
trict, Calaveras County. Loan. 

Nathan Rhine. Very rich specimen of gold quartz from the Keynot 
mine, Beveridge District, Inyo County, California, in elegant case. 

& Rujffino. Ten specimens ores, various, from West Point, Cala- 
veras County, California. 

E. F. Russell and E. F. Barber. Specimens of steel made from 
black sands of California: 1. Specimen black sand steel produced by 
the Russell process, hammered, also welded three times, and ground 
off to show the weld. Loan. 2. Cold-chisels from black sand steel, 
and iron cut by the same. 3. Steel wire from the same. 4. Speci- 
mens of the sand from which the steel was made. 


Geo. E. Schenk. Poor Richard Almanac, 1773; Maryland and Bal- 
timore Journal and Advertiser, August 20, 1772; Autograph letter 
from Dr. Benjamin Franklin to James Searle, Amsterdam, dated 
Passy, Fiance, November 30, 1780. Copy of Patrick Henry's speech, 
July 4, 1776. Loan. 

Colonel R. B. Stockton. Ore rich in free gold, and sulphurets. 
Stockton mine, near Madera, Fresno County, California. 

/. P. Stanley. Santa Rosa. Two large cases filled with fine speci- 
mens of minerals, ores, rocks, fossils, etc., with ethnological speci- 
mens of great interest. Loan. A private collection gathered during 
many years of residence in California. The collection contained spec- 
imens from other countries, as well as California. The cases attracted 
much attention. 

Mrs. II F. Thomson. Four specimens gold-bearing quartz and one 
specimen copper sulphurets. Bully Choop, Trinity County. Cali- 

W. J. Tustin. Tustin's rotary pulverizing mill represented by 

elaborate drawings. 

J. D. Walker. Calaveras County. Irish copper coin. Loan. 

77. W. Walker. Improved cupel mold. It has a convex edge to 
the bowl, which allows the mold to clear itself. The plunger does 
not require cleaning. From 10 to 12 dozen can be made in an hour. 
Samples of the cupels also were exhibited. 

Ward and Blackwcll. Placer gold from their deep gravel mine, 


Snow Point, Nevada County. California. Very coarse gold and nug- 
gets. Loan. 

Mrs. William Watts. Specimens of silicified wood, very fine. Iowa 
Hill, Placer County, California. 

S. D. WoodhvU. Independence. Three cases of minerals, ores, etc., 
from Inyo County. California, being his private collection made dur- 
ing a number of years' rt-sidence in that very interesting locality. 
Loan. This was a very attractive and instructive exhibit, showing 
at a glance the wonderful mineral resources of Inyo County. 

Five specimens of gold, with cinnabar, from the Manza- 

nita mine. Sulphur Creek. Colusa County, California. Loan. 

Citizens' Committee, Pacific Coast Mineral Exposition. 


June 14— Btute County, by Louis Glass $100 00 

2„_B;,v,i & Davis. Thurlow Block 

24— J. M. McDonald, Pacific Bank 

Joshua Hendy, Mission and Fremont Streets 5 00 

Schmidt, Fountain Saloon 5 00 

Inyo County 100 00 

Mono County 100 00 

San Bernardino 50 00 

Tuolumne County 50 00 

Aug. 16— Collected by S. Hydenfeldt. Jr 25 00 

Citizens of Patterson District. Mono Countv, collected by M. Jones, as follows : 

Dr. G. M. Summers '- '. 5 00 

Martin Jones 1 00 

M. A. Heme 1 50 

Chas- Dupee 1 00 

E. D. Ebi 1 00 

Henry Williams 1 00 

James Garawav 1 00 

Kinney ..' 1 "" 

B. S. Brown 1 00 

D. R. Averv. Center Market 5 00 

D. A. Terry. Center Market 2 50 

Oct. 25— Humboldt County 50 00 

Advanced by J. Z. Davis 19 85 

s- 25 ^5 


Julv 12— Postage stamps - 

_ — .iassdishes 40 

.^shes 45 

Freight 1 70 

21 — Freight, Mono County 4 75 

22 — Labor, carrying 1 . - imen of cinnabar upstairs 50 

24 — Cartage on mine model 1 25 

26— Freight from Bodie 7 50 

. t, Stanley collection 2 25 

28 — Delivering notices and papers 25 

Expenses on cases 1 45 

Aug. 9 — Freight on case from Humboldt 3 40 

Sept 1 — Cherry k Johnson, bill of painting 26 00 

_ ■ on Silver King specimen 50 

Exchange, advertising 7 50 

—Wm. Proll, making Li ses 404 00 

May 1 — Bacon k Co., printing 43 25 

7 — Wm. Proll, cases and tables 106 15 

Robinson £ Gilespie. carpenters ' ? '4 05 

Oct. 27— Wm. Proll, Humboldt County case 40 00 

Sundry small expenses 17 50 

$825 So 



The United States Exploring Expedition, under command of Cap- 
tain Charles Wilkes, 1838-39-40-41-42, visited California and Oregon. 
James D. Dana was Geologist, and his observations are given in the 

Duflot de Mofras explored Oregon, California, and the Vermilion 
Sea during the years 1840-41-42. His report was published in Paris 
in 1844. 

John 0. Fremont explored Oregon and California in 1843 and 1844. 
The geology and palaeontology were worked up by James Hall, of New 
York, and published in appendix to report of 1845. 

Bayard Taylor came to California in 1849. A report of his obser- 
vationsappears in " El Dorado, or Adventures in the Path of Empire," 
New York, 1850. In the appendix report to Hon. T. Butler King, the 
metallic and mineral wealth of the State are considered. 

The first writing on the geology of California after the discovery 
of gold, seems to have been a short report to the Secretary of War 
on the geology and topography of California by Philip T. Tyson. 
(Ex. Doc. No. 47 to the Senate of the Thirty-first Congress.) Manifee 
& Co., of Baltimore, published a reprint of this report in 1851. He 
examined the country from Benicia to the American and Calaveras 
Rivers in 1849, during the delirium of the gold fever. Mr. Tyson 
came to California with T. Butler King, who was sent out by the 
United States Government, on the discovery of gold being made 

James S. Wilson, a practical gold miner, published a paper on the 
same subject, in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of 
London about the same time. 

The United States Government sent out an expedition to explore 
for a route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific 
Ocean, under the orders of the War Department, in 1853-54. Of the 
reports, generally known as the Pacific Railroad Reports, twelve large 
volumes were published. One of the expeditions planned by the 
Government to explore the newly acquired western possessions of the 
American Union, and to determine the most practicable railway 
route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, was organized 
for California, to explore the Sierra Nevada from Walker's Pass 
southward to the boundary, to ascertain the best and available moun- 
tain passes. This was placed under the command of Lieutenant R. 
S. Williams, Topographical Engineers, with J. G. Parke second in 
command, and t h rough the recommendation of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, Mr. W. 1*. Blake, a graduate of the Scientific Department of 
Yale, was appointed Mineralogisl and Geologist, The party left 
Benicia Barracks early in the Summer of 1853. and made a con- 
tinuous reconnaissance to the Tejon and Walker's Pass, passing 
through Livermore's Valley, the San Joaquin Valley, the Tulares, 
and following as near as possible to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. 


Detailed surveys were made of several of the passes and the adjacent 
country. The topography of that region was first ascertained, and 
for the" first time delineated upon any map. The geology was deter- 
mined and mapped also, and the first geological section of the Sierra 
Nevada was drawn. The explorations were extended southward 
along the mountains to San Bernardino, and to the boundary line. 
Amongst other results may be mentioned the discovery of eocene 
and miocene tertiary beds, and the determination of the ancient 
lacustrine formation of the Tulare Valley, and of the valley of the 
Colorado Desert. The barometrical observations from San Bernar- 
dino to Camp Yuma on the Colorado, were taken by Mr. Blake, and 
he announced the fact that an extensive area of the desert was below 
the sea-level, a conclusion that the commander of the expedition was 
reluctant to admit. 

The results of the season's work, and of operations made in the 
gold region in the year 1854, were embodied in a report to the United 
States Government, and were finally published in a quarto volume, 
entitled: Report of a Geological Reconnoissance in California, etc.; 
by William P. Blake; published in the series of quarto reports on 
the explorations of the routes for a railway to the Pacific, and 
separately by the author; New York, 1858, pp. xviii+370+xiii, with 
plates of fossils, geological sections, and a geological map of California. 

An article on the extent and geology of the gold region was also 
contributed to the American Journal of Science, and during a sub- 
sequent residence in California in 1860-1867, and the occupation of 
a Professor's chair in the College of California, several articles were 
contributed to the California Academy of Sciences. Professor Blake, 
in his first report, gave the first notice and sketches of the High 
Sierra, as seen from the Four Creeks, directing attention to the great 
altitude of the peaks, and to the peculiar serrated outline of the 
range in that region. 

Professor Blake was appointed the Geologist of the State Board of 
Agriculture in 1866, and made a report on the minerals of the State. 

Annotated Catalogue of the Principal Mineral Species hitherto recog- 
nized in California and the adjoining States and Territories, March, 
1866. 8vo., pp. 32. 

The secondary age of a part at least, of the gold-bearing rocks of 
California, was discovered and announced in 1863 and 1864, by Pro- 
fessor Blake. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Cal, Oct. 3, 1864- 

On the fifth day of March, 1853, the California State Legislature 
passed a joint resolution, calling on Doctor John B. Trask for such 
information as he might possess, relative to the geology of the State, 
the result of which was a "report on the geology of the Sierra 
Nevada, or the California Range," thirty-one pages, of which two 
thousand copies were ordered printed. On the sixth day of May, of 
the same year, a joint resolution was passed authorizing further 
geological examination of some parts' of the Sierra Nevada and coast 
mountain's, and providing that a report of the results should be pre- 
sented to the next Legislature. Doctor John B. Trask was appointed 
first State Geologist. The second report by Doctor Trask contained 
ninety-five pages, entitled "report on the geology of the coast 
mountains, and part of the Sierra Nevada, embracing their indus- 


trial resources in agriculture and mining," and was presented to the 
Assembly, session of 1854, John Bigler, Governor. 

Jules Marcou, a French Geologist, visited California in 1854, an 
account of which he published in the Bibliotheque Universal de 
Geneve in 1855. 

The third report of the State Geologist, entitled, "report on the 
geology of the coast mountains, embracing agricultural and mineral 
productions; also portions of the middle and northern mining dis- 
tricts," ninety-two pages, was presented to the Assembly, session of 
1855; John Bigler, Governor; John B. Trask, State Geologist. 

The fourth report was made to the Assembly, session of 1856, and 
was entitled, "report on the geology of Northern and Southern Cali- 
fornia, embracing the mineral and agricultural resources of those 
sections, with statistics of the northern, southern, and middle mines;" 
J. Neely Johnson, Governor; John B. Trask, State Geologist. 

In 1860 an Act of the Legislature, approved April twenty-first by 
John G. Downey, Governor, was passed entitled ''An Act to create 
the office of State Geologist, and to define the duties thereof." Sec- 
tion one appointed J. D. Whitney State Geologist, to make with 
assistants an accurate and complete geological survey of the State, to 
describe in reports and maps the rocks, fossils, soils, minerals, botani- 
cal and zoological productions, and to collect specimens to be deposited 
in some place to be provided by the Legislature. Section four pro- 
vided that the reports should be sold to the best advantage, and the 
moneys derived from the sale to be placed in the Common School 
Fund of the State. Section eight set apart $20,000 out of any money 
not otherwise appropriated, as a special fund for payment of expenses 
incurred by the survey. 

\V. II. Brewer and William Ashburner came to the State with Pro- 
fessor Whitney, and arrived November 14, 1860. 

Mr. C. F. Hoffman joined the survey March 20, 1861, and com- 
menced work as a topographical assistant. 

July 1, 1861, Dr. J. G. Cooper was appointed zoologist of the survey. 

Early in 1862 W. M. Gabb arrived in California, and became 
pala-ontologist of the survey. 

A. JR-emond became a volunteer assistant in 1862, and continued 
with the survey until the end of 1863. 

V. Wackenreuder held the position of topographical assistant dur- 
ing 1862 and 1863. 

In 1863 Clarence King joined the survey as volunteer assistant in 
the geological held work. 

In 1864 J. T. Gardner was volunteer assistant in topographical 
field work. 


The appropriation from the commencement in April, 1860, to 
April, 1864, was $70,000. 

In 1864 a second Act of the Legislature was passed reappointing 
Professor J. D. "Whitney State Geologist, approved April fourth, by 
Frederick F. Loav, Governor. 

In 1864 the first volume of Palaeontology was published, and in 
1865 the volume on General Geology. 

H. N. Bolander was connected with the survey in 1866 in the 
department of botany. 

In 1869, volume two Palaeontology was published. 

In 1870, the Yosemite Guide Book and volume one Ornithology were 

The Legislature of 1873-74 declined to make further appropria- 
tions, which of course discontinued the survey. 

The State Geological Survey, so well and ably conducted by Pro- 
fessor Whitney and his staff of efficient assistants, was and is a great 
credit to California, and is so judged by those competent to express 
an opinion, the world over. Its abrupt termination was a misfortune 
not only to California but to the world, and a lamentable mistake. 
The ability of Professor Whitney, and his industry and integrity, have 
never been questioned even by those who differed in opinion as to 
the manner of his work. The censure implied by the discontinuance 
of the survey was an injustice to him. The only objection ever made 
was, that his work was not practical in the sense intended by the Act 
of Legislature which created the survey. Did the Legislature fully 
realize the following considerations? When Professor Whitney was 
appointed State Geologist, California was almost a terra incognita, in a 
geological sense; the surveys of Dr. Trask and those of the Pacific Rail- 
road Engineers sent out by the Government, and the researches of the 
California Academy of Sciences lifted the margin of the vail which 
had hidden the geology of California from the world, and a glimpse 
only had been obtained of the mineral wealth of the State; the Govern- 
ment land surveys had not been completed; there were no railroads; 
hostile bands of Indians defended the mountain passes against pros- 
pector and surveyor alike; the area of the State was greater than that of 
any other in the Union except Texas, one hundred and twenty times as 
great as Rhode Island, three and one third times that of New York, and 
twenty times that of Massachusetts; there were snowy and almost inac- 
cessible mountains and burning deserts to cross. These difficulties 
had to be surmounted. Since those days things have changed. The 
whole country is to a certain extent prospected; good mountain roads 
have been built on which lines of stages run daily; the most distant 
parts of the State are accessible by railroads; the cost of labor and 
necessities has diminished; the results of pioneer surveys have been 
tabulated and put into available form. Still, geology and mining in 
California are as yet in their infancy. Many, many years must 
elapse before we shall fully understand the geology and realize the 


magnitude of the mineral deposits within the area which we now 
calf the State of California. 

The foundation, so well laid by the State Geological Survey, will 
serve to build all future and, more detailed surveys upon. The 
reports and maps of the survey, and the great State map, mad.' 
by the present State Engineer, must for all time be the baseforfuture 
surveys, be they geological, geographical, or agricultural. All we can 
do, will be to broaden the foundation already laid, leaving the com- 
pletion of the superstructure to those who will follow. 

Immediate practical results should not be expected, except to a 
limited extent, but the vast field presented, and the magnitude of the 

work undertaken, duly eonsidered. 

The Geological Society of London, from which may he dated the 
commencement of the geological survey of Great Britain, was organ- 
ized in 1807. William Smith, who has been called the father of 
English Geology, had previously (in 1793) published a geological map 
of part of England, which was probably the first geological map ever 
made. The geological survey of France was ordered by the French 
Government in 1822. These surveys are not yet finished. What. 
then, can be expected from California, a new country, possessing sixty- 
eight thousand square miles more of area than Great Britain'/ The 
geological survey of California should be continued; the State can 
well afford it, but cannot afford to neglect it. 

The publications of J. D. Whitney's survey are Geology, Volume 1,. 
from 1860 to 1861, printed in Philadelphia in 1865, 498 pages, many 
wood engravings and plates. 

Palaeontology, Volume 1. Carboniferous and Jurassic Fossils, by 
F. B. Meek; Triassic and Cretaceous Fossils, by W. M. Gabb; Phila- 
delphia, 1864; 243 pages, 32 lithographic plates of fossils. 

Palaeontology, Volume 2. Cretaceous and Tertiary Fossils; W. M. 
Gabb, Philadelphia, 1869; 299 pages, 36 lithographic plates of fossils. 

Ornithology, Volume 1. Land Birds. Edited by S. F. Baird,from 
notes by J. G. Cooper, M.D; 592 pages, with many wood engravings; 
University Press, Cambridge, 1870. 

Botany, Volume t. Polypetalae, by W.H. Brewer and Sereno Wat- 
son; Gamopetalae, by Asa Gray; University Press, Cambridge, 1880; 
r,-^ pages, no engravings. Published bythe liberality of thefollowing 
California gentlemen: Leland Stanford, D. 0. Mills, Lloyd Tevis, X. 
C Flood, Charles McLaughlin, S. C. Hastings, R. B. Woodward, M il- 
liam Norris, John O. Earle, Henry Pierce, Oliver Eldndge. 

Botany, Vol.2, by Sereno Watson- University Press, Cambridge, 
1880: 559 pages, qo engravings. Published by contributions from S. 
C. Hastings,!). O. Mills, Henry Pierce, Leland Stanford, J. C. Flood, 
and Charles Crocker. 

Contributions to American Geology, Volume 1. The Auriferous 


Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California, by J. D. Whitney; Uni- 
versity Press, Cambridge, 1880. The Museum of Comparative Zool- 
ogy at Cambridge assumed a portion of the expense of publication. 
From Notes made during the Continuance of the Geological Survey 
and Re-examination, by Professor PSttee, in 1879; University Press, 
Cambridge, 1880; 569 pages, with numerous maps and plates. 

The Yosemite Guide Book; J. D. Whitney, State Geologist; Cam- 
bridge, 1870; 155 pages; with numerous wood engravings and map. 

Several other publications of minor importance were issued by the 
Survey, such as bulletins, catalogues of shells and fossils, etc. 

The State Mining Bureau and office of State Mineralogist were 
created by an Act of the Twenty-third Legislature of California, 
entitled an Act t© provide for the establishment and maintenance of a 
Mining Bureau, approved April 16, 1880, George C. Perkins, Governor. 

The bill was introduced by Hon. Joseph Wasson, representing the 
Counties of Mono and Inyo. 

The Act is published in full in the first report of the State Miner- 
alogist, December 1, 1880. 

Henry G. Hanks was appointed State Mineralogist May 15, 1880, 
his term of office to continue for four years. The history of the 
Mining Bureau, and the State Museum, will be found in the reports 
as follows: 

First report, from June 1 to December 1, 1880, 43 pages. 

Second report, December 1, 1880, to October 1, 1882, 514 pages, with 

First Catalogue of the Museum, for the year ending April 16, 1880, 
350 pages. 

Third annual report for the year ending June 1, 1883, 137 pages, 
with map. 

The present is the fourth and last report of the State Mineralogist. 
This sketch is intended to be a brief history of the most important 
facts relating to the development of a geological knowledge of the 

In the following Government publications the geology and mineral 
productions of California have been duly considered, and much val- 
uable information given : 

By J. Ross Browne : Report on the Mineral Resources of the 
States west of the Rocky Mountains; House of Representatives, 
Thirty-ninth Congress, Washington, 1867, Ex. Doc. No. 29. 

Report on the Mineral Resources of the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains; Washington, 1868. 



Bv Rossiteb W. Raymond : Mineral Resources of the States and 
Territories west of the Rocky Mountains; House ot Representatives, 
Fortieth Congress, Ex. Doc No. 54; W ashmgton, IE 

Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains; House of Representatives. Forty-nrst Con- 
gress, Ex. Doc. No. 207; Washington, 1870. 

Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains for the year 1870; House ot Representa- 
tives. Forty-second Congress, Ex. Doc. No. 10; \\ ashmgton, 1872. 

Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains, being the fourth annual report; Washing- 
ton, 1873. 

Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains, being the fifth annual report; House ot 
Representatives, Ex. Doc. No. 210, Forty-second Congress; Washing- 
ton, 1873. 

Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains, being the sixth annual report; W ashmgton, 

Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains, being the seventh annual report; House ot 
Representatives, Forty-third Congress, Ex. Doc. No. 1//; Washing- 
ton, 1875. 

Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories west 
of the Rocky Mountains, being the eighth annual report; Washing- 
ton, 1877. 

Bv Horatio C. Burchard: Report of the Director oi the Mint 
upon the Statistics of the Production of the Precious Metals in the 
United States: Washington, 1881. 

Report of the Director of the Mint upon the Production of the 
Precious Metals in the United States; Washington, 1882. 

Report of the Director of the Mint upon the Production of the 
Precious Metals in the United States; Washington, 1883. 

By Albert Williams: Mineral Resources of the United States: 
Washington 1883; Department of the Interior; United states Geologi- 
cal Survey. -J. W. Powell, Director; Washington, ^883. 

Bv Titus Frv Cronisb: The Natural Wealth of California. The 
history geography, climate, agriculture, geology, zoology, botany, 
miSoly, mines, manufactures, etc., of the State; San Francisco, 

Bv JohnS Hittbll: The Resources of California comprising the 
society, climate scenery, commerce, and industry of the State; San 
Francisco, 1879, with appendix and map. 






Thr Statistical Matter in this Part of the Report has been Gathered and Compiled by 



California is situated between latitude 32° 45' and latitude 42° north, 
and between the 38th and the 47th meridians west from Washington, 
being bounded on the north by Oregon, on the east by Nevada and Ari- 
zona, on the south by the Mexican Department of Lower California, 
and on the west by the Pacilic Ocean, on which it has a coast line 
1 097 miles in length. Measured along its greatest longitudinal axis, 
which bears nearly northwest and southeast, the State is a little over 
700 miles long, and, having an average width of nearly 200 miles, its 
area approximates 156,000 square miles— in round numbers, 100,000,- 
000 acres of land. Of this land, about 36,000,000 acres may be said to 
be in its natural state, well adapted to agricultural pursuits of almosl 
everv kind, nearly all of it being equally well suited for stock raising; 
30 000 01)0 acres, producing a variety of nutritious native grasses, con- 
stitute good grazing, and for the most part, also, good fruit-growing 
lands, though little fitted for farming purposes; 20,000,000 acres are 
mountainous and of not much value for farming or grazing, though 
nearly the whole of it is heavily timbered; 5,000,000 acres are com- 
posed of tule fens and overflowed lands, capable of easy reclamation, 
and which, possessing a deep, rich soil, must ultimately become ex- 
ceedingly productive; the balance— 5,000,000 acres -consists of alkali 
flats lava beds, and sage plains, too saline, arid, and barren to ever 
be worth much for agriculture, though some portions of them may 
answer for sheep and cattle ranges. 


The principal mountains of California consist of the Sierra Nevada, 
the Inyo, and the Coast Range; the latter, which is made up of a 
series of parallel ridges and outlying spurs, extending along the west- 
ern border of the State throughout nearly its entire length the 
Sierra Nevada on the other hand, stretches along the eastern border 
of the State for at least two thirds of its length, the Inyo Moun- 
tains lying beyond and running parallel with a part ot the Sierra. In 
both the northern and southern portions of California occur various 
cross ranges and groups of mountains, together with numerous iso- 
lated peaks, buttes, and clusters of rugged hills; some of which arc 
connected with, while others are wholly separated fcom 4 the dominating 
mountain chain-. To the most of these lateral -purs, ridges, and 
outstanding groups distinct aames have bee,, given. Some portions 
of the Sierra Nevada are very Lofty, Mount Whitney, the mosl ele- 
vated peak in the chain, being over I5,000fee1 high, and, with two 
or three exceptions, the highest Land in North America. 1 here are 
ral other peaks here that reach an altitude ot 14,000 feet, there 


being many in the Sierra with some also in the Inyo range that vary 
from 10,000 to 12,000 feet in height. A number of peaks and ridges 
in the Coast Range approximate a height of 8,000 feet. The lower 
slopes of the main mountain ranges having been eroded by the swift 
descending streams into long ridges, undulating prairies, and lawn- 
like dells, are known as the foothill regions of the State. 


Are numerous and occur under widely varied conditions. Some 
are small and cradled far up in the mountains; some are larger and 
inclosed by hills of gentle acclivity, while others are of great extent, 
expanding into vast plains, little elevated above tide water, the im- 
mense depression lying between the Coast Range and the Sierra 
Nevada, four hundred miles long and fifty miles wide, the southern 
half known as the San Joaquin and the northern as the Sacramento 
A^alley, furnishing the best example of these valley-like plains to be 
found" in the State. The valleys of California are all fertile, and, 
while the smaller ones are for the most part tolerably well watered 
and timbered, the larger are apt to be deficient in this respect. But 
as tree culture is beginning to be practiced everywhere and water can 
be supplied to the most of these valleys by artesian boring or be 
brought in from the neighboring mountains, the above defects will 
in course of time be measurably remedied. 


About one and a half million acres of California territory are cov- 
ered with lakes, bays, and navigable rivers, the Bay of San Francisco 
constituting the largest body of water in the State. Besides this Cal- 
ifornia contains only two other wholly land-locked bays — Humboldt 
and San Diego. Tahoe, one third of which lies in Nevada, is the 
largest and deepest lake in California, being 21 miles long, 12 wide, 
and 1,600 feet deep. It lies at an altitude of 6,000 feet, is fed by 
numerous streams from the adjacent mountains, and through the 
Truckee River discharges an immense quantity of water. The other 
considerable lakes in the State are Tulare, Mono, Clear, Klamath, 
Goose, Wright, Modoc, and Owens. Besides these there are many 
small deep lakes in the Sierra Nevada, and to the east of that range 
others so extremely shallow that some of them dry up in the Sum- 
mer, for which reason they are usually called " mud lakes." Mono, 
Owens, and some other of these California lakes are so saturated with 
the carbonate and sulphate of soda, the chloride of sodium, borax, 
etc., that bathers float readily on the surface of their waters. Some, 
like Tulare and Honey Lake, cover a large area in the Spring and 
early Summer, when the snow melts on the mountains, but shrink 
to comparatively small dimensions later in the season. 

The principal rivers of California are the Klamath and Trinity in 
the northern part of the State, and the Sacramento and the San Joa- 
quin, formed by a great number of tributaries having their sources 
in the Sierra Nevada, and some of which are themselves streams of 
large size. These two rivers, flowing the one south and the other 
north, meet in the middle of the great basin to which they give drain- 
age, and making a deflection to the west, debouch through the Golden 
Gate into the Pacific Ocean. The southern third of California con- 


tains no lakes or large rivers or even streams that in most countries 
would be called rivers ai all. none of them being navigable, while 
many nearly or wholly dry ap during the Summer season. 


While some parts of California are well timbered others are but 
sparsely wooded or entirely treeless. The Sierra Nevada to a height 
of eight thousand feet, as also its higher foothills and some portions 
of tin' Coast Range are clothed with magnificenl forests of pine, fir, 
spruce, and cedar; much oak up to four or five thousandfeet growing 
in these forests. The higher foothills of the Siena Nevada constitute 
the habitat of the so called "Big Trees." Seqvx)ia gigantea, some of 
which measure at the base over one hundred feet in circumference, 
and throe hundred and fifty feet in height. Being a species of cedar, 
these trees make a superior article of lumber. 

Along the northern coast occurs a belt one hundred miles long, and 
from ten to fifteen wide, covered with a heavy growth of redwood. 
These trees, also a species of cedar, reach gigantic dimensions, some 
of them yielding from 30,000 to 40,000 feet of lumber. The foothills. 
ap to a height of about two thousand feet, are covered with a scat- 
tered growth of oak and scrubby pine that burn well when dry, but 
are worth little for lumber. These oaks generally extend in the form 
of scattered groves down into the valleys, being about the only trees 
found there. The most of the larger valleys are in fact but sparsely 
wooded, what few trees they contain growing along the margins of 
the watercourses. These valley oaks often attain large proportions, 
single trees when cut up making as much as thirty or forty cords of 
firewood. They do not, however, grow to a great height, but have a 
short thick trunk which throws out many large branches, one of 
these trees sometimes shading nearly an acre of land. On the sage 
plains and deserts in the southeastern part of the State grow a few 
yuca palms and some mesquit trees, the latter a solid heavy wood, 
and excellent fuel, but the former useless alike for fuel or lumber. 
Thealkali flats, lava beds, and tule lands are without timber. Taken 
as a whole, California may be considered a well wooded country, her 
coniferous forests covering some twenty millions acres, constituting, 
beyond any question, the most valuable timber lands in the world. 
With these mighty preserves, which when (ait away rapidly repro- 
duce themselves, and the much tree culture now going q^ nothing 
but the most criminal waste can ever produce anything.Tfke a tim- 
ber dearth in this State. 

What with her long and lofty ranges of mountains, majestic for- 
ests, and park-like hills; her picturesque valleys, deep gorges, and 
wide, extended plains, the scenery of California may be pronounced 
unique, grand, and beautiful in the extreme. Tin towering peaks of 
the Sierra and the softly rounded domes of the Coast Range arrest 
the attention, conspicuous from afar, while from many an eminence 
the great trunk rivers can be seen meandering for hundreds of miles 
through wheat fields and tule savannas, fed by innumerable streams 
that tumble in cataracts down the woody slopes of the mountains. 
Everything here ha- been projected on a scale well befitting this "< Jar- 
den of the Gods." The waters of the Pacific lave the State on one 


side while the snow-clad heights of the Eastern Cordillera look down 
upon it from the other. The gates of the Yosemite open into chasms 
as deep and precipitous as any found elsewhere m the world. Up 
from the champaign spring pinnacled buttes and crested ranges with 
chimney-formed rocks, tall and impending, while here and there a 
volcanic cone stands dark and lonely like a sphinx on the desert, tor 
even these fields of desolation, over which "the mirage dances and 
the sand-storm sweeps/' possess something to charm the lover of soli- 
tude as well as to interest the student of nature. How hardly can we 
find in other countries anything more satisfying to the artist the 
tourist, or the scientist, than is to be seen here within the limits , ot 
California The Alps and the Andes enjoy a well deserved fame tor 
the grandeur of their scenery, while the views along the Rhine and 
the Hudson amount to an enchantment. But California, if she tails 
to combine all that is best in these, possesses m her scenery so much 
that is diversified, original, and vast, that it cannot tail to hit tne 
appreciative mind with both admiration and wonder. 


The most notable thing about the climate of California is its 
division into a wet season and a dry, the former extending from 
about the middle of November till the end of April, though it often 
begins a little earlier and continues for several weeks later. Dur- 
ing this season there are generally from twenty-five to forty entirely 
rainy days, which occur at intervals of two or three hardly ever ot 
more than four or five, in succession. December and January are apt 
to be the wettest months, the rain for the rest of the time falling in 
showers with occasionally an entirely wet day. \ ery little ram tails 
durino- the dry season, sometimes not even a shower from one end ot 
it to the other. The injury caused by such protracted drought is not 
so great as would at first be supposed, for, while the grass withers and 
the streams dry up, and the dust accumulates to a fearful extent, 
these evils are offset by many advantages. The roads though dusty 
are free from mud; outdoor work goes on without interruption, the 
farmer may cut his grain at his leisure, as it takes little harm from 
standing for a week or two after being ripe. Neither the hay nor the 
grain after being cut is apt to be injured by ram. Having been stacked , 
or fathered into heaps, the grain can be left to be thrashed, and the hay 
to be pressed and housed at any time before the wet weather comes 
on So t&o the viticulturist may leave his grapes on the vines, and 
the orchardist his fruits on the trees, long after they are ripe, gather- 
ing them when it best suits their convenience. Y\ hile the grass so 
dries up and fails to renew itself before the next rainy season, it does 
not lose its nutritious properties, cattle thriving upon it almost as 
well as when it is green. Rain occurring during the dry season causes 
onlv harm, as it bleaches the substance from the grass after it has 
been converted into hay, and no one being prepared tor it, works 

m E C xce£t U on the'mountains and higher foothills but little snow falls, 
nor does much ice ever form in any part of California 1 he climate 
along the coast, and for 20 or 30 miles inland, is mild and equable, 
no extremes of heat or cold being ever felt here. Further inland 
the Summers are hot and the Winters somewhat colder than along 
this coast belt. Yet, in all the valleys of California, except the more 


elevated, apples remain on the trees and vegetables in the ground 
without freezing, while flowers bloom the whole Winter long. Stock, 
with the exception of milch cows and work cattle, receive little or 
no fodder, nor are any but work horses housed during the Winter. 
There are many Localities in the southern part of the State that have 
over three hundred entirely clear days in the course of the year. 

As the climate of California is so genial and temperate, so is it little 
liable to destructive tempests, violent electrical disturbances, or dan- 
gerous meteorological phenomena of any kind. From the eyelones 
and blizzards that have of late proved so disastrous to life and prop- 
erty in the Eastern States, California is wholly exempt, while the 
number of deaths from sunstroke and lightning does not exceed a 
dozen, all told. By the earthquakes, concerning which so much has 
been said to her disparagement, not over a score of lives have been 
lost since the American occupation of the country — scarcely more 
than one on an average every two years. The people of this State 
know nothing of famines, and little of floods, destructive inundations 
and damaging droughts being of rare occurrence here. Another 
good point about the climate of California is its extreme healthfulness. 
In few other countries is the death rate so small. Endemic di> 
can hardly be said to exist here, while those of an epidemic kind 
generally prove to be of a mild type, being not often attended with 
fatal results. 


California contains now about one million inhabitants, of whom 
nearly one hundred thousand are Chinamen. Of these people about 
thirty thousand reside in San Francisco, where the most of them are 
employed as domestics, or engaged in washing and manufacturing 
cigars, clothing, boots, shoes, slippers, etc. Half as many, perhaps, 
live in the interior cities and towns of the State, where they are in 
like manner employed. Fifteen thousand work in the placer mines, 
chiefly on their own account. Several thousand carry on gardening, 
mostly in the vicinity of the larger towns. A few are fishermen, 
while a great many are employed in the canneries, at railroad building, 
in the reclamation of the tule lands, and in picking fruit, grapes, 
berries, etc., there being but few industries in the State but what 

employ SOme of these people. 

While the prices of labor in California have been steadily declin- 
ing ever since the memorable year of '49, the presence of the Chinese 
in the State has tended to precipitate the wages of the working cl; 
in advance of all other prices, the rates paid for most kinds of labor 
being now not much higher in this than in the Eastern States. The 
difference in favor of California, except in the case of some skilled 
branches, will not average more than twenty per cent. Ordinary 
farm hands, for example, receive qo1 oyer $20 per month and found, 
the year through. Wages during the harvest season range from $35 
to $40 per month, or $2 per day and found. In the cities common 
Laborers receive from $J 75 to $2 per day, finding themselves. In the 
machine shops, foundries, and similar works, daily wages vary from 
$2 25 to $3, these being about tin rates paid in all manufacturing 
establishments, and about what mechanics, miners, engineers, 
teamsters, etc.. are able to earn in California. ( i I ax men and saw- 
yers are in demand in the Lumber regions at extra high wages. In 


the canneries, cigar factories, and other establishments where women, 
girls, and boys can be employed to advantage, the average earnings 
are not over $1 per day, the usual length of a day's work in Califor- 
nia being ten hours. 

Although industrially so young, California has made good progress 
in many lines of production, outranking all the other States in the 
matter of gold, wine, wool, cmicksilver, and barley; while in her 
wealth of neat cattle and her product of wheat, silver, and silk, she 
occupies the fifth place. She has also a greater length of telegraph 
lines and railroads, in proportion to population, than any of the older 
settled States of the Union, the railroads completed within her bor- 
ders measuring over 2,300 miles, besides several short lines in course 
of construction. 

The total value of the annual products of California amounts now 
to $170,000,000. The people of the State have on deposit, in the sav- 
ings and other banks, $60,000,000. The assessed value of the real estate 
in California exceeds $500,000,000; the value of personal property 
approximating $200,000,000. 

Taken as a whole, the staple articles of subsistence are not much 
dearer here than in the Atlantic States. Rents, fuel, water and lights, 
milk, eggs, butter and cheese, with some other items of prime neces- 
sity, are from twenty to fifty per cent higher here than there; flour, 
fish, fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, furniture, common clothing, 
boots and shoes, about the same. Considering how little fuel and 
extra warm clothing are required in California, and how compara- 
tively few days need be lost by reason of sickness or bad weather, the 
laboring man can afford to live better here, and be able at the same 
time to lay up more money in the course of the year, than he could 
do in any other country. 


As the domestic industries and the other material interests of Cal- 
ifornia have prospered and expanded, so also has the commerce of 
the country grown into large proportions. With an import trade 
second only to that of New York, San Francisco has such virgin 
fields to occupy as open not to her great eastern rival. To her the 
trade of Australia and the Orient, including Eastern Siberia and the 
islands of the Pacific, geographically as well as commercially belongs, 
time, freights, interest, and insurance all being in her favor as against 
every other port in the world. 

Although the trade of San Francisco, which may be said to repre- 
sent largely that of the State, has suffered in some of its departments 
through the construction of two additional transcontinental rail- 
roads, the one to the north and the other to the south of the more 
central route, it still continues large, and has even increased in the 
aggregate since the completion of these lateral lines, indicating that 
this trade is not likely to be seriously crippled by these or other inter- 
fering causes. The value of the merchandise and treasure shipped 
from San Francisco in 1883 amounted to $105,000,000, of which 
$16,000,000 were consigned to foreign countries. Of these exports 
$60,000;000 went by sea and $45,000,000 by rail. The imports from for- 
eign countries amounted meantime to $40,000,000, the following staples 
among other leading articles having been imported in the amounts 
here mentioned: sugar, 133,914,154 pounds; rice, 58,315,750 pounds; 


tea, 20,960,248 pounds, and coffee, 17,444,777 pounds. The receipts of 
lumber at this port amounted for the year to 276,772,469 feet, valued 
at . s.-),ooo,000; receipts of Federal revenue, $12,558,305. 


It is only about thirty years since the inhabitants of this State 
began to turn their attention to agricultural pursuits, the most of the 
manufacturing and mechanical industries that have thus far obtained 
foothold here not dating back so far, many of them in fact being of 
recent origin. For the iirst twenty years after the settlement of the 
country the principal occupation of our people was gold mining, and 
not until the surface placers became measurably exhausted did they 
begin largely to engage in other employments. 


All the grains cultivated elsewhere in the United States are suc- 
cessfully grown in California, and in quantities in the order here 
mentioned: wheat, barley, oats, corn, rye, buckwheat. There are 
millions of acres in the State well suited for the cultivation of rice, 
but none of this grain has been produced, as it can be imported 
much more cheaply than it could be raised here. The following 
figures represent about the average annual crop of the above cereals 
produced in the State during the past five years, the quantities being 
expressed in bushels, with market value of each attached: Wheat, 
45,000,000, value. 850,000,000; barley, 10,000,000, value, 87,000,000; 
oats, 3,000,000, value. 82,000,000; corn, 3,000,000, value, 82,000,000; rye, 
300,000, value, 8200,000; buckwheat, 5,000, value. 15,000. These 
grains commanding in San Francisco within ten per cent the prices 
current in Atlantic seaports. No grain except wheat, with occa- 
sionally a little barley, is exported from the State. The annual 
shipments of wheat and flour from San Francisco amount to about 
1,250,000 tons, of the aggregate value of nearly 140,000,000. A mil- 
lion and a quarter barrels of flour are made from the wheat crop 
every year, by the 200 flouring mills in the Stat< — -120 driven by 
steam and 80 by water-power. The yield of the cereal crops is from 
twenty to thirty per cent higher in California than in countries east 
of the Mississippi River; such a thing as a general failure of these 
crops having never occurred in the State Wheat occasionally suf- 
fers from rust in the coast counties; it is, also, in districts further 
inland, sometimes blighted bya hot north wind that blows while the 
berry is in the milk. The crop is. moreover, frequently shortened 
by drought, this occurring most often in tie' great interior valleys. 

Unimproved agricultural land in California is cheap, there being 
much of tolerable good quality still open to preemption and hone- 
stead location. It can also frequently be bought with some improve- 
ments on at moderate rates. The Central Pacific and the Southern 
Pacific Railroad < lompanies have much good land which they oiler for 
sale at prices ranging from $2 50 to $5 per acre, selling on time if 
purchasers desire i:. While the above class of Lands can be obtained 
at such reasonable figures, highly improved Lands, eligibly situated a- 


regards markets, are rather dear — very large prices being asked for 
properties of this kind when planted with choice fruit trees and vines. 

The crop of this cereal reached in 1883, 43,000,000 bushels, valued 
at $42,500,000. This is somewhat below the usual product of the State, 
the crop of 1880 having exceeded 50,000,000 bushels. The State Agri- 
cultural Society, in their report issued about the middle of April, 
Avhile admitting that it was then too soon to figure with much cer- 
tainty, estimated the wheat crop for 1884 at 48,000,000 bushels. It 
has since turned out to be over 50,000,000. The wheat fields of Cali- 
fornia yielded at first an average of twenty-five bushels per acre; but 
as planting has been extended to lighter soils, and the soil every- 
where, through continuous cropping, has tended to deterioration, the 
yield does not now average over fifteen bushels to the acre — much 
above the yield in the older States of the Union. Our wheat is apt 
to be heavy, the most of it weighing sixty and some of it as much as 
sixty-four pounds to the bushel. Occasionally, however, the berry 
in some of the large interior valleys is light, being shriveled by a hot 
north wind that blows while it is in the milk. The flour exports 
of 1883 were 1,254,519 barrels, valued at $6,158,416. Of late years 
we have been making more of our wheat into flour than formerly, 
as by this plan there is effected some saving in freights, California 
flour being noted for its keeping properties on long sea voyages. China 
was at one time our best flour customer, but for the past year or two 
our millers have been shipping more of this article to Great Britain, 
which becomes now our largest consumer of both flour and wheat. 
The purchasers of our flour rank in the order here mentioned: the 
United Kingdom, China, Central America, Australia, Hawaiian 
Islands, and Panama. 


About 19,000,000 bushels of barley were raised here in 1883, valued 
at $10,000,000, this being the largest crop ever grown in the State. 
Much of our barley is ground for horse feed, more, however, goes 
to the brewers. Our exports last year were 229,168 centals, nearly 
all to England and the Eastern States; a little also to British Colum- 
bia. Barley is a tolerably sure crop in California, the plant not being 
liable to suffer from rust, insect pests, or the blighting north winds, 
which sometimes prove so injurious to the wheat while the berry is 
filling. When this grain is stinted by drought, or grows so rank that 
it is not likely to fill, it is frequently cut for hay before being quite 


Our average crop of oats approximates 3,000,000 bushels, nearly 
all of which is used for horse feed, a little being ground into meal. 
Our exports of this grain are small, though we receive a good deal 
every year from Oregon — price in San Francisco about one and a 
half cents per pound. The crop with us is a tolerably sure one and 
the yield about twenty-five bushels per acre. 



Raised in 1883 — 3,250,000 bushels, the Leading corn counties being 
Los Angeles, with 1,300,000 bushels, and Sonoma, with 1,145,000 
bushels. The climate of California, by reason of the cool nights that 
prevail in the Summer, is unfavorable to the growth of this cereal. 
A good deal of the corn raised here is of the kind suited for table 
use. or for canning while green. We do not feed much of this grain 
to swine, as is practiced in the East, mosi of it being ground into meal. 
in which shape some of it is made into bread and some fed to neat 
cattle. Of late, importations have been considerable — a little, 
always, coming from Mexico, but more from Nebraska. 


Average animal product, 300,000 bushels, San Joaquin County, the 
largest producer, being credited with a third of the whole. The crop 
is all consumed at home, mostly for making bread. 


Five thousand bushels are produced annually ; 1,500 in Los Angeles 
County. As with rye, it is all ground into flour and required for 
domestic consumption. 


Compared with the number of domestic animals kept in tin' State. 
but little hay is made in California. Receipts last year at San Fran- 
cisco. 81,472 tons, which represent, perhaps, one fifth of the quantity 
cured in the State. Price in the city, sii' to sis per ton, as per qual- 
ity.; delivered on or near the field, about half these rates. Formerly 
nearly all our hay was made from the wild oats and indigenous 
grasses; now a good deal is the product of the cultivated grasses, 
alfalfa chiefly, or of wheat, barley, and oat-, cut while green. Millet 
is being grown to some extent, with a good prospect that it will be 
found a valuable grass both for dry forage ami pasturage. With 
improved breeds of cattle, we feed more hay now than when the 
country was overrun with wild Spanish herds, which never received 
housing or fodder of any kind. 


Almost every kind of vegetable can be grown in California, in 
many localities without, and in nearly all parts of the State with, the 
aid of irrigation. Under favorable conditions they are apt to grow 
luxuriantly, some of the vegetables raised here having been noted 
for their large size. Thus, we have produced squashes of good qual- 
ity weighing 260 pounds each, a weight of 800 pounds having been 
grown on a .-ingle vine. We have grown cabbages weighing over 50, 
beets, 118, and watermelons that weighed 65 pounds each, with car- 
rots, turnips, and other vegetables of corresponding size. These 
dimensions are. of course, exceptional ; yet with a good -oil ami suffi- 

cjent moisture the Vegetables I'ai-ed iielV g. IK Tall\ r.\ nl ,| tho-r 

grown in mosi other countries, both as regard- size and weight. Of 


ordinary vegetables there were raised last year the following quanti- 
ties: potatoes, common, 350,000 tons; sweet, 3,400 tons, over one half 
of which were grown in Los Angeles County. While the former kind 
can be raised almost anywhere in California, San Joaquin, Sonoma, 
San Mateo, Los Angeles, and Mendocino may be accounted the prin- 
cipal potato-growing counties of the State. Our only foreign custom- 
ers for this esculent are the Chinese and the Sandwich Islanders, the 
former taking a good many every year. Our onion crop averages 
400,000 bushels, Alameda and Los Angeles being preeminently our 
onion-producing counties, the former turning out about 60,000 and 
the latter about 55,000 bushels annually. Beans, 375,000 bushels — 
forty per cent of the whole raised in Santa Barbara County. Castor 
beans, 1,200,000 pounds, all the product of 900 acres in Los Angeles 
County. Peas, 65,000 bushels; Humboldt, the banner county, 43,000 
bushels. This estimate does not include green peas, of which many 
are consumed in the State. Of pumpkins, squashes, melons, and veg- 
etables of nearly every other kind, we raise such quantities that they 
are in their season supplied to the markets at very low prices. There 
are few articles in this line but what can be found fresh in the San 
Francisco market the year round. 


The number of fruit trees in California of the kinds mentioned 
below is estimated at 8,000,000, subdivided as follows: apple trees, 
2,700,000; peach, 1,200,000; pear, 500,000; plum and prune, 600,000; 
cherry, 400,000; apricot, 500,000; orange, 1,61.0,000; limes and lemons, 
500,000; besides which there are several hundred thousand fig, olive, 
quince, and various other fruit-bearing trees, not to mention a vast 
number of currant and berry bushes of every description. As this 
class of trees are apt to be prolific bearers, the fruit crop of California 
is always large, so large that much of it in remote localities is left 
every year to perish ungathered. A^ast quantities of it are, however, 
preserved, by drying or by bottling and canning, this business having 
reached large dimensions and proved both safe and profitable. 

Fruits of almost every description can be grown all over Califor- 
nia up to an altitude of 2,500 or 3,000 feet, apples, pears, plums, etc., 
maturing in the mountain valleys at elevations of 5,000 feet. 


Curing fruits by the process of desiccation is done either by sun or 
artificial drying, the later being effected by machines or ovens heated 
for the purpose, and many of which are coming into use in Califor- 
nia. Our dried fruit amounts to about 3,000,000 pounds annually, the 
most of it consisting of apples, peaches, pears, prunes, tigs, and plums, 
nearly one third of the whole being cured by machine drying. 
These fruits are in request in the eastern markets, to which a good 
deal is sent every year. Some is also sent to different parts of the 
Pacific Coast, and a little to other countries. 

At the fruit and vegetable canneries, twenty-five in number, 
scattered over nearly all parts of the State, there were put up last 
year a total of l,02o,000 cases. Of these 750,000 cases consisted of 
fruits and berries, and 275,000 of vegetables, the whole having a 
market value of $4,500,000. These establishments have capacity to 


put up from 2,500 to 200,000 cases every year, the number of persons 
employed in them varying from twenty-five or thirty to fifteen hun- 
dred'. ( >f the products of these canneries we export seventy-five per 
cent, the balance being consumed at home. These goods, like our 
dried fruits and canned salmon, are sent to many different countries, 
England, the Eastern Stales, and the Territories west of the Rocky 
Mountains taking the major portion of them. Some are sent, also, 
to British Columbia, Mexico, Central and South America, the Sand- 
wich Islands, Australia, China, Japan, etc. Of our early fruits Large 
quantities, also grapes, are shipped in their green state to Chicago 
and other eastern cities. The cost of putting up fruits in this man- 
ner amounts to $J 75 per ease of twelve cans. Our importations in 
the line of canned goods consist mainly of oysters, condensed milk, 
chicken, turkey, pineapples, meats, and some few fruits and vegeta- 
bles that we do not produce in full supply, or which maybe required 
to replenish exhausted stocks. Imports of these latter are diminish- 
ing every year. 

Although a great deal of the fruit grown in this State is disposed 
of while green, the most of it is preserved either in hermetically 
scaled vessels or by the process of drying. Of the earlier varieties 
much is shipped east by rail, also large quantities of grapes, berries, 
etc., the total amount so disposed of averaging about 15,000,000 
pounds annually. We also supply our more immediate neighbors 
la rgely with these articles. Some green apples are sent as far off as the 
Hawaiian Islands and Australia. 


Of horned cattle, California contains now about 800,000 head, not 
a third of the number in the State thirty years ago. But the cattle 
now on hand are largely of improved breeds; a considerable propor- 
tion being kept for dairying purposes; whereas formerly the entire 
number consisted of Spanish cattle, raw-boned and half wild, raised 
only for their hides and tallow. While they are pretty well distrib- 
uted over the State, the central and southern counties have a prepon- 
derance of the neat cattle. 

Of horses and mules, California numbers about 300,000 of the for- 
mer and 28,000 of the latter. The horses consist of pure-blood ani- 
mals, wild Spanish stock, and a cross between the two. Many of the 
mules arc also of improved breeds. 

We have at present something over 5,000,000 sheep in this State, 
from which there were clipped last year 40,848,690 pounds of wool, 
valued nt |8, 000,000. With us these animals commence to breed 
early and multiply rapidly, the annual increase averaging about fifty 
per cent. With nearly all who have engaged in it, sheep raising has 
proved a profitable business. Of our wool clip, 7,000,000 pounds are 
manufactured into goods of various kinds, mostly cloths and blankets 
of the liner varieties, the rest being shipped to eastern markets. 

We have probably 20,000 Angora or Cashmere goats in the State, 
the present stock being largely crossed with the common varieties. 
Being unacquainted with the business, our first trials with these 
animals have been disappointing. As we have much land well 
adapted to the wants ana habits of these goats, and as their fleeces 
are in demand, there is littledoubl hut there will yet he large hum- 


bers of them raised in California. Some of the flocks have already 
proved profitable. 


We have about 400,000 of these animals in the State, less by one 
half than we had twenty-five years ago, when, breeding without 
much care, thousands of them ran wild in the tule lands, and their 
range was generally less restricted than at present. Our annual 
slaughter of hogs averages about 250,000, their product last vear 
being: ham, 4,850,000 pounds; bacon, 5,325,000; lard, 2,880,000, of the 
estimated value of $2,000,000. Of these articles, we import from 
.States east of the Rocky Mountains largely every year. As with 
increased irrigation there will be grown more of the succulent grasses 
and roots necessary for the sustenance of swine, it may be expected 
that a larger number of these animals will be raised in California 
hereafter, enabling us to become more nearly self-sustaining in this 
line of products. The hog does not thrive in the agricultural dis- 
tricts of the State, as these afford but little mast and not enough 
Summer moisture for his comfort. 

Domestic fowls, as a general thing, do well in California, where a 
great many of one kind and another are kept. In some of the coast 
counties chickens are subject to diseases which in many cases prove 
fatal. The increased value of the poultry last year is estimated at 
SI 00,000. Eggs being largely consumed here, many are imported 
from the Western States, also some from Utah. Both eggs and poul- 
try are considerably dearer here than in the Eastern States. 


The business of dairying is carried on extensively in California, 
the annual product of butter having for a number of years past 
averaged about 11,000,000 pounds; cheese, 4,000,000; about four tenths 
of the butter having been made in Marin, and one eighth in San 
Luis Obispo County. At certain seasons of the year we ship butter 
to the East, receiving at others a little butter with some cheese from 
choice dairies in return. Our imports of cheese come, however, 
mostly from Switzerland. We supply butter to British Columbia, 
the Sandwich Islands, and other of our neighbors. Many California 
dairymen keep large numbers of cows. Messrs. Howard & Shafter 
had at one time on their ranch in Marin County as many as 3,500 
head, divided up into seventeen dairies. The Steele Brothers of San 
Luis Obispo County, keep from 600 to 800 head, and there are prob- 
ably a hundred dairies in the State that have from 50 to 100 head 
each. Our milch cows are either of the pure English breeds, Ameri- 
can animals, or a cross of these, mixed sometimes slightly with the 
lank, long horned Spanish stock, which are poor milkers. 




It' there is one thing in the vegetable domain for which the soil and 
climate of California are better adapted than any other, it is their 
fitness i'nr growing the grape. Nearly the whole State below an alti- 
tude of three or four thousand feet, may be said to consist of tolera- 
bly good, the most of it first class, vine lands. We have probably 
more land of this kind within our borders than France and Italy 
combined. While so nearly the whole of California may be consid- 
ered the habitat of the vine, the territory best suited for its culture is 
comprised in a belt reaching laterally from the western slopes of the 
Coast Range to the higherfoothills of the Sierra Nevada, and extend- 
ing the entire length of the State, a distance of nearly 700 miles. 
The cultivated grape has been grown successfully in California for a 
long time, the first plantings having been done by the Catholic Fathers 
more than a hundred years ago. The vine set out by them, though 
hardy and a good bearer, yields rather a common sort of fruit, known 
here as the Mission or Los Angeles grape. For several years at first 
our modern plantings were mostly composed of this grape. Of late, 
however, it is being superseded by better and generally very choice 

Charles A. Wetmore, an authority in all that relates to viticulture 
in California, estimates thai we have now 160,000 acres planted to 
vines, such estimate including 30,000 acres set out the present year. 
Calculating 800 vines to the acre — about the average — gives 128,000,- 
000 vines now in the ground, of which a third are in full or partial 
bearing. Mr. Wetmore is of the opinion that we shall have in another 
year as large an area as 70,000 acres of vines five years old and upwards, 
and that such area will in the course of four years more be enlarged 
to nearly half a million acres, containing over 400,000,000 bearing 

Our vintage of late years has been as follows: 1881, 12,000,000 gal- 
lons; 1882, 9,000,000; 1883, 9,500,000. Calculated on this basis, the 
product of our vineyards for the near future may be estimated as 
follows: 1884, 12,000,000 gallons, with possibilities of 14,000,000; 1885, 
15,000,000; 1886, 20,000,000; 1887, 25,000,000;. 1888, 33,000,000 gallons. 
For a number of years past the value of the ( alifornia wine product 
has averaged about $6,000,000 per annum, though last year, owing to 
a short grape crop, it amounted to only s5,( XX),000. Brandy from the 
grape, of which several hundred thousand gallons are made every 
year, is not included in the above estimates. 

The more obvious defects of our I 'alifornia wines have been due to 
lack of skill and care in their manufacture, and to insufficient age. 
They have not, asa general thing, been wanting in inherent good 
properties, and the above causes of their defects are being every year 
diminished. They have this further to recommend them to wine 
drinkers everywhere: they a re absolutely pure, our vintners practicing 
no adulteration whatever. It is true they have recourse sometimes 
to the subterfuge of selling their wines under foreign labels, this being 
a concession to the preferences of a certain class of consumers, who. 
haying been accustomed to the use of foreign brands, the accommo- 
dating vintner, more often the retailer, takes this method for gratify- 


ing the tastes of his customers. With the considerable experience 
our people have had in the business of wine making, and the prac- 
tice of storing for age every year extending, coupled with the fact that 
the later plantings have largely consisted of the better class of vines, 
there can be little doubt but the bulk of the wines turned out in 
this State will, in the course of a few years, be superior to those pro- 
duced in any other part of the world. 

The price of grapes per ton, delivered at the wineries, has, for the 
past five years, been as follows: 


1879 $14( A!m-, 2d 

1880 : 18@23 30@35 

L881 20@22 28(5 35 

18S2 17(3 18 30(3 36 

1883 18(3 25 25@35 

Grapes of the kinds suitable for table use and raisin making com- 
mand somewhat higher prices than the above. Of the vintage about 
twenty per cent is consumed for these and like purposes, eighty per 
cent going to the wine press. 

The yield of our vineyards varies with seasons and other condi- 
tions, the average being from four to five tons per acre. Cuttings 
begin to bear here the second year after being set out, the vintage 
thence on increasing for a number of years. Not only is the vine 
with us a thrifty grower and early bearer, but it is apt to be long 
lived as well, there being examples of some set out nearly one hun- 
dred years ago still bearing abundantly. 

The wine product of California is disposed of as follows: We con- 
sume at home about 4,000,000 gallons; export 3,000,000 gallons; retain 
for aging 3,000,000 gallons; 3,000,000 gallons of brandies and sweet 
wines being distilled from wines, sediments, and pressings. Our 
exportations of wine during the past ten years have been as follows: 


1874 1,000,000 

1875 1,031,507 

1876 1.1 15.045 

1877 1.4ii2.792 

1878 1,812,159 

1879 2,155,944 

1880 2,487,353 

18S1 2,845,365 

18S2 2,916,775 

1883 3,100,000 

Exports of brandy meantime have been: 


1874 40.000 

1875 42,318 

1876 59,993 

1S77 138,993 

1878 . 129,199, 

1879 163J892 

1880 189,098 

1881 209,677 

16S2 214.102 

1883 220,500 


Manv of the vineyards of California are very extensive, numbering 

from 200,000 or 300,000 to 500,001) vines each, 'it is probable that this 
State can boasl of the largest single grape plantation in the world, 
that nf Governor Stanford, at Vina, in Tehama County, comprising 
10,000 acres, 2,800 acres of which has been planted with vines mostly 
of choice varieties. 

California offers all the conditions requisite to the production of a 
good and a cheap raisin. As with wine, the earlier attempts at raisin 
making failed to produce a perfect article. But lately such im- 
provements have been made in the business thai it may now be con- 
sidered a complete success, many of the California cured raisins 
being nearly or quite equal to the best imported. The industry is 
bound to expand rapidly and reach ultimately large proportions. 
The curing of last year amounted to 180,000 boxes of 20 pounds each, 
which sold in the market at the average rate of si 35 per box. The 
product last year was much less than may ordinarily be counted 
upon, the early rains having greatly injured the fruit and interfered 
with the process of curing. 


While we have in California a great variety of pursuits, interests, 
and improvements, each entitled to extended comment, only a few, 
even of the more important can, in a cursory review like that here 
contemplated, be noticed with much fullness. Reserving what relates 
to the more useful minerals and metals, and the industries and enter- 
prises connected with their development, to be described more in 
detail further on, we give below an epitomized account of most of 
the leading industries of the State. 

Summarizing, we present first the following 


As tending to illustrate in a general way the progress heretofore 
made, and the present financial, commercial, and industrial status of 
California: The State now contains 1,000,000 inhabitants, which num- 
ber is being increased through births and immigration at the rale of 
60,000 per year. With her available lands all occupied, and her natural 
resources fully developed, California would be capable of sustaining 
a population of 20,000,000. She has within her limits real estate of 
the assessed value of $500,000,000; personal propertv, $200,000,000; 
9,000,000 acres of land inclosed; 7,000,000 under cultivation; value 
of annual products, $180,000,000. As a State she is practically 
without any debt. Deposits in savings banks, 160,000,000; banking 
capital of the State, $50,000,000: annual bullion product, $18,000,000; 
average value of wheat crop. $45,000,000; harlev, $10.01 )().()()(); dairv 
products, ss,( )()0,000; fruit crop, $7,500,000; wool. $8,000,000; wine. 
$5,000,000; value of lumber made in the state. $5,500,000; hay cut. 
$13,000,000; value of domestic animals of all kinds, $60,000,000; value 
of animals, ponli r\ , etc., slaughtered every year, $23,000,000; increased 
value imparted to manufactures, etc., by labor, $40,000,000; number 
of grapevines se\ out, i:;0,000,000; fruit and nut trees, 800,000, with 
live limes as many forest, shade, and ornamental trees. The State 
contains 3,500 miles of telegraph lines; 3;300 miles of railroad: 5,000 
miles of mining, with an equal extent of irrigating, ditches; !<>() quartz 


mills; 300 sawmills, and 185 flouring mills; $250,000,000 have been 
invested in mining improvements in the State, cost of quartz mills, 
tunnels, and ditches included. 


We have in California a great many industries which, being of sec- 
ondary importance or but remotely connected with the subject of 
mining, have here been roughly classified and disposed of in a sum- 
mary way, since to enlarge upon them as their merits deserve would 
swell this paper to undue proportions. While our method of treat- 
ing them amounts to hardly more than making a catalogue of these 
collateral and minor topics, we have felt that they should not, in a 
paper of this kind, be wholly overlooked. Proceeding then to deal 
with this class of subjects in the manner indicated, it may be observed 
that — 

In the domain of agriculture, we have experimented widely 
and successfully; growing, maturing, and generally bringing to the 
highest perfection, all the products of the temperate, with many 
belonging to the semi-tropical, zones. We raise even 7 important 
cereal known to agriculture; wheat and barley in great quantities. 
The orange, lime, and lemon have become staple fruits in California; 
and even the banana, heretofore deemed a purely tropical plant, has 
ripened its fruit in some parts of the State. If some of our trials with 
vegetable products have proved disappointing, this has, as a general 
thing, been due to the high prices of labor, lack of skill and care in 
their cultivation, or to the presence of other unfavorable conditions 
aside from soil and climate; and that we have met with a few disap- 
pointments in this respect must be admitted. Our experiments with 
coffee, tea, tobacco, sugar cane, sorghum, ramie, and cranberry grow- 
ing have, for example, turned out but poorly, and in some cases for 
the reason that our climate is not suitable for the cultivation of these 
products, frosts having injured the ramie and coffee plants or killed 
them outright. In the matter of tea and tobacco, while the curing 
was no doubt faulty, the leaf of both was lacking in flavor. The 
cranberry failed because the site was injudiciously chosen and the 
soil badly prepared, there being plenty of land in California well 
adapted for the cultivation of this berry, and tobacco, as well. As 
regards ramie, there is a large extent of bottom lands on the Colorado 
River where it could be successfully grown, if nowhere else in the 
State. Not having as yet succeeded in supplying ourselves with the 
commodities here mentioned, we import the most of them; tea, from 
China and Japan; coffee, from Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, and other 
parts of the world; tobacco, from Cuba and the Eastern States; sugar, 
mainly from the Sandwich Islands; and cranberries, from certain of 
the Western States, also a wild fruit, in considerable quantities, from 
British Columbia. 

The broomcorn we raise is made into brooms, wisps, brushes, etc., 
of which we send annually about 4,000 dozen to interior and coast- 
wise markets, also some to the Sandwich Islands, Australia, and the 
Orient, retaining, perhaps, twice as many for our own use. Owing to 
the dryness of the climate, the California broom is hardly as tough as 
that grown in the East. We make most of our mustard, chiefly from 
the cultivated, partly from the wild, plant, which latter covered at 
one time the rich valley lands in many parts of the State with a 


growth so sturdy that it stubbornly resisted the efforts of the farmers 
at rooting it out, many plowings having been required to effect that 
end. The chicory we raise, though scarcely equal to the German, 
being cheaper, is making headway against the latter. Buhach, the 
plant from which the so called Persian powder is made for killing 
fleas and other insects, is grown quite extensively and profitably in 
Kern flounty — a little. also, elsewhere in the State. This powder has 
been found very effective for the destruction of insect pests of various 
kinds, and so much is it being employed for this purpose that the verb 
"tobuhach"has come into common use among vine-growers and hor- 
ticulturists in some parts of California. The guava plant is being 
cultivated in the neighborhood of San Diego with the prospect of its 
becoming very remunerative. Though highly esteemed for table 
use, most of this fruit is made into jelly. 


We accomplish a great deal — make furniture in large quantities 
and of every kind, from the most elegant rosewood parlor set to the 
rawhide-bottomed chair, and this, notwithstanding few of our native 
woods are well suited for the purpose. Latterly this business has 
been a little depressed owing to the completion of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad, causing the eastern to compete sharply with our 
local manufacturers for the Oregon trade. The product of our shops 
is in nowise inferior to the best made elsewhere, suitable woods being 
largely imported, and the services of artisans trained in eastern and 
European factories having been secured in all our larger establish- 
ments. We dispose of but little home-made furniture except to our 
immediate neighbors. Our manufacturers are paying increased 
attention, not only to the selection and seasoning of their woods, but 
also to fashioning and finishing their wares, insuring to their custom- 
ers articles of greater excellence than they were able to turn out at 
first. Besides furniture in such variety, we manufacture pianos, 
organs, and other musical instruments, picture and mirror frames, 
billiard tables, etc. The construction of wheeled vehicles is a great 
business in California, extending to every kind of conveyance, and 
being carried on throughout all parts of the State, and this despite 
heavy importations both by land and sea. Owing to the high wages 
paid workmen, labor-saving implements and machinery of all kinds 
have ever been in great request in California. Especially with the 
large grain raisers has this been the case, hence the heavy importa- 
tion of gang j »lo\vs. seed sowers, harrows, mowers and rakers, reapers. 
thrashers, separators, etc., and this notwithstanding we make at home 
great numbers of these articles, there being at least a dozen estab- 
lishments in the State devoted to their manufacture. To San Fran- 
cisco the north coast as far up as British Columbia, also, Mexico, 
Arizona, ami the Sandwich Islands, look for their supplies in this line, 
either wholly or in part. 

As much water requires to he raised during the long dry - 
that prevail in California, windmills in great numbers are availed of 
for this purpose. These machine-, the most of which are made here. 
are of diverse patterns — some simple and cheap, costing not over $50, 
other- large and complicated, costing as much a- ;i thousand or 
fifteen hundred dollars — average cost, about $200. The windmill is 
employed here for raising water, not only for domestic, hut also for 


irrigating and manufacturing purposes. We make now on this coast, 
mostly in San Francisco, about all the wooden ware we require, and of 
which we consume annually values to the amount of $250,000. Some 
articles in this line, such as ax and pick handles, whip-stocks, chop- 
ping trays, etc.. we obtain from the East, because we have not here 
suitable woods for making them. This deficiency will, however, be 
in good time supplied, as arboriculturists are taking pains to plant 
such trees as will furnish this much needed kind of lumber. Of 
willowware we make yearly about $12,000 worth, our imports amount- 
ing to four times as much. The business, which requires but little 
capital, is carried on by eight or ten different parties, each in a small 
way — some basket-making and rattan work being generally connected 
with it. All the raw material is imported, but as we have any amount 
of waste tule land suitable for growing the osier, economy suggests that 
we raise enough of it for our own use, which we will probably do 
before long. In a country so prolific of fruits and wines, boxes and 
casks must necessarily be in large demand; hence, the incredible 
number of these articles made up every year in California. Owing 
however to the cheapness of lumber, this package tax is not very 
onerous. While most of the cooperage business is done in San 
Francisco, there is still a good deal carried on throughout the wine 
growing districts of the State. Among the smaller articles made from 
wood, we manufacture faucets and bungs, lasts, matches, etc. Our 
matches are so cheap and so good, that we export every year about 
5,000 cases of them, against only a few hundred imported, although 
the importation was at one time very large. 


We have from pioneer times been great workers. Inhabiting a 
region so abounding in gold and silver, we naturally took to the 
manufacture of plate, jewelry, and other articles of ornamentation 
at an early day, and have since done much at the business, in which 
our artists have reached great proficiency. Of our achievements in 
working up iron something has been said in the articles pertaining to 
our foundries, machine shops, etc. But in addition to iron we have 
establishments that manufacture articles and wares from all the 
other useful metals, the number of hands emploved in them amount- 
ing to at least 2,000— gross value of products, 85,000,000. With us the 
wages paid workers in metals rule high, about seventy-five per cent 
higher than prevailing rates in the Atlantic States. Our brass and 
bronze foundries use up copper, tin, zinc, lead, and antimony to the 
amount of 600 tons annually, and produce everything usually made 
at similar works elsewhere — products valued at 8500,000. Our lead 
works, described more fully elsewhere, employ 150 hands, and turn 
out products to the value of 8800,000 per annum. There are, pro- 
bably, 150 tinshops in California. Chinese and repair shops counted 
in — value of products, including such sheet-iron wares as are usually 
made in connection with this business, 81,200,000: hands employed, 
600, one fifth of them Chinese; capital invested, S575.000. Formerly 
our importations in this line were large; they now scarcely exceed 
$400,000 per year, consisting mostly of "pressed" wares. Our copper- 
smitheries, all but two or three located in San Francisco, employ 
60 men, at 83 50 per day, and manufacture wares to the value of 8250,- 
000 annually. Gasfitting and plumbing, japanning, galvanizing iron, 


silver plating, gold beating, and gilding are all carried on here to a 
greater or less extent. We also manufacture some cutlery, firearms, 
mathematical, telegraphic, and electrical instruments, clocks, watches, 
etc. Of the tacks, nails, files, and other articles of hardware, made 
by the Judson Manufacturing Company, mention is made in our 
article on the works and products of that company. We have two 
stove factories, although as yet not much hollowware or other domestic 
utensils have been cast in the State. The value of our home-made 
stoves amounts to about $300,000 per year— imported, $1,000,000. We 
shall soon make about all the stoves required in California, and, 
probably, some for exportation. 

While our soap and candle factories turn out large quantities of 
good articles in their respective lines, we continue making heavy 
shipments of tallow to the East, where it is made up into soap and 
candles, brought back and sold to us with cost of freights, manufac- 
ture, interest, and insurance added. Of turpentine we produced 
during war times all we wanted for our own use, but shipments being 
resumed, on the restoration of peace, prices so declined that the home 
manufacturer was obliged to abandon the business, being no longer 
able to compete with the imported article. As we have vast forests 
of terebinthine trees, there is little doubt but we will yet produce not 
only enough pitch, tar, and turpentine for our own use, but enough 
for our commercial neighbors. 

Three Italian paste companies, operating in San Francisco, sup- 
ply not only the wants of the coast, but also the export demand, now 
considerable, with macaroni and vermicelli, employing, of course, 
only California flour in their manufacture. 

We have several cracker factories in the State, all the larger ones 
being located in San Francisco. The works of the California Cracker 
Company are said to have capacity equal to any in the United States. 
While we make some gutta percha and rubber goods, the bulk of 
such goods used here continues to be imported. We prepare cocoa for 
chocolate, of which the several factories in San Francisco turn out a 
good deal. We make both writing and printers' inks; varnish, to 
the amount of 60,000 gallons yearly; besides which, we import 20,000 
gallons, all consumed at home. We make artificial limbs to the value 
of siu,000 or $12,000 per year; some smoking pipes, both wooden and 
meerschaum, but none of clay— about one fourth of the shoe black- 
ing used in the country; 30,000 pairs of lasts, some of which arc sold 
abroad. Two axle grease factories, both located in San Francisco, 
employing about a dozen hands, make annually 150 tons of this 
lubricant, valued at $45,000; besides this, we import from the Eastern 
States 50 tons. Our exports of axle .urease, amounting to 25 tons, go 
mostly to Mexico, British Columbia, tin 1 Sandwich Islands, and Aus- 
tralia. A dozen mills, three fourths of them located in San Francisco, 
grind up spices, mustard, chicory, etc., to the value < >f $2,4 X >( ),( KX)] >er year. 
< >ur imports of pepper, nutmeg, cloves, cassia, and allspice, amounted 
in 1883 to 1,049,850 pounds, double the quantity imported any previ- 
ous year. The only safes made on the coasl arc manufactured in 
San Francisco, by Jonathan Kittredge, on orders for articles of great 
size or of patterns not made for the trade. We import all others; al-o. 
nearly all the locks, keys, etc., required on the coast. A.n attempt was 
made to establish a lock factory here some years ago. but ii did not 
succeed. Chains of extra large size we make; smaller and poorer 
ones are imported. Mattress springs are manufactured in San Fran- 


cisco. Seventy-five per cent p£ our wagon and carriage springs are 
brought from the Atlantic States at an annual cost of about $260,000. 
Four foundries, employing 45 hands, make $50,000 worth of type 
every year; besides which, we expend about an equal amount for 
imported printers' material of various kinds. We make a few rub- 
ber and gutta percha goods, importing of these articles to the extent 
of $1,000,000 worth annually. We have mills that clean rice, grind 
salt, plaster, etc. We manufacture trunks, carpet sacks, satchels, etc., 
to the value of $350,000 per year, this branch of business giving 
employment. to 200 operatives. We make annually 4,700 barrels of 
glue, of the aggregate value of $85,000. The most of this article we 
export, three fourths of it to New York. The single surviving starch 
factory of several that have been started in California, turns out 
annually 100 tons of this commodity, valued at $16,000. Our imports, 
mostly from the Eastern States, amount to 1,200 tons; exports, 80 tons, 
our principal customers being Mexico, British Columbia, the Sand- 
wich Islands, and China. The manufacture of clothing of every 
description; straw, felt, and silk hats; gloves, slippers, and regalia; 
parasols and umbrellas; neckties, suspenders, and an infinite variety 
of similar small articles, is carried on very extensively in San Fran- 
cisco, though it is greatly to be regretted that so large a proportion 
of these employments, which ought to be reserved for the women 
and the youth of both sexes, is here engrossed by the Chinese. 



We manufacture in California the various explosives, high and 
low, to the value of about $2,000,000 annually. We also import from 
the Eastern States considerable powder, both sporting and blasting, 
though the quantity is being gradually diminished. Our exports are 
chiefly to Mexico and British Columbia, with a little to the Hawaiian 
and other of the Pacific Islands, and amount to about 800,000 pounds 
per year, valued at $133,000. During the past year the home con- 
sumption, owing to some abatement of railroad building and hydraulic 
mining, has been less than usual. The capital invested in powder 
making, all the various kinds included, amounts, probably, to 
$3,000,000; number of hands employed, 300, many of them Chinamen ; 
wages paid vary from $1 25 to $3 50 per day. Of the crude stock, the 
acids, charcoal, and part of the glycerine, are made in the State. The 
nitrate of potash is imported from Calcutta, and the nitrate of soda 
from Peru, the sulphur being obtained mostly from Sicily and Japan, 
with a little sometimes from the State of Nevada. 

The California Powder Works — Located near the town of 
Santa Cruz — constitute the only establishment in California at which 
the various kinds of common or black powder are made. These 
works, which give employment to about 50 hands, all whites, are 
very extensive, comprising 21 powder mills, 10 shops, 6 magazines 
and stores, besides 35 other buildings. In their equipments they are 
very complete, embracing all the machinery and processes pertaining 
to the manufacture and putting up of gunpowder, from the distilla- 


tion of wood for charcoal and the refining of niter to the final pack- 
ing in wooden and iron kegs, all of which are made on the premises. 
The powder produced at these works includes both the fine and coarse 

varieties, such as sporting, blasting, etc., some of it being especially 
adapted for subterranean and submarine blasting. It enjoys an 
excellent reputation, having been able to nearly monopolize the 
trade since the company was organized, more than twenty years ago. 

The same company have put up works at Pinole Point, on the 
shore of San Pablo Bay, in Contra Costa County, for the manufacture 
of Hercules powder, a business prosecuted here on quite an extensive 
scale. This, like their powder works near Santa Cruz, is a very com- 
prehensive establishment, comprising large factories for making sul- 
phuric and nitric acids. The Hercules powder from Pinole Point 
has come into general use on this coast, having commended itself to 
consumers both for its strength and safety. 

Besides the foregoing we have several other companies engaged in 
making the high explosives in California, such as the Giant, Vulcan, 
Safety-Nitro, Vigorite, etc. Owing to the diminished requirements, 
these companies, finding they were making such an over production 
as prevented their realizing any profits, agreed among themselves 
in May last to so restrict the output of their works that some advance 
in prices would be possible. Although no higher rates for powder 
have yet obtained, this may soon be looked for, as a new schedule of 
prices has been agreed upon. 

Fireworks. — We burn on the coast fireworks to the value of 
180,000 annually, the consumption of these articles being less now 
than formerly, by reason of municipal ordinances restricting their 
use in the larger cities. Three factories in San Francisco, employing 
15 hands, make the fixed or larger pieces, the smaller, such as crack- 
ers, rockets, etc., being brought from China. The import trade is 
mostly in the hands of the Chinese, with us the principal consumers 
of this style of combustible. We supply firecrackers to the surround- 
ing countries and send a few to Mexico and South America. 

Blasting Fuse. — We have three factories in California making 
this material. They employ about 40 hands and make enough fuse 
to supply the wants of the mining regions as far east as Colorado, 
including British Columbia and northwestern Mexico. 

woolen mills and goods. 

Of the 40,000,000 pounds of wool annually produced in California, 
about one sixth is manufactured into various fabrics at home, and 
the remainder exported to eastern markets. There are eleven woolen 
mills now operating in the State, located as follows: two at San Fran- 
cisco, and one each at Napa, Santa Rosa, San Jose, Marysville, Sacra- 
mento, Stockton, Merced, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino. A 
company with a capital of 8100,000 has been formed and taken active 
measures for building a woolen mill at Gridley, in Butte County. 
The project of building a like establishment in Fresno County, and 
at one or two other points in the State, is now being considered, and 
it may safely be calculated that the present number of our woolen 
mills will be largely added to in the course of a few years. Those 
now running employ about 1,800 hands, one fourth of them China- 
men, the most of this race being employed in the two large mills in 
San Francisco. The capital invested in this branch of industry 


amounts to about $2,500,000— value of goods annually turned out, 
$3,200,000— wages paid out, $700,000 per year. The articles manufac- 
tured in this line consist mainly of blankets, flannels, cassimeres, 
cloths, yarns, and knit goods of various kinds. Our importations of 
woolen goods are heavy, and may be expected to so continue till 
buyers find out the superiority of our all-wool fabrics over eastern 



"While we can grow in California all the fiber plants except such 
as are purely tropical, our advantages for the production of silk are 
notable— unequaled, perhaps, by those of any other country. The 
mulberry tree can be raised here with little trouble, growing much 
more rapidly than in France, and yielding more leaves. It has with 
us such power of recuperation that when trimmed down it throws 
up shoots from ten to fifteen feet in length in a single year, nor does 
it suffer under judicious cutting of this kind. Two crops of cocoons 
can be raised yearly, one in May, and the other in July, no artificial 
heat being required. Here we have none of that heavy thunder, and 
the long cold rains, that so injure the eggs and kill the worms in all 
parts of Europe. Here, instead of having recourse to kilns for 
stifling the chrysalis, as in other countries, this is effected simply by 
exposure to the solar rays, which, under the cloudless skies of Cali- 
fornia, is all sufficient. With a climate so equable and genial the cost 
of shelter is little. The worms so far have been free from disease, 
and there being no severe cold to interfere they work continuously. 
Incited by these favorable conditions, and the premiums offered by 
the State as an encouragement to sericulture, many of our people 
began planting the mulberry tree, procuring the eggs and breeding the 
worms more than twenty years ago. Barring such slight disappoint- 
ments as arise from the mistakes incident to every new business, these 
efforts have been attended by the most gratifying results. We have 
now many millions of these trees growing in the State, and quite a 
large number, mostly women, girls, and boys, engaged successfully in 
the business of gathering the leaves, feeding, and otherwise looking 
after the worms. The calling is admirably suited to these classes, the 
labor being light, simple, and cleanly, while the methods of feeding, 
spinning their gossamer filaments, and the other habits of these 
strange creatures, are exceedingly curious and interesting. At first 
we procured the most of our eggs from Japan, those produced in 
France and Italy being at that time much diseased, and for several 
years these countries drew on us for more healthy eggs. Later we 
began to displace the Japanese with the Italian egg, which is now 
greatly preferred to any other. We have now two factories in this 
State, both located in San Francisco, engaged in making various kinds 
of silk goods, the one turning out skein, spool, knitting, and embroi- 
dery silks, and the other piece goods. The products of both these 
establishments are in great favor, being preferred by the trade to 
imported articles. These factories employ about 150 hands, mostly 
women and girls, and turn out aggregate values to the amount of 
$350,000 per year. Skilled laborers having been procured from Eu- 
rope, these employes have been carefully trained, and are now adepts 
in the art of filature, weaving, and all else that relates to the manu- 


facturc of silk goods of the finest quality. The outlook for this indus- 
try, both as regards the production and manufacture of the fiber, is 
most encouraging in California. 

Cotton.— Although cotton planting commenced in this State as 
early as 1870 no great progress has been made in the business, the 
retarding causes consisting mainly in the cost of labor and the con- 
siderable amount of it called for, the plant here requiring irrigation. 
The work of picking is also somewhat more laborious than in the 
Atlantic States, by reason of the dry Summers here causing the fiber 
to adhere more firmly to the stem. With irrigation, however, good 
crops can be made in the interior of the State, the yield being large 
and the staple excellent. The annual product of California has for 
some years past averaged about 250,000 pounds, seven eighths of it 
being raised in Merced, and the balance in Kern County. It has 
proved to the cultivators a fairly profitable crop, and more of it will 
probably be raised hereafter, as two companies have been organized 
for putting up cotton factories in the State, the one to be located in 
East and the other in West Oakland. These projects are in a state 
of forwardness, and being engineered by parties of ample means, will 
no doubt be pushed to an early completion. The mill at East Oak- 
land will make jute as well as cotton goods, one of the specialties here 
being the manufacture of seamless flour and grain sacks. The con- 
version of the cotton factory erected at East Oakland in 1865 into a 
jute mill had a depressing effect on the cotton-growing interest of 
California by depriving planters of the limited home market they 
had before enjoyed. When it is considered that there is imported 
into the United States cotton fabrics, mostly fine goods, to the value 
of $40,000,000 annually, it would seem as if we on this coast ought to 
be able to grow cotton and manufacture it into the coarser kinds of 
articles to advantage. 

Flax and Hemp.— That the cultivated flax would thrive in Cali- 
fornia might be inferred from the fact that the plant grows wild 
in many parts of the State. The indigenous stalk produces a good 
lint, of which the Indians formerly made much use. We have grown 
the plant here successfully for many years, but for the seed only, very 
little use having as yet been made of the fiber, though the stalk 
yields a strong heavy coat. The crop is a profitable one raised for 
the seed alone, for which the oil mills— two in the State — pay two and 
a half to three cents per pound, the yield of seed being at the rate of 
about 950 pounds to the acre. Our yearly product of this seed 
averages a little over 5,000,000 pounds. Of this quantity San Luis 
Obispo County turns out over 3,000,000 pounds; San Mateo, 1,400,000, 
and Santa Barbara 500,000 pounds. As our oil mills import flax seed 
largely, and the tendency of our people is to economy and the 
enlargement of our home industries, it may reasonably lie expected 
that the cultivation of this plant will increase rapidly, and tbatthe 
fiber, as well as the seed, will be utilized before 1 many more years 
have gone by.' The managers of the jute mill at Oakland having 
recently procured flax spinning machinery, with which they have 
made some excellent twine, are anxious to contract with flax growers 
for a quantity of the lint. The importations into the United States 
of the dressed liber, and the linen made from it, amounted last year 
to >20,000,000, and yet no country is better adapted for growing flax 
than ours. While no crops of hemp have been raised in California, 
the experiments made with this textile plant demonstrate that our 


soil and climate are equally as well fitted for it as for flax, the stalk 
growing readily and yielding a strong and abundant fiber. 

Jute and Ramie. — The attempts thus far made at cultivating 
ramie in California have been discouraging, the plant being liable to 
suffer from frost, and yielding but little fiber. The experiments 
made with jute, however, proved entirely successful, and there is 
little doubt but our tule lands, when reclaimed, will afford millions 
of acres well suited for growing this plant. Some trials made along 
the sloughs of the Sacramento have turned out extremely well. 
Growing jute on these tule lands and river bottoms would be attend- 
ed with the further advantage of having water convenient for rotting 
the stalk. In view of the large demand for grain sacks on this coast, 
jute is sure to be grown here on an extended scale. It is estimated 
that our requirements for the present year, Oregon and Washington 
Territory included, will amount to over 45,000,000 sacks; which, 
making due allowance for sacks used a second time, would cost our 
farmers annually not less than £3,000,000. The principal hindrance 
to raising jute here is the fact that our cultivators would have to 
contend with the cheap labor of India, whence the entire supply of 
the world is at present derived. But as the home producer would 
have freights, duties, and insurance in his favor, it would look as if 
he ought to be able to compete successfully with the India grower, 
our soil and climate being probably as well adapted for raising the 
plant as his; not only so, but were our people to engage largely in the 
cultivation of jute, it may be presumed that we would soon invent 
machinery for dressing the stalk and preparing the lint for spinning, 
a process effected in India altogether by hand labor. 

We have now two jute mills engaged in spinning this fiber and 
making the yarn into grain sacks, the one located at Oakland and 
the other at the San Quentin Prison, the latter being the property of 
the State. These mills, which employ from 400 to 500 hands each, 
are run to their full capacity for the greater part of the time, and 
turn out between 8,000,000 and 10,000,000 grain sacks per year, cotton 
sacks for flour, salt, etc., being also made at the Oakland mills. The 
sewing of these sacks is done partly by hand and partly with power- 
ful machines constructed for the purpose and imported from Dundee, 
Scotland, where are located the most extensive jute factories in the 
world. The original cost of these machines, three in number, was 
$1,300 each — cost, delivered and set up here, $1,500. The output of 
the Oakland mill averages now about 5,000,000 grain sacks per year; 
of the San Quentin mill, about 4,000,000. 


As yet California has done but little towards suppljung herself with 
sugar, about all that has been accomplished in that direction being 
the production annually of less than 1,000 tons of sugar made from 
beets. The quantity of sugar beets raised in the State amounts to 
about 70,000 tons per year — 40,000 tons raised in Alameda County, 
20,000 in Los Angeles, and the remainder mostly in Sacramento 
County. There are four beet sugar factories in the State, one at each 
of the following places: Alvarado, Soquel, Sacramento City, and Isle- 
ton, the most of the sugar thus far produced having been made at 
Alvarado, in Alameda County. Some sugar cane has been raised in 
the southern part of the State and some sorghum elsewhere, but no 


sugar has been made from cither, the first having been consumed by 
our cane-chewiDg population, and most of the sorghum used for fod- 
der. As our soil and climate arc exceedingly well adapted for the 
growth of the melon, it may be expected that a great deal of sugar 
will yet be produced herefrom thai vegetable. Much has been said 
and written calculated to favor experiments with the melon sugar. 
Among those who have made valuable contributions to the literature 
of this industry. Wm. Wadsworth and Dr. J. S. Silver, of this city, are 
entitled to special mention. Extracts from these papers are given 
below. For refining the raw sugar imported into this State three large 
establishments have been erected in San Francisco, the most exten- 
sive of these, the California Sugar Refinery, lately completed, having 
cost over $1,000,000. These several establishments give employment 
to more than 500 hands, and use up every year over 120,000,000 pounds 
of raw sugar; value of products, $8,000,000 per year. Our imports of 
this article for 1883 were 103,932,158 pounds from the Sandwich 
Islands, and 20,183,301 from Manila, with some small lots from Cen- 
tral America and other sources. Our shipments of refined sugar east 
amounted last year to 32,576,080 pounds; shipments to foreign coun- 
tries, 2,483,116 pounds. 


Although we raise but little tobacco in California, the business of 
manufacturing this article into cigars and other forms for use has 
reached here very large proportions, there being over 5,000 hands 
engaged in it, more than three fourths of them Chinamen. While 
the larger factories, all in San Francisco, are carried on by whites, 
many of the smaller are in the hands of the Chinese. Efforts have 
been made at various times to displace Chinese by white labor, but 
thus far without success. Some of the larger companies employ as 
many as 350 hands, and turn out over 6,000,000 cigars annually. The 
number of these articles made in the State last year amounted to 
171,975,450, the entire quantity of tobacco worked up nearly 5,000,- 
000 pounds, being valued at $10,700,000. In addition to the above 
24,000,000 cigars were imported, some from Chicago and other places 
in the East and some from Cuba, with a few cheroots from Manila. 
We import nearly all our leaf tobacco from the Eastern States, the bulk 
of it coming from Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Some Mexican 
and Spanish manufacturers obtain their leaf from Havana. To for- 
eign countries our exports in this line are small, though we supply 
cigars and cigarettes to all parts of the Pacific Coast, competing for 
this trade successfully eastward to the Missouri River. While the 
even temperature of our climate tends to improve the leaf, the pro- 
ducts of our factories are said to be noted for their good appearance 
and finish. But for the prejudice entertained by certain classes of 
smokers againsl home-made articles generally, the importations of 
cigars would probably have ceased long before tnis, 

As the price paid for making cigars is considerably less in San 
Francisco than in New York, we ship over 1,000 cases, mostly of cheap 
grades, every year to eastern markets; and when we succeed, as we 
ultimately will do, in raising our own leaf, the prospecl is that a 
heavy trade will grow up in that quarter. Encouraged by war prices 
the cultivation of tobacco was undertaken in this State more than 
twenty years ago. Rich bottom lands having been selected the leaf 


first grown was too rank, and, having been badly cured, failed to 
meet with favor, though a very fair article of plug tobacco was made 
from it. Some plantings made afterwards, on more favorable soil, 
whereby the above defect was corrected, produced a leaf that served 
well for wrappers. Of late years but little tobacco has been grown in 
the State. The quantity raised in 1882, as reported by the Surveyor- 
General, was 26,590 pounds, grown on 27£ acres — 25,000 pounds of 
this having been grown in Los Angeles County. Last year a lot of 
tobacco was raised near Colton, in San Bernardino County, which, 
though of a slightly pungent flavor, was much commended by the 
experts for its good qualities, having been pronounced equal to the best 
Virginia leaf in point of body and mildness. Despite some dis- 
couragements in the past the growing of this plant may be reckoned 
among the coming industries of California. 


The canning of salmon, though largely engaged in further north, 
is not an extensive industry in California, only twenty of the ninety 
canneries on the coast being in this State, the most of them located 
between Collinsville and Vallejo. Some of the fruit canneries in San 
Francisco also carry on the business of salmon canning, the season 
for the latter coming in before the fruit canning season becomes very 
active. The largest portion of the catch is made on the Columbia 
River, along the banks of which are located thirty-six canneries, which 
employ for taking the fish 1,600 boats, managed by two men each. 
The business is prosecuted on several other rivers in Washington 
Territory and Oregon, also on Fraser River, British Columbia, along 
which there are fourteen canneries. Some canning is done elsewhere 
in that country, also in Alaska, the fish taken in these northern waters 
being noted for their excellence. The entire pack of the coast 
amounted last year to 1,120,000 cases, the quantity salted and packed 
in barrels being equivalent to 60,000 cases more, the whole worth, at 
the rate of $25 per case, $5,600,000. The salt fish sell for about five 
cents per pound; after being smoked, for a little more. When the 
canneries have more fish than they can readily put up, and when 
retailers have more than they can sell, the surplus is salted. Fish 
caught out of season, or at localities where there are no canneries, are 
also disposed of in this way. We import salt mackerel, herring, etc., 
largely, but not much cod of late, our supply of this fish coming 
mostly from the North Pacific. The San Francisco market is well 
supplied with both salt and fresh water fish of almost every kind, 
some of the fish introduced into our waters, such as carp, shad, 
mackerel, etc., beginning now to make their appearance on the stands 
of the retail dealers. Our gourmands devour about 50,000 frogs every 
year, these amphibious creatures selling at the rate of $3 per dozen in 
San Francisco. 


The wire mill and wire rope factory, under the same general man- 
agement, and which may be said to constitute one establishment, are 
situated in the northern part of the City of San Francisco. At the 
former, wire of all sizes and every description is drawn from copper, 
brass, iron, crucible and Bessemer steel. At the factory the products 
of this mill are wrought into every style of article made of wire or 


into the manufacture of which it largely enters, such as rope, cloth, 
cahles (round and flat), barbed wire for fencing, screens, fenders, 
trellis-work, chairs, sofas, baskets, bird cages, etc. Some very heavy 
work has been turned out at this establishment. Here was made 
Las! year the cable now in use on the Market Street Railroad, 22,000 
feet long, one and five sixteenths of an inch thick, and weighing 
nearly (50,000 pounds. The cables in use on our other street railroads, 
also most of those placed in the hoisting works on theComstock Lode, 
came from this factory. Connected with these works, which are very 
extensive and complete, are a galvanizing department, machine shop, 
foundry, etc. They employ a total of 100 men and 15 boys. The sum 
paid out for wages here amounts to 8120,000 per year; value of pro- 
ducts made, $400,000. 


Manufacture at their works in San Francisco saws of every descrip- 
tion, the making of circular, gang, and crosscut saws constituting, 
however, the bulk of their business. This enterprise, started in 1866 
with a capital of $24,000, all invested in stock, tools, and machinery, 
has proved a marked success, owing to the excellence of the wares 
turned out by the company, who employ 30 men at wages ranging 
from $2 to 86 per day, and produce goods to the value of $110,000 
annually. The circular saws of this company are in use all over the 
coast to the almost entire exclusion of every other. They also supply 
these articles to the west coast of Mexico, Central and South America, 
and even send some into the regions east of the Rocky Mountains. 
Although this company have heretofore procured most of their steel 
from Pittsburgh and Sheffield, the probabilities are that they will 
hereafter make use of the home-made article. By reason of this 
establishment importations of saws into California have been greatly 
diminished, amounting of late to hardly more than 2,000 dozen hand 
and 1,000 dozen crosscut saws per annum. 


There have been two cordage factories started in California, the 
one by the San Francisco and the other by the Pacific Cordage Com- 
pany. The works of the former, erected by the Messrs. Tubbs in 
1856, are located at the Potrero, in the southern part of the city. The 
works of the Pacific Company, erected in 1877, are located at Melrose, 
in Alameda County ; when running, the latter employed 90 hands, 
and had capacity to turn out 2,000 tons of rope per year. The sound- 
ing-lines used in making surveys for the Pacific Ocean Telegraph 
Cable, some of which were ten miles in length, were manufactured 
here. It having been found that the two factories were turning out 
wares greatly in excess of trade requirements, operations at Melrose 
were suspended, as a means of averting what otherwise would have 
proved a ruinous over-production. The Potrero establishment, hav- 
ing since been run to its maximum capacity, lias worked up raw- 
material at the rate of 6,000 tons per year, the rope made amounting 
to 20 tons daily. This factory employs 150 men, at wages said to be 
seventy-live per cent higher t lian are pa id in Europe, and turns out 
products to the value of $750,000 yearly. The fiber used here consists 
of Manila hemp and sisal from Yucatan, nearly every kind of cord- 


age, from the heaviest ship hawsers to hay rope, being manufactured, 
all of a quality equal to the best imported. More than a third of all 
the rope made here is used by the farmers for baling hay, binding 
grain, etc., much being also required for hoisting purposes in the 
mines, repairing the rigging of ships, etc. Our imports of cordage 
during the past two years have been as follows: 1882, 4,058,410 pounds; 
1883, 1,676,941 pounds; the quantity imported having been greater in 
1882 than for many preceding years. Our exports in this line are 

A small factory at Portland, Oregon, supplies that State with cordage, 
at least, in part. 


There are four factories on this coast, all in San Francisco, engaged 
in making hose and belting. They give employment to 45 hands, 
and turn out annually about 200,000 feet of leather belting, 7,000 feet 
of hose, and 180,000 feet of lacing, of the total value of $260,000. Our 
exports in this line are small, not over $50,000 worth per year, the 
magnitude of our mining operations and the extent to which hand 
irrigation is practiced here, causing a large consumption of this class 
of goods. Of leather hose and belting, we import but little, the products 
of our home factories being greatly superior to anything we are able 
to obtain abroad. Our importations of rubber belting and hose are, 
however, heavy, their value approximating $800,000 yearly. The 
industry under consideration has been with us a very prosperous one 
and is likely so to continue. Commenced in 1857, it has grown slowly 
but steadily ever since, the great excellence of California tanned 
leather having contributed largely to its success. 


By reason of the much teaming, staging, packing, and riding that 
in this State became necessary, the manufacture of harness, saddles, 
etc., commencing here at an early day, grew speedily into a large and 
profitable business, few industries in California having paid better 
than this. Even before the American occupation of the country, the 
riding accouterments of the native Californian had become noted for 
their excellence. With those who ride much, the Spanish saddle is 
still preferred to the English, to which it is, in fact, greatly superior, 
both as regards durability, comfort, and safety. Owing to the severe 
service required of it, our workmen have been trained to make only 
harness of the best kind; hence, for these equipments, we have had 
the entire market west of the Rocky Mountains. It has also been our 
custom to export yearly about $75,000 worth of heavy harness and 
Spanish saddles to the Sandwich Islands, to be used mostly on the 
sugar plantations there. Our annual expenditure abroad, for this 
class of goods, does not exceed $75,000, mostly made for fine harness, 
side-saddles, etc. About $15,000 worth of these goods are imported 
from England, the rest from the Eastern States. Nearly everything in 
this line is made of California tanned leather, only a little harness 
leather of extra fine quality being imported. There are no very exten- 
sive manufactories of these articles in California, the business being 
carried on mostly in small shops all over the country. There are 
probably in the State 800 men employed at this business, the value 
of the goods manufactured amounting annually to about $2,000,000 — 


monev paid out for wages, $400,000, workmen being paid from *2 to 
$3 .50 per day. 

At some of the harness shops a few whips arc made, there being 
but one factory on the coast, that of Keystone Brothers, San Fran- 
cisco, devoted exclusively to that business. This firm employs about 
a dozen hands, and manufactures reatas, headstalls, Mexican bridle 
reins, etc., to the value of $25,000 a year. The value of the whips 
manufactured in the State, amounts to about §30,000 per year, with 
oearly as many more imported. The latter consist mostly of carriage 
and buggy whips, which, though of more stylish appearance, do not 
wear as well as the home made article. Most of the materials used 
in this business, such as leather, rattan, whalebone, glue, etc., are of 
domestic production. 








Before entering upon a description of the minerals that occur in 
California, it may be proper to note the changes that have taken 
place in our industrial affairs, also the altered conditions of labor 
and capital, and explain how it is that these valuable products have 
been so little utilized, lest such neglect be construed to mean that the 
State is deficient in resources of this kind, than which nothing could 
be more erroneous. 

The principal obstacle in the way of our turning these forms ot our 
natural wealth to practical account, has been the high prices of capital 
and labor that for a long time obtained here, rendering it cheaper to 
import such commodities as we required in this line of cbnsumption 
than to produce them at home, even though we had the raw material 
in abundance. For many years these two prime factors of produc- 
tion were from three to five times as dear in California as m most 
other countries. In 1848-9 common labor commanded here from 
$10 to $12 per day; and, although the price declined in the course of 
three or four years to less than half these rates, and after wards under- 
went a still further reduction, it remains still from fifteen to twenty 
per cent higher than in the northern Atlantic States, the wages of 
mechanics, miners, and artisans, being here proportionately higher 
than those of farm hands and other unskilled laborers. As with 
labor, so with capital— money, while it commands no longer the 
excessive rates of interest formerly obtained for its use, is still from 
twenty to twenty-five per cent higher here than in the States east ot 
the Missouri River. Meantime, while these elements of production 
remained so much higher than in any other part of the world, ships 
in great numbers began to come here to load with wheat, bringing 
iron salt, sulphur, cement, glass and earthenware, fire bricks, and 
such other articles as suffer little harm from a long sea voyage, 
at low rates of freight— sometimes as ballast. If, after this wheat 
traffic had reached large proportions, inaugurating an era ot low- 
freights, the local demand for any of these commodities happened to 
be such as seemed likely to encourage their manufacture being under- 
taken here, straightway the importer and the foreign producer com- 
bined to flood the market, or by other means managed to so depress 
prices as to prevent the contemplated enterprise being engaged in, or 
to crush it out if alreadv undertaken. And thus, for a tun.', were 
residents of California deterred from trying to produce this class o1 
articles at home, well knowing that they would be forced to struggle 
against a ruinous competition if they sought to do so. And, then, 
not always at first could such skilled labor be commanded here as 
was required for the successful prosecution of these new industries, 
few trained artisans or handicraftsmen caringto come to a country 
so remote and offering so little chance for steady employment. 

les these more general there existed diverse minor hindrances 


to the establishment and growth of these special pursuits in this 
State, such as restricted consumption, sudden fluctuation in prices, 
cost of fuels, and sometimes too much home competition, a number 
of enterprises of this kind having come to grief through excessive 
local rivalry coupled with a limited market. Over-production has, 
in fact, proved disastrous to two or three of our domestic industries, 
and something of a detriment to several others. The production of 
more borax and quicksilver than the markets of the world could 
absorb has diminished the profits of these pursuits to a minimum. 
The facility with which salt can be made on this coast, combined 
with heavy importations, have reduced this business to nearly the 
same condition. Other cases of like purport might be cited. 

Sharp vicissitudes in prices have not been so common of late years 
as formerly, when, nearly everything being imported, and being often 
a long time on the way, an unexpected scarcity might easily occur, 
and when, also, it was comparatively an easy thing to effect corners 
in the market. The want of a cheap smelting and coking coal has 
been a serious and ever present obstacle to the growth of the iron 
interest, also to the reduction of certain ores, as well as the manufac- 
ture of glass, earthenware, and many other articles. 

But the most of these adverse conditions having disappeared or 
been so modified that they are no longer formidable, many of these 
useful products of nature are destined to be made industrially and 
commercially available in the near future, a good deal having already 
been accomplished in that direction. If labor in California is a little 
dearer than in the older States of the Union, it is nevertheless in good 
supply and generally disposed to act in harmony with capital, nor is 
there much reason to apprehend that any serious conflict will soon 
arise between these producing forces. The working classes, by reason 
of the healthfulness of the climate and the cheapness of the staples 
of subsistence, perform their tasks with such comparative comfort 
that we have here less insubordination and complaint than is com- 
mon in most other countries. What adds to the general contentment 
is the extent to which the migratory spirit incident to the gold-mining 
era has given place to proclivities of an opposite tendency, the inhab- 
itants of California, from being the most nomadic of all peoples, being 
noted now for their stability and love of home. Hence it has come 
to pass that the State is being populated by a race that can be depended 
upon, in so far, at least, as fixity of residence is concerned. Out of 
this disposition to abide in one place there has grown a necessity for 
the on-coming generation to make the most of their local resources; 
wherefore, a variety of metals and minerals are beginning to be 
sought after, which, in earlier times, received little attention or were 
wholly overlooked. 

While the precious metals continue to hold, as they long must 
hold, a prominent place in the mining industries of California, coal, 
iron, copper, chromium, mica, antimony, asbestus, the useful clays 
and mineral fertilizers, cement, lime, gypsum, and the like, are every 
year becoming more and more the objects of research and enterprise, 
nor is there any doubt but these substances, so long regarded as of 
secondary importance, will, in the end, do more to advance the per- 
manent interests of the State, and otherwise prove of greater intrinsic 
value than gold or silver. And, certain it is, no people ever have or 
ever can become rich, prosperous, and progressive, who confine them- 
selves to a narrow field of industry, the impolicy of such a course 


being well illustrated by the backward condition of Russia, Spain, 
Egypt, Mexico, and nearly all the republics of Central and South 
America. Owing in a great measure to this cause, so long as the 
Southern States raised only cotton and sugar, many of the inhab- 
itants remained ignorant and impoverished, the tendency in every 
country where but a single or a few staple articles are produced being 
to divide the population into two classes, the proprietary and the 
servile— the rich and the poor. Were California to produce nothing 
but wheat, wool, wine, and gold, she would still be wanting in the best 
elements of the higher civilization, no matter how much of these 
valuable commodities she might be able to grow or gather every year. 
Our people enjoy a larger aggregate of physical comforts, and are 
everyway better otf now than when gold mining constituted their 
principal and almost sole employment — varied pursuits are a great 
equalizer of rank and distributor of riches. Things made at home, 
besides giving employment to labor, retain in the country the money 
it would cost to obtain them abroad. 

But while a system of diversified industries is so essential to the 
well being of every community, the establishment of such a system 
is a work of time, and requires to be gone about with deliberation 
and caution; we of California having in numerous instances engaged 
in mining and manufacturing enterprises prematurely or without 
taking those precautions that ordinary prudence and business sense 
would naturally suggest. Hence the considerable number of failures 
that has attended these undertakings, scarcely any of which have 
caused disappointment except wdiere so unadvisedly entered upon. 
One prolific source of disaster to ventures of this kind has been the 
misleading character of the reports emanating from prospectors and 
claim locators, vouched for and very often amplified by the local 
press. Relying on this sort of authority a great deal of money has, 
one time and another, been wasted in searching for ore where little or 
none existed, such expenditures being sometimes supplemented by 
others for reduction works where, of course, none were needed. The 
prospector for mineral deposits is apt to be of an ardent and hopeful 
temperament. But for those mental idiosyncracies he would not be 
likely to engage in the business. Being so constituted he becomes 
often the victim of the grossest self-deception, and is thus prepared to 
honestly deceive others. What to a less sanguine person might seem 
hardly an encouraging indication is to him proof positive. Others, 
confiding in his statements, are exposed to disappointment. As the 
losses resulting from these mistakes do not always fall on the parties 
causing them, their occurrence is much to be deplored. Besides the 
damage inflicted on those more directly concerned, they react unfa- 
vorably on the business of mining and manufacturing generally, 
their tendency being to discourage exploration, and deter capitalists 
and others from embarking in legitimate undertakings. 

It is useless t<> claim for California forms of mineral wealth that 
she does not possess, nor can any good come from encouraging others 
to engage in any pursuit prematurely, or without their having first 
carefully canvassed the chances for success. Our past experience 
admonishes us to avoid precipitate action in matters of this kind. 
One fourth of the quartz mills and smelters put up in the mines are 
idle, ami in the suburbs of many a mining town in the State may he 
seen deserted reduction works, refineries, and factories of various 
kinds, some because they were attempted to be operated by pro 
inherently defective, but more because of an insufficient supply of 


ore or other material to keep them profitably employed. The cement 
mills near Benicia have been idle for years. The small antimony 
works put up in San Francisco can be run but part of the time through 
lack of ore, the larger establishment of this kind erected in West 
Oakland having, for the same reason, succumbed some time ago, and 
yet. to read the published accounts of our antimony deposits, it would 
be supposed that we had enough ore of this sort to supply the wants 
of the entire world. The same thing was being said a few years since 
about our cement beds, which it was claimed were of the best quality, 
yet the experiment proved a failure, consumers preferring the 
imported article. We have, it is said, sand suitable for making the 
finer kinds of glass, and yet our glass makers are perverse enough to 
go all the way to Belgium for this material. We have no doubt good 
clays in California, and yet we do not keep out the English fire- 
bricks. These remarks are not made with a view to disparage our 
mineral resources, or to discourage their development, but for the 
purpose of emphasizing the importance of greater caution, both in 
the inauguration and subsequent conduct of mining and other indus- 
trial enterprises. It has been our purpose to embody in this report 
none but information of a reliable character. In the absence of 
pecuniary means to visit and examine more than a few of the many 
mineral deposits reported, the State Mineralogist has been compelled 
to accept second hand certain information in regard to the character 
and value of these deposits, giving the same for what it is worth. It 
is not, therefore, expected that the data here supplied will alone 
suffice as a safe basis for important industrial enterprises and business 
transactions. Where these are contemplated, further inquiry should 
be made, and in so far as possible, more full and reliable information 
be obtained. The principal object of this report, pointing out where 
the more valuable minerals occur, and the extent to which they have 
been recovered from nature and converted into useful forms, has, 
however, it is hoped, been reasonably attained. 

It may here be explained that this report, being designed for the 
non-professional reader, rather than the skilled scientist, has been 
prepared with special reference to the wants of the class for whom it 
is mainly intended. The various subjects discussed have, therefore, 
sometimes been treated with an amplitude that, to the trained expert 
and such as have always access to authorities, may seem prolix and 
even superfluous. The controlling idea in the preparation of this paper 
has been to furnish the manufacturer, mechanic, and artisan such 
information as will be of service to them in the prosecution of their 
several callings, and to supply the prospector and miner with plain 
rules by which they will be able to recognize most ores and minerals 
found in this State, and to employ simple tests for their determi- 
nation, when this cannot be done by the eye. If the skilled chemist, 
mineralogist, and assayer, and such others as have had the benefit of 
a technical education, may not much feel the need of this sort of 
information, it is still hoped that the classes for whom it was more 
particularly intended will derive from this paper some benefit, and 
that even the millman and practical metallurgist will find in it hints 
that may prove serviceable to them in their difficult vocations. 

It has been thought best to reprint in this report certain parts of 
former ones bearing specially on the minerals of the State, both to 
save the labor of rewriting and because editions of the first reports 
have long since been distributed and are not always attainable for 



Actinolite — see Amphibole. 

1. AGALMAMOLITE. Etym. "An Image" (Greek). Pagodite— 

from Pagoda (Chinese). Chinese figure stone, a variety of pin- 
ite, hydrous silicate of alumina, magnesia, iron, lime, soda, and 

It is much used for ornamental carved work by the Chinese. A 
number of specimens from that country appear in the State Museum. 
No. (4060) in the Catalogue, from San Luis Obispo County, much 
resembles this mineral, as does also (5300), from Greenwood, El Dorado 
County, which occurs in a vein from six inches to a foot in thickness. 
These specimens have been so labeled with an interrogation, pending 
an analysis, when the State Mining Bureau has a suitable laboratory. 

Agate — see Quartz. 

Alabaster — see Gypsum. 

2. ALBITE. Soda Feldspar. Etym. Albus (white), from its color. 
It is, when pure, a silicate of alumina and soda, as follows: 

Silica 68.6 

Alumina 19.6 

Soda 11.8 


Part of the soda is sometimes replaced by potash and other elements 
and compounds, as lime, magnesia, etc. There are numerous varieties 
of Albite under different mineralogical names. The true Albite has 
not been found in California, in distinct masses, as far as my expe- 
rience goes. Dana gives as a locality the vicinity of the Murchie mine, 
Calaveras County, with gold and pyrite. 

The crystalline and plutonic rocks of California have not been 
studied as they should be, but an abundance of soda, resulting, prob- 
ably, from their decomposition, would seem to indicate that Albite, 
in some form, enters largely into their composition. 

3. ALTAITE. Etym. Altai mountains of Asia. Telluride of Lead. 
Has the following composition : 

Lead 61.7 

Tellurium 38.3 


Color, that of metallic antimony with a shade of yellow — luster me- 


tallic H. 3 — 3.5, sp. gr. 8.2, on ch. in R. F., colors the flame blue, entirely- 
volatile when pure, but leaving in some cases a trace of silver. The 
ch. becomes coated with telluride of lead and litharge. The former 
with metallic luster, and the latter yellow and dull. As tellurium 
minerals are rather common in California, the most important and 
interesting facts concerning this rare element will be given under the 
head of " Tellurium," with tests for its determination. 

Altaite is said to be found at the Rawhide Ranch gold mine, Tuol- 
umne County, in small quantities, but as no analysis has been pub- 
lished, there is some doubt as to its identity. It has lately been 
reported at the Frenchwood mine, Robinson's Ferry, Calaveras 
County, according to Z. A. Willard, with Petzite, Calaverite, and 
other tellurium minerals, and gold; also at the Morgan mine, Carson 
Hill, Calaveras County, in large masses, with gold, and at the Ade- 
laide mine, in Tuolumne County. Dana gives the Golden Rule 
mine, Tuolumne County, as a locality. 

4. ALUM. Etym. " Alumen" (Latin), as generally understood, is a 

hydrous sulphate of alumina and potash, as follows : 

Sulphate of alumina 36.2 

Sulphate of potash 18.3 

Water 45.5 


It is produced artificially by adding the deficient elements to the 
leachings of calcined alum shales. When natural, the mineral is 
called Kalinite. 

When ammonia replaces potash, the mineral is Tschermigite. 
These minerals and soda alum, or Mendozite, resemble each other in 
taste and appearance. There are several localities in the State where 
native alum has been found, but the minerals have not been anal- 
yzed, for which reason their exact composition is uncertain. It has 
been found as an incrustation ten miles north of Santa Rosa (4468), 
near Newhall, Los Angeles County (4404). Alum slate occurs near 
Auburn, Placer County (4249), and (4250) is alum crystallized from 
it. Alum in thick incrustations has been discovered at the Sul- 
phur Bank, Lake County, in considerable quantity (1108), at which 
locality other sulphates are abundant. This mineral is thought to 
be Tschermigite, but no analysis has been made to prove it. 

Alum is said to occur at Silver Mountain, Alpine County, on 
Howell Mountain, Napa County, and at numerous localities, as an 
incrustation on certain rocks. I have seen it crystallized on the bare 
rocks washed by hydraulic streams in gold mines near Dutch Flat, 
in Placer County, and in Nevada County. When all conditions are 
favorable in the State, alum will perhaps be largely produced, and 
there seems to be no reason why it should not be. 

Amianthus — see Amphibole. 

5. AMPHIBOLE. Etym. "Doubtful" (Greek). Actinolite, Antho- 

phyllite, Amianthus, Asbestus, Hornblende, Mountain Cork, 
Mountain Leather, Tremolite, etc. 

Amphibole is an anhydrous silicate of various bases — iron, mag- 
nesia, lime, etc.— generally containing a little water. 


Actinolite (Ray stone) is rather abundant in the counties border- 
ing on the Bay of San Francisco. It is found in bowlders, or rolled 
masses, in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, which, when broken, 
show beautiful green radiating crystals. It is found in some rocks 
of the Coast Range, near Knight's Ferry, Stanislaus County; also at 
Petaluma, Sonoma County, with garnets (Blake); on the Mariposa 
estate, Mariposa County, in fine needle crystals; and in quartz, Eagle 
Gulch, Plumas County (Edman). The following specimens may be 
seen in the State Mining Bureau : (3431) twelve miles from Gilroy, 
Santa Clara County; (4213) Eureka, Humboldt County; (4335) Santa 
Rosa, Sonoma County; (4339) Spanish Ranch, Plumas County. 

Although this mineral is very interesting to science, and is found 
in beautiful cabinet specimens, it has no economic value. 

Axthophyllite, named from its clove brown color, is said to be 
found at Slate Range, San Bernardino County. 

Asbestus, Amianthus, is named from Greek words, meaning incom- 
bustible. It occurs in long fibrous masses, which are silky in appear- 
ance. The fibers in the best quality can be separated and twisted 
into threads, which may be woven into cloth. This mineral was 
well known to the ancients, who utilized it in numerous ways. The 
wealthy Romans are said to have used the cloth for napkins, which 
each took to banquets for personal use. When soiled the napkins 
were thrown in a fire, and burned white and clean. The following 
is a quotation from Pliny's Natural History, Book 19, Chapter 4: 

There has been invented, also, a kind of linen which is incombustible by flame. It is 
generally known as " live linen," and I have seen before now napkins that were made of it 
thrown into a blazing fire in the room, where the guests were at table, and after the stains 
were burned out, came forth from the flames whiter and cleaner than they could possibly have 
been rendered by the aid of water. It is from this material that the corpse cloths of monarchs 
are made, to insure the separation of the ashes of the body from those of the pile. This sub- 
stance grows in the deserts of India, scorched by the burning rays of the sun. Where no rain 
is ever known to fall, and amid multitudes of deadly serpents, it becomes habituated to resist 
the action of fire. Rarely to be found, it presents considerable difficulty in weaving it into a 
tissue, in consequence of its shortness. Its color is naturally red, and it only becomes white 
through the agency of fire. By those who find it, it is sold at prices equal to those given for 
the finest pearls. By the Greeks it is called "Asbestinon," a name which indicates its pecu- 
liar properties. 

Asbestus has been found at numerous localities in California, the 
best quality being from Butte County, eighteen miles north of Oro- 
ville. (1677, 1678, 1842) are specimens from this locaiity. The fibers 
are long and fine, quite equal to the best Italian. It is found also in 
Del Norte County, Salt Spring A r alley, Calaveras County, Los Angeles 
County in large masses (Blake), Jenny Lind Hill (Trask), San Diego 
Countv, near Caliente, San Bernardino County, Kev's Tunnel, Cali- 
fornia Mine, Yolo County (449), Shasta County (1293), White River, 
Tulare County (2419), Mount Bullion, Mariposa County (2437), Bear 
Valley, Mariposa County (4464), in the Inyo Mountains, Inyo 
County, and elsewhere in the State. At least one company has been 
organized to work asbestus deposits in California. The United Asbes- 
tus Manufacturing Company was incorporated June 22, 1883, for the 
purpose of manufacturing, selling, and dealing in asbestus. Their 
mine is in Placer County. The Swiss Boys and Leeds claims are on 
the right bank of the American River, one mile below Rice's Bridge. 
The following recently appeared in the Fresno Republican: 

W. P. Litten and B. Greenley, of Grub Gulch, called at the Republican Office, and exhibited 
specimens of asbestus taken from ledges recently discovered in French Gulch, in the Potter 


Ridge mining district.- The specimens shown us appear to be a fine article, and the gentlemen 
claim for it that it is equal to the best quality used for manufacturing purposes. They are of 
the opinion that this valuable mineral exists in paying quantities, and as soon as this fact is 
thoroughly demonstrated the attention of capital will be enlisted and this new source of min- 
eral wealth developed. 

The uses of Asbestus are various, which, however, may be, briefly 
stated, for paints, coating for boilers and steam pipes, indestructible 
lamp wicks, packing for steam engine cylinders, roofing, filling fire- 
proof safes, boards for flange joints, etc. 

It is as yet uncertain how extensive the deposits of California may 

Erove to be. There is a demand in the world for all that is likely to 
e produced, and the manufacture is in the hands of a few, who, to a 
certain extent, dictate prices. Fifty dollars per ton has been offered 
for asbestus of good quality and long fiber; for an inferior quality 
$25 only can be obtained; the price in New York is from $15 to $60, 
according to quality. The finest Italian commands from $100 to 
$250 per ton, governed by quality and the state of the market. 

Hornblende — From Horn and Blende (German) enters into the 
composition of many of the rocks, as syenite, diorite, gneiss, porphyry, 
etc., and it sometimes is found in rock masses. It has no economic 
value except as a building stone. It is found in California at San 
Pablo, at Soledad, and at Vallecito; near Murphy's, Calaveras County 
(Blake), at Gold Run, Placer County (4266), Healdsburg, Sonoma 
County (2263), Folsom, Sacramento County (2913), and as a constit- 
uent of certain rocks over a large area of the State. 

Mountain Cork, so named from its resemblance to cork, is found 
in Tuolumne County (Blake). It has no value in the arts. 

Mountain Leather, a similar mineral, has been found in Tuol- 
umne and Mariposa Counties, and at the Little Grass Valley mine, 
Pine Grove district, Amador County (4336, 4727). 

Tremolite, named from Tremola, a valley in the Alps, where it 
was first discovered, is found white and fibrous in limestone, in Col- 
umbia, Tuolumne County (Blake), Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa 
Cruz County (2129). 

6. ANDALUSITE. Named from Andalusia, a province in Spain, 
where it was first found, is a silicate of alumina, containing 
sometimes sesquioxide of iron, magnesia, lime, soda, potash, and 
manganese in varying proportions. When pure it has the fol- 
lowing composition : 

Silica. 36.8 

Alumina 63.2 

The California mineral is known in mineralogy as Made, or Chias- 
tolite, from the markings and the forms of the crystals; the former 
name is from the Latin Macula (a spot), and the latter from the Greek 
letter X. 

Andalusite is found in large quantities in the slates cut by the 
Chowchilla River, near the old road to Fort Miller, Fresno County, 
and in the conglomerate which caps the hills; in the slates at Horni- 
tos, in Mariposa County; at Moore's Hill, Mariposa County; twelve 
miles south of Mariposa; at Moore's Flat, same county; near Ne Plus 
Ultra mine, Fresno County. 


In the State Museum (4450) is a piece of clay slate, with Andalusite 
crystals imbedded. Some of the crystals are five inches long, and 
from one half inch to an inch thick. This mineral is known to the 
miners as " petrified nails." The ends of the crystals show the char- 
acteristic markings and crosses peculiar to the species; these are much 
better seen when transverse sections are cut and mounted for the 
microscope. Few objects have the rare beauty of this mineral, when 
well prepared and examined with a two-thirds objective and lighted 
with an achromatic condenser or parabola. 

Several sections now in the State Museum, cut by Mr. Melville 
Attwood, of San Francisco, were exhibited at the Paris Exhibition 
of 1878, and attracted considerable attention. The nebulous cloud of 
black particles, as seen under the microscope, strongly resemble mag- 
netite in slices of basaltic rocks seen under the same circumstances. 
This mineral has no economic value. 

Andradite — see Garnet. 

7. ANGLESITE. Etym . "Anglesea," an island on the coast of Wales. 

Is a natural sulphate of lead, called also " lead vitriol." Composi- 
tion (PbO, S0 3 ): 

Sulphuric acid 26.4 

Oxide of lead 73.6 

H. 2.75—3, sp. gr. 6.12—6.39, occurs in transparent crystals and amor- 

Anglesite may be distinguished by the following reactions: B. JB. 
on cfr. it fuses easily and is reduced to a sulphide; at this stage a small 
portion removed from the charcoal, placed on a clean silver coin and 
wet with water will produce a black spot which cannot be removed 
without considerable rubbing. On ch. if the R. F. is continued for 
some time, with addition of soda, a globule of lead is obtained and 
the ch. is coated yellow. If the lead is afterwards cupelled, a button 
of silver is generally obtained if the specimen was amorphous. 

It is rather a common mineral in California, and exceptionally so 
at the Cerro Gordo mines, Inyo County, where it assumes a compact 
form, unlike any described variety found elsewhere. These deposits 
have been extensively mined for lead and silver; and although the 
shafts have attained considerable depth, no water has been met with, 
even in the lowest workings. 

Anglesite is found in these mines in large masses, and in nodules 
inclosing Galena, from which it is evidently a pseudomorph. When 
these masses are broken the Anglesite is frequently found in concen- 
tric shells of different colors, like agate. Large crystals are uncom- 
mon; but a microscopic examination of freshly broken surfaces will 
often reveal crusts of exquisite transparent Anglesite crystals, asso- 
ciated with other lead minerals. 

Anglesite in California is a valuable and abundant ore of lead, 
often very rich in silver, and always carrying a notable portion of that 
metal. It is found, also (1648, 1668), with Bindheimite, Azurite, and 
Galena, at the Modoc mine, Inyo County; with Galena at the Cerro 
Gordo mines, Inyo County; with Argentiferous Galena, at the Santa 


Maria mine, Cerro Gordo, Inyo County, and at. the Eclipse mine, in 
the same county, with Azurite and Galena. 

8. ANHYDRITE. Etym. "Without Water" (Greek). Anhydrous 
Sulphate of Lime, Anhydrous Gypsum. 

Color generally white; sometimes grav, blue, or red. H. 3-3.5, sp. 
gr. 2.9-2.98. Composition: 

Lime 41.2 

Sulphuric acid 58.8 

It is slightly soluble in water, and when exposed to the action of 
the elements it slowly changes to Gypsum. It would, therefore, be 
useful as a fertilizer, but it cannot be used in the manufacture of 
plaster of Paris. This mineral is not common in California; the 
only locality known to me is near Anaheim, Los Angeles County. 
The mineral is white, semi-crystalline, translucent, resembling crys- 
talline marble, and could be made a beautiful ornamental stone. 
Dana, in his California Mineral Localities, gives near Santa Maria 
River, Los Angeles County; this may be the same as above. 

Anhydrous Sulphate of Soda — see Thenardite. 

Anthracite — see Mineral Coal. 

Antimony — see Cervantite and Stibnite. 

Antimony Ochre — see Cervantite. 

Antimony Sulphide — see Stibnite. 

9. ARAGONITE. Etym. Aragon, a province in Spain. See, also, 
Marble, under the head of Calcite. 

When pure it has the following composition: 

Carbonic acid 44. 

Lime 56. 

It is not uncommon in California. It is most frequently found as 
a deposit by mineral springs. It occurs, also, in the underground 
workings of gold and silver mines, and often forms in abandoned 
tunnels and shafts. 

The so called California Onyx Marble is found in many beautiful 
varieties. The prevailing colors are various shades of orange on a 
delicate cream colored, and in some cases bluish ground. When 
cut and highly polished the chromatic effect is very striking. Large 
slabs cannot be obtained, owing to the nature of the deposit; and it 
is necessary to make up the surface required by piecing. It is coming 
into general use in California as an ornamental stone. It much 
resembles a mineral found in Mexico, and also misnamed " Mexican 
Onyx," of which magnificent specimens were shown at the Paris 
Exposition of 1878. California specimens, also exhibited, were small, 
but attracted much attention, their beauty and variety being the 
subject of remark by those who were specially interested in marbles. 


The variety known as "Suisun Marble," and named from the 
locality at which it is found, received a share of notice and attention. 
A Calif ornian at Paris stated, with evident pride, that he had seen a 
small slab at the Vatican, in Rome, in a collection of rare marbles, 
and that it was prized as being amongst the rarest and most beautiful 
of them all. The quarry from which this elegant ornamental stone 
is obtained lies in a low hill near the Town of Suisun, Solano County. 
The mineral has been somewhat extensively mined. No large pieces 
have been found of even texture suitable for working, which is a 
drawback to its usefulness, while that circumstance adds to its rarity 
and value. The deposit is evidently of aqueous origin. There are 
calcareous springs in tKe vicinity, which are now depositing tufa. 
Similar ones must have existed in former times of greater magnitude, 
which did stupendous work, and then, from some unknown cause, 
diminished to small and insignificant size. The varieties of this 
marble are so great as to be considered endless. The prevailing 
colors are red and yellow, in countless shades and tints. It is some- 
times banded like agate, often showing stripes and bands of carne- 
lian color, white and nearly black, like sardonyx. 

The following analysis of Onyx Marble was made in the laboratory 
of the State Mining Bureau, by Edward Booth, in 1880: 

Silica — - .02 

Ferric ozide .07 

Magnesia .50 

Lime 55.94 

Carbonic acid 43.96 


Attempts have been made to burn it for lime, but probably with 
indifferent success, for it has been discontinued. Aragonite does not 
make good lime, owing to its property of falling to a powder when 
strongly heated. 

Onyx Marble was known to the ancients; it was used in Rome and 
Carthage, and was known as Oriental Alabaster. The quarries were 
rediscovered in 1849, in Egypt, by M. Delmonte. It is now employed 
in Paris and elsewhere for ornamental works, such as bases for clocks, 
vases, etc. 

The following localities are represented in the State Museum: (2.) 
Onyx Marble (red), Suisun. (261.) Onyx Marble (orange), Suisun. 
(556.) Onyx Marble (variegated), Suisun. (575.) Onyx Marble, San 
Luis Obispo. (1194.) From Gold Run, Placer County. (1872.) 
Deposited from a mineral spring — Soda Springs Hotel, Siskiyou 
County, near the falls, and near the Sacramento River. (2006.) Onyx 
Marble, southeast quarter section nine, township thirty-two south, 
range fifteen east, Mount Diablo meridian, similar to (575). Mr. J. 
Z. Davis has placed a mantel of this beautiful mineral in the Museum 
as a loan. The prevailing colors are orange and blue. It is not 
only a representation of one of the most beautiful ornamental stones 
in the State, but is a credit to the workmen who cut it, It is wholly 
a California production, and one of which the State may be proud. 
(2327.) Onyx Marble, deposited by a mineral spring six miles from 
Kernville, Kern County. (2740.) Aragonite, in beautiful snow-white 
crystals, found in the Candace Copper mine, Colusa County. (3602.) 
White Saccharoidal Aragonite, is easily reduced to a powder, and 
may perhaps be used as a substitute for chalk in chemical manufac- 


tories — it occurs in large quantities, deposit said to be four hundred feet 
thick — some attempts have been made to burn it for lime. (3733.) 
From Cerro Gordo, Inyo County. (4758.) From the ranch of J. M. 
Pugh, near Smith ville, Colusa County. (5220.) Onyx Marble, near 
Yreka, Siskiyou County. A specimen of Yellow Aragonite was 
exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1878 from Alpine County — it 
formed in a sluice box to the thickness of an inch — the impression 
of the grain of the wood was so perfect that the mineral looked on 
one surface like wood itself. It is a common thing for iron water- 
pipes laid in the Colorado desert to become choked by an accumu- 
lation of Aragonite. (2264) is a section of two-inch pipe which lay 
at Frink's Spring, on the Colorado desert, for two years — the pipe is 
nearly full — an analysis shows the mineral to be aragonite, with mag- 
nesia, sulphate of lime, oxide of iron, and silica as impurities. 

A new locality of Onyx Marble has lately been found in Solano 
County, near Suisun, of which there is in the Museum a polished spec- 
imen. The following is from the San Luis Obispo Tribune of Jan- 
uary 19, 1884: 


The beautiful onyx found in San Luis Obispo County is a neglected jewel. Considerable of it 
has been mined and manufactured in San Francisco into ornaments, and although the material 
is as rich and elegant as anything conceivable, it is not yet fashionable. Governor Stanford has 
a very little in his house. The Chronicle office has a counter, and Captain Thompson, a millionaire 
resident of Alameda, has a fireplace, mantel, jamb, hearth, and other work of it, and these with 
a few offices in San Francisco, are about the extent of the use of onyx. The mantel in the 
Mining Bureau, of San Luis Obispo onyx, called the handsomest thing on exhibition, ought to 
draw attention to the substance. The objection is that it is a home product, and has not yet 
become fashionable. The newly rich people of San Francisco, and there are many of them, 
are not content with anything unless it has a foreign label on it. Their wine must have a French 
name, their marbles must be from Italy, and their ornaments such as the rich of the East have 
adopted as the fashion. 

Onyx Marble is not only rare, but it is not apt to be found in large 
quantities in any one place. Owing to the peculiar manner in which 
it is liable to fracture, great care has to be observed in quarrying it. 
Powder cannot be employed for breaking it out; this has to be 
effected wholly by "wedging." And when quarried and furnished to 
the artist's hands care is still required in working it into shape, 
because of its fine texture. As it occurs in irregular masses, adher- 
ing to the inclosing rock, usually a sandstone, there remains gener- 
ally a' good deal of the latter attached to it when it is broken out. 
Seen as it comes from the quarry, this mineral has a rough, nodular 
appearance, suggesting the probability of its having been deposited 
by water holding lime in solution. From what has been said it will 
naturally be inferred that articles made from a mineral so scarce, so 
hard to quarry, and so difficult to shape, are somewhat expensive, 
and the inference is warranted by the prices these articles command 
the world over. A mantel-piece, for example, sells readily for $500, 
and other things in proportion. Such being the case, it is not to be 
expected that a mantel of this kind will be set up in every man's 
house, nor that our public fountains will just yet be chiseled out 
of this sort of material; nevertheless, now that we have this stone 
of such great excellence here in our own State, it may be expected 
that people of abundant means and cultured tastes will largely employ 
it for the adornment of their mansions, and the enrichment of their 
art treasures. Those who wish to see this new glory among California 
minerals can do so by visiting the State Mining Bureau, where it can 


be seen polished and wrought into elegant shapes, and also in its 
native roughness. ' 

Aragonite has been found at the New Alniaden mine, Santa Clara 
County (Dana). 

Aragotite — see Petroleum. 

Arenaceous Limestone — see Calcite. 

10 ARGENTITE. Etym. "Argmtum" (Latin name for silver). 
Silver Glance. Vitreous Silver. Sulphuret of Silver (Ag. S.) 



Color and streak, dark lead, gray, opaque; H.=2.25, sp. gr.=7 2— 
7.3; luster, metallic; B. B. on ch. melts easily, with strong smell ot 
burning sulphur, yielding a globule of silver. It is a valuable but 
rather rare silver ore; it occurs in the ores of the Comstock Lode, in 
Nevada, and has been as yet found in but few localities in California, 
as follows: Minietta Belle mine, Inyo County; in veins, eight miles 
south of Benton, Mono County (Aaron); in the Kearsarge Mountains, 
near Independence, Inyo County, in cubical crystals (Aaron). It 
occurs in irregular amorphous masses, Oriental mine, Deep Spring 
Valley, at a depth of sixty feet from the surface No. (— ). In testing 
this mineral with the blowpipe, it was found that on strongly heat- 
ing a small fragment without flux, it formed a globule without imme- 
diately decomposing, but on allowing the globule to cool slowly by 
gradually diminishing the flame, and at length discontinuing it alto- 
gether the dark colored globule became coated with dendritic crystals 
of metallic silver, which was a beautiful object when viewed under 
the microscope with a low power. 

11. ARSENIC. • Etym. Arsenicum (Latin). See also Arsenolite. 

Arsenic in a metallic or native state or condition, is found in Mon- 
terey County, at the Alisal mines, twenty-five miles from the Mission 
of San Carlos. (Blake.) 

Arsenical Pyrites— see Arsenopyrite. 

12. ARSENOLITE. Etym. "Arsenicum" (Latin). 

Is an oxide of arsenic, having the following composition : 



It is identical with the white arsenic of commerce. The known 
localities are few. Blake gives as a locality the Amargosa mines in 
San Bernardino County, where it occurs m large masses 

Arsenolite is generally in stalactitic crusts, and it is doubtful it it 
has before been found in distinct crystals; when pure it has a specinc 
gravity of 3.729. Cleveland, in his treatise on mineralogy and geology, 
published in 1816, makes the following significant remark: When 


we consider the solubility of this oxide in water, and its effects on 
the stomachs of animals, we must recognize the goodness of the 
Creator in rendering it a rare mineral." 

Crystals of arsenolite from the Exchequer mine, Alpine County, 
were shown at the Paris Exposition of 1878, changed from enargite! 
The manner of their formation is curious. Large quantities of the 
ore containing enargite had accumulated on the dump of the mine, 
which, undergoing chemical change, became hot; the miners describe 
it as having taken fire; fearing a loss, and not knowing the cause, 
they threw large quantities of water over the pile; when chemical 
action had ceased, beautiful crystals of arsenolite were found to have 
formed in the cavities of some of the largest masses of the ore. Some 
of the crystals were over half an inch in diameter, in perfect and 
modified octahedrons, having an adamantine luster, some transpar- 
ent, while others were translucent or opaque. 

13. ARSENOPYRITE. Etym. Arsenic and Pyrite. 

Arsenopyrite or Mispickel is rather a common mineral in Cali- 
fornia, and is almost invariably associated with gold ; sometimes the 
gold is contained in the mineral in surprising quantities, from which 
it can be recovered by roasting and subsequent treatment with acids. 
A portion of the gold is free and may be separated by simple crush- 
ing and vanning in water, or panning, as the operation is called in 
California. After roasting, if the mass is very slowly heated in a 
muffle with borax, the gold "sweats out" and appears on the surface 
in brilliant globules, while mispickel per se has no value except per- 
haps for the arsenic it contains, which could be easily recovered. As 
an associate and bearer of gold, it is a mineral to which attention 
should be given, and a few words as to the method of determining it 
will not be out of place. 

Its luster is metallic, sometimes dull on the surfaces when long 
exposed to the elements; color, grayish white to almost silver white; 
quite brittle. 

H=5.5 to 6, sp. gr. 6.3 to 6.4. It contains: 

Arsenic 46.0 

Sulphur 19.6 

Iron 34.4 


It sometimes contains a little cobalt, rarely as much as 9 per cent; 
and sometimes nickel. When heated B. B., dense white fumes arise, 
which have the odor of onions or garlic. When fumes cease to be 
given off, the residue is attracted by the magnet. During the opera- 
tion of roasting the charcoal is coated with white arsenious acid; in 
a closed tube B. B., a sublimate of sulphide of arsenic, of a deep red 
color, forms; and above it a black lustrous mirror of metallic arsenic. 
In an open tube the sublimates are those of sulphurous and arsenious 
acids; the former invisible but recognized by the smell, and the latter 
a white coating, which, under the microscope, is seen to be a collec- 
tion of brilliant octahedral crystals. These experiments should be 
made with care and on small portions, for the fumes are poisonous. 

The known localities of mispickel in California are numerous. 
The mineral is found in the gold mines in Grass Valley, at the Betsey 


mine, with gold (Blake); with blende and galena, near Auburn, Placer 
County; with tellurium and gold, North Fork claim, Forest City, 
Sierra County, discovered by accident in running a tunnel in a gravel 
claim, very rich in gold; in San Diego County, also rich in gold; in 
Inyo County, at several localities; Eureka mine, Calaveras County, 
with gold (Blake); and elsewhere in many of the gold mines of the 

(4169) is Mispickel with gold, found near Georgetown, El Dorado 

Asbestus — see Amphibole. 

Asphaltum — see Petroleum. 

14. ATACAMITE. Etym. " Atacama" a province in Bolivia. 

Atacamite is chloride of copper, and a rare mineral. Dana gives 
the Inyo district, Inyo County, as a locality. I am very familiar with 
the country mentioned, and think the statement is a mistake — at all 
events, I have never seen it or heard of it in the State. 

Aventurine — see Quartz. 

15. AZURITE. Etym. Azure, a blue color. Mountain Blue, Blue 

Malachite, Chessy Copper, Azure Copper Ore, etc. 

A hydrous carbonate of copper (2 Cu C0 2 +Cu HO) : 

Oxide of copper 69.2 

Carbonic acid 25.6 

Water 5.2 


H. 3.5 — 4, sp. gr. — 3.5 — 3.8. Luster, vitreous; color, azure blue; 
streak lighter; transparent; sub-transparent. In closed tube gives off 
water and turns black; dissolves in acids with effervescence. B. B. on 
ch. is reduced to metallic copper. When wet with hydrochloric acid 
the blowpipe flame is colored blue. 

Azurite is a valuable ore of copper, easily reduced, and in a state 
suitable for the manufacture of sulphate of copper. When pure it 
is sometimes used as a pigment, under the name of Mountain Blue. 
It was known to the ancients under the name of Caeruleum Lapis 
Armenius. It is common in the Inyo Mountains, from White Moun- 
tain to Coso, but not as yet found in any considerable quantity. It 
occurs with cerusite, anglesite, and bindheimite, in the Modoc mine, 
Inyo County; also in Monterey County, and at Copperopolis, Cala- 
veras County (Dana). 

16. BARITE. Etym. " Heavy " (Greek ), Barytes, Heavy Spar, Terra 

Ponderosa, Cawk, and many other names. 

The element Barium is named from this mineral. The term Terra 
Ponderosa was applied by the earlier chemists and mineralogists from 
its unusual weight. It is a sulphate of Baryta, having when pure, 
the following composition: 

Baryta 65.7 

Sulphuric acid 34.3 



H. 2.5 — 3.5, sp. gr. 4.3 — 4.72. Luster vitreous, streak white, color 
from pure porcelain white to dark shades of blue, red, yellow, brown, 
and gray. Transparent, translucent, opaque; found amorphous and in 
crystals. It is insoluble in acids, but may be decomposed and ren- 
dered soluble by fusion with carbonate of soda, or caustic potash. 
The mineral is slightly soluble in water, 200,000 parts of water being 
required to dissolve one part of Barite. When heated B. B. on ch. it 
generally decrepitates and fuses into a globule. On continuing the 
heat it sinks into the coal ; a portion of this being removed and placed 
on a clean silver coin and wet with water produces a black spot (sul- 
phide of silver). Baryta is used in the arts as an adulterant for white 
lead and other paints; to give weight and body to paper; in the rerin- 
ing of beet sugar; in the manufacture of plate glass (carbonate); in 
pyrotechnics (nitrate) ; as a chemical reagent (chloride and carbonate) ; 
in medicine, and as a pigment under the name of permanent white, 
used as a water color; and in the manufacture of paper hangings. 
The element Barium was discovered in 1808 by Sir Humphrey Davy. 
In 1872 in England 4,650 tons of Sulphate of Baryta, and 4,442 tons 
of the carbonate were raised from the mines, having a value of £7,- 
078. Barite is largely mined and prepared for market in Connecti- 
cut, in the vicinity of Stamford. 

It occurs in small quantities at a number of localities in this State: 
With silver ores in the Calico mines, San Bernardino County (4167, 
4234, 4735, 4953, 5027), milk white and honey yellow; with lead and 
copper ores, north arm of Indian Valley, Plumas County (Edman); 
with tetrahedrite, Irby Holt mine, Indian Valley, Plumas County; 
in the White Mountains, Inyo County; in a vein in the Alabama 
Range, Inyo County (Aaron); with gold, Malakoff hydraulic mine, 
North Bloomfield, Nevada County (4085); in the Morning Star mine, 
Alpine County, in the Satellite copper mine, Calaveras County, and 

17. BERNARDINITE. Etym. San Bernardino County, California. 

Is a resin found in the southern part of the State. The specimen 
in the State Museum (1460) was found near Santa Monica, Los Ange- 
les County. The sample analyzed and described by J. M. Stillman, 
in the American Journal of Science and Arts, third series, volume 

18, folio 57, was from San Bernardino County. Mr. Stillman, in a 
subsequent paper, in the same journal, third series, volume 20, folio 93, 
expresses the opinion that it is of recent vegetable origin. It is to be 
hoped that further information will be gathered concerning this sub- 

18. BINDHEIMITE. Etym. "Bindheim" the chemist who first 
analyzed it. 

Is a hydrous antimoniate of lead, or a compound of the oxides of 
the two metals; the antimony oxide acting as an acid, the lead as a 

Oxide of antimony Sb. 5 31.71 

Oxide of lead Pb. 61.38 

Water.. 6.46 



It is a rare mineral, resulting from the decomposition of other anti- 
monial ores. The following California localities have been noted. 
The mineral has not been verified by analysis and there is some 
doubt as to its being really Bindheimite. Found in the Union mine, 
Cerro Gordo, Inyo County, and with Anglesite in the Modoc mine, 
Inyo County (1648). 

19. BIOLITE. Etym. Biot, French physicist who first studied its 

crystallography. Hexagonal Mica. See also Mica. 

It occurs near Grass Valley, Nevada County. Specimen in cabinet 
of C. W. Smith, Grass Valley (Blake). 

Bismuth — see Bismutite. 

20. BISMUTITE. Etym. Metal Bismuth, Hydrous Carbonate of 

Bismuth, Stream Bismuth. 

When pure it consists of: 

Bismuth 90.00 

Carbonic acid 6.56 

Water 3.44 


H=4. — 4.5, sp. gr.=6.8— 6.9, dull, brittle, opaque, color yellowish to 
nearly white. This mineral is represented in the State Museum by 
a single specimen found in drift, while sluicing for gold, on Big Pine 
Creek, Inyo County (4641). A specimen exactly similar has been 
sent to the Museum from Phoenix, Arizona, found with gold in dry 

The metal Bismuth is white, hard, brittle, and easily fusible. 
H=2.25, sq. gr =9.727 to 9.861, fuses at 283° F. It was first recognized 
as a distinct metal by Agricola in 1520, before which it was confounded 
with lead. It occurs mostly in a native state, but also combined with 
sulphur, carbonic acid, or oxygen, and mixes with other metals and 
minerals. On a large scale native Bismuth is separated from its 
gangue by gentle heat. 

Neutral solutions of Bismuth have the remarkable property of being 
wholly precipitated by dilution with water; advantage is taken of this 
in the purification of the metal. Bismuth may be recognized by 
heating it B. B. on ch., when a characteristic yellow incrustation forms; 
the presence of lead, antimony, and other elements interfere with this 
reaction. The following is from the Manual of Determinative Min- 
eralogy, by George J. Brush: 

In the presence of lead and antimony "Bismuth can be detected in the following manner: 
The mixture of the three oxides is added to an equal volume of sulphur and treated in a cavity 
upon charcoal with R. F. ; the oxides are thus converted into sulphides. The assay is then 
placed upon a flat coal and treated with the R. F. and the 0. F. until antimonial fumes have 
nearly ceased; the residue is placed in a mortar and pulverized and mixed with an equal vol- 
ume of a mixture of one part of iodide of potassium and five of sulphur: it is then heated in an 
open glass tube and if Bismuth is present a distinct red sublimate of Iodide of Bismuth will be 
deposited a short distance above the yellow sublimate of lead; the sublimate of iodine, which 
is liable to be deposited higher up the tube, must not be confounded with the Bismuth sublimate. 

This or the following test may be made: The pulverized substance 
is digested in hot nitric acid for some time, the liquid decanted and 
evaporated nearly to dryness, and poured drop by drop into a glass 


vessel of water; a white cloudy precipitate shows the presence of Bis- 

Bismuth is used in the arts, in certain alloys, in medicine, as a cos- 
metic or face powder by women, as a pigment, etc. 

Name of Alloy. ! Bismuth. ; Copper. Tin. Antimony. Lead. Mercury. Total. 

! ! l I I I 

1. Pewter 1.72 6.77 S4.74 6.77 100 

2. White metal for table bellsJ 0.63: 2.06 97.31 ! ! 100 

3. Britannia metal [ 1.78 1.78 89.30 7.14 | I 100 

4. Amalgam for spherical mir- 

rors SO. 00 ! 20.00 I 100 

5. Queen's metal 8.34 75.00 8.33! 8.33 100 

6. Type metal and calico- 

printing blocks 16.66 50.00 : 33.34 ! i 100 

7. Fusible allov, Newton's— 50.00 20.03 j 29.97 | 100 

8. Fusible alloy. Rose's 50.00 25.00 25.00 100 

Alloys Nos. 7 and 8 fuse in boiling water. Spoons made of them 
melt while stirring a cup of hot tea. They serve a useful purpose 
in the mechanic arts. Fusible plugs made of an alloy containing bis- 
muth are employed to prevent explosions in steam boilers; when 
the water is low the heat rises above the melting point of the alloy, 
which fusing, opens an orifice through which the steam escapes harm- 
lessly. Bismuth is a high-priced metal, owing to its scarcity and the 
limited demand for it, 

Bitumen — see Asphalt, under head of Petroleum. 

Bituminous Shale — see Petroleum. 

Black Jack— see Sphalerite. 

Black Sands — see Magnetite. 

Blende — see Sphalerite. 

Bloodstone— see Quartz. 

Blue Malachite— see Azurite. 

Boracic Acid — see Sassolite. 


Mentioned in letter written by Dr. John A. Veatch to the California 
Borax Companv, quoted in full in the Third Annual Report, Part 2, 
Fol. 15. 

22. BORAX. Etym. Boorak, or Baurach (Arabic), Bi-Borate of 

Soda, Tincal, Native Borax, etc. 

Borax, crystallized, prismatic, equivalent to native borax. NaO 
2BO 3 +10HO=atomic weight, 191. 



Boracic acid 36 . 65 per cent 

Soda K5.23 percent 

Water 47.12 percent 


Borax crystallized, octahedral. NaO 2B0 8 +5HO=atomic weight, 

Boracic acid 47.94 percent 

Soda 21.23 per cent 

Water _ 30.83 per cent 


Borax, anhydrous. NaO 2B0 3 =atomic weight, 101. 

Soda.... 30.70 per cent 

Boracic acid 69 . 30 per cent 


H=2— 2.5, sq. gr.=1.716. Borax has a sweetish taste and an alkaline 
reaction. It dissolves in twelve parts of cold water and in two parts 
of boiling water. At a low heat it melts in its water of its crystalli- 
zation; if the heat be continued, it swells and becomes a white por- 
ous mass. At a red heat it fuses into a transparent fluid, which 
becomes, when cold, a transparent solid, resembling glass. Fused 
with fluorspar and bisulphate of potash, it colors the blowpipe flame 
distinctly green. Luster, vitreous; color, white, gray, brown, pink- 
ish, greenish; generally translucent, sometimes transparent; brittle, 
streak white; phosphorescent if powdered in the dark. 

The most beautiful transparent and perfect crystals form at the 
borax works in weak solutions, which have been allowed to stand 
for rf considerable time undisturbed. The purest natural crystals are 
found on the property of the San Bernardino Borax Company, which 
are shoveled into the dissolving tanks by the ton. They differ from 
the celebrated crystals from Borax Lake, Lake County, in being trans- 
parent and inclosing fluid in large cavities. 

The following figures of prismatic borax crystals are from Hauy's 
Traite de Mineralogie : 


Crystal of Native Borax from Borax Lake. Natural size. 

The early history of borax is vague and uncertain. The statement 
by some writers that the substance was known to the ancients, lacks 
confirmation. There is but little reason to believe that chrysocoUa, 
literally, gold glue, was borax. Pliny's description shows it to have 
been of an entirely different nature. The name chrysocoUa was given 
to borax by Agricola (de re metallica) because it was used in soldering 
gold Agricola was a celebrated metallurgist who lived in the nrst 


part of the sixteenth century. One author (Parke's Chemical Essays, 
London, 1830,) quotes from the writings ( Vita Caligulse) of Suetonius, 
who lived in the first century, that "the circus in his time was cov- 
ered with vermilion and borax." The first borax known in Europe 
came from the East. 

In 1732, Stephen Francis Geoffroy, a celebrated chemist, made the 
first analysis of borax, and was the first to notice the green flame 
imparted to burning alcohol by free boracic acid. 

In 1748, Baron announced the discovery that borax was sedative 
salt and soda. 

In 1772, the first authentic accounts were received in Europe as to 
the borax lakes of Thibet. According to Turner, " these lakes lie a 
few days' journey from Tezhoo Lomboo. The borax is found in 
masses in the mud at the bottom, beneath the stagnant water, with 
salt and alkali. Blanc and Pater Rovato say that these lakes lie 
among the mountains. The most noted (called Necbal) is located in 
the Canton of Sumbul. The water is conveyed in sluices, in which 
salt crystallizes. The liquor containing the borax is conducted to 
evaporating basins, in which the borax crystallizes out. It is impure, 
and has the form of six-sided crystals, sometimes colorless, at others, 
yellowish or green; always covered with an earthy incrustation, fatty 
to the touch, and with a soapy smell." Another account informs 
us that "the borax is dug from the margin of the lake. The crystals 
removed are replaced by others after the lapse of a certain time." 

Simple tests serve to detect the usual foreign substances contained 
in borax, natural or artificial. When pure it should dissolve in 
twelve to twenty-four parts of cold water to a clear solution without 
color or residue. A sample heated to fusion should leave a residue 
weighing fifty-three per cent, nearly. If adulterated with nitrate of 
potash it will deflagrate when thrown on burning coals. If alum is 
present as an impurity, its solution will react acid to litmus paper. 
Artificial borax is often degraded by admixture of phosphate of soda, 
sometimes to the extent of twenty per cent, in which case its solution 
will give a yellow precipitate upon addition of molybdate of am- 
monia mixed with excess of nitric acid. Lime is indicated by a 
white precipitate, which falls when carbonate of soda is added to the 
solution. This precipitate dissolves in dilute hydrochloric acid with 
effervescence. Sulphate of soda and chloride of sodium (common 
salt), the natural impurities, are indicated, the former by a precipi- 
tate with chloride of barium in the presence of free acid, and the 
latter by the formation of a white curdy precipitate with nitrate of 
silver in the presence of free nitric acid. The latter precipitate is 
soluble in ammonia, and is reproduced on the addition of an acid. 

If to a solution of boracic acid, or an alkaline borate, hydrochloric 
acid is added to slight acid reaction, and a slip of turmeric paper 
half dipped into it and dried on a watch-glass at 212° Fahrenheit, the 
dipped portion shows a peculiar red tint; this reaction, which is 
delicate, must not be confounded with similar colors obtained from 
other substances; to avoid which, experiments should be made with 
pure solutions, carefully prepared, to educate the eye. _ 

Borax may be determined volumetric-ally. For this assay a solu- 
tion of sulphuric acid must be prepared, in which an exact chemical 
equivalent of the acid shall be contained in each litre. This acid 
solution, called "normal sulphuric acid," must be carefully preserved 


in a well stoppered bottle, as on its purity and uniform strength 
depend the accuracy of the results. An equivalent of the borax to 
be assayed (or rather what would be an equivalent if it were pure) 
must then be dissolved in distilled water. 

Now if both solutions contain exact equivalents, they would neu- 
tralize each other if poured together. In a like manner, if a tenth of 
each solution were mixed they would neutralize each other. The 
tenth of a litre is a convenient measure for the assay, because it con- 
tains 100 cubic centimeters (C.C). If 100 C.C. of the acid solution 
neutralized the tenth of an equivalent of borax in solution, it would 
be evident that the sample was pure. If 80 C.C. only were required, 
the sample contains eighty per cent of borax. In other words, each 
C.C. of the acid solution represents one per cent of crystallized borax 
in the sample. 

When litmus is added to a solution of borax, only a purple red 
color is seen while any borax remains undecomposed; but, upon 
adding sulphuric acid, at the instant that the last atom of soda is 
changed to sulphate, a light red color appears. 

Upon these reactions, the volumetric assay is based. 

It has been shown elsewhere, that the chemical equivalent of 
crystallized prismatic borax is 191. One tenth of this weight— 19.1 
grammes of the borax — is dissolved by shaking in cold water: 250 to 
300 cubic centimeters will be required. The solution must not be 

This solution is placed in a clean beaker, solution of litmus added 
until a deep color is imparted to the fluid. Normal sulphuric acid is 
then dropped in from a burette, graduated to cubic centimeters and 
tenths, until the color suddenly changes to a bright red. The first test 
may be made somewhat carelessly, as it will only be an approximation. 
The beaker is then washed out, and the operation repeated ; this time 
with greater care. The result will be nearly correct. A third exper- 
iment will serve to verify the result. The reader should refer to 
some practical work on chemistry for description of the apparatus 
and method of making the test solutions. Sutton's Systematic Hand- 
book of Volumetric Analysis, third edition, is one of the best. 

Only borax can be estimated by this method. The determination 
of boracic acid in minerals and other substances, is extremely diffi- 
cult, and can hardly be explained without an elaborate description, 
which may be found in text-books on analytical chemistry. In the 
volumetric method described above it is customary to deduct 0.5 C.C, 
to correct for the excess of sulphuric acid required to develop the red 
color in the assay. 

Boracic acid is soluble in 27 times its weight of water at 60°, and in 
2.96 parts of water at 212°. The hydrated acid dissolves in alcohol, 
which burns with a characteristic green flame, seen even in the pres- 
ence of soda salts, which impart a yellow color to the flame. But, if 
soda is largely in excess, the green color is masked, and can only be 
observed when the alcohol is nearly consumed, and the distinguish- 
ing color is more marked if the expiring flame is gently agitated by 
breathing upon it, but, under these circumstances, a good eye is 
required to distinguish the color. By far the best color test is made 
by the use of the direct vision spectroscope, which shows three dis- 
tinct pale green bands in the green part of the spectrum. I have 


used the beautiful little instrument made by Browning, of London 
and which is shown in the figure: 

The use of this instrument is simple, and once seen is easily under- 
stood and practiced. The substance supposed to contain boracic acid 
or a borate is placed in an evaporating dish, and a few drops of sul- 
phuric acid added. A brisk effervescence generally takes place. The 
contents of the dish must be stirred, which may be done with a small 
stick, or anything convenient at hand. Alcohol is then poured in, 
in small quantity, and ignited. All that is then required to deter- 
mine the presence of borax or boracic acid is to look at the flame 
through the spectroscope. Three distinct and beautifully green bands 
will be seen, if boracic acid is present. 

If free boracic acid is contained in the sample, the green bands 
may be produced without the introduction of sulphuric acid. It is 
best, however, always to use the acid, which decomposes the salt con- 
taining the weaker boracic acid, and to make a secondary test to prove 
the boracic acid to be free or otherwise. 

The experiment should be made in a dark room. The bands are 
best seen when the slit is so far closed as to show the yellow sodium 
band, always present, as a very narrow line. 

With the spectroscope, a bottle of strong sulphuric acid, one of 
alcohol, and a small evaporating dish, the prospector, although 
unskilled in chemical handicraft, may detect with unerring cer- 
tainty the presence or otherwise of boracic acid, or any of its salts, in 
the deposits he may find. 

When boracic acid is suspected in steam issuing from hot springs, 
it is only necessary to condense a portion of the steam. The result- 
ing water is evaporated nearly to dryness at a very gentle heat. Alcohol 
is then added, and the flame examined as before. This test shows 
the presence of boracic acid in the waters of Mono Lake, and in the 
eruptive mud from the mud volcanoes of the Colorado Desert, San 
Diego County. 

The only weak point in this determination lies in its extreme 
delicacy. In inexperienced hands it might lead to the hope that the 
sample was rich when boracic acid was present only in small quanti- 
ties; but a little experience will correct this, for it will be seen that 
when the quantity is small the bands are faint, and come and go in 
an intermittent manner; while, if the quantity is large, they are di&- 


tinct and well denned, and the color a clear green. As with the 
sodium band, the intensity of the color is an index to quantity— all 
of which may be learned by experience. In making this determina- 
tion all bands of other substances present, as lithium, potassium, etc., 
must be disregarded. 

In prospecting the deserts, there are no facilities for chemical opera- 
tions, dnd the prospector, generally poor, can but ill afford to send 
his samples to San Francisco, or pay the cost of chemical analysis. 
These considerations have, no doubt, retarded the development of 
the borax interests of the State. 

It is sometimes inconvenient to use alcohol in the manner described. 
The experiment can be made with equal facility in the flame of a 
Bunsen gas burner, or spirit lamp. 

The substance to be examined is supported in a loop of platinum 
wire. The wire may be held in the hand when the color is to be 
observed by the unassisted eye; but when the spectroscope is used it 
must be supported. A convenient support may be improvised in the 
following manner: A small glass funnel is placed on the table, with 
the tube part upwards. A glass rod or wire, small enough to pass 
easily into the tube, is cut to a convenient length, wrapped with paper, 
and pushed into the tube of the funnel. The paper acts as packing, 
and when arranged the rod may be raised or depressed by pushing 
up or down in the tube. A common cork, of medium size, is pierced 
with a cork borer diametrically, and placed on the rod. A wire is 
thrust through the cork at right angles with the vertical rod. This 
wire may be three or four inches in length. 

A small glass tube may then be selected, and cut to the length of an 
inch and a half. One end is closed in the blowpipe flame, and a short 
piece of platinum wire inserted while the glass is still hot; when cold 
the wire will be firmly set in the closed end of the tube; the other 
is open. In the end of the platinum wire a small loop is made; 
when all is ready the substance is ground in an agate mortar with a 
small excess of a mixture of equal parts of bisulphate of potash and 
fluorspar. The platinum wire is first held in the flame for a moment 
to see that it is clean and gives no color. The flame is examined to 
be sure that no color is imparted by any uncleanness of the burner. 
If the flame is blue, and perfectly non-luminous, it may be observed 
through the spectroscope, and if no color is seen except the bright 
yellow sodium band the apparatus is ready for use. To make the 
experiment, the Bunsen burner is lighted, and a full head of gas 
turned on, making the flame five or six inches long. The glass tube 
with its platinum wire and loop is slipped off from the horizontal 
wire, and the loop dipped into a small vessel of distilled water, and 
then into the mixture in the agate mortar. The tube is then replaced 
on the wire, and the whole stand pushed near the flame with the loop 
and the assay about half an inch above the top of the burner. The 
spectroscope is then held to the eye in the left hand, while the stand 
is gently pushed with the right until the substance to be examined 
touches the flame. The green bands will instantly appear if boracic 
acid is present. This description will be fully understood by a glance 
at the following engraving: 



Apparatus for observing the green color of burning boracic acid, scale \. 

Bisulphate of potash is prepared by placing a convenient quantity 
of powdered sulphate of potash in a porcelain capsule and wetting it 
with concentrated sulphuric acid. The mixture must be heated until 
no more white fumes are given off, and a small portion taken out on 
a glass rod cools into a hard coating. The heat employed must be 
sufficiently great to keep the mixture in a state of fusion until the 
excess of acid is driven off. When cold, the mass must be pulverized 
and kept in a glass-stoppered bottle for use. 


The consumption of boracic acid and its salts is only limited by the 
supply. It is verv largely used in the manufacture of pottery and 
earthenware as a glaze. In 1820, Mr. Wood, of Liverpool, applied 


boracic acid to the glazing of pottery, which has continued, with 
increasing consumption, to the present time. 

The following mixtures are published. For common English 
porcelain : 

Feldspar. 45 parts 

Silica S parts 

Borax 21 parts 

Flint glass 20 parts 

Nickel 4 parts 

Minium 12 parts 

111 parts 

For figures and ornaments: 

Feldspar 45 parts 

Silica 12 parts 

Borax 15 parts 

Flint glass 20 parts 

Nickel 4 parts 

Minium 12 parts 

10S parts 

The glaze is made by melting the ingredients together, and after- 
wards grinding them with water, into which the ware is dipped and 
dried. The articles are first partially burned, in which form they are 
called " biscuit." 

Large quantities of borax are consumed in the potteries at Trenton, 
New Jersey; East Liverpool, Ohio; Philadelphia, and Cincinnati, 
and will eventually be used in prospective potteries in our own State. 

Borax has lately been extensively applied to the manufacture of 
porcelain-coated ironware, known as " graniteware." 

Boracic acid is used in the manufacture of certain varieties of glass 
and in " strass," which is the base of artificial gems named after the 
inventor, Strass of Strasburg, who lived in the seventeenth century, 
and who was the first to make artificial gems of this character. 

The following is the composition of strass: 

Pure silex 300 parts 

Potash 96 parts 

Borax 27 parts 

White lead 514 parts 

Arsenic 1 part 

93S t>arts 

All the ingredients must be pure, especially the borax, which must 
be prepared from pure boracic acid. Tincal is not suitable. 

The mixture is put into # Hessian crucible, and kept at the highest 
heat of a pottery furnace for twenty-four hours. The longer it is 
kept in a state of fusion the clearer and more homogeneous it will be 
when cooled. It is used by lapidaries for imitating diamond, topaz, 
and other white gems. For colored gems various metallic oxides are 
added in proportions only learned by experience. The coloring mat- 
ter must be in the finest powder, and not only very intimately mixed, 
but the mixture must be very strongly heated, the heat must be long 
continued, and the cooling gradual. 

It is stated in Parke's Chemical Essays that four ounces of borax 
and one ounce of pure fine white sand will make a pure glass, so hard 
as to cut common glass like the diamond. 


The following formula is given of the brilliant greenish yellow 
glass of Sevres : 

Silica 19-32 

Protoxide of lead 57.64 

Soda 3.08 

Boraeie acid 7.00 

Protoxide of iron 6.12 

Oxide of zinc 2.99 

Antimonic acid , 3.41 

Potash -44 


Verifiable pigments for glass staining and encaustic tiles are ren- 
dered fusible by admixture of borax. The following formulas are 
given : 

1. One part sand, three parts litharge, one third part borax. The borax must be fused in a 
platinum crucible and poured into water, and, when cold, ground fine. 

2. One part sand, two and three quarters parts litharge, three eighths parts borax. 

3. One part sand, two parts litharge, one fourth part borax. 

4. One part sand, three parts minium, one eighth part borax. 

5. Six parts white sand, washed, and heated to redness, four parts yellow oxide of lead, one 
part borax glass, one part saltpeter. 

6. One part sand, two parts litharge, three quarters parts borax glass. 

7. Eight parts white quartz sand, washed and calcined, four parts borax glass, one part salt- 
peter, one part white chalk. 

All prepared as in No. 1. 

In the art of enameling, borax is also largely used as a flux. 

Borax has the property of dissolving the metallic oxides, which 
makes it useful in soldering metals. It renders the surfaces to be 
joined, clean, so that the solder " runs " and fills the joint between 
them. For this purpose, as well as in welding iron, the octahedral 
is the most desired, as, containing less water, it sooner settles down 
quietly on the work. In soldering small articles, the borax is rubbed 
on a slab of slate, with water, and the mixture put on with a camel's 
hair brush. 

The same property is taken advantage of in blowpipe chemistry, 
to determine the presence of certain metals which may be in the sub- 
stance under examination. A loop is prepared on the end of a thin 
platinum wire, in which borax is melted in the blowpipe flame; a 
small quantity of the substance in a fine powder is then introduced 
by wetting the borax bead and touching it to the powder. The bead 
is again subjected to the flame; first in the outer, and then in the 
inner flame, and allowed to cool while being closely observed. 




Outer Flame. 

Inner Flame. 

Hot. Cold. 




Vanadic acid. 
Sesqui-oxide of iron. 
Oxide of lead. 
Ter-oxide of bismuth 
and of antimony. 

Tungstic, titantic, 
vanadic, and mo- 
lybdic acids. 

Oxide of chromium. 
Sesqui-oxide of ce- 

Oxide of nickel. 

Oxide of copper. 


Sesqui-oxide of man- 
Oxide of cobalt con- 


Oxide of cobalt. 

Oxide of cobalt. 
Oxide of copper. 

Oxide of cobalt. 

Oxide of cobalt. 


Oxide of copper. 

Sesqui - oxide of 

Sesqui-oxides of iron, 
chromium, and 

Vanadic acid. 
Sesqui - oxides of 

Borax has great detersive properties and is very useful in the 
laundry. The washerwomen of Holland and Belgium, so celebrated 
for their fine and white linen, have used borax as a washing powder 
for many years. They add borax in the proportion of half a pound 
to ten gallons of boiling water. For washing laces, cambrics, and 
even woolen blankets and other goods, it will be found very useful. 
It is also a valuable cosmetic, rendering the skin soft, and it is claimed 
it will prove a preventive and even a cure for certain skin diseases. 
It is an excellent shampoo, without any admixture except water, and 
is perfectly harmless. Fir cleaning brush and comb it will be found 
very useful. It is so essential to the toilet that a bottle of it should 
be kept always ready, prepared as follows: 

A quantity of refined borax is shaken up in a bottle with water 
until no more will dissolve. The solution is then poured off into a 
clean bottle and half the quantity of water added, and both mixed 
by shaking. If not clear it must be left some time to stand and the 
clear portion poured off, or, better still, filtered through paper. In 
this condition it may be added to a basin of water, used as a mouth 
wash, and other ways as described. 

In medicine, according to the United States Dispensatory, borax is a 
mild refrigerant and diuretic. It is a remedy for nephritic and cal- 
culus complaints dependent on an excess of uric acid. Externally 
it is used in solution as a wash in scaly eruptions, and for other 


Borax and boracic acid are used to render cream of tartar more 
soluble The formula given in the French codex is as follows: 

Four hundred parts cream of tartar, and 100 parts of boracic acid 
are dissolved in a silver basin with 2400 parts of water at a boiling 
heat The solution is kept boiling until nearly all the water is evap- 
orated. The heat is then moderated and the mixture stirred. When 
it has become very thick it is removed in portions, which are flat- 
tened in the hand, well pounded, and powdered. This is soluble 
cream of tartar. . . 

A solution of borax is used as a gargle for sore throat and in colds, 
and it has been found effective in cases of epizooty in horses. In 
1873 experiments were made in San Francisco which gave favorable 
results. The doses were four ounces daily, given pulverized m the 
food. , _., . 

In 1878 Smith Bros, sold 20,000 pounds of borax to Chicago con- 
sumers, to be used in preserving and canning beef. 

Borax is used as a mordant in calico printing and in dyeing, and 
as a substitute for soap in dissolving gum out of silk; in solution as 
a wood preservative, and in the manufacture of soap. A varnish 
made by boiling one part of borax with five parts of shellac is used 
in stiffening hats. With caseine borax forms a substance which is 
used as a substitute for gum. A solution of borax in water may be 
mixed with linseed oil and used for cheap painting. 

Borax is extensively used in assaying, m the metallurgy ot ores, 
and in the smelting of copper, and it is said to be an excellent insecti- 
cide being especiallv obnoxious to cockroaches. 

There are probablv other uses to which it has been put, and no 
doubt new applications will be found for it if the production should 
increase. . • ~ 

Borax was first discovered in California in the waters ot 1 uscan 
Springs, in Tehama County, January 8, 1856. The water was brought 
to San Francisco bv Dr. Trask, State Geologist, and the analysis made 
by L Lanszweert. The crystals then obtained were sent to the 
Museum of the California Academy of Science. Borax Lake was 
discovered by Dr. John A. Yeatch, in September, 1856 This deposit 
was worked from 1861 to 1868, during which time it produced l,1813bo 
pounds of borax. Borax fields were discovered in San Bernardino 
Countv February 14, 1873. These deposits have been worked by the 
San Bernardino 'Borax Mining Company, who have produced very 
large quantities of borax. This valuable mineral has since been 
found at a number of localities in the State: In Death \ alley, Inyo 
Countv, in 1873; and Borate of Lime (ulexite) was discovered at Des- 
ert Springs, called also Cane Springs, in Kern County, February lo, 
1873 from whence a considerable quantity has been extracted, llie 
dry lake in which the borates are found is situated in Township o0 
south Range 38 east, Mt. Diablo base and meridian. Borax and Bor- 
ates have been found in considerable quantities in San Bernardino 
County, near Calico, which deposit is at the present time being 


In the third annual report of this office, folios 78, 79, the total pro- 
duction of borax in California and Nevada was given, and tor Cali- 
fornia as follows: From discovery in January, 18o6, to June 1, 1883, 
17 857 986 pounds. The yield of California from June 1, 1883, to Jan- 


uary 1, 1884, is estimated by Mr. S. Riddell at 1,866 tons, of 2,000 
pounds each, or 3,732,000 pounds. 

The receipts at San Francisco, Mohave, and Sacramento, from Jan- 
uary 1 to April 30, 1884, inclusive, were 1,522,300 pounds, all of which 
was produced by California. 

Received at San Francisco 1,289,500 pounds 

Received at Mohave 190,000 pounds 

Received at Sacramento 42,800 pounds 

1,522,300 pounds 

To June 1, 1883 17,857,986 pounds 

To January 1. 1884 • 3,732,000 pounds 

To April 30, 1884 : 1,522,300 pounds 

Total yield 23,112,286 pounds 

It is necessary now to speak only of the progress made since the 
publication of the last report by this industry, its present condition, 
and the outlook for it on this coast in the future. Although the dis- 
covery of this salt, made during the past year in the eastern part of the 
Calico district, San Bernardino County, led to a good deal of pros- 
pecting for other deposits in that part of the State, the movement 
subsided before the Summer was over, without noteworthy results; 
though, as usual, numerous additional finds were reported, none of 
which have, however, since met with confirmation; nor is this matter 
for serious regret, the want of the home producer resting just now, 
not so much in the discovery of new deposits of the crude material, 
as in improved prices for the manufactured product. 

The several companies previously in the field have, during the 
twelve months under review, continued work, no others having since 
been formed, or at least commenced active operations. Our exports 
to foreign countries consisted of 1,238,407 pounds to Liverpool; 20,231 
pounds to China; 8,882 pounds to Japan; and 6,301 pounds to Mexico, 
with smaller lots each to Australia, British Columbia, and the Ha- 
waiian Islands. At the opening of 1883 refined borax was selling in 
New York at ]3 cents per pound, but soon fell to 10 cents. After the 
enactment of the new tariff law the price there advanced to 15 cents, 
but finally dropped to 9, the rate now ruling in that market, this 
being for carload lots. The price of borax in San Francisco is less 
the price in New York by cost of transportation — say li cents per 
pound. The present low price of this commodity is due to heavy 
deposits of the crude article having been discovered, not only in Cali- 
fornia and Nevada, but in other parts of the world; the latest find 
of this kind reported being on the eastern side of the Andes in the 
States of La Plata, where the borate of lime is said to occur in large 
quantities and of excellent grade. Some considerable lots of this 
material, shipped via Rosario to Liverpool and Hamburg, met with 
ready sale on account of its richness. While the Tincal trade of India 
has been active and the manufacture in Italy of boracic acid has 
undergone some increment, exportations of the crude material from 
the west coast of South America have been quite free of late. Add 
the large production made in California and Nevada, and the causes 
for so great decline in the prices of borax become amply apparent. 
Whether the market is to undergo early improvement will probably 
depend on new and large uses being found for this salt, or on manu- 


facturers being able to effect some arrangement looking to a restricted 

The wisdom of protecting this industry against a crushing for- 
eign competition, becomes manifest, on comparing the prices our 
people now pay for borax with those that obtained twenty years ago, 
before any home production of this salt was made. Accepting the 
Druggists' Circular as authority, the New York price of borax in the 
year 1864 was thirty-five cents per pound; a figure we would prob- 
ably still have to pay for it but for these competing sources of supply 
opened up in California and Nevada, which to date have furnished 
the markets of the world forty-five million pounds of commercial 
borax. Besides retaining in the country large sums of money that 
would otherwise have been spent abroad in the purchase of this arti- 
cle, this business has been a great help to many other industries; 
populating districts that but for its presence would have long re- 
mained uninhabited. This class of our salines occupy desert regions, 
far inland, and, for the most part, remote from shipping points, either 
by sea or rail. They have, therefore, to be worked under many dis- 
advantages; labor as well as supplies being dear in these isolated and 
wilderness lands. 

The following abbreviated statement of the expenditures made by 
one of our large borax companies for labor and supplies, illustrates 
how heavily they are taxed on account of these items: 

Class of Employes. Per day. 

















Blacksmith (first) 

.Blacksmith (helper). 







The wages of clerks, agents, foreman, etc., ranging from $100 to 
$125 per month; cooks, $50 per month. These are the wages paid 
white men, who are all boarded and lodged at the company's expense. 
Chinamen, a few of whom are employed by some of the companies, 
receive $1 25 per day, boarding themselves. The money paid out for 
wages by these borax companies ranges from $1,500 to $3,300 per 
month. For forage, the sums paid out monthly vary from $300 to 
$600; the cost of other supplies being proportionately high. 

As the companies now making borax on this coast are realizing but 
little if any profits, we need look for no immediate increase of pro- 
duction here, but rather a falling off, unless some of the contingen- 
cies hinted at should arise, or other favoring conditions supervene. 

23. BORNITE. Etym. Born, a chemist of the last century. Purple 
Copper Ore, Variegated Copper, Horseflesh Ore, Erubescite, etc. 

Is a double sulphide of copper and iron. The elements vary in 
different specimens. The following is the analysis of an average 



Copper 58.20 

Iron 14.85 

Sulphur 26.98 


Luster, metallic; color, red to purple, rather bronze color. H. 3, sp. 
gr. 4.4. — 5.5. B. B. on ch. fuses to a magnetic globule, with soda gives a 
globule of copper which is malleable. Bornite is quite common with 
other ores of copper, especially Chalcopyrite. It is found in Califor- 
nia at Light's Canon, Plumas County, and in the Siegel Lode, Plumas 
County (Blake); Kings River, Fresno County; with Chalcopyrite and 
pyrite at Copper City, Shasta County (804); near Lexington, Santa 
Clara County; Genesee Valley, Plumas County (Edman); at Copper- 
opolis and Campo Seco, Calaveras County; and at numerous localities 
in the Inyo Mountains, Inyo County. 

Bronzite— see Enstatite. 


When in the course of events a city springs up in a new locality, 
stimulated by circumstances into a rapid growth, it is found neces- 
sary to utilize convenient materials, generally wood, in the construc- 
tion of buildings for temporary but immediate use. We are led to 
believe that wood was extensively used in building ancient cities, 
which were afterwards rebuilt, first of brick, and then of marble and. 
similar stones. We find it stated by Strabo (book 5, chapter 11, 5), 
that in his day the " wood of Tyrrhenia was mostly employed for 
building houses in Rome and in the country villas of the Romans, 
which resemble in their gorgeousness Persian palaces." A. similar 
experience was made in Chicago, and notably in San Francisco. 
Wooden buildings have here served their purpose, and are now fall- 
ing rapidly into a condition of decay. Nearly the whole city must, 
within a comparatively few years, be rebuilt. The short-lived 
wooden buildings must and will be replaced by those of a better 
and more durable character. Even should it be desired to replace 
them in kind, the forests do not exist to supply the lumber. Great 
injury has already been done to the State by the depletion of the 
forests. This cannot continue. While there is and will be lum- 
ber sufficient for economical use for many years, still the time has 
come when other materials must be sought to supplant lumber. 
Sufficient investigation has been made to show that building stones 
of excellent quality are abundant in California. The great mass of 
the earth's crust is composed of seven principal minerals, estimated 
at nineteen twentieths, as follows: 

1. Quartz. 

2. Talc or Steatite. 

3. Serpentine. 

4. Hornblende and Augite (varieties of Pyroxene). 

5. Feldspar. 

6. Mica. 

7. Carbonate of Lime. 

When two or more minerals are mechanically mixed they form 
rocks. Some minerals occur in such large masses that they are 
classed as rocks, as for example limestones, quartz, ice, etc. The 
crystalline rocks, granite, and gneiss are complex and contain nearly 


all the elements which enter into the composition of the plutonic, 
volcanic, and sedimentary rocks. They disintegrate to sand, kaolin, 
and alkalies, which form new combinations in soils and minerals. 
Sandstones, slates, mica-schists, and argillaceous rocks are built up 
of the ruins of the older crystalline rocks. The study of the rocks 
is deeply interesting, but lithology must be considered as yet in its 
infancy. The State Museum contains many specimens of rocks from 
California and other Pacific States and Europe, with a considerable 
number of thin sections prepared for microscopic observation. These 
collections include many valuable building stones. There is a full 
set of the rocks cut through by the Sutro Tunnel in Nevada, which 
constitutes a complete section of that great work. 

In a State like California, in which numerous chains of mountains 
cover a large area, building stones abound. It is only necessary to 
study them and select those most suitable and accessible, and turn 
them to account. The requirements of building stones vary with 
the uses to which they are to be put, but the following are the most 
important desiderata : 

First — Durability. Resistance to the action of the elements, espec- 
ially water. Power of resisting the action of fire in the event of a 

Second — Beauty. 

Third — Ease with which they can be cut into suitable shapes. 

Fourth — Cost of transportation from the quarry. 

It is a great mistake to suppose that the hardest stones are the most 
durable, or that any stone is indestructible. Climate has much to do 
with the durability of stone. Obelisks that scarcely showed the 
attacks of time in the dry climate of Egypt, when removed to Rome, 
Paris, London, or New York, soon exhibit signs of decay. Edward 
Clarke, who traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Africa, com- 
mencing in the year 1800, gives in his published travels much 
information concerning the durability of building stone. In the 
Troas he noticed "granite columns lying about, whose surface exhib- 
ited a very advanced state of decomposition, * * * serving to 
confirm a fact of some importance, namely, that the durability of 
substances employed for purposes of sculpture and architecture is not 
proportioned to their hardness." He noticed also at Alexandria that 
the fallen obelisk was considerably decomposed on the exposed sur- 
faces, while on the buried face the hieroglyphics were as perfect as 
ever. Ff e formed the opinion from his large experience and observa- 
tion, that Parian marble was the best and most enduring of stones 
used in ancient sculpture and architecture. Baked bricks and terra 
cotta were found to be still more durable. 

The cathedral at Cologne, partly built in the middle of the thir- 
teenth century, of Bunter sandstone, shows serious indications of 
decay. The Jurassic limestones of France are soft, easily worked, and 
very durable. The Tertiary limestones, of which Paris is largely built, 
are of a similar character/ Many buildings in the City of Rome are 
built of Travertine, a straw-colored tufaceous limestone, deposited by 
water. The Colosseum, St. Peters, Castle of St. Angelo, the Quirinal, 
and other noted buildings, are of this stone, which is so soft when first 
quarried that it can be cut with saws into blocks. At a meeting of the 
New York Academy of Sciences, January 29, 1883, Dr. Alexis A. Julien 
read a paper on the decay of building stones of the City of New York. 
Of 100,193 buildings in New York, 11.6 per cent only are of stone; of 


this number, 78.6 per cent are of brown sandstone, and 7.9 per cent 
marble. The soft building stones show considerable decay in five 
years, those that last twenty or thirty years are considered excep- 
tional. Granites within fifty years begin to decay. Numerous plans 
have been suggested to stay the progress of the decay, as application 
of coal tar, paint, oil, soap and alum solution, paraffine, beeswax, 
rosin, tallow, etc., dissolved in naphtha, turpentine, camphene, and 
oil; none of these have proved to be more than temporarily effective. 
His investigations show that all the building stones used in New 
York show the effect of the climate within a few years, and that some 
of them fall rapidly into a state of decay. The Ohio sandstone was 
found to be the most durable of all the stones used, and gneiss the 
next. French oolite lasts only from twenty to forty years. The cli- 
mate of San Francisco is such that building stones would last much 
longer than in New York. It is an important consideration to select 
for our cities in California the best building stone obtainable, and to 
profit by the experience made in other countries. San Francisco is 
destined to become a second Rome. In a few centuries, if it meets 
with no serious setback, it will be the largest city in the world, at least 
that is my opinion. We have made serious mistakes in laying out its 
streets and planning its system of drainage. Let us compensate in a 
measure by rebuilding it of durable materials, selected with judg- 
ment, prudence, and care. 

The rocks usually employed in building are: 




Freestone, or Sandstone, 

Diorite, or Greenstone, 

Lavas, including Basalt and Trachyte, 

Limestones, including Marble, Tufa, Dolomite, Slate, Serpentine, 

All these are found in the State. Some of them are abundant. 

The materials for artificial stones, concretes, cements, brick, terra 
cotta, etc., are also found here; therefore there is no excuse for the 
construction of cheap and ephemeral buildings in our cities. 

Granite is a compound acidic rock, composed of three minerals, 
Quartz, Feldspar, and Mica, mechanically mixed. 

These are described under their different heads— the origin of the 
name is unknown. The term acidic used above, implies a large per- 
centage of silica, the acid, in contradistinction to "basic," the reverse. 
Acidic rocks contain above 60 per cent of silica, and range as high as 
80 per cent. The word granite applies not only to the well known 
rock, but to a group of rocks called granitic— as Porphyritic granite, 
Granulite, Syenitic granite, Graphic granite, Gneissic granite, and 
a number of other varieties. The constituents, too, vary as to state 
of aggregation; sometimes one mineral is largely in excess, and in 
other instances another. The granulation also differs, sometimes so 
fine-grained that the rock looks almost homogeneous, at others the 
minerals are in large distinct crystals or masses. Other minerals are 
also sometimes found in granite, as tourmaline, zircon, chlorite, horn- 
blende, steatite, and others, which impart a somewhat distinctive char- 
acter to the rock. These admixtures and conditions of texture render 
it extremely difficult to distinguish one rock from another. Until 
the microscope was called to the aid of the lithologist, the difficulties 


seemed insurmountable, as the skill of the chemist failed to distin- 
guish rocks ^of a similar character; but now a thin section placed in 
the focus of a suitable microscope reveals distinctive features more 
decisive to the eye of the practical observer, than the results of a 
complex chemical analysis. The analysis is not, however, to be 
despised, for both are necessary in many cases. When hornblende 
replaces mica, granite becomes Syenite, and when the constituents 
are laminated or foliated the rock is called Gneiss, pronounced " nice." 
Graphic granite or Pegmatite contains but little if any mica, and is 
sought as a constituent in the manufacture of porcelain. 

The following is an analysis of a typical specimen of granite, 
selected from many published: 

Silica 73. 00 

Alumina 13.64 

Oxides of iron and manganese 2.44 

Lime _. ""™™__"~™ L84 

Magnesia c.ll 

Potash __ 4 21 

Soda 353 

Water and loss __ 1.20 

The specific gravity of ordinary granite is 2.66. A cubic foot weighs 
166.2 pounds. Granite, like many other rocks, absorbs water, some 
more than others. This is an important matter in considering the 
value of a building stone. The power to resist crushing also differs 
with granites from different quarries. The experiment to determine 
this is made on samples cut to certain uniform sized cubes, from one 
to six inches, as circumstances require. The harder the stone the 
smaller is the cube acted upon. Whatever machine or appliance is 
used, it must be provided with a gauge, to indicate the force applied. 
Granite has always been a favorite building stone, under the impres- 
sion that it was as nearly as possible indestructible. This has been 
proved a fallacy, as mentioned elsewhere. In the mild and dry clim- 
ate of Egypt granite has resisted the elements well, but, even there, 
it has suffered material decay, as seen on some of the granite walls 
of temples. No doubt that rock would endure as long in the dry 
deserts of southern California and Arizona, 

Granite is quite common and abundant in California. The great 
bulk of the Sierra Nevada is composed of this rock. It is also quite 
abundant in the Coast Range. Near San Francisco it occurs at Toma- 
les Point, Marin County, Bodega Head and Punta de los Reyes, at 
Point Carmelo and at Cypress Point, near Monterey, where it has 
been quarried. At Folsom, in Sacramento County, also extensively 
quarried. In Amador County, near Volcano; near Grass Valley, 
Nevada County; in the Temescal range, San Emidio Canon; Teba- 
chipi, and Tejon. 

The first stone building erected in San Francisco was commenced 
late in 1851, and finished early in 1852. It still stands near the cor- 
ner of California and Front Streets— 204-210 California Street— and is 
in 'as good condition now as when first built. The granite was im- 
ported from China; the blocks were cut in that country, and laid up 
by Chinese workmen. There is no evidence of the action of time on 
the stones, and it may be fairly inferred that granite in San Francisco 
is a good building stone. The building was erected by Ebbets & Co. 
7 27 


An iron front has been made to replace part of the granite in the 
lower story. The building was quite an object of interest and pride 
to the pioneers of California, and was widely known as the granite 

Parrott's building, on the corner of California and Montgomery 
Streets, long occupied by Wells, Fargo & Co., and now the Union 
Club, was built later in 1852, of the same Chinese granite, and is also 
in perfect condition as far as the corroding influence of the elements 
is concerned. Still later, LeCount & Strong built the granite edifice 
on Montgomery Street, No. 517, which was occupied by them. 

The marble building, No. 614 Washington Street, was erected in 
1854, of marble imported from Vermont. It is a handsome building, 
but the stones are much weathered. Some of them are still perfect, 
from which circumstance it would seem that the material is not uni- 
form, and was not well selected. The building was erected by Mr. 
Truebody, and is still owned by him. 

The first California quarry opened was at Folsom, Sacramento 
County. Mr. G. Griffith, as early as 1853, furnished granite for Wells, 
Fargo & Co.'s building at Sacramento, and for the Government works 
at Fort Point and Alcatraz. The Penryn quarries, Placer County, 
were located by Mr. Griffith in 1864. Penryn is about twenty-eight 
miles from Sacramento, on the Central Pacific Railroad, and eight 
miles from Auburn, the county seat of Placer County. The follow- 
ing description is taken from the San Francisco News Letter: 

The Penryn quarry is practically inexhaustible. The present demand, which is to the extent 
of ten thousand tons a year, is steadily increasing, and the orders are from all points of the coast. 
For external walls and inclosures, this granite is often used in the simple hewn form ; but there 
is a growing requirement for the polished material, more particularly for sepulchral urns, obe- 
lisks, and monuments, and for the grand approaches to the more stately mansions of the 
wealthy. So wide has been the extension of the taste for this polished granite, that Mr. Grif- 
fith has built at his quarry a large polishing mill, the only one of the kind in California. This 
is a building two hundred feet long by forty feet wide, and its present capacity, which is, how- 
ever, to be largely increased, is of one hundred cubic feet per day. There are two stone polish- 
ing carriages for flat surface work, each twenty-six feet long by six feet is width, and worked 
by a spring wheel, which is driven by two belts. A stone of more than ten tons weight can be 
polished on these. The mill has also two polishing pendulums and two very powerful lathes, 
capable of polishing with ease a solid block of ten tons weight. Besides these there are eight 
vertical polishers, every kind of mold, both large and small, and of machinery for flat surfaces. 
The derricks are, of course, very numerous, the six largest being each able to lift twenty tons 
with ease. 

To work the derricks and the polishing mill there are three steam engines; and the force em- 
ployed by Mr. Griffith is, four blacksmiths, two carpenters, three engineers, and one hundred 
and fifty quarry men and stone-cutters. Not unfrequently the numbers are very much greater, 
and the" vast stone sheds, with their room for two hundred stone-cutters, are often found crowded. 
It is but lately that Mr. Griffith has opened a quarry of very beautiful black granite, and this 
material will be largely used in the adornment of Mr. J. C. Flood's new residence at Menlo 
Park, the contract for all the stonework having been made with Mr. Griffith. The buttresses 
which are to support the walls of this great building, according to the designs of Messrs. Laver 
& Curlett, the architects, are to be of carved and polished black granite; and the same beauti- 
ful niaterial will be employed for the coping of a beautiful fountain in the grounds. 

Among the more notable buildings and great public works for which the Penryn quarry has 
furnished the granite, are the United States Mint, the New City Hall, the New Stock Exchange, 
the contract for which amounted to $70,000, the Real Estate Associates building, which took to 
the amount of $25,000, and many of the well-known residences of city magnates, such as those 
of Governor Stanford, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, and others. 'The contract for the Dry 
Dock at Vallejo, originally made with another party, was subsequently given to Mr. Griffith. 
This amounted to $130,000. 

When I visited Penryn in 1880 I noticed a large pile of pavement 
blocks, two hundred thousand, more or less, which Mr. Griffith in- 
formed me would not pay to move, owing to cost of transportation by 
rail. I was specially interested in the machinery for polishing. The 


beautiful vase, No. (3364), in the State Museum, was cut and polished 
at Penryn, and presented to the State by Mr. Griffith. The work is 
first cut nearly into the required shape, after which it is placed in the 
lathe; iron molds of the form intended are held against it and fed 
with sand or emery and water until the form is perfect, when a polish 
is given by emery and oil, followed by a final application of putty 
powder on felt. Plane surfaces are cut and polished on a moving bed, 
over which pass revolving discs of iron or steel. 

At Rocklin, also in Placer County, there are extensive granite quar- 
ries. The stone here is of a finer texture and lighter color than that 
at Penryn. Mr. Griffith owns a quarry at this locality also. At the 
time of my visit large blocks were being shipped to the dry dock at 
.Mare Island. Steam engines were generally used for hoisting the 
blocks from the quarries, but in one case this work was done by two 
yoke of oxen. In one direction, parallel to natural north and south 
fracture, technically called " rift," the rock splits with ease. In all 
other directions it frequently breaks roughly, or splits with difficulty, 
if at all. Along the faces of natural fracture may be seen flattened 
crystals of white iron pyrites, in some cases oxidized to hematite or 

The following tests of California granites were made at the Risdon 
Iron Works, of San Francisco, and are furnished bv Mr. Griffith: 

Three and one half by three-inch cubes 70,000 lbs crushing force. 

Three and one half by three inch cubes 90,000 lbs crushing force. 

Three and one half by three-inch cubes 50,000 lbs crushing force. 

Penryn, three-inch cubes 72,000 lbs crushing force. 

Gneiss, as before mentioned, is a stratified or foliated granite. 
Experiments at New York and elsewhere have shown that it is a 
useful and durable building stone. It is found at several localities 
in California; (5086) is a specimen said to be found in place on the 
peninsula of San Francisco, but this is very doubtful. Large quan- 
tities are sent to San Francisco by schooner from a locality I have 
not yet learned. The quality is good. 

Mica schist is a foliated rock, consisting of mica and quartz: when 
the latter is largely in excess, it is called quartz schist. It is a useful 
building material in some cases. No. (4236) is from the Berkeley hills, 
and (4239), with garnets, is from the mouth of Russian River, Sonoma 

Porphyry is a name applied to those rocks of plutonic origin, con- 
sisting of a compact base, in which crystals of feldspar are imbedded. 
The crystals are generally white, or light-colored, while the base is 
of distinct colors— green, red, gray, purple, etc. The chemical or 
mineralogical composition of the rock is not indicated by the name. 
The feldspar crystals are generally dull, and do not have the fresh 
sparkling appearance of the same mineral in the crystalline rocks. 
Porphyries are found in many beautiful varieties in California, nota- 
bly in the Inyo Mountains and ranges lying east of the Sierra Nevada, 
and are always associated with mines of silver or lead. They are 
the best of building stones, and are highly ornamental and beautiful. 
No. (4057) is from Placer County, and is said to be found in large 
quantities. It is very beautiful and equal to the finest porphyries of 
Egypt or Europe; (4384) is an Indian mortar of porphyry found near 
the Forks of Salmon River, Siskiyou County. Very beautiful varie- 


ties (5161) are found in rolled pebbles at Monterey and on the beach 
at Pescadero. 

Sandstones or freestones are sedimentary rocks quite common in 
California. Some varieties make the best and most durable building 
stones, as for instance, the Ohio sandstone used in New York City. 
This rock is useful also for making grindstones, and as a fire resist- 
ing material. The Pancake Mountain sandstone, of Nevada, is one 
of the best materials known for the construction of furnaces. It 
is a singular fact that sandstones have been brought to San Fran- 
cisco from New Zealand, and used in the erection of buildings, when 
we have quite as good, and, perhaps, better in this State. (4153) is a 
sandstone which crops on the beach at Pescadero, San Mateo County. 
The same formation may be found at several other localities in that 
and other counties. In it petroleum is found on Tunitas Creek. The 
same occurs near Alma, Santa Clara County, at which locality oil 
wells have been sunk. (4215) is an excellent sandstone suitable for 
building from Eureka, Humboldt County. (4258) is a red-colored 
sandstone from Santa Margarita Ranch, San Diego County. 4480 is 
from Glenn Mills, San Mateo County. (5081) is from Sonoma County 
near the Great Eastern Quicksilver mine. A yellow sandstone crops 
on the summit of Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, which might be 
utilized. (1518) is an interesting specimen, consisting of the constitu- 
ents of granite, with hornblende, but sedimentary, found on Tele- 
graph Hill, San Francisco. On the road from the lime kiln to 
Clipper Gap, Placer County, may be seen the ruin of an old kiln 
near which a remarkable formation crops out on the sides of a small 
ravine behind the ruined kiln. It is a light colored stratified rock, 
dipping slightly from the horizontal, and in portions somewhat dis- 
torted. The edges of the strata are very uniform and parallel, gen- 
erally about two inches in thickness where the formation is cut by 
the small stream. The walls have the appearance of the floor of a 
bowling alley. The large slabs are easily quarried, and have been 
somewhat utilized in building the old kiln, and in a wall at Clipper 
Gap. The formation is at least thirty feet in thickness, lying uncon- 
formably on a dark colored slaty rock. This rock seems to be suitable 
for flagging and other building purposes. The following tests were 
lately made on sandstones from Almaden, Santa Clara County, at the 
Risdon Iron Works: 

Dark colored six-inch cubes 140.000 lbs crushing force used. 

Light colored six-inch cubes 54,000 tt>s crushing force used. 

(4742), a fine brown freestone, resembling that used in New York, 
is from Coronado Island, twenty-five miles south of San Diego, Lower 
California, Mexico. Diorite, called also Greenstone, or trap rock, is a 
basic, plutonic rock, an intimate mixture of hornblende and feldspar, 
generally albite, but never orthoclase. The rock is fine textured, and 
usually green colored. Specific gravity about 2.7, containing from 
47 to 58 per cent of silica. Diorite is very tough and hard; proper- 
ties rendering it suitable for pavements and road making. It is 
probably better for street blocks than the basalt, now so exten- 
sively used for that purpose. There is a beautiful variety called 
" orbicular diorite," or " Napoleonite," because first found in Corsica, 
the birthplace of Napoleon, which includes globular masses of dark- 
colored diorite in a lighter-colored rock, but also diorite. No. (1857) is 


a fine specimen of this rock, from the Corsican locality, and No. (1859) 
is from Section 17, Township 11 north, Range 8 east, Mount Diablo 
meridian, eight miles from the town of Rocklin, Placer County. 
This beautiful stone will be highly appreciated at some future time. 
(3016) is a diorite of good quality, with section for microscopic study. 
Diorite is quite common in California, being often found as wall 
rock for gold and silver mines. 

Lava, Basalt, Trachyte, Pumice, Obsidian, etc., are names given to 
igneous rocks, ejected from volcanoes. The name lava is general, 
and applies to all the others; many varieties have a distinct and 
known composition, and are recognized as rocks. Basalt is basic, 
while others are acidic. Volcanic rocks are very common in Califor- 
nia. Basalt is used as a street pavement. There are many specimens 
in the State Museum. At Mill Creek, three miles southwest from 
Healdsburg, Sonoma County, there are fine basaltic columns. The 
same may be seen in Butte County, near Morris Ravine. Pumice 
stone equal to that brought from the Lipari Islands, and a deposit of 
the same rock, found on the south side of Lake Merced, near San 
Francisco, has supplied the market for a number of years. 

Pozzuolana is a volcanic ash, or sand, which is extensively used as 
a cement, having certain properties which render it extremely useful 
for building purposes. When ground and mixed with water, and 
from one third to two parts of lime, it sets into a hard cement or 
mortar, and equally well under water. Mr. J. S. Hittell sent samples 
from Rome to the State Museum, with directions for use. A copy of 
the Daily Opinion of Rome, March 4, 1883, was sent with it, con- 
taining the following paper, translated by Dr. Paolo De Vecchi, of 
San Francisco: 

New Method of Finding the Value of Pozzuolana. — One of the researches the most slow, 
and for industrial chemistry not always reliable, is that of determining the good quality of 
pozzuolana, so as to give, in conjunction with lime, a mortar of great resistance. Now, Mr. 
Landrin proposes a method of analysis of his own, which, in preference to those already known 
of Vicat and Canndenberg, has the advantage of only requiring a very short time for the 
experiment. In fact, Vicat's method, which consists in observing the action of the water of 
lime on the pozzuolana, requires, in order to obtain satisfactory results, a period of several 
months. The author remarks that the most careful analysis of the pozzuolana cannot determ ine 
its qualities, but only its components. But, if the pozzuolana is treated with hot chlorohydric 
acid, there will be obtained a soluble and an insoluble substance, and it will be seen that the 
latter is nearly entirely composed of silicious matter. Mr. Landrin adds that it is precisely the 
more or the less quantity of silica capable of being united with the lime that determines the 
quality of the pozzuolana. But for such determination it is not the quantity of silica shown by 
the analysis that must be computed, but only that which can combine with the lime. Mr. 
Landrin experimented on three qualities of pozzuolana, one coming from Reunion Island, one 
from Italy, and the last manufactured near Paris. Relying on the fact that the hydraulic silica 
has the property of reducing the water of lime, he treated the pozzuolana with boiling chloro- 
hydric acid, and put a certain quantity of the insoluble substance thus obtained in water of 
lime. , In only twenty-four hours he was thus able to ascertain that the action of this silica 
was such that it reduced, in the true pozzuolana, an enormous quantity of water of lime. The 
silica of the Italian pozzuolana reduced in that short interval about one hundred and five times 
its volume of water of lime. On the contrary, the French artificial pozzuolana, which to the 
analysis had given a quantity of silica larger than the two others, only reduced in the same 
interval four times its volume of water of lime. In effeet this latter pozzuolana produces but an 
inferior quality of cement. The experiments made in comparison with the preceding meth- 
ods, that is, treating not the insoluble substance of the pozzuolana, but the pozzuolana itself with 
water of lime, have shown that these methods can in nowise be compared with the rapidity of 
the one just described. 

About the same time a light colored brecciated rock was brought 
to the State Mining Bureau, found in the hills near Berkeley, and 
claimed to be pozzuolana. Mr. Samuel Kellett, practical plasterer, 
made experiments, and announced it to be a hard setting cement, 


like pozzuolana. On the strength of this opinion a laudatory notice 
appeared in the city papers. Subsequently Mr. Kellett reversed his 
opinion, having made other experiments with less satisfactory results. 
My own experiments failed to produce a hard cement, Others 
claimed to have found a method of doing so, but kept the details a 
secret. An analysis was said to be made of this material, many years 
ago, by Mr. G. E. Moore, a well known chemist. This analysis is 
given below, No. 1, and for comparison one of the true Roman poz- 
zuolana, by Berthier, No. 2: 





Oxide of iron 




; 44.4 


_ 15.6 


1 8.6 




1 11.6 


_' ' 1.5 




. 1 9.5 




It will be noticed that there is a striking similarity. It may be 
that subsequent experiments may show that the rock is really pozzu- 
olana, in which case it would be a very valuable material to be used 
in building. If this should fail to give satisfactory results, some of 
the other volcanic materials may prove to be this most desirable 

Serpentine is a hydrous silicate of magnesia, described elsewhere. 
It is abundant in California, being generally associated with chromic 
iron, and magnetite, hematite, limonite, etc. It is more an ornamental 
than a building stone; slabs for interior work are both beautiful and 
durable. It is much employed in Europe in combination with marble. 
It is a metamorphic rock, and not, as formerly supposed, of eruptive 
origin. Verde antique is a beautiful green serpentine, mixed with 
carbonate of lime, and colored by oxide of chromium. There are 
reasons to hope that this rock may yet be found in California, 

Limestones, including Marble, Travertine, and Tufa. These rocks 
make excellent building stones; they will be fully described under 
the head of Calcite. 

Dolomite is a magnesian limestone, abundant in California, and 
well adapted for building purposes, fully described under the head 
of Dolomite. 

Slate is a useful and very durable building material, generally used 
as a covering for roofs, and sometimes for the sides of buildings, to 
render them fireproof. The slates are silicious sedimentary rocks; 
one cubic foot weighs from 170 to 180 pounds. 

The following is from the second annual report, 1882, folio 96: 

Both slate and shale are, no doubt, sedimentary mud or silt, which, from great age, have 
become indurated and in most part were formed at the bottom of the sea. The fossils con- 
tained in them are conclusive evidence of this. Natural forces have bent and warped the 
strata until they have become plicated like the leaves of a book, or a pile of writing paper 
pressed laterally". In slate quarries lines of stratification of various colors may be seen mark- 
ing the different periods of deposit: the lines of cleavage lie generally in a certain direction, 
which is called the strike; the inclination is called the dip; they were all laid in horizontal 


strata. Slate is altered shale: instead of cleaving in the plane of stratification, as shale inva- 
riably does, it now divides at an angle with the natural deposition. The new lines of cleavage 
are called cleavage planes. The line of strike in the slates is almost invariably parallel to the 
trend of the mountains, and the upheaval in the surrounding country, from which may be 
inferred that some lateral pressure has bent the strata and caused at the same time the slaty 

To prove this, Mr. Sorby, of Loudon, made some interesting and conclusive experiments 
bearing on this subject. He subjected a portion of clay without cleavage or stratification to 
very great pressure. The original mass contained scales of oxide of iron, which were dis- 
tributed throughout the clay without regularity. The clay was reduced by the pressure to half 
its volume. The result of these experiments was the development of certain singular phe- 
nomena. The scales of iron oxide had arranged themselves in parallel lines, and a slaty cleav- 
age was now apparent, and singularly, the cleavage planes were at right angles with the pressure 
applied. Professor Tyndall has shown that pure white wax can be made to cleave into parallel 
scales if sufficient pressure is applied. Were these experiments not sufficient to prove that 
slate, unlike shale, has been under great pressure, other facts may be stated. 

In the silurian slates of Europe the imbedded fossils are frequently distorted, and the elonga- 
tion is always in the direction of the cleavage planes, showing that the movement of particles 
which caused the lamination was in the line of least resistance, or at right angles with the 
pressure. When there are no fossils present, small gravel and pebbles are found to be arranged 
like the iron scales in Mr. Sorby 's experiment, with the longest axis in the direction of the 
dip. When neither fossils nor large particles are present, a thin slice placed under the micro- 
scope will show the finest particles and accidental scales of mica arranged in the same manner. 
It may be assumed that any fine grained sedimentary rock submitted to sufficient pressure by 
the forces of nature, will develop the same slaty structure. 

Good slates are found in California. Any future demand for this 
indispensable building material will be filled from localities already 
known. No. (315) is from a cropping between Cave City and San 
Andreas, Calaveras County. In Oregon Gulch, near the Sunrise Cop- 
per Reduction Works, section four, township four north, and range 
ten east, there is an outcrop of very good building or rooting slate, 
which is convenient to the new San Joaquin and Sierra Nevada Nar- 
row Gauge Railroad, which will supply this material when required. 
No. (4079) is from Placer County, near Emigrant Gap; (4959) is from 
Butte County, near Red Hill. In San Bernardino County, at Slate 
Range, slates suitable for building purposes, perfectly straight and of 
large size, are found in unlimited quantities. 

Artificial Stones are made in California, and, as far as experience 
goes, they last very well and give satisfaction. For sidewalks, cement 
is extensively used. 

Ransome's Concrete is largely employed for foundations. 

Stone-cutting— Sundry machines have been invented to supersede 
the toilsome work of hand-cutting, but there is a wide field for inven- 
tion in this direction, and pecuniary reward to the inventor who will 
produce a perfect machine for dressing hard stones. 

A machine was exhibited in the British section of the Pans Expo- 
sition of 1878, by Brunton & Trier, Wellington Road, Battersea, 
London, S. W., who claimed to do all work with their machine that 
could be required. Rotating diamond -cutters have been used in the 
dressing of marble, and the sand-blast employed in sculpturing very 
soft stones. In 1876, in Philadelphia, chilled iron in globules was 
used in sawing granite instead of sand with considerable success. 
In Boston in 1879 a machine was set up by which it was claimed that 
granite could be planed like wood. As these machines are not used 
practically to any great extent, it is fair to infer that they do not meet 
the requirements of stone-cutting, and the coming inventor has still 
an open field. 

Buhr Stone— see Quartz. 


25. CALAYEPJTE. Etym. "Calaveras County;' where first found; 

see also Tellurium. 

A rare mineral described by F. A. Genth, in 1868. First found in 
the Stanislaus mine. It is a telluride of gold and silver, having about 
the following composition: 

Tellurium 56.00 

Gold 40.92 

Silver 3.08 


In a paper "on some Tellurium and Vanadium minerals," read 
before the American Philosophical Society, August 17, 1877, Professor 
Genth published an analysis made of a specimen from Colorado, in 
which he obtained nearly the same results, and found the hardness 
to be 2.5; sp. gr. 9.043; color, bronze yellow; brittle. B. B. on ch. 
yields a globule of gold, coloring the flame green. It is soluble in 
nitro-muriatic acid, except the silver, which is changed into an insol- 
uble chloride. 

This mineral occurs sparingly in the mines of Carson Hill near 
Angel's, at the Morgan mine with massive gold, at the Melones mine, 
Calaveras County, and at the Golden Rule mine, Calaveras County. 

26. CALCITE. Etym. " Calx"— lime (Latin). Carbonate of Lime, 

Calcareous Spar, Calc Spar, Dogtooth Spar, Iceland Spar, Lime- 
stone, Lithographic Stone, Marble, Stalactite, Stalagmite, Tra- 
vertine, Tufa, Thinolite, Anthraconite, etc. 

This is a very abundant mineral in nature, being found in many 
varieties. It is carbonate of lime having, when pure, the following 
composition (CaO, C0 2 ): 

Carbonic acid 44.0 

Lime _ 56.0 


Atomic weight (50); sp. gr. 2.5—2.8; H. 2.5—3.5; infusible, but 
when heated becomes caustic, and colors moistened turmeric paper 
brown. In point of blowpipe flame, it glows with brilliant white light 
(lime light), dissolves in acids, with effervescence. The solution made 
alkaline with ammonia, throws down a white precipitate with oxalate 
of ammonia, and also with carbonate of soda. Lime is an oxide of the 
alkali metal Calcium, one of the most widely diffused elements, being 
found in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, always com- 
bined with other elements, singly or in groups. In the mineral king- 
dom it is found as carbonate, sulphate, silicate, tungstate, or fluoride, 
and as a constituent of many complex minerals. Lime has been known 
and utilized from the earliest ages. Calcium was discovered in 1808 
by Sir H. Davy. It is a light yellow metal, the color of silver gold 
alloy, having about the hardness of gold, and when freshly cut con- 
siderable luster. Unless protected from oxygen, it soon oxidizes and 
loses its metallic character. It is very light, the sp. gr. being only 
1.5778. It is very ductile, and may be hammered into sheets as thin 
as paper. It is obtained by the following methods: Chloride of 
calcium, in the presence of mercury, is subjected to the action of a 


strong current of galvanic electricity, when the metal calcium is 
reduced and combines with the mercury in the form of amalgam. 
This is heated to redness in an atmosphere of hydrogen, or vapor of 
rock oil. The mercury is sublimed, leaving the calcium in a metallic 
state. Or the following: Two equivalents of chloride of calcium 
and one of chloride of strontium, with a little chloride of ammonium, 
are fused in a small porcelain crucible while subjected to a strong 
current of galvanic electricity. The calcium forms in small beads, 
which are removed from time to time. 

The metal dissolves in water, forming lime water, decomposing a 
portion of the water in doing so, and setting hydrogen free. The 
atomic weight of calcium is 20, and the symbol Ca. By the new 
system the atomic weight is 40, or double the old. Lime, also called 
caustic lime is the oxide of calcium, as before mentioned, written 
Ca 0, or one equivalent of calcium and one of oxygen. 

Calcium, Ca.. 
Oxygen, 0. .. 

It is commonly prepared by strong and long continued ignition of 
natural carbonate of lime (limestone); it is less frequently obtained 
from oyster shells, coral, chalk, and in California and Nevada from 
thinolite, a tufaceous mineral found in the beds of ancient alkaline 
lakes. Pure limestone cannot be over-burned, even when subjected 
to the strongest heat; but when containing clay or other impurities, 
it may be dead-burned, and rendered useless by too great a heat. 
When caustic or quicklime is mixed with water an intense reaction 
results. Heat is evolved, and a chemical combination of the water 
with the lime takes place; the linle is then a hydrate, or slaked lime, 

thus(CaO, HO); 


Lime is almost indispensable in building and the arts, and Califor- 
nia is fortunate in having an abundance of limestone within her bor- 
ders, not only as a source of lime, but in the form of beautiful marbles 
mentioned elsewhere. Most limestones have been formed on the bot- 
tom of the sea, from shells and corals, which are often found imbedded 
in it as perfect in form as when alive. Some of these limestones have 
so changed (metamorphosed) that they have become crystalline, and 
sometimes veined by foreign substances they contain, while at others 
they are as pure and white as snow. They are then called crystalline 
limestone or marble. 


If limestone occurs sparingly in Oregon and perhaps also in Wash- 
ington Territory, as stated by Williams in his work on the Mineral 
Resources of the United States, there is still known to be enough of 
it in these countries for all practical purposes. In all the Pacific 
States and Territories there is sufficient lime manufactured to meet 
local requirements. For a time after the American occupation of the 


country, including the early mining era, not much lime, cement, or 
plaster was used in California ; the buildings put up during that 
period having been mostly constructed of wood, the walls and ceil- 
ings being covered with cloth and paper instead of plaster. But few 
houses with brick chimneys, and still fewer with brick or stone foun- 
dations, were then to be seen. The destructive conflagrations that 
occurred so frequently in those early times calling for a more substan- 
tial style of buildings, lime in considerable quantity became a neces- 
sity. To supply such want the manufacture of this article was begun 
as early as the Spring of 1851, when a Mr. Shreeve commenced burn- 
ing lime at the Mount Diablo quarries, near Pacheco, Contra Costa 
County, he having been the pioneer in the business under the new 
regime, for this was one of the few industries practiced by the Spanish 
settlers in California before the country changed hands. Though 
carried on in a small and primitive way, these people made a tolera- 
bly good article of lime, as is attested by the durability of some of 
their buildings and the manner in which the whitewash they applied 
to them has withstood exposure to the weather. 

In the month of June, 1851, Mr. Davis, Of the firm of Davis & 
Cowell, San Francisco, started a kiln in the hills back of Mayfield, 
Santa Clara County. Mr. Davis, who came so near being the pio- 
neer in this business, has continued it ever since, having for many 
years past been the largest manufacturer of this commodity on the 
Pacific Coast. Gradually, as towns and cities sprang up, and new 
industries were multiplied, the business of lime burning from these 
small beginnings extended to other parts of the State, until nearly 
every populous neighborhood containing the stone came to have its 
kiln, whereat enough lime was made for home purposes. During the 
three or four years that followed the gold discovery, the little lime 
required here was imported from the Eastern States. Owing to danger 
from spontaneous combustion on the voyage, this lime was slaked 
before being shipped, and arrived here in a condition much resem- 
bling putty. 


While limestone occurs in many parts of California, the principal 
deposit consists of a belt of this rock extending along the westerly 
foothills of the Sierra Nevada, traversing in a northerly and south- 
erly direction the main gold field of the State. This belt, which 
reaches from Mariposa County to Butte, a distance of 150 miles, varies 
in width from two or three hundred yards to several miles. In the 
vicinity of Columbia this rock consists of a good quality of marble, 
susceptible of taking a high polish. A metamorphic limestone is 
found at intervals for hundreds of miles along the Coast Range of 
mountains. From this source the towns and counties on the sea- 
board obtain most of their supplies, the foothill belt supplying the 
central mining regions and the great agricultural valleys adjacent on 
the west. On this belt, in El Dorado County, are located the "Ala- 
baster Lime Works," consisting of a "Monitor" kiln having a capa- 
city to burn 3,000 barrels per month. The property owned by the 
H. T. Holmes Company embraces what is known as the " Alabaster 
Cave," one of the natural curiosities of California. The lime made 
at this locality is noted for its purity and whiteness, and being well 
suited for the purification of gas, is used by several gas companies in 


the interior for that purpose. The kilns near Clipper Gap, Placer 
County, also owned by the Holmes Company, and at which a good 
deal of lime was formerly turned out, having been closed down for 
the past two years, no lime has in the interim been made there. 


The principal lime district in the Coast Range and the most pro- 
ductive locality in the State is situate near the towns of Felton and 
Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz County, where there occur extensive beds 
of crystallized limestone of superior quality. At this point several 
companies have put up works, each having large capacity. The plant 
of the H. T. Holmes Company, who are operating near the town of 
Felton, consists of live large kilns, two of them being of the improved 
Monitor pattern. In 1883 this company made here about fifty thou- 
sand barrels of lime, hardly more than half what they were capable 
of doing. The product of their kiln, in El Dorado County, amounted, 
for the year, to about fifteen thousand barrels, operations there hav- 
ing been suspended during the Winter. Blochman & Cerf, whose 
works are also near Felton, turned out during the year about the 
same quantity as the Holmes Company, though they, too, have capa- 
city to make more than twice as much as they have done for several 
years past. The works of Davis & Co well, near the town of Santa 
Cruz, comprise six kilns of the old fashioned style. This firm also 
makes a good deal of lime at Cave Valley, five miles south of Auburn, 
Placer County. This lime, answering well for glass-making, is used 
by the San Francisco and Pacific Glass Company, at their works in 
this city. About three fourths of all the lime that comes to the San 
Francisco market, and one third of all that is produced in the State, 
is made in the vicinity of Felton and Santa Cruz, where the facilities 
for manufacturing and shipping this article are extremely good. The 
stone here, besides being plentiful and of the best kind, can be easily 
quarried. A\ r ood and water are abundant, and shipments can be made 
either by rail (the South Pacific Coast Railroad running within a mile 
of the quarries), or by vessels through the port of Santa Cruz, twelve 
miles distant from Felton. From the redwood trees that abound in 
the neighborhood a good barrel can be cheaply made for putting up 
the lime. This Santa Cruz lime, of which two kinds are made, com- 
mon and finishing, is held in good repute, both for its strength and 
finishing qualities. These several companies employ from thirty-five 
to forty men each, this number including quarrymen, wood choppers, 
teamsters, etc.; wages, $1 50 per day, though much of the work is 
done on contract. 

In the Hydro-Carbon Lime Works at Colton, San Bernardino 
County, petroleum is being used as fuel, 'and, as it appears, with 
success. Whether the experience had here would be of universal 
application is questionable. Where other fuel would be rather dear 
and petroleum rather cheap, as at Colton, there might be economy 
in burning the latter, while there would be none were these condi- 
tions reversed. Further experimenting may be required to establish 
the value of petroleum as a fuel for burning lime, even at Colton. 


For a time, at first, lime sold in San Francisco for as much as eight 
or ten dollars per barrel. But these extreme rates did not hold for 



more than a few years — home competition having gradually reduced 
prices to the very moderate rates that for a long time have ruled 
everywhere on this coast. As many as twenty years ago lime sold 
in this city at $2 25 to $2 50 per barrel; about one dollar more than 
present rates. The receipts of lime at San Francisco during this 
period were, approximately, as follows; the entire quantity being 
the product of this State: 





73 553 



1864 . . - 

1875 ._. . 


1876 --_•„. 






1878— . - 


1S68 ... . . - 

1879. -- 



1880 _ 








1883 . . 



The prospects of the lime-making interest for the incoming year 
are considered tolerably good. The quantity of lime made in the 
United States in 1882 is given at 31,000,000 barrels (of 200 pounds 
each), having a total value at the kilns of $21,700,000. 

The " Monitor" lime-kiln consists of a cylinder of boiler iron, lined 
with fire-brick. It is usually located on a hillside, so that the lime- 
stone can be run from the quarry by means of an elevated tramway 
to a door in the upper part of the kiln, ten to twenty feet above the 
fire. Above the cylinder an iron smokestack rises twenty to thirty 
feet to insure a draft; below the cylinder are the fire-places, consist- 
ing of a number of fire doors opening into converging openings, in 
which wood is burned over ashpits, into which the ashes fall through 
gratebars. The limestone is fed into the upper door and drawn out, 
when properly burned, through a lower opening below the fires, at 
which point it is shoveled into barrels. The advantage of the Moni- 
tor lime-kiln over the old-fashioned style consists in the fact that the 
former can be run continuously, whereas with the old kind, when a 
batch of stone has been burnt, the fires must be extinguished, and 
renewed after the kiln is again filled with stone. This, besides the 
trouble of putting out and relighting the fires, causes considerable 
loss of time. The cost of the Monitor kilns varies from three to five 
thousand dollars, according to capacity. 

Limestones, including the variety known as marble, are found in 
considerable abundance in several parts of the State, as before men- 
tioned. The following counties are represented in the State Museum : 

Amador County (4894). — White marble, nine miles north of lone; 
good building stone. 

Butte County. — Blue limestone, or marble (4376), near Pence's ranch, 
extends several miles. Found by Prof. Whitney to be carboniferous; 
the fossils found were Sjjirifer lineatus and Productus semireticulatus. 
This limestone would no doubt make a good building stone. It is 
soluble in hydro-chloric acid with effervescence, leaving a small hep- 
atic residue. When struck with a hammer it emits a fetid odor 


fanthraconite), burns to a pure white lime which slacks perfectly: at 
the time of my visit I looked very carefully but found no fossils. 

Calaveras Count]/. — Pearl gray marble (3387), with dark markings; 
highly polished; from a large deposit. A beautiful marble and val- 
uable building stone. 

El Dorado County. — At the Alabaster Lime Works, so called from 
the whiteness and purity of the limestone, situated near Newcastle, 
Placer County, which is the shipping point on the Central Pacific 
Railroad, the limestone, or marble, varies from a pure white to an 
agreeable gray color, and takes a high polish. The lime is of excel- 
lent quality, and the stone would doubtless make a valuable and dur- 
able building material. The lime is generally shipped in bulk, and 
by the carload of ten tons, and sold in Virginia City, Marysville, Red 
Bluff, Chico, Sacramento, and San Francisco. The Folsom Prison is 
entirely built with this lime. Mr. Ewing, the Superintendent, found 
some fossils, or what he thinks were fossils. From his description 
they may have been encenites, but from the metamorphic character 
of the rock I am inclined to doubt it. The quarry, which is across 
the stream from the Alabaster Cave (to be hereafter described), was 
opened in 1877. The face of the quarry is eighty feet high. The floor 
is thirty feet above the lower floor of the Monitor kiln, which has a 
capacity of three thousand barrels per month. The old stone pit- 
kiln, first used, was on the side of and near the entrance of the cave. 
Another, and larger one, was built in 1862. Five tons of lime are 
hauled at a load, one trip per day, in four wagons, drawn by two 
teams of horses. 

Humboldt County.— A beautiful mottled gray marble has just been 
brought to the State Museum from near Eureka. It is soluble in 
acids, leaving but a small residue, contains but little magnesia, takes 
a high polish, has a uniform texture, and seems to be an excellent 

Inyo County. — In the Inyo range, on the east side of Owen's Valley, 
there are large outcrops of limestones and marble, from nearly black 
to pure white. These mountains promise a plentiful field for future 
research, and a thorough study of them will probably throw much 
light on the geology of the State. Marble is also found in the foot- 
hills of the Sierra ~ Nevada. At "Big Pine" there is a cropping of 
beautiful white marble, of which there is a cube, cut and polished, 
in the Museum. No. (3669) is a peculiar formation. The following is 
the Museum label: 

Rock Specimen— Locality, Inyo Range, 2,000 feet above Owen's Valley, Inyo County. Oal. 

Of peculiar interest, consisting of alternate layers of quartzite and limestone. On the 
weathered surface the limestone has been cut away, probably by the action of drifting sand, 
■while the quartzite remains clear and sharp. This specimen is an interesting study, the ques- 
tion suggesting itself how the two minerals were deposited so evenly and with such alternate 
regularity. When found, the strata were vertical. 

No. (4654) is limestone containing fossil corals, weathered by drift- 
ing sands, found in Death Valley. 

Kern County— No. 5019 is a water-worn bowlder of limestone of 
good quality, found on Posa Creek. The deposit is not known. 

No. (710) is a beautiful brecciated yellow marble, from Tehachipi, 
which will some day be much prized. Onyx marble (aragonite, 
2327) is found at a mineral spring six miles above Kernville. 

Lithographic stone (2789) is found in this county. The exact local- 


ity is southeast quarter of Section 12, Township 32 south, Range 34 
east, Mount Diablo meridian. The mineral, which is a compact yel- 
low limestone, is said to exist in large quantity, cropping out for half 
a mile. 

While a variety of lithographic stone has been observed at several 
places in California, none has yet been found of a quality suitable for 
the uses of the artist. The defects of the California stone do not, 
however, consist, as is the case with most of that found elsewhere in 
the United States, in its being brittle, coarse grained, or lacking in 
uniformity of texture, but in want of hardness. In other respects 
some of the samples experimented with have given tolerable satisfac- 
tion, leading to the hope that when our quarries come to be opened 
to greater depths the quality of the stone will so improve that it can 
be used for some and perhaps all purposes. Some specimens of 
lithographic stone found at the Kern County locality, brought to this 
city not long since, were pronounced by experts of a better quality 
than any before obtained in the State. As a stone of this kind, that 
will answer for fine, or even ordinary work, commands good prices, 
our prospectors and miners should be on the lookout for such 
material, while pursuing their vocations. The value of the litho- 
graphic stone imported into this State amounts every year to a con- 
siderable sum, the total imports into the United States amounting 
annually to about $120,000. 

While this material is found in several States of the Union, notably 
in Iowa, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, and also in 
England, France, Italy, Canada, and the West Indies, no first class 
stone has ever been obtained, except from the quarries of Solenhofen 
and Pappenheim, in Bavaria. The product of these quarries con- 
sists of a fine grained, compact limestone, which is prepared for the 
artist's use before being sent to market. As the Bavarian stone is 
costly, with a constant tendency toward higher prices, while its 
quality is said to be deteriorating, the stone of other countries may, 
with all its faults, be expected to grow steadily into larger use. 

Los Angeles County. — Specimens of limestone or marble from this 
county were presented to the State Museum by Mr. J. A. Christy. 
There are two varieties— one light colored, the other dark. They are 
burned for lime in common pit kilns. Two kilns yield six hundred 
barrels of two hundred and seventeen pounds at a charge. The old 
padres burned this limestone, and used it for plastering and white- 
washing. Some walls are reputed to be two hundred years old. The 
quantity is said to be unlimited. 

In Monterey County, near Carmelo Bay, a fine white marble is 
found. Some years ago, the Pacific Carrara Marble Company was 
incorporated to work this deposit. 

Nevada County. — A dark gray, veined marble occurs at Bear Creek, 
three miles from Colfax. There is another locality ten miles south 
of Grass Valley, where the same lime has been burned. The lime- 
stone is carboniferous. 

Placer County. — Limestones and marbles are rather abundant in 
this county. Several deposits of excellent marble are known near 
Auburn. (1939) is from a cropping near the iron works, Section 15, 
Township 13 north, Range 8 east, Mount Diablo meridian. It is white 
saccharoidal. It has been largely used in San Francisco in the 
manufacture of mineral waters. It could be cut into large slabs if 


Silica 0.15 

Sesqui-oxide of iron 0.35 

Lime 55.72 

Carbonic acid 43.78 


There is a cropping of very compact black limestone (marble), 
veined with white (2799), within a few feet of the Central Pacific Rail- 
road, near the high trestle a mile or more above Colfax, which has 
at some time been burned for lime, in a rude experimental kiln, now 
fallen into decay. The work done at this point has not been suffi- 
cient to show the extent of the deposit. A careful examination failed 
to reveal any trace of fossils. This is not only a beautiful ornamental 
marble, but is a good and accessible building stone. The Museum 
specimen has been cut in cubic form and polished. There is a fine 
cropping of limestone, light gray, with darker gray markings (2807) 
half a mile below Auburn, on the American River. It is singular 
that no attempt has been made to utilize the beautiful stone found 
in this quarry, for building purposes; all the conditions for cheap 
working are found combined. The river, running a few hundred 
feet below, would furnish unlimited water power and pure quartz 
sand. The same power would lower the rough blocks from the quarry 
to the works at the river, and elevate the finished work to the level 
of the railroad above the quarry, by tramway and cable. There seems 
to be no reason why works should not be constructed for the manu- 
facture of marble slabs, mantels, plumbers' goods, etc., to be shipped 
by rail to a market in a finished state. 


Silica - .25 

Ferric oxide .25 

Magnesia Trace. v 

Lime 55.72 

Carbonic acid 43.78 


There is also a large deposit of similar marble (1863) near Clipper 
Gap. The following analyses were made of different samples from 
this locality: 

Silica Trace. 0.15 

Ferric oxide 0.05 0.35 

Mas;ne?ia Trace. Trace. 

Lime 55.97 55.72 

Carbonic acid 43.98 4X7S 

100.00 liMi.iin 

(1866) is a white marble from Cave Valley, near Auburn. 

Plumas County. — Limestones and marbles are found at Devil's 
Elbow and Indian Creek in this county, but the Mining Bureau has 
no special information concerning them. 

San Bernardino County. — Limestones are found at several localities 
in this county, but the most important is near Colton. where lime has 


been somewhat largely manufactured. The quarries lie in Slover 
Mountain, half a mile from the town. There are several varieties, 
the best being a very white fine textured marble. The rock from 
which the lime is made is gray. There are quarries of limestone also 
in the San Bernardino Mountains. 

San Luis Obispo Count]/. — There are numerous localities of lime- 
stone in this countv, but little is known of them. The " Onyx " mar- 
ble has been fully described under the head of Aragonite. 

Santa Oruz County. — (2005) and (4147) are marble or limestone of 
good quality, from the quarry of Davis & Cowell. The lime from 
this county has been described under the head of Lime. (3372) is a 
concretion of limestone with diaphragms of harder material, proba- 
bly silicious. The whole bearing a strange resemblance to a fossil 
turtle, found seven miles northeast of the town of Santa Cruz. These 
concretions, known as turtle stones, are not uncommon elsewhere. 

Shasta County. — Extensive beds of carboniferous limestone are 
found in the Gray Mountains, which extend far north along the 
McCloud River. No doubt these deposits would furnish fine build- 
ing and ornamental stones. The interesting carboniferous fossils 
found in these limestones, were first discovered by Dr. Trask, in 1855, 
and are mostly figured in the first volume of the Paleontology of Cal- 
ifornia, Whitney's Geological Reports. 

Tuolumne County. — This county contains extensive beds of lime- 
stone and marble. (267) is a beautiful dark mottled marble, from 
Abbey's Ferry. (904) is a white and beautiful marble, exact locality 
not given. (3604) is a gray marble from the bed of the Tuolumne 
River. At Sonora, in the river bed, a beautiful gray marble is found 
in large bowlders, which have been uncovered in placer mining. 
There is a deposit of blue limestone near York Tent which makes 
excellent lime. The Odd Fellows' Hall, Sonora, is laid in mortar 
made from this lime. 

Carbonate of lime is soluble to a slight degree in pure cold water, 
and more so when carbonic acid is present; water in a limestone 
country is generally in this condition. In percolating through a cal- 
careous formation, water bears away a notable portion of the rock in 
solution, which, continued through a geological period of long dura- 
tion, manifests itself in cavernous openings generally known as caves. 
These caves are found in all limestone countries, and are not wanting 
in California. There is a charm about these openings in the earth, to 
the human mind, that is to me quite unaccountable. Most persons 
delight in exploring a natural cave. They experience a thrill of 
pleasure, mixed with dread, as they penetrate deeper into the earth 
and see for the first time gloomy caverns, artificially lighted by the 
lamps they carry. For this reason caves of any great extent are gen- 
erally made places of resort, and for the same reason primitive man, 
and man in more recent times selected such as natural tombs for the 
dead. In ancient times, in Southern Europe, Asia, and Northern 
Africa, artificial caves were made under the name of tumuli. A 
chamber of stone, sometimes exquisitely sculptured and of the finest 
marbles, was built on the surface of the ground, in which the body of 
the dead was laid, after which a mound of earth and stones was built 
over it, sometimes several hundred feet high and covering many 
acres. Similar tumuli were built in Northern Europe, but of inferior 
workmanship, and the Eastern States of the American Union are 
covered with such, many still rising to a considerable height, while 
others have been leveled by the hand of time. 


The caves of California have been in past times used as sepulchres, 
as attested by the human bones found in them. This was noticed by 
those who first came to the State after its acquisition by the United 
States, and it is probable that the Calaveras River was named from 
the finding of skulls in some cave on its banks. D. C. F. Winslow, 
writing to the California Farmer as early as 1854, mentions a small 
cave on the Stanislaus River in which human bones were found. An 
old Indian informed him that the bones had been placed there during 
a recent period. In August, 1881, I visited a cave then rediscovered 
in Calaveras County which contained a large quantity of human 
bones. I hoped to lind some relics that would throw some light on 
the history of the human race in this country, as similar discoveries 
have done in Germany, France, and elsewhere, but was disappointed, 
for nothing was discovered to show that the bones were not those of 
Indians which had been laid there within a period not exceeding a 
part of a century. Besides these, nothing was found beyond some 
charcoal which formed, probably, the torches of those who came to 
deposit the dead ; although two men worked for a number of days, 
washing the earth of the floor in mining pans, by which any pre- 
historic implements would have been recovered, had any existed, no 
discovery of interest was made. This cave, near Cave City, was named 
"The Cave of the Catacombs." In exploring it, names of visitors 
were found dating back to 1850, at which time there must have been 
another opening now unknown. Some of the bones were brought to 
San Francisco and placed in the State Museum. The sensational 
articles which appeared in some of the papers at the time, to the effect 
that this cave had been at one time a prison, in which men, women, 
and children had been driven to perish by starvation, were wholly 
without foundation. Cave City, once a celebrated and fruitful placer 
gold mining locality, was so called from a cave in the limestone, now 
known as the "Crystal Cave." The town once contained one thou- 
sand inhabitants. 

"Crystal Cave," according to J. M. Hutchings, was discovered acci- 
dentally in October, 1850, by Captain Taylor. It is a very interesting 
natural curiosity, and at times has been quite celebrated, and has 
had many visitors, as the books of record show. At the time of my 
visit it was owned by George Nichols, who was just building a com- 
modious hotel. No effort was made to attract visitors, although it is 
well worthy of attention, and should be made a place of resort for 
tourists, who would in the meantime -see something of the country on 
the route to and fro. The " Alabaster Cave," El Dorado County, is 
nearly equal in beauty to the "Crystal Cave," and is more accessible, 
being near the great Central Pacific thoroughfare. It is situated six 
miles southeast from Newcastle, on Section 15; Township 11 north, 
Range 8 east. It was discovered April 16, 1860, by two workmen, 
George S. Hatterman and John Harris, who were employed by 
William Gwynn in quarrying and burning lime. In blasting, they 
discovered a small opening which led to the cave. The first descrip- 
tion was written by Mr. Gwynn, and appeared in the " Sacramento 
Bee." For a time the cave was visited by many persons, but at the 
time of my visit, few came to see it; four thousand seven hundred 
and thirty names were registered and numbered, after which the 
numbering was discontinued. The really good hotel has fallen into 
decay. In both the above-mentioned caves, numerous stalactites and 
8 « 


stalagmites may be seen, and I observed that on the end of each 
stalactite there was a drop of water. It is curious to consider that 
these excavations have been made by the slow, solvent action of 
water falling drop by drop, and that the same process is going on 
to-day, but is imperceptible to the senses. Some faint idea may also 
be gained of the great age of these limestone rocks by considering 
these facts. The drops do not form rapidly, the tip of the stalactite 
must be watched for some time before the fall will occur, and con- 
siderable time passes before another drop of water takes its place. 
This slow operation has been going on for centuries. Who can tell 
when it will cease ? The limestone at " Alabaster Cave " is generally 
faintly blue, and clouded, but some portions are pure white, and 
appear translucent when a candle is placed behind a thin stalactite. 
I did not determine the thin comb-like edges of slate which project 
from the marble ceiling, being less soluble than the limestone. 
They sometimes resemble the tables on the face of a glacier, but are 
of course inverted. Bower Cave, in Tuolumne County, on the road 
from Coulterville to the Yosemite Valley, scarcely deserves the name, 
being more a grotto than a cave, and more a fissure in the limestone 
than either. It was frequently visited by tourists in former years, 
but has now passed from notice. Pluto's Cave, Shasta County, is 
described by Professor Whitney (Geology of California, volume 1, 
folio 351) as being very interesting, but it is in lava and not lime- 
stone. The manner of its formation is doubtful. On one side of the 
great limestone croppings near Clipper Gap, there is a small cave 
extending nearly through the mass, which has been rendered his- 
torical as the residence of a band of robbers in early times. It would 
be interesting to examine the floor for prehistoric remains and bones 
of animals. 

There are specimens of stalactite and stalagmite in the State 
Museum, from "Bass Cave," Shasta County (1129, 1130), San Luis 
Obispo County (2817); cave near Volcano, Amador County (3722), 
and a large number from the Crystal Cave, Calaveras County (133, 
3009, 4791). 

Iceland Spar is a perfectly transparent calc spar, first found in Ice- 
land. It is used in optical instruments to polarize light. By a sin- 
§ular property a ray of light passing through a crystal, in a certain 
irection of the rhombus, large or small, into which it naturally 
breaks, is divided into two, and both are polarized. This phenomenon 
is called double refraction. If a rhomb of Iceland spar is laid on a 
sheet of paper, upon which a single dot is made, there will appear 
two. For optical use the rhomb is split into two parts, and rece- 
mented with Canada balsam, by which treatment the dispersing 
power of the crystal is increased, and one ray thrown out of the field. 
The crystal then becomes a nicol-prism, a full description of which 
and mode of use will be found in works on optics. Good specimens 
of this variety of calcite have been found in California. One locality 
(3709) is Darwin, Inyo County, and another (4452) Santa Clara County. 

Dogtooth Spar is a variety of calcite, in which the crystals have a 
fancied resemblance to the teeth of dogs. Good specimens have been 
found at Cerro Gordo (Aaron), and on the peninsula of San Francisco. 

Tufa, or Travertine, is generally deposited by calcareous springs, 
and sometimes in the bottom of lakes, rivers, or seas holding much 
lime in solution. The name "Tufa" is derived from the Latin, 
tofus, and "Travertine" from Lapis Tibwrtinus, from Tibur, an 


ancient town of Latiuni. "Tiburtine" became corrupted in time to 
" Travertine." This mineral occurs in several localities in California, 
but has not been analyzed, which leaves it in some doubt. 

Thinolite is a form of calcite, a pseudomorph after Gay-Lussite, and 
forms in immense masses in the beds of alkaline lakes in California, 
Nevada, and in fact, all the great inland valley between the Sierra 
Nevada and the Rocky Mountains, known as the Great Basin. It was 
named by Clarence King, fol. 508, Systematic Geology, Vol. 1 U. S. 
Geological Survey of the Fortieth Parallel, and an analysis is given, 
fol. 828, Vol. 2, Descriptive Geology. Thinolite is really a tufa, being 
deposited in the same manner. When first found it was thought to be 
fossil coral, and was so described. It was first found in Mono and 
Owens Lakes, and in the beds of ancient lakes in the Colorado and 
Mohave Deserts. Thinolite from California localities is represented 
by Nos. 1680 and 3697, the former from Lassen County and the latter 
from the Colorado Desert, San Diego County. 

Calcite is found in many localities in the State in small quantities, 
often in mineral veins with gold and ores of silver, lead, copper, zinc, 
quicksilver, etc., and in many varieties. 

Black Calcite (2162) is found in Amador County, near Volcano; Blue 
(2004), Santa Cruz County; Pink (4069), Catalina Island; with quartz- 
ite (3669), Owen's Valley, Inyo County; Arenaceous, resembling the 
Fontainbleau mineral (3440), forty feet under the Klamath River, 
Thomas Middleton's Tunnel, Siskiyou County; with cuprite, mala- 
chite, and melaconite, San Amedio Ranch, Coast Range; with cinna- 
bar (2279), Guadalupe mine, Santa Clara County, at Almaden mine, 
same county (1741), and at Chapman mine, same county (1224); with 
bitumen (1676), New Almaden; with silver and lead (2173), Modoc 
mine, Inyo County; with gold (4553), near Mud Springs, El Dorado 
County, and (4600) Palma mine, Cerro Gordo, Inyo County; and in 
crystals, Argus Mountains, Inyo County. 

Carbonate of Copper — see Malachite and Azurite. 

Carbonate of Iron — see Siderite. 

Carbonate of Lead — see Cerusite. 

Carbonate of Magnesia— see Magnesite. 

Carbonate of Soda — see Natron. 

Carnelian — see Quartz. 

Cat's Eye — see Quartz. 

27. CASSITERITE. Etym. "tin" (Greek). This mineral is the 
Binoxide of Tin. Sn 2 — atomic weight, 74. 

It is found in nature both crystalline and amorphous. In the 
former state it occurs in veins intersecting granite, gneiss, mica schist, 
porphyry, and other rocks. In the latter condition it is found in 
rounded nodules or grains, from several pounds in weight to the 
finest black or brown sand. This is called stream tin, because it is 


found in placers like gold, in the beds of streams, into which it has 
been washed by the action of water, resulting, like placer gold, from 
the disintegration of rocks which contained it in veins, its great 
specific gravity (6.4 to 7.1) causing it to resist the force of the water 
which has washed away lighter minerals. Stream tin is found of 
various colors and texture, being black, brown, drab, or nearly 
white; perfectly compact and amorphous, laminated, mamillary, or 
botryoidal, with elevated points (toad's eye tin), fibrous (wood tin), 
concentric, radiated, etc. H. 6 — 7; luster, adamantine when crystal- 
lized, stream tin dull, nearly transparent to opaque. Tin is also 
found in nature as a sulphide, but is comparatively rare. It has been 
found also in meteoric stones. 

Cassiterite is easily reduced to the metallic state in a crucible with 
carbonate of soda and anthracite coal dust (culm), or cyanide of 
potassium. The crucible should be allowed to cool, and then be 
broken to remove the button of tin; for this operation a hot fire is 
required. B. B. on ch. easily reduced if the following plan is adopted: 
The ore supposed to contain tin should be pulverized and passed 
through a 40 or 60 mesh sieve, the resulting powder washed in a pan 
or horn spoon to a small quantity, the prospect dried and ground in 
an agate mortar with twice its bulk of carbonate of soda. This mix- 
ture is transferred to a cavity in a piece of charcoal, and heated in the 
R. F. until the assay assumes a spherical form, more is added, until a 
globule is obtained half the size of a pea; a small piece of cyanide of 
potassium of about equal size is then placed with it, and both strongly 
heated in the R. F.; globules of tin will immediately appear if the 
metal was present in the ore, which by a little skillful manipulation 
may be made to coalesce into one, or the assay may be cut out of the 
charcoal with a knife, and ground with water in an agate mortar, 
when the beads will flatten into small discs under the pestle, and 
may be separated by washing. To be sure that the metal is really 
tin, the following experiment may be made: Place the bead on clean 
charcoal without fluxes, and heat first in the reducing and then in 
the oxidizing flame. If tin it will lose its metallic character and 
become a white oxide, which it will be found very difficult to reduce 
again to a metallic globule. This may be effected by the addition of 
a small piece of cyanide of potassium. Observe that no distinct coat- 
ing is fonned on the charcoal, which would be the case if the metal 
were lead, remove the bead to a small anvil and strike it with a ham- 
mer until flattened out (antimony and bismuth are brittle). The 
button boiled in a test tube with nitric acid does not dissolve, but is 
changed into a white insoluble powder. Antimony gives a similar 
reaction, but is brittle, and on charcoal would have burned, and 
given off thick white fumes of oxide of antimony. These tests will 
serve to distinguish tin from other metals which it resembles, but 
another still more characteristic test may be made as follows: reduce 
a bead of tin from the ore, by the method above described, hammer 
it out very thin, place it in a clean test tube and pour hydrochloric 
acid over it; action takes place and the metal dissolves. Before solu- 
tion is complete (a portion of the metal remaining undissolved) pour 
a few drops of the solution into a vessel containing a dilute solution 
of terchloride of gold, a purple color will be produced which leaves 
no doubt that the metal is really tin. These tests are described with 
considerable attention to detail, because tin is liable to be found in 
quantity in California, and it is desirable to furnish the prospector 


with information by which he can test the ores he may find, supposed 
to contain tin. It is very important to concentrate a considerable 
quantity of the ore, as described, for experience has shown that tin 
may exist in small quantities in minerals and ores, not indicated by 
the appearance. Great care should be observed in the use of cyanide 
of potassium, which is a deadly poison. 

Metallic tin is prepared by crushing the ores and concentrating the 
tin mineral (black tin), roasting to drive off arsenic, sulphur, etc., 
and fusion in contact with charcoal, or with a flux of lime. It is 
purified by fusion at a low temperature, at which the tin flows, leaving 
impurities behind. The impurities are arsenic, antimony, bismuth, 
zinc, titanium, and copper. Tin is obtained pure in the laboratory by 
oxidizing with excess of nitric acid, and washing the binoxide so 
obtained, first with water, and lastly with hydrochloric acid, and after- 
wards fusing in closed charcoal-lined crucibles. Tin so obtained is 
nearly chemically pure. The specific gravity of pure tin is 7.178. It 
is softer than gold, harder than lead, it crackles when bent, and has 
a peculiar odor when warm. It has but little ductility, but consider- 
able malleability, which is increased when the temperature is raised 
to 220°. It fuses at 442° F. It is distinguished from other metals 
by the following properties and chemical reactions: It is white, mal- 
leable, easily fusible, is reduced to a white oxide by the action of nitric 
acid, and turns black in a solution of terchloride of gold, with excess 
of hydrochloric acid, without giving off gas. 


The concentration of tin ores, to render them rich enough to smelt, 
is done by jigs, percussion tables, sluices, buddies, etc., all of which 
are described in works on metallurgy. Below are given the percent- 
age yield of block tin, from celebrated Cornish mines, and the esti- 
mated value of the mines themselves : 

Tincroft, If per cent block tin; value of mine, $2,100,000. 
Dalcoth, If per cent block tin; value of mine, $1,790,000. 
Cam Brea, l^ ff per cent block tin; value of mine, $1,2S0,000. 

Some months ago application was made to the State Mining Bu- 
reau for the addresses of hydraulic miners competent to pipe the 
loose formations on the Malay peninsula for stream tin, the plan 
being to collect the tin as gold is collected by hydraulic washing. 

Descriptions of the methods of mining and working of tin, manu- 
facture of plate, etc., may be found in the following works, obtainable 
in San Francisco: 

Metals; their Properties and Treatment. C. L. Bloxam. 

Elements of Metallurgy. J. R. Phillips. 

Percy's Metallurgy. 

Encyclopedia of Chemistry. Lippincott. 


Bronze — Copper and tin. Ancient bronze was largely copper. 

Anti-friction metal, brass solder, or spelter, bronze for statues, imitation gold, button metal — 
Copper, zinc, and tin. 

Britannia metal — Copper, antimony, zinc, and tin. 
Metal for table bells— Copper, bismuth, and tin. 
Speculum metal — Copper, arsenic, and tin. 


Bronze for statues, bell metal — Copper, zinc, lead, and tin. 

Imitation silver leaf — Zinc and tin. 

Tin plate solder — Lead and tin. 

Amalgam for mirrors — Mercury and tin. 

Queen's metal — Lead, bismuth, antimony, and tin. 

Pewter — Copper, antimony, bismuth, and tin. 

One English firm requires one ton of tin per week for soldering. 
Tin foil, very extensively used in the arts, is generally adulterated 
with lead. The foil is said to be produced by preparing; three sheets, 
one of lead and two of tin, the lead being the thickest. These are so 
laid that the lead plate is interleaved between those of tin. They are 
in this position rolled down to the thickness required, and the foil 
has the appearance of being tin, which it is, however, only super- 
ficially. No doubt serious trouble results at times from ignorance of 
this fact. At a recent meeting of the California Academy of Sciences, 
Dr. H. Gibbons called attention to the case of adulterated tin used in 
making cans for preserving fruits and vegetables, somewhat exten- 
sively manufactured in this city. The solder, also containing as it 
does considerable lead, should be used with caution. 

Tin has been known and used from very early times. The bronze 
age which antedates history, succeeded the stone age, and was the 
commencement of the epoch of metals, the use of which followed 
probably in the following succession — gold, copper, tin, silver, iron. 
All these metals, except tin, are sometimes found in the metallic 
state, and from using the native metals, primitive man, without 
doubt, learned to reduce them from their ores. Bronze is an alloy of 
copper and tin in varied proportions. The alloy is better suited for 
universal use than either of the metals alone. The first bronze was 
possibly made by nrelting the ores of the two metals together in a 
charcoal fire, as we have reason to believe brass was first produced. 
Bronze is more fusible than copper, and makes clean castings. It is 
also harder than copper, and was a favorite material for the manu- 
facture of articles of use and ornament. This alloy also has the 
property, probably well known to the ancients, of being, to a consid- 
erable extent, ductile when heated red hot and quenched suddenly 
in water. When hammered, it could be hardened by again heating 
and allowing it to cool slowly. It is said that the Chinese to this day 
make gongs and other bronze utensils by this method. It is thought 
by some archaeologists, that all the tin used by the ancients was 
brought from Cornwall, which we know was the case when the Phoe- 
nicians were a great commercial nation; but bronze was used before 
the dawn of history in Europe, from which circumstance, a certain 
class of archaeologists assume that ores of tin were more abundant in 
Central Europe, and were practically exhausted, like mines of gold, 
copper, lead, and other metals, celebrated in ancient history, by the 
drain upon them caused by the demand for the ores. It is supposed 
also that bronze was known, and in common use, long before pure 
tin and pure copper had been extracted from their ores. It is also 
probable, that about the commencement of European history, the 
ancient metallurgists and metal workers had learned to reduce the 
ores and make more constant mixtures by combining the two metals, 
as at the present time. 

The Phoenicians made a great commerce of the metals which they 
imported from afar. Their ships sailed the Mediterranean Sea and 
out through the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar) into the 


Atlantic Ocean. Thence they coasted northward along the coast of 
Portugal, Spain, and France, crossing the English Channel to the 
Cassiterides from which they obtained tin. Strabo mentions these 
islands. They were in the high seas, but nearly in the same latitude 
as Britain; these are now known as the Scilly Islands, off the coast 
of Cornwall. He quotes or rather refers to the writings of Posidonius: 
"The tin is not found on the surface, as authors commonly relate, but 
is dug up. It is produced both in places among the barbarians who 
dwell beyond the Lusitanians and in the islands Cassiterides; that 
from Britain is carried to Marseilles." The same author writes as 

The Cassiterides are ten in number and lie near each other in the ocean toward the north 
from the harbor of Artabri. One of them is desert, but the others are inhabited by men in black 
cloaks, clad in tunics reaching to the feet, girt about the breast and walking with staves, thus 
resembling the Furies we see in tragic representations. They subsist by their cattle, leading 
for the most part a wandering life. Of the meta'ls they have tin and lead, which, with skins, 
they barter with the merchants for earthenware, salt, and brazen vessels. Formerly, the Phoe- 
nicians alone carried on this traffic from Gades (Cadiz) concealing the passage from every one; 
and when the Romans followed a certain shipmaster that they might find the market, the ship- 
master of jealousy purposely ran his vessel on a shoal, leading those who followed him into the 
same destructive disaster. He himself escaped by means of a fragment of the ship and received 
from the State the value of the cargo he had lost. The Romans nevertheless by frequent efforts 
discovered the passage, and as soon as Publius Crassus passing over to them perceived that the 
metals were dug out at a little depth and that the men were peaceably disposed, he declared it 
to those who already wished to traffic in this sea for profit, although the passage was longer 
than that to Britain. 

Tin is mentioned in the Bible several times and always in connec- 
tion with other metals, gold, silver, iron, and lead, or in a metallur- 
gical connection, with brass. In Numbers is mentioned tin with gold, 
silver, brass, iron, and lead. Isaiah 1-25, " I will turn my hand upon 
thee and surely purge away thy dross and take away all thy tin." 
Ezekiel 22-18, "They are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead in the 
midst of the furnace. They are even the dross of the silver." 20, "As 
they gather silver, and brass* and iron, and lead, and tin into the 
midst of the furnace, to blow fire upon it to melt it." Ezekiel 27-12, 
"Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds 
of riches, with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded at thy fairs." 

There are in the State Museum two objects in bronze, which possess 
a peculiar interest. They are both from the wreck of an ancient 
vessel, probably Japanese, of which there is no history. The old 
wreck lies outside the beach and beyond sight. The locality is the 
coast of Oregon, between the mouth of the Columbia River and Till- 
amook Bay. (1401) is a portion of a chain cable of hammered bronze; 
there are links and a portion of a swivel; the length of the links is 
5 inches and the thickness of the metal is I of an inch. (2228) is a 
bronze elephant washed ashore from the same wreck. The vessel 
was probably loaded with wax, portions of which have been washed 
ashore for many years. No. 2090 is a specimen of this wax found on 
the beach. 


Tin is comparatively a rare metal, being found at but few localities 
in the world. The principal countries which produce it now are 
Cornwall, England, Australia, Tasmania, the Islands of Banca and 
Billiton in the East Indies, and the Malay Peninsula. The metal is 
found also in small quantities at Ollenberg, Saxony; Zinwald, Bohe- 
mia; in France, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Greenland, Bolivia, Durango, 


Mexico; and in the United States in California, Dakota, Idaho, Ala- 
bama, Massachusetts at Chesterfield and Goshen, in New Hampshire 
at Lynne and Jackson, and in Virginia. As to the United States 
localities, the deposits of California, Dakota, and Alabama are the 
only ones which give promise of being valuable. The discoveries in 
the Black Hills, Dakota, are described as being very extensive, and 
if there is no mistake the supply from this locality is likely to be 
considerable. The tin deposits near Ashland, Clay County, Alabama, 
are known as the Broad Arrow mines. These mines are worked as 
open quarries, the ore here occurring both as lode and stream tin, all 
of low grade. The reduction works put up at these mines last Sum- 
mer suspended operations after a few months run, and the success of 
the enterprise is involved in doubt. The mines of Banca were dis- 
covered by accident in 1710, and were first worked by the Chinese. 
In 1750 the yield was 3,870 tons. In 1817 the product was 2,083 tons, 
and in 1871, 4,320 tons. The ore, which is stream tin, is found from 
ten to fifteen feet below the surface; only a portion of the island has 
been prospected. Tin was found in Victoria, Australia, in 1853, by 
the Rev. W. B. Clark, a celebrated Australian geologist. It was after- 
wards discovered in New South Wales, in the New England Pastoral 
District, and still later in Queensland. Mr. J. Gregory reported to 
the Queensland Government that, having measured one hundred and 
seventy miles of creeks and river beds, he found on calculating the 
value as carefully as possible of the stream tin alone, without esti- 
mating the veins known to exist, that it amounted to the large sum 
of £13,000,000. The tin fields of Durango, Mexico, are known to be 
extensive, and it is likely that they will be washed when the systems 
of railroads now projected are completed. Tin has been found in at 
least three localities in California. In the Temescal Mountains, San 
Bernardino County, lies the only known deposit in the State, having 
a prospective value. In Plumas County, in the bed of the middle 
fork of Feather River, three miles above Big Bar, a single specimen 
was found by Mr. Thomas Lane of Laporte, and given to Professor 
W. P. Blake, and by him described as resembling the stream tin from 
Durango, Mexico. Another specimen was found some years ago near 
Weaverville, Trinity County, in the loose soil, and presented to Pro- 
fessor J. D. Whitney, then State Geologist. The vein from which it 
came was never found. 

Grossularite, lime garnet, a common mineral in Southern California, 
resembles crystals of cassiterite, and has often been mistaken for it 
by Cornish miners. A number of reported tin discoveries have 
turned out to be this mineral. The Temescal tin mines are in the 
Temescal Mountains, whence the name. The mines are on Section 
2, Township 4 south, Range 7 west, San Bernardino meridian; distant 
fifty-five miles east of Los Angeles, and thirty-five miles from Ana- 
heim Landing. The ore was first supposed to contain silver, the 
presence of tin not being suspected. 

The Temescal tin mines were discovered in 1853. Daniel Sexton 
and W. W. Jenkins were prospecting for gold, when they found ore 
that was new to them, but which they thought must contain some 
valuable metal, presumably silver. They brought the ore to San 
Gabriel Mission, and smelted it in a crucible with fluxes, in a black- 
smith's forge. The contents of the crucible were poured out on the 
face of the anvil, when a piece of white metal (two inches long, and 
three quarters of an inch wide, thin at one end) appeared, which was, 


without doubt, the first piece of metallic tin produced in the State. 
Under the impression that it was silver, Mr. Jenkins took it to Los 
Angeles, and showed it to N. E. Drown and Major Henry Hancock, 
United States Surveyor, when it was found to be tin. They proposed 
to demand from the United States Government the reward supposed 
to have been offered for the discovery of a workable tin mine within 
the borders of the Union. Major Hancock endeavored to obtain a 
claim to the tin mine, which was found to be on the Temescal Rancho, 
supposed to be owned by Mrs. Josefa Montalva. Mr. Jenkins, at the 
request of Major Hancock, sent for her to come to Los Angeles, to 
execute a deed to the Major. When she arrived, she informed the 
Major that Don Abel Stearns and Requena were her good friends, 
and declined to convey. She afterwards disposed of her interest to 
Abel Stearns. In 1860-1 the locality was a scene of great excitement. 
Five hundred claims were located on the mineral belt. 

A close corporation was formed, to which Mr. Stearns leased the 
property. Phelps, Dodge & Co., of New York, owned nine twentieths; 
S. C. Bruce, of California, eleven twentieths. Mr. Bruce commenced 
opening the mine September 27, 1860; erected buildings and sunk 
shafts ninety-five feet, when the civil war broke out, and all oper- 
ations ceased till peace should be declared. The San Jacinto Tin 
Mining Company was organized January 2, 1868, with a capital 
stock of $4,000,000. The object of the company was to acquire Rancho 
Sobrante de San Jacinto, a Spanish grant of eleven leagues, or about 
49,t)00 acres of land, supposed to cover the tin mines. The grant was 
confirmed, and a patent issued by the United States Government 
October 26, 1867. On the twenty -fourth day of June, 1868, the com- 
pany took possession of the property, and on the twenty-seventh day 
of the same month and year work was resumed on the Cajalco mine, 
the same which was opened by Mr. Bruce in 1860. Mr. E. M. Robin- 
son was Superintendent for the new company. Samples of the tin, 
tin plate with vessels made from it, and samples of the ore, were 
exhibited in the Mechanics' Institute Fair, at San Francisco, in 1869, 
winning for the company the Gold Medal. The bars of metallic tin 
then on exhibition are now in the Museum of the Pioneer Society. 
Of the ore there are fine specimens in the State Museum, represented 
by the catalogue numbers (134) and (235), the former from the Cajalco 
mine, and the latter from the San Jacinto mines. Specimens were 
shown at the Paris Exposition of 1878, and donated after the Expo- 
sition to the French Government, with many other California ores 
and minerals. They are now in the Ecole des Mines, in Paris. 

The ores are very deceptive to the eye. No mineralogist, no matter 
how familiar he might be with other ores of tin, would recognize 
these by sight alone. They present a brown lusterless appearance, 
with spots of yellowish-brown. When concentrated by washing, the 
heavy powder which results may be readily distinguished by the 
microscope as cassiterite. The following is an analysis of the ore 
from these mines, by Professor F. A. Genth of the University of Penn- 

Silicic acid 9.82 

Tungstic acid .22 

Stannic acid 76.15 

Oxide of copper .27 

Oxides of iron, manganese, magnesia lime, and alumina 13.54 



The stannic acid in the above analysis is equal to 59.92 per cent of 
metallic tin. The tin reduced from the ore yielded by analysis: 

Metallic tin 99.78 

Iron 11 

Copper 11 


" The ores are found in mica slate, gneiss, and granite, and asso- 
ciated with iron, antimony, arsenic, and gold ores, in a gangue of 
quartz, fluor-spar, apatite, and baryta." — [Report of Company.] The 
Temescal River skirts the southwest boundary line of the property of 
the company, and the Santa Ana River flows but a few miles to the 
northwest; both streams furnish ample water-power for a portion of 
the year. Cornish miners and experts, and skilled mineralogists from 
various parts of the world, have examined these mines, and have 
pronounced favorably upon them. One who had large experience in 
the stannaries of Cornwall thought there was enough eight per cent 
ore in sight to make 600 tons of pig metal. Mr. William Williams, 
formerly employed in the mines, and whose statements appear in the 
reports of the company before referred to, told the State Mineralogist 
that it was a good mine and only required development to produce 
profitable returns. There are conflicting titles to these mines. The 
representatives of Abel Stearns are in litigation to recover possession. 
There is reason to hope that tin will become in the future one of the 
commercial products of the State. 


The world's production of tin in 1873 was estimated at 25,000 to 
28,000 tons. In 1883 it was 45,770 tons. The product from 1878 to 
1881, inclusive, is estimated at 147,553 tons. The United States uses 
more tin and tin plate than any other country, estimated at one third 
the world's production of this metal. It may be seen from this how 
important it is to develop any mines that we may have within our 


About 243,000 tons of tin plate are imported into the United States 
annually. In 1871 England exported 120,000 tons of tin plate, of 
which 67,140 tons were sent to the United States. From 1872 to 1882, 
inclusive, the United States imported of block tin 87,941 tons, valued 
at $41,293,644, and during the same time 1,500,329 tons of tin plate, 
valued at $159,035,810. The following is a table of Australian tin 
received at San Francisco : 





1875 — ._ - - - --- -- 


1880 -. — - 


1876 - 

1881... - - 

1. 49 5, OSS 


1882. ... 







Keeping pace with the growth of our canning industries, future 
requirements will increase year by year, the same being true all over 
the country. Among our most stringent wants are, therefore, largely 
productive tin mines. There is a widespread belief that at some 
time in the past the General Government has offered a large sum as a 
bonus to any person who should find a productive tin mine in the 
United States. The sum has been stated at from ten to two hundred 
thousand dollars. The Legislature of California has been reputed to 
have offered also a large sum for such a discovery. There is no truth 
whatever in such statements, although so generally believed. 

Cat's Eye — see Quartz. 

28. CEMENT. 

The mineral cements are nearly all artificial, and are made of lime 
and sand (mortar), calcined hydraulic limestones, or dolomites, to 
which certain ingredients are sometimes added. Pozzuolana (de- 
scribed under the head of building stones), plaster of Paris, concretes, 
etc., which will be found described under the various heads. 

29. CERARGYRITE. Etym. " Horn Silver" (Greek). 

This mineral is a chloride of silver (Ag. CI). Composition as fol- 

Chlorine 24.7 

Silver 75.3 

Color pale yellow, gray, or green, nearly white. Luster resinous, 
appearance like wax; can be cut with the thumb nail, the cut having 
a shining luster. Sp. gr. 5.31 to 5.55. In closed tube melts, but is not 
decomposed. On en. B.B. with carbonate of soda, a bead of silver is 
easily reduced. Another blowpipe test is made by melting a small 
portion of pure microcosmic salt in a loop of platinum wire, which 
is saturated with oxide of copper by dipping it into the vessel con- 
taining the oxide and again heating. If a small fragment is now 
added to the bead of prepared flux, and still again heated before the 
R. F.,a distinct azure blue color will be imparted to the flame (chlo- 
rine)/ Cerargyrite is not soluble in nitric acid, but ammonia dissolves 
it wholly, and from the solution the chloride of silver is precipitated 
by neutralizing the ammonia with an acid. As cerargyrite is gener- 
ally disseminated in the ore in such small particles, or crystals, as to 
be generally invisible to the unassisted eye, the latter plan is the best 
to detect it. The ore is first pulverized, and placed on a filter and 
leached with ammonia, which is then filtered and treated with the 
acid. If cerargyrite is wet with water slightly acidulated and laid 
on a piece of sheet zinc, it turns black and is soon reduced to metal- 
lic silver, which becomes bright and metallic if rubbed hard in an 
agate mortar. Cerargyrite is rather a common mineral in some 
of the southern counties of the State, associated with embolite, but 
seldom in masses sufficiently large to form good cabinet specimens. 
Microscopic crystals of great beauty are not uncommon, but the min- 
eral generally occurs in very thin crusts. (4912) and (5158) are from 


Slate Range, Inyo County. The finest microscopic crystals are found 
in the Modoc Chief mine, Inyo County. Cerargyrite is a valuable 
silver mineral, and is easily reduced by the most simple metallur- 
gical process. 

30. CERUSITE. Etym. Cerussa (Lat.). White Lead, Carbonate of 
Lead, White Lead Ore, etc. PbO, C0 2 . 

Carbonic acid U>-5 

Oxide of lead 83.5 

Equivalent of metallic lead 77.5 per cent; color, white, gray, nearly 
black; transparent, sub-translucent to opaque; brittle, H=3--3.5; sp. 
gr. 6.46-6.48; B B on ch. fuses, and in the R. F. yields a bead of lead, 
coating the charcoal at the same time yellow. Dissolves in nitric 
acid, with effervescence. This mineral is very easily distinguished, 
and is rather common in California, seldom in crystals, but generally 
associated with galena, anglesite, azurite, chrysocolla, malachite, sil- 
ver minerals, and gold. Fine crystallized specimens, with the asso- 
ciates above mentioned, are found in the Modoc mine, and in many 
other localities, in the Inyo and Coso Mountains, Inyo County; in 
the Russ district, in the same county, in large crystals resembling 
those from Siberia, and at Great Basin mine, near Mohave River 
(Blake). It is a valuable ore of lead, and in certain localities an indi- 
cation of silver ores. A considerable proportion of the lead ores 
worked at the Cerro Gordo mines were cerusite. Thirty-two thousand 
tons of lead were produced in these mines during the time in which 
they were worked. 

31. CERVANTITE. Etym. "Cervantes" (Span.). Antimony Ochre. 

This is a rare mineral in California. It occurs with Stibnite in San 
Amedio Mountain, Kern County. (Blake.) 

32. CHALCANTHITE. Etym. "Flowers of Copper" (Greek). Na- 

tive Sulphate of Copper, Blue Vitriol. 

This results from the decomposition of copper sulphide ores (see 
copper) and is rare in nature. At the Rio Tinto mine in Spain the 
waters contain so much of this mineral in solution that they are col- 
lected and the copper precipitated by iron, yielding cement copper in 
considerable quantities. It sometimes occurs in old copper mines in 
California when the waters do not flow from the workings, and old 
tools such as picks, gads, hammers, etc., left by accident in the old 
works, have been found changed to metallic copper, or to be very 
heavily coated with that metal. Specimens in the State Museum are 
from the Peck mine, Copper City, Shasta County, and from Sweetland, 
Nevada County. 

The waters of a copper spring near Glenbrook, Lake County, de- 
posit copper on a knife blade. 

Chalcedony— see Quartz. 


33. CHALCOPYRITE. Etym. " Copper Pyrite" (Greek). (See, also, 
Copper.) Copper Pyrites. 

This mineral is a double sulphide of copper and iron : 

Sulphur gV» 

Copper.— "-- g ; 5 



Color, brass yellow; opaque. Occurs both crystallized and amor- 
phous; the latter generally mixed with other minerals. On ch. B.B. 
generally decrepitates, gives off fumes of sulphur, and fuses to a mag- 
netic globule. If this is wet with hydrochloric acid, a blue color is 
imparted to the blowpipe flame; with fluxes, a bead of copper is 
obtained The pulverized mineral dissolves m nitric acid, giving 
off red nitrous fumes; the solution is green, but if neutralized with 
ammonia becomes intensely blue. If the nitric solution is evaporated 
to dryness and redissolved in hydrochloric acid the whole of the cop- 
per will precipitate if a piece of iron or zinc is placed in the solution; 
the precipitation is accelerated by the application of heat, lhis 
mineral is quite abundant in California, being found m greater or 
less quantities from north to south. It is a valuable ore of copper, but 
its metallurgy presents so many difficulties that it is found generally 
more profitable to concentrate it and ship it to England than to work 
it here. Under some circumstances it has been found economical to 
reduce it to a matte by a single furnace operation, and ship it in that 
condition. It is also worked somewhat extensively at Campo beco, 
Calaveras County, and at Spenceville, Nevada County. The following 
California localities are represented in the State Museum: (301/.) 
Campo Seco, Calaveras County. (4119.) Bevendge District, Inyo 
County. (4137.) Lexington, Santa Clara County. (4247.) San Diego 
County (in steatite). (4274.) Stony Creek, Colusa County. (4387.) 
Spenceville, Nevada County. (4485.) Bullion District, Plumas County. 

Chalcopyrite is common in ores containing gold, all over the State. 
It occurs with erubescite and pyrite at Copper City, Shasta County; 
at Copperopolis and Lancha Plana, Calaveras County; m specks m 
the jaspers in San Francisco County; Light's Canon, Plumas County 
(Blake); near Hornitos, Mariposa County; in the rocks of Mt. Diablo 
(Blake); in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties; 
the Inyo and Coast Range Mountains; in fact, it is almost universal 
in its distribution over the State. 

34. CHALCOSITE. Etym. Copper (Greek). Vitreous Copper, Cop- 
per Glance. 

This mineral is a sulphide of copper (Cu 2 , S). 

Sulphur 20.2 

Copper ' 7J " 8 


Color, dark lead-gray, often green on the surface. Luster metallic, 
H.=2.5— 3.0. Sp. gr.=5.5 -5.8. B.B. on ch. melts and gives off fumes 
of sulphurous acid, and with fluxes is easily reduced to a bead of cop- 
per. Soluble in nitric acid; the solution gives similar reactions to 


those described under the head of Chalcopyrite. It is found with 
other ores of copper in the State, more frequently in the southern 
counties. It is sometimes argentiferous, and merges into Stroiney- 
rite, which see. It occurs in the silver ores in Inyo and San Ber- 
nardino Counties; in Genesee Valley (in basalt), Plumas County 
(Edman); in San Diego County; in Los Angeles County; at the 
Maris mine, in grains and irregular masses, in syenitic granite, con- 
taining silver (Blake); and in San Luis Obispo County. No. (4486) 
is from the Enterprise mine, Bullion District, Plumas County. 

Chessy Copper — see Azurite. 

Chloride of Silver — see Cerargyrite and Embolite. 

Chloro-Bromide of Silver — see Embolite. 

Chloro-Carbonate of Lead— see Phosgenite. 

Chrome Iron — see Chromite. 

35. CHROMITE— Etym. " Color" (Greek). Chromic Iron, Chrome 
Ore, etc. 

Chromic iron is the ore from which all the salts of chromium are 
obtained. It is a dense, heavy, dark colored mineral, which is usu- 
ally compact, although sometimes granular. Its sp. gr. is from 4.34 
to 4.498. It is hard enough to scratch glass. Its streak and powder 
are brown, even if the mineral is black. Before the blowpipe it is 
infusible alone, but with borax it slowly melts, forming a character- 
istic green glass. It occurs in serpentine rocks in irregular masses, 
rarely in veins. Serpentine and several varieties of marble, espe- 
cially " verde antique," owe their beautiful green color to the oxide 
of chromium. The emerald is also indebted to this mineral for its 
charming color. Chromic iron is seldom found pure. When crys- 
tallized its composition is expressed by the formula, FeO Cr 2 3 . 
The mean of ten analyses of samples from different localities was 
found to be- 

Protoxide of iron 27.53 

Magnesia 6.50 

Alumina 9.57 

Sesquioxide of chromium 53.62 

Silica and loss 2.78 


The metal chromium was discovered by Vanquelin in the year 
1797. As early as 1766 Lehmann wrote a letter to Buffon giving a 
description of a new mineral of a bright scarlet color which was 
found in a mine in Siberia. Pallas, the celebrated naturalist, be- 
lieved it to be a compound of lead, arsenic, and sulphur. The most 
celebrated chemists of the period attempted to analyze it, but the 
results obtained differed so widely that much was said and written 
upon the subject. In 1797 Vanquelin made a critical examination 
of it, and found it to be oxide of lead, combined with an acid having 
a metallic base which was new to science. He afterwards succeeded 
in reducing the metal and produced chromium, so named from the 
Greek word signifying color. The red mineral which led to this dis- 
covery was chromate of lead, now known by the name of " Crocoisite." 


Metallic chromium may be reduced from the oxide by subjecting it 
with charcoal to an intense heat. It is a metal possessing a color 
between that of tin and steel. Its specific gravity is 5.9. It is nearly 
infusible, does not oxidize in the air, is not magnetic, or only slightly 
so; and very brittle. It is scarcely acted on by nitric, hydrochloric, or 
nitro-hydrochloric acids, but dissolves in hydrofluoric acid with evo- 
lution of hydrogen. Chromium is also reduced by galvanic elec- 
tricity; by adding sodium amalgam to a solution of chloride of 
chromium an amalgam of chromium is produced which is distilled, 
leaving the metal in a pulverulent state; and by heating the oxide 
in a porcelain tube in an atmosphere of hydrogen into which vapors 
of sodium are admitted. The reduced metal is found to be in the 
form of crystals. The metal fuses with great difficulty, and is non- 
volatile. In the metallic state no use has yet been found for it in 
the arts. 


The chief use of chrome ores is the production of the beautiful salts 
known in commerce as the chromate and bi-chromate of potash, which 
are used principally in dyeing and in the manufacture of pigments. 
Treated in a large way, the ore is crushed under heavy edge-wheels, 
and then bolted. It is essential to the success of the operation that 
the minutest division is effected. The pulverized ore is then mixed 
with half its weight of nitrate of potash, and subjected to a high heat 
for several hours on a common reverberatory hearth. During the pro- 
cess the mass is occasionally stirred. When the proper time has arrived, 
the whole is raked out and a fresh charge introduced. The fused mass 
is allowed to cool, and is then lixiviated with water. The yellow so- 
lution is concentrated by evaporation and allowed to crystallize. The 
resulting salt is "chromate of potash." To obtain the bi-chromate, 
which is most used in the arts, the concentrated solution is treated 
with a strong acid — either nitric, hydrochloric, or acetic. The acid 
combines with the second atom of potash, leaving the bi-chromate in 
solution, which may be crystallized out in the usual manner. 

These salts are extensively used in dyeing. To dye yellow, the 
material is first passed through a solution of acetate or nitrate of lead, 
and then through one of bi-chromate of potash, by which chromate 
of lead is formed, which is yellow. If it is desired to dye a fabric 
green, it is first dyed blue, and then yellow as above, by which combi- 
nation green results. 

Orange is produced by dyeing yellow, and then passing the material 
through a boiling solution of caustic lime, by which the orange sub- 
chromate of lead is formed. Bi-chromate of potash is also used to 
give a brown color, by being used with catechu, by which a great 
variety of brown, drab, and fawn colors are produced. This salt is used 
in the manufacture of ink. There are said to be six chemical works 
in which bi-chromate of potash is produced — three in Glasgow, Scot- 
land, and one each in Russia, Austria, and the United States. 

Bichromate of Lime. — Finely powdered chrome iron is intimately 
incorporated with chalk. This mixture is exposed in a layer one and 
a half inches thick for ten hours in a reverberatory furnace. The 
product is chromate of lime, difficultly soluble by grinding while 
suspended in water with a slight excess of S0 3 . To separate any 
protosulphate of iron present, milk of lime is added; the clear layer 
consists of bi-chromate of lime in solution. 


There is a specimen of Aragonite in the State Museum No. (3602) 
that might be used as a substitute for chalk. 

Chromic Acid (Cr 3 ) forms prismatic crystals of a dark ruby red 
color, which are deliquescent and color the skin yellow. When it is 
heated to redness, or parts with one equivalent of oxygen, it becomes 
the green protoxide. When its solution is neutralized with ammonia 
it is changed into the sesquioxide with energetic chemical action. It 
dissolves in alcohol, from which crystals of the green oxide gradually 
deposit. The aqueous solution of chromic acid is decomposed by 
the sun's rays, oxide of chromium being precipitated. If chromic 
acid, obtained by decomposing chromate of baryta with sulphuric 
acid, or four parts of chromate of lead, is mixed with three parts of 
finely powdered pure fluorspar freshly calcined, and rive parts of 
concentrated sulphuric acid, placed in a still of platinum, or lead, 
and gently heated, a red vapor passes over which is condensed into 
distilled water contained in a vessel of platinum, and a dark orange 
colored liquid results. The vapor (fluoride of chromium) decomposes 
in the water to hydrofluoric and chromic acids. The liquid evapo- 
rated in the platinum dish becomes pure chromic acid. Chromic acid 
is generally made by mixing a solution of bichromate of potash with 
a large quantity of strong sulphuric acid; as the mixture cools, crim- 
son red crystals of chromic acid form ; these are washed with strong 
nitric acid and dried. The proportions used are 100 volumes of cold 
saturated solution of bichromate of potash and 150 volumes of strong 
sulphuric acid. The acid must be added in small successive portions. 
Chromic acid forms salts with numerous bases. The resulting chro- 
mates are all red or yellow, and are usually soluble in water. 

Sesquioxide of Chromium (Cr 2 3 ) is obtained by igniting chromate 
of mercury, or by calcining a mixture of equal parts of flour sulphur 
and pulverized bichromate of potash in a closed earthern crucible, 
and washing the green residue with hot water to remove the sulphate 
of potash. The thoroughly washed residue is dried at a water-bath 
heat. After exposure to a red heat it resists the action of acids. 
It is converted into chromic acid by deflagation with nitrate of potash. 

Hydrated Oxide of Chromium is precipitated from acid solutions by 
alkalies in the form of a voluminous green powder. It may be ob- 
tained by adding a mixture of equal parts of alcohol and hydrochloric 
acid portion wise, to a boiling solution of chromate of potassa; the 
liquid becomes pure green in color. When cold, an excess of ammo- 
nia is added, which precipitates the hydrated oxide, in which state 
it is soluble in acids. 

It may also be prepared as follows- Mix chromate of potassa with 
half its weight of chloride of ammonium; heat the mixture to redness, 
and wash the resulting mass with excess of boiling water. 

Oxide of Chromium is used in the arts as a pigment — in glass stain- 
ing, in painting on porcelain, and in producing; artificial gems. It is 
also now extensively used in printing United States currency — 
" greenbacks." It is a lively green-colored powder. It is so expen- 
sive that it cannot be generally used, although it is the only perma- 
nent green pigment known to the chemist. An artificial gem, almost 
equal to the emerald, is made by fusing together: Fused boracic 
acid, 4.06 parts; silica, 7; alumina, 1.60; glucina, 1.40; oxide of 
chromium, 0.10. 

A beautiful green aventurine glass has been made by M. Pelouze, 
composed as follows: 


Sand 250 parts 

Carbonate of soda 100 parts 

Carbonate of lime 50 parts 

Bichromate of potassa 40 parts 

This glass melts with difficulty. It is described as being of " a deep 
green color, and full of small spangles— crystals of oxide of chro- 
mium—which sparkle with a brilliancy inferior only to the diamond." 
Chromic iron has within a few years been put to a new use. It is 
now melted with ordinary iron, forming an alloy of iron and chro- 
mium, which is harder than iron, and has a kindred use as a substi- 
tute for steel in certain cases. The following is translated from a 
French pamphlet, published in Paris, in 1878: 

By M. G. Rolland, Mining Engineer. 

Products known of late years in metallurgy as chrome steel have excited a great interest; 
they are extremely hard, and remarkably resistant to traction. These species of steel contain 
a few tenths per cent of chrome. The chrome has the property of greatly increasing the hard- 
ness and resistance of the metal, but it has no tempering properties, and could not, as it is 
sometimes said, take the place of carbon and replace it. Mr. Boussingault melted a mixture of 
iron, of four per cent of carbon and oxide of chrome combined, in such proportions that the 
oxygen of the former would exactly consume the carbon of the latter; the residue obtained 
was an alloy of non-carbureted iron and chrome, which could not be tempered. 

Berthier is the real inventor of chrome steel. As early as 1821 he was conversant with the 
way of "introducing chrome into cast-steel," and said that "steel alloyed with chrome pos- 
sessed properties which could make it very useful in many instances." 

I quote the following extracts from Berthier's works on "Combinations of chrome with iron 
and steel," published in 1821, in the "Annales des Mines," first series, vol. 6, page 573, and 
the "Annales de Chimie et de Physique," second series, vol. 17, page 55: 

"To prepare with an ore of the nature of that of the Island of the Vaches (chrome iron, con- 
taining 0.370 of peroxide of iron, 0.360 of oxide of chrome, 0.215 of alumina, 0.050 of silica), 
which is a mixture very rich in chrome, it is necessary to melt this ore in a crucible of damp 
charcoal, with 0.30 of lime and 0.70 of silica, or with 1.00 of vitrified borax; and to extract 
the greatest quantity jnossible of chrome from this ore, it will be necessary to add a certain 
quantity of oxide of" iron to the flux. It is evident that the quantity of flux employed will 
vary with the quantity of alumina contained in the ore, and that the smallest quantity of it 
must always be used — borax by economy and to decrease volatilization, and glass or silica flux 
because it stops the reduction of the oxides which are combined with them. The Philadel- 
phia ore (chrome iron containing 0.372 of peroxide of iron, 0.516 of oxide of chrome, 0.097 of 
alumina, 0.026 of silica) would easily melt with 0.14 of lime and 0.32 of silica; or with 0.50 of 
alkaline a;lass, or also with 0.16 to 0.20 of vitrified borax, it would give a much larger propor- 
tion of alloy than that of the Island des Vaches, and this alloy would contain much more 

If I have given extensive explanations on the manner of preparing economically alloys of 
iron and chrome, it is not because I think that these alloys can of themselves be of great use, 
but because it is probable that they will be used to introduce chrome into cast-steel. The idea 
of introducing chrome into cast-steel was suggested to me by the lecture on Mr. Faraday's 
works on "Alloys of Different Metals With Steel." I found that steel, combined with chrome, 
had properties which could make it useful in many instances. 

I made two alloys of cast-steel and chrome, one containing 0.01 of chrome and the other 
0.015. I prepared the "chrome steel " by melting best cast-steel, pounded into small pieces, with 
an alloy of iron and chrome. This is the way to proceed when manufactured in large quanti- 

Chrome steel is manufactured at this time to my knowledge in the United States at Brooklyn, 
New York (Chrome Steel Company), in England at Sheffield, and in France at Unieux, Loire 
(Holtzer Steel Company). 

Having visited in 1876 the Brooklyn foundry, I will briefly state the mode of manufacture 
and qualities of its products. This pamphlet contains not only the information obtained by 
me in America, but also the analysis and information of Mr. Boussingault, who kindly helped 
me in this work by his valuable information. 

Mr. Boussingault will shortly publish an account on chrome iron and chrome steel, and on 
the different processes of dosing the chrome. 

The manufacture of chrome steel in Brooklyn, though it is kept very quiet, is only an appli- 
cation of Berthier's process. The chrome iron ores used in that foundry come from Baltimore, 

y 27 


and have varied as to their composition; some contained 13 per cent of alumina, and 11 per 
cent of silica; others as much as 60 per cent of oxide of chrome and no silica. The ore, pul- 
verized and mixed with pulverized charcoal and a suitable flux, is reduced in graphite cruci- 
bles; the production is a white chrome iron, similar to Berthier's alloy of iron aud chrome. 
It is called " Ferro-chrome," by analogy with the " Ferro-manganese." Ferro-chrome of 
Brooklyn, analyzed by Mr. Boussingault, indicated 4.25 per cent of combined carbon, and 
48.70 per cent of chrome. 

The Ferro-chrome from Unieux contains about 5.4 per cent of combined carbon, and as 
much as 67.2 per cent of chrome. 

Chrome is accidentally found in certain iron smeltings. A few tenths per cent have been 
found in iron smeltings in Russia. Mr. Boussingault found 1.95 per cent or more of it in the 
white iron smeltings of Medellin, Province of Antioquia, South America, which are remark- 
able for their hardness. 

Chrome steel is obtained afterwards by melting in a crucible (in a Siemeus furnace of 24 or 
32 crucibles) fragments of best iron or steel from America, Sweden, or Norway, with an 
addition of ferro-chrome, calculated according to the desirable degree of temper or hardness. 
Mr. Boussingault found, in a piece of hard steel manufactured in- Brooklyn, 1.10 per cent of 
combined carbon, and 0.44 per cent of chrome. 

The chrome steel from Unieux is manufactured in a similar way as that of Brooklyn. The 
quantities of chrome vary between 0.5 per cent and 0.9 per cent; the proportions of silicon 
and manganese could be easily omitted. 

The Chrome Steel Company manufactures three principal qualities of chrome steel. No. V 
is the hardest, and is used for tools, drills, and planing machines for working hard substances, 
such as the shell-off of east iron; No. 2 is used for tap-borers, punches, and jewelers' rollers; 
No. 3, called the universal number, for scissors, drills, and all sorts of tools to cut substances of 
medium hardness. There is also a No. 1 extra hard, for choice tools; and a No. A, softer than 
the No. 3 (which does not temper), and preferable for certain other tools, such as hammers of 
superior quality, gun barrels, etc. 

At Unieux very hard chrome steel is mostly manufactured ; this is used for choice tools; they 
have also tried to manufacture there pieces of artillery tubes of chrome steel, containing 0.6 to 
0.7 per cent of combined carbon, and about 0.58 per cent of chrome. 

When tapped chrome steel is generally less liquid than ordinary steel. The unwrought bar 
when hot, or after being heated again, is first roughed down with a stamp hammer, heated 
again and then brought down to the desired shape or size by hammering or rolling. 

The bars or manufactured articles are always small in size. It seems that large pieces of 
chrome steel are not easily worked, probably because they are less homogeneous after cooling. 

According to Mr. Julius Baur, chrome steel does not deteriorate when submitted to a high tem- 
perature (except a superficial oxidation); at Brooklyn the metal is boldly heated to the highest 
temperature before it is worked, except for punching, which is done at a medium heat. Mr. 
Julius Bauer says, also, that chrome steel is more easily welded, either to itself or to iron, than 
common steel. 

On the contrary, Mr. Ridley having puddled common gray iron smeltings with an addition 
of chrome smeltings, found that the chrome smeltings increased the length of the puddlage, and 
that whatsoever was the quantity added, the oxide of chrome that resulted made the scoria 
thicker and the welding of the iron more difficult. There was a little chrome left in the wrought 
iron, but its influence, either good or bad, was worth little notice. 

At Brooklyn the Nos. 2 and 3 are prepared for welding purposes. 

Chrome steel is particularly hard to temper, and for that reason must be heated at the lowest 
possible temperature to the cherry red color, which is sufficient for it to be tempered. It is nec- 
essary to let it cool after it has been hammered, and heat again before tempering all tools com- 
ing from pieces relatively large and having thin edges, because, if the tool was plunged into 
water, or any other cold bath, the inside of the j^iece which cools slower than the outside would 
be tempered too hot, and would be apt to crack. 

The following is a simple way of ascertaining the temperature at which it is proper to temper 
chrome steel. The end of a bar is placed in a furnace and heated; it is after removed, and the 
different degrees of heat are taken on several parts of the heated portion, and then plunged 
into cold water. After cooling, the bar is broken into small pieces by striking it on an anvil. 
If the end of the bar was too hot, the grain of breakage will be at first coarse, but will gradually 
decrease at the spot where the heat of the bar was of a dark red color; the grain will then 
become finer and more fibrous, the steel being harder, stronger, and less brittle than in the spots 
which had been more heated. The spot where the steel shows a fine and fibrous grain was at 
the suitable temperature. 

.The Chrome-Steel Company claims exceptional qualities for its steel. Cold, its tractive power 
would be greater than any other steel ; tempered, it could not be drilled by any other steel, and 
would perforate any other steel containing an equal quantity of carbon. Experiments have 
been made at the West Point foundry on the tractive power of American steel containing chrome 
manufactured at Brooklyn: they were of different degrees of hardness — some hot, others cold 
(specific gravity 7.8161 to 7,8536), maximum charge of rupture 139 kilogrammes 84 hundredths 
per square millimetre; minimum charge 115 kilogrammes 13 hundredths. 

The greatest tension of rupture of steel bars given by the metallurgical works of Percy, is of 
107 kilogrammes per square millimetre at the section of rupture. (Cast-steel for tools of Torton.) 

The Chrome-Steel Company made a very interesting exhibit at the Philadelphia Centennial 


Exposition. It consisted of chrome ore, ferro-chrome, chrome-steel in bars and in tools of dif- 
ferent shapes and sizes, bars twisted and bent when cold, etc.; also steel plates for safes, etc., in 
sheets of chrome steel and iron welded together and tempered (chrome steel cannot be perforated 
by ordinary tools — the iron remains ductile and does not break with a blow), safety bars for 
prisons, banking houses, etc. ; also manufactured with chrome steel and iron welded together 
and tempered, they can neither be sawed nor broken; beams of chrome steel and iron of all 
shapes welded together. This combination adds to the strength and reduces the weight. 

Many parts of the large metallic bridge on the Mississippi River, at St. Louis, are of chrome 
steel: but in this case I do not think that the use of chrome steel was necessary. 

Before ending, I must say that in America, as well as in Europe, chrome steel is generally 
not much known, and has had. up to this time, more detractors than partisans. It certainly 
has many great qualities which make it very useful in many special cases, and which will 
keep it from disappearing; but its application is too limited for it to be manufactured on a 
large scale. 

According to Mr. Sergius Kern, of St. Petersburg, a new process of chrome steel manufac- 
ture has been tried at the Oubouchoff steel foundry, in Russia. The process consists in melt- 
ing in refractory clay crucibles a mixture of pounded Bessemer or Siemens-Martin steel and 
iron, or refined iron smeltings, according to the degree of steelness wanted, in subordination 
of an addition of chrome iron and limestone, roasted and pounded beforehand (these placed in 
the bottom of the crucible). Mr. Kern does not say if the new process has in view the intro- 
duction of chrome in steel; he only insists on the two following points: 

1. Benefit of employing chrome iron instead of ferro-manganese, frequently used in our 
days as a reducer: but the price of ferro-manganese is high, and it makes the steel phos- 
phorous and sulphurous. 

2. Benefit in using Bessemer's and Siemens-Martin's steels, which are manufactured at 
present at little cost and with great care, instead of steel bars puddled with wood, which are 
always expensive, and are never uniform as to their amount of carbon. In these experiments 
a lot of cast-steel was manufactured, in which the amount of combined carbon varied from 
0.20 to 1.30 per cent, and the amount of chrome from 1.01 to 0.25 per cent. These sorts of 
steel have been classified in four numbers. The average amounts of carbon are: 0.25, 0.49, 
0.95, and 1.20 per cent. Experiments on tractive power were made on bars hammered first 
and hammered after; the average weights of rupture, resulting from six experiments for each 
number, are for: No. 1, of 75 kilogrammes, 75 hundredths for each square millimetre; No. 2, 
of 77 kilogrammes, 49 hundredths for each square millimetre; No. 3, of 82 kilogrammes, 37 
hundredths for each square millimetre; No. 4, of 86 kilogrammes, 15 hundredths for each 
square millimetre. 

The salts of chromium, as before mentioned, are extensively used 
in dyeing and in the manufacture of pigments. 

Chrome yellow, or chromate of lead, occurs in nature as red lead 
ore or crocoisite, but has not been found in California. The pigment, 
under the same name, is prepared artificially on a very large scale. 

There are two varieties of chrome yellow, named technically, 
" lemon " and " orange." They are prepared as follows: 

The lemon chrome is known under the various names of Paris, 
Leipzig, Gotha, Hamburg, Cologne, Imperial, Citron, and New Yel- 
lows; but they are all prepared in a similar manner, with certain 
minor differences. 

This beautiful color is made by adding a solution of chromate of 
potassa to one of nitrate or acetate of lead, and washing and drying 
the precipitate on a filter. Light lemon chrome is made by adding 
sulphuric acid or solution of alum to the chromate solution, before 
pouring it into the solution of lead. Bichromate makes a deeper 
shade of yellow. 

The following formulas are modifications of the above: 

Twelve and one half pounds of bichromate of potash dissolved in 
twenty-eight and one half gallons of water,, precipitated with solu- 
tion of nitrate of lead, yields fifteen and one half pounds of chrome 
yellow. In theory fifteen pounds bichromate of potassa, and nineteen 
pounds acetate of lead, yield twenty-one pounds chromate of lead — 
but these results are not obtained in practice. 

In making canary yellow, using the same solutions, care is taken 
to pour the nitrate of lead solution into that of the chromate, and 
never the reverse. 


SiiJpliur Yellow. — Five pounds chromate of potash dissolved in two 
hundred pounds of water, add eight pounds sulphuric acid 66° B., 
and pour in solution of nitrate or acetate of lead as long as a precip- 
itate falls. 

The following recipe is given for making chrome yellow from sul- 
phate of lead: ■ 

Mix 100 pounds of litharge with 10 pounds common salt and add 
warm water sufficient to make a paste. In twenty-four hours the 
mixture begins to rise; stir well, and should it have thickened by the 
operation, add water sufficient to reduce it to its former consistency. 
Repeat daily until the operation is finished, which is known by 
whitening of product. At a temperature of 20° to 24° C. the operation 
completes itself in 45 days; when all is changed to chloride of lead, 
add 12 pounds of nitric acid. Stir well and leave it a few hours, and 
add a saturated solution holding 15 pounds of alum. Stir well once 
more, chloride of lead is thus changed to sulphate. After several 
hours add the sulphate of lead, without removing the mother liquors, 
to a solution of bichromate of potash, 1 pound of the salt to 15 pounds 
water. If a light shade is required, pour chromate solution, when 
cold, in a thin stream, stirring well. To make orange hot solutions are 
necessary. An orange shade is produced by substituting carbonate of 
soda for the alum. Subchromate of lead, orange chrome, is made by 
pouring together solutions of bichromate of potash and subacetate of 
lead. Subacetate of lead is made by boiling litharge and solution of 
acetate of lead together. The following redpe gives a deep chrome 
red or orange almost equal to vermilion by actual experiment: 4 
pounds dry white lead, 1 pound bichromate of potash, 20 pounds water 
(or larger quantities in the same proportion); boil together until the 
solution is colorless. The liquid is drawn off and the pulp well mixed — 
best by grinding in a paint mill. 

Theoretical reactions in the production of chromates of lead from 

Os\ vhnn 1 1"P ot 1 P£i c\ 

Chromate of Lead.- 2 (PbO, C0 9 ) (267.14) + (KO, 2 Cr0 3 ) (148.51) = 
2 (PbO, Cr0 3 ) (324.54) + KO (47.11) + 2 (CO,) (44). 

Sub- Chromate of Lead.- 4 (PbO, CO,) (534.28)+KO, 2Cr0 3 (148.51) 
= 2 (2PbO, Cr0 8 ) (547.68) 4- KO (47.11) + CO, (88.) 

Orange chrome, when well prepared, is a dense beautiful pigment, 
which is obtained of various shades, from light orange to the deepest 
red, by modifying the solutions. It has remarkable staining proper- 
ties; that is to say, it imparts its color to a large quantity of white lead 
or other paint. It covers well, but is subject to the same changes 
from foul gases and sunlight, which make all lead pigments objec- 
tionable. Sulphuretted hydrogen, which forms a part of sewer gases, 
common illuminating gas, and bilge water, turn it black (sulphide 
of lead), but with all these objections it is extensively used and could 
hardly be dispensed with by the painters. The light chrome yellows 
are rather difficult to produce as the solutions are apt to become basic. 
This may in part be avoided by leaving the precipitate for some time 
in a dark place. The yellow pigments are often adulterated, some- 
times as much as 50 per cent; generally with whiting, but often with 
sulphate of lead, white lead, clay, sulphate of baryta, ochre, gypsum, 
oxide of zinc, etc. These factitious materials are stirred in while the 
precipitations are being made. Pure chromate and sub-chromate of 
lead are perfectly soluble in nitric acid loithout effervescence. Sulphates 
of lime, lead, and baryta remain undissolved. It is also soluble in 


potassa. It gives a green solution with HC1, leaving a white residue 
of chloride of lead, soluble in excess of water. With caustic soda 
becomes orange on boiling and forms a yellow fluid with no residue 
if pure. On ignition becomes reddish brown; gives beads of lead 
with soda on charcoal. It is poisonous. A good method of testing 
the chromate it contains is to make a lead crucible assay and to cal- 
culate the percentage of lead that ought to be present in the pure 

Light chrome yellow may be changed to orange by digesting it with 
solution of bichromate of potash. 

Chromate of zinc and chromate of baryta are sometimes used as 
pigments. They have the advantage of not being affected by fumes 
of sulphuretted hydrogen, but they are deficient in body. The former 
is made by precipitating a boiling solution of sulphate of zinc, with 
one of chromate or bichromate of potassa; and the latter by substi- 
tuting chloride of barium in the cold. 

Chrome Red, or American Vermilion, is a beautiful scarlet pig- 
ment, made by the following recipe: 

Melt saltpeter (nitrate of potash) in a crucible to dull redness, and 
add pure chrome yellow by small portions until no more red fumes 
arise. Allow the mixture to settle, then pour off the fused salt from 
the heavy residue. Wash the latter with water, which should be 
quickly poured off, and dry the pigment. The liquified salt poured 
off contains chromate of potash, and is reserved for making chrome 
yellow. _ When well made this is a beautiful pigment, but has all the 
faults of other preparations of lead. 

Chrome Green — called also Oil Green, Green Cinnabar, Naples 
Green, etc. The chrome green of commerce is a mechanical mix- 
ture of chrome yellow and Prussian blue; the shades are made by 
varying the proportions. The true chrome green is the sesquioxide 
of chromium. Oxide of chromium, as an ordinary pigment, is defi- 
cient in brilliancy, but is considered permanent. It is chiefly used 
as a coloring on porcelain and fine pottery, it being one of the few 
colors which remain unchanged when submitted to great heat. It 
gives color to marbles, verd antique, serpentines, jasper, beryl, and 
other minerals, as mentioned before. 

The following formula is given for the production of green cinna- 
bar: Prussian blue is dissolved in oxalic acid, chromate of potassa is 
added, which is precipitated with solution of acetate of lead. The pre- 
cipitate is thoroughly washed with water and dried. It is a beautiful 
green pigment; by varying the solutions different shades are obtained. 
The telegraph company of San Francisco use six ounces of bichro- 
mate of potash in each battery cup, and there are 3,000 or more in the 
City of San Francisco alone. The batteries are renewed every three 
months; all the solutions are thrown away and wasted. The chromic 
oxide could easily be recovered. Chromate and bichromate of potash 
are used as reagents in chemical analyses to detect the presence of 
lead, baryta, and mercury. These salts are also used in tanning 


Chromic iron is valued for the percentage of the sesquioxide of 
chromium it contains. The assay is simple. Chromic iron is, how- 


ever, extremely difficult to wholly decompose, which must be effected 
before a perfect assay or analysis can be made. 

The following method is given by Fresenius: The ore must first 
be extremely finely divided by triturating in small portions in an 
agate mortar, or in a large way by bolting. For the assay, fuse eight 
parts, by weight, of borax in a platinum crucible; add to the mass 
while in fusion one part of the pulverized ore, and keep the crucible 
for half an hour at a bright-red heat; add dry carbonate of soda 
as long as it causes effervescence. Then gradually, and with frequent 
stirring with a platinum wire, add three parts of a mixture of equal 
parts of nitrate of potash and carbonate of soda, and keep the mass 
for a few minutes in fusion. When cold, dissolve in distilled water 
with heat, and filter. The residue which remains on the filter must 
wholly dissolve in hydrochloric acid, or the decomposition has not 
been successful, and the operation must be repeated with more care. 
The chromic acid, in the yellow aqueous solution, is thrown down by 
a solution of nitrate of mercury and the precipitated chromate of 
mercury, well washed and dried. When calcined, the volatile mer- 
cury is driven off, leaving pure sesquioxide of chromium, which is 
weighed and the percentage calculated. Sometimes the solution 
from the crucible is" precipitated by acetate of lead, and the oxide of 
chromium calculated from the weight of the chromate of lead. _ It 
will be necessary in that case to nearly neutralize the solution with 
acetic acid before adding the acetate of lead. The calculation is 
made as follows: Suppose one gram of the ore was used in making 
the assay, and the sesquioxide of chromium obtained by the first 
method was 0.436. This multiplied by 100 would give the per- 
centagewise. In the latter case it would be as follows, using the 
same figures: One part of neutral chromate of lead contains .3096 
parts of chromic acid, and 43.6 of chromate of lead obtained would 
equal 43.6X. 3096=13.498, the percentage of chromic acid in the ore. 
To obtain the sesquioxide equivalent calculate as follows: One part 
of chromic acid contains .5200 of chromium, and one part of the 
sesquioxide .6842 parts of chromium, ff$f=1.315+. Then one part 
of chromium, obtained by the above calculation, would be equivalent 
to 1.3154 parts of the sesquioxide. To simply test for the presence 
of chromium in a mineral, the following will afford quick and 
reliable results: The ore is finely powdered in an agate mortar. A 
bead of borax is then formed in a loop, on the end of a platinum 
wire, by heating the loop by means of a blowpipe flame. While 
still red-hot, the end of the wire is touched to some powdered borax 
and again heated. This is repeated until a transparent bead of borax 
glass incases the loop. When cold, the bead should be colorless, if 
the wire was clean and the borax pure. The bead is then to be 
slightly wetted and touched to the powdered ore. Only a small portion 
should be allowed to attach itself to the bead. The blowpipe flame 
is again applied until the substance is perfectly fused with the borax. 
While hot, the bead will generally be of a faint yellowish color, but 
when cold, if chromium is present, it will become emerald green. If 
the bead is touched while hot with a piece of tin-foil, the reaction 
will be intensified. It sometimes happens that too much of the 
powder attaches itself to the bead and an opaque glass results. In 
this case the bead may be broken by a blow from a small hammer, 
and the powder placed on a piece of white paper, when the character- 
istic green color will be seen. This color must not be confounded 


with the bottle-green, which results from iron treated in the same 

To make this assay still more certain, proceed as follows: Saturate 
the borax bead as directed, using more of the mineral without regard 
to the color— dip the bead into pulverized nitrate of potash, and heat 
again strongly in the blowpipe flame. The bead will now be yellow 
and opaque. Repeat the operation as long as the flux can be made 
to remain on the platinum loop. Let it cool and detach by a blow 
from a small hammer. Grind the powder in an agate mortar with 
water until a solution is formed. Add a drop or two of acetate of lead, 
using a glass rod for this purpose. A yellow opaque precipitate will 
appear. Now transfer the liquid and precipitate to a small white 
paper filter, and dry. It will be easy now to recognize, under a micro- 
scope, chrome yellow on the paper. This is a very conclusive test, and 
can easily be made in twenty minutes. 


Chrome iron is found in Russia, Norway, Shetland, France, Silesia, 
Bohemia, Styria, Asia Elinor, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledo- 
nia, and in numerous localities in the United States other than Cali- 
fornia; but only in considerable quantities in the Bare Hills, near 
Baltimore. The wants of the world are estimated at 2,000 tons annu- 


J. Lawrence Smith visited Asia Minor in 1848 and discovered a 
deposit of chromic iron, fifty miles from the City of Broussa. He con- 
cluded that the serpentine contained the elements of the chromic 
iron, which may separate by force of aggregation from the rock mass. 
He found, also, magnesite, in which there were visible small specks 
of chrome iron. 

Chrome iron is largely mined in Russia. The deposits lie in Perm, 
Orenbourg, and Oufa, The following table gives the production in 
" pouds," one poud equals thirty-six pounds, or nearly 526.64 ounces 




Number of 


Quantity of Chrome 

Iron obtained, 

in "pouds." 












At the chemical works in Russia, in which bichromate of potassa 
is prepared, the workmen are troubled with a disease peculiar to the 
business. The following description is taken from a technical paper: 


The manager of the single establishment in Russia for the manufacture of chrome reports a 
curious disease among his men. He says: "The workmen suffer from the action upon the 
nose of the dust of bichromate of potash, and the disease manifests itself thus: A little hole is 
formed on the partition of the nose (dividing the two nostrils), and increases gradually until 
the partition entirely disappears, with the exception of the lower part of it, so that to a super- 
ficial observer there is nothing the matter with the nose except, perhaps, a little outward 
depression. It must be remarked that as soon as the partition is gone the process seems to 
stop there, and neither the lungs, air tubes, nor throat are in the least affected. Its influence 
is very different with different individuals. Some workmen, after having been employed for 
ten years at the works, remain unaffected; while with others the hole in the nose begins to be 
formed after one month's work. A general inspection of all the men at the works, not long 
ago, proved that more than fifty per cent of them had diseased noses. When the disease sets in 
first, the man feels tickling in the nose; a week or so after it bleeds, and in a few days more 
there is no uncomfortable feeling of any sort, and thus the hole is formed almost without any 
pain " 

Dr. J. B. Trask, first State Geologist, was first to call attention to 
the deposits of chromic iron in California and their prospective value. 
In his report to the California Legislature, in 1853, he remarks upon 
the importance and the abundauce of chromic iron in this State, 
specimens seen by him being declared equal to the best in the world. 
The principal localities known at that time were Nelson's Creek, at 
its junction with Feather River; between the North and Middle Fork 
of the American; on Bear River, four miles from Johnson's Ferry; 
in Coyote Diggings near Nevada ; and on Deer Creek two miles from 
Nevada. Chromic iron is found in at least twenty-three counties in 
the State. Nearly all the localities are represented in the State 

Alameda County, near the town of San Antonio. This locality 
has never been worked to any extent, 

Amador County (1876), is from near Jackson; (2731), one mile south 
of Mountain Spring House. 

Butte County (4678), Mount Hope district, near Forbestown. 

Calaveras County (4470), near Murphy's, reported to be in consid- 
erable quantity. Campo Seco — a deposit of excellent quality, and said 
to be in quantity. This deposit can be worked to advantage when 
the narrow gauge S. F. & S. N. Railroad, is finished to Messenger's 
Valley, to which point it is nearly all graded. " In San Diego Gulch, 
on the east of the highest hill, opposite the Noble copper mine, is an 
isolated mass of chrome iron that will weigh thousands of tons." — 
[J. Ross Browne.] Specimens have been received, but not yet entered 
in the catalogue. 

Del Norte County. — Chrome iron occurs north of the Low Divide 
copper mines, and at Smith's River, twenty miles from Crescent City. 
The ore is of good quality and has been quite extensively mined and 

El Dorado County (960), ten miles west of Shingle Springs; (1402), 
exact locality not given; (2431), near Latrobe; ledge said to be from 
three to six feet thick. 

Fresno County (1365), twenty miles from Fresno City, five specimens 
from as many districts, but all in the same neighborhood. A deposit 
of chromic iron was discovered in Fresno County in 1855, which was 
supposed to be silver ore. The excitement which followed led to the 
discovery of the New Idria quicksilver mine. The chrome ore lies 
in serpentine and exists in large quantities. 

Lake County (4640), road from St. Helena to Knoxville, said to be in 

Monterey County, near the San Benito River. 

Napa County (797), near St. Helena. 


Nevada County (5050), within two or three miles of Nevada City. 

Placer County (3711), Michigan Bluffs; (3716), within one mile of 
Auburn; (5120), Section 21, Township 14 north, Range 9 east. At the 
Alabaster Cave there is an extensive deposit from which at least five 
hundred tons have been shipped. From the deposits in PlacerCounty, 
located seven miles east of Iowa Hill (3711), shipments have been 
kept up quite steadily for the past year or two. This ore is of good 
quality and occurs imbedded in the country rock in disconnected 
bunches of irregular shape, and weighing from a few pounds up to 
several hundred tons each. 

Sacramento County (1906), seven miles east of Folsom; (2768), near 
South Fork of the American River, nine miles from Folsom. Two 
thousand tons have been shipped from this locality. " Eight hundred 
tons of chrome iron now lying at Folsom. Two hundred tons shipped 
two weeks ago to San Francisco, to be sent as ballast to Baltimore. 
The ore comes from a distance of eight miles." — [S. W. Collins, May 
18, 1880.] 

San Francisco County. — Several unimportant deposits have been 
found on the peninsula of San Francisco. One on the ocean beach 
below the outlet of Lake Merced. No. (686) is from one of these local- 

San Luis Obispo County. — Chromic iron is particularly abundant in 
this county. The Flores vein, the leading mine in the San Luis Obispo 
group, has been explored by a tunnel two hundred feet long, which 
has opened up a fine body of good grade ore at a depth of nearly one 
hundred feet; (57) is from a deposit twelve miles from San Juan ; (1578) 
is from the Pick and Shovel mine, six miles northeast from the City 
of San Luis Obispo. Up to July, 1880, four hundred tons of ore had 
been shipped; (2343) is from the London mine, four and a half miles 
northeast of the town. From the San Luis Obispo mines, located five 
miles southeast of the town, as much as five thousand tons per annum 
were taken for several years in succession. But little or nothing has, 
however, been done there of late, owing to the low prices ruling for 
chrome in the San Francisco market. Ezra Carpenter, in a letter of 
August 3, 1880, on file, gives the amount of chrome iron shipped from 
that port to date of letter, at 15,202 tons. 

San Mateo County (2526), is from the Pacific slope of the redwoods. 
One sample selected assayed 50.12 per cent of chromic acid. The 
deposit is said to be large, but as yet no shipments of ore have been 

Santa Clara County (394), is from a deposit five miles east of San 
Jose; (1154) is from Los Gatos. 

Sierra County (4196), vicinity of the "Mountain House," near 

Siskiyou County (3601), high grade ore, half a mile from the town 
of Yreka. 

Solano County (2772), found near the town of Fairfield. 

Sonoma County (6), near Litton Springs; (174), four miles south of 
the town of Cloverdale. Mr. Edward -Barnes mined and sold 2,000 
tons from this deposit; 1,000 tons to Benjamin Flint; 500 tons to Cross 
<fe Co., and 500 tons to Kruse & Euler; cost to lay it down on wharf at 
Petaluma, $3 50 per ton, and at ships, $1 additional. Prices obtained 
as follows: To Kruse & Euler, and Benjaman Flint, $10 per ton; to 
Cross & Co., $7 50 per ton. The ore was found in bowlder form in 


serpentine. The original deposit was wholly exhausted, but Mr. 
Barnes thinks others might be found. 

Tulare County (2493), was found ten miles from Portersville; quan- 
tity supposed to be considerable. 

Tuolumne County. — The Engel mine is at York Tent, near Chinese 
Camp. The ore crops out boldly at several points, and at some of 
the croppings is four feet thick. 

I am satisfied that the chrome ores of California are being sold too 
cheap. Of course, it is the policy of those who require these valu- 
able ores to buy them at the lowest possible price, but it is not to the 
advantage of the State to deplete all the mines, and ship away the 
ores which should be saved for that time, not very far distant, when 
California will be a great manufacturing State. At the present ruin- 
ous prices, European consumers can afford to buy and store the ores, 
which the Californians are willing to dispose of at a trifle above cost 
of mining. The bane of the California miner and prospector is the 
desire to quickly realize on what he may discover. The rights of 
future generations, the requirements of manufactories yet to be estab- 
lished in the State, and the best interests of the State, are wholly 
ignored, in the selfish desire to get something for nothing, or to 
become rich without economy and labor. The same policy has caused 
enormous waste in the working of the rich ores of other metals in 
the State. The fact that half the mineral went to w'aste was no con- 
sideration, as long as the other half was made immediately available. 
There being little or no competition, those having ores to sell must 
take what is offered or allow them to remain in the mines, which, by 
far the best policy, does not meet the views of our miners. Accord- 
ing to the recent report of Dr. James Hector, of the Geological Survey 
of New Zealand, chromic iron containing fifty per cent of chromic 
oxide is worth from eleven to twenty pounds sterling per ton ($53 to 
$97). This is from seven to twelve times the prices at which Cali- 
fornia chrome ores have been sold. Chrome iron imparts a green 
color to minerals and rocks with which it is associated. There is a 
variety of serpentine highly prized as an ornamental stone, known 
as "verd antique" (vert antique), oppiolite (yerde antico) of the Italians 
and ancient Romans, which is a green serpentine, sometimes brecci- 
ated with strings of white steatite or noble serpentine veining it 
beautifully. It receives a high polish, but will not withstand the 
action of time. "Verde di Prato" is found in the Apennines, a few 
miles from Florence. It was largely used in the interior decoration 
of the Cathedral of Florence. " Verde de Genova" is found, as the 
name indicates, near Genoa. It contains veins of wdiite and light 
green calc spar in green serpentine. These ornamental stones are 
again mentioned here in the hope that some prospector may search 
for and haply find a deposit of verd antique among the numerous 
localities of serpentine and chrome iron in California. The most of 
the chromic iron that has heretofore left the country has been sent, in 
the first instance, to San Francisco, and thence shipped around Cape 
Horn. More recently consignments are being made via the Isthmus, 
or overland by rail, small lots from the Placer County mines hav- 
ing gone forward during the past year by both of these routes. 


In attempts to gain information as to the quantity of ore raised in 
California, the State Mineralogist has met with so much opposition 


from those who are interested to conceal the amount, that no reliable 
data can be given. Steps will be taken in the future, that will prob- 
ably result in obtaining the information, which will be given in 
reports to follow this. It may, however, be said, that the quantity is 
much larger than would generally be supposed by those who have 
given the matter no special attention. 

Chrome Spinel — See Picotite. 

36. CHRYSOCOLLA. "Gold Glue" (Greek). 

A green mineral passing to sky blue. H. 2 — 4, sp. gr. 2 — 2.24, luster 
vitreous to earthy, streak white. It is a hydrous silicate of copper 
(CuO, Si0 2 + HO) and when pure has the following composition: 

Oxide of copper 45.3 

Silica 34.2 

Water 20.5 


It is more generally impure than the reverse, and often forms one 
of a group of copper minerals. B. B. decrepitates and colors the flame 
green, but does not melt. In a closed tube it gives water and turns 
black. With fluxes, yields a globule of copper. It is a rather abund- 
ant mineral in Southern California, being regarded in Owen's River 
Valley as an indication of silver mines. It is found as a stain on 
rocks in the vicinity of the croppings of silver and copper mines and 
with other minerals in the veins. No. (5926) is a fine specimen from 
the Copper AVorld mine, San Bernardino County; (5158) is an associ- 
ation of chrysocolla, cerargyrite, and cuprite in beautiful microscropic 
crystals, from Lundy, Mono County; (1433) is from the Union mine, 
Inyo County; (2342) from forty miles south of Colton, San Bernardino 
County. It occurs also near San Carlos, Inyo County; at the Eclipse 
mine, same county; in the White Mountains, Mono County; in San 
Diego and San Luis Obispo Counties, and elsewhere in the State. It 
is a valuable ore of copper, for the reason that it can be easily reduced 
in the water jacket furnace to metallic copper. 


This is a magnesian mineral, a variety of serpentine, having no 
economic value. It occurs in veins or seams in serpentine, and is not 
uncommon in the State where the serpentines occur. 

Cinnabar — See Quicksilver. 

38. CLAY. 

Clay may be defined as a hydrated silicate of alumina, contam- 
inated, more or less, by various impurities mechanically intermixed 
with it. It is frequently colored by metallic oxides, and generally 
contains a small quantity of alkali. Clay is the product of decom- 
posed crystalline rocks, brought down by the streams in former ages 
and deposited on the bottoms of lakes, seas, and other bodies of water. 
Glacial action has, no doubt, assisted the work of comminuting these 


Pure clay when thoroughly incorporated with water becomes plastic, 
but when baked loses this property and becomes hard. As it shrinks 
in baking something has to be added to counteract this tendency. 
The nature of this addition differs with the requirements of the pot- 
ter, and to determine what this should be often severely tests his 
skill. For making some varieties of porcelain a portion of infusorial 
earth is mixed with the clay. For making some other fine wares, 
quartz and feldspar are used', powdered brick, sand, etc., being em- 
ployed for the coarser varieties. The addition of these foreign sub- 
stances diminishes the plasticity of the clay and renders it more 
porous. Vessels intended to hold fluids, before being baked, are 
coated with a material that, fusing readily, acts as a flux, and glazing 
the surface fills up the pores. Unglazed pottery is called terra cotta. 
Porcelain is glazed by being dipped into a thin mud of finely pow- 
dered feldspar. 

Besides the addition of these foreign substances all clays, except 
when used for the most common purposes, require to be subjected to a 
washing, sifting, and grinding process. They are also improved 
through exposure to the frosts and Winter rains, whereby a certain 
amount of decomposition takes place that relieves them of their im- 
purities or renders the latter harmless. 


The useful clays of every variety and degree of excellence are found 
at many places in this State. Of these, the following are the princi- 
pal: At the town of Lincoln, on the Oregon Division of the Central 
Pacific Railroad, Placer County; at Michigan Bar and at Cook's Bar 
on the Cosumnes River, Sacramento County; near the Cities of San 
Jose and San Francisco, and at various places in Sonoma, Napa, 
Humboldt, Tehama, Contra Costa, Alameda, Calaveras. Inyo, Mon- 
terey, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties. While the clay 
found at one locality, at least, is suitable for making the finest of 
earthenwares, a great deal of it answers well for making all the 
coarser varieties, as well, also, as vitrified ironstone pipe, fire-brick, 
crucibles, and other articles required to resist a high degree of heat. 
The Michigan Bar clay being well adapted for the manufacture of 
ironstone crockery, most of the potteries throughout the State obtain 
there the material for manufacturing this class of wares. The deposit 
in San Francisco, unless mixed with a better clay, is fit for making 
only the more cheap and common kinds of articles. 

Elsewhere in this Country — The occurrence of the useful clays is not 
confined to California. They are found in most of the other States 
of the Union, also in the Territories, being very abundant in the most 
of them. Coarse pottery of various kinds is made in New Mexico, 
Colorado, Utah, and Oregon; also fire-bricks — a great many of them 
in Colorado, Utah, and Montana, In several of the Eastern States, 
fire-bricks, tiles, stone-iron pipe, terra cotta, and the more common 
kinds of crockery are extensively manufactured; a very fair article 
of porcelain being also made in New Jersey and some other of the 
Atlantic States. 

Kaolin.— During the year 1883 a deposit of this valuable clay was 
discovered near the town of Calico, in San Bernardino County. The 
finding of this mineral has frequently before been announced, but 
the material which gave rise to such announcements, on investiga- 


tion, turned out to be something quite different, generally infusorial 
or diatomaceous earth, which, to the unassisted eye, has much the 
appearance of kaolin. Examined, however, under a microscope, the 
difference becomes clearly apparent, identifying this mineral without 
recourse to a chemical analysis. 

Fire-bricks. — While we have in California clays of, perhaps, as good 
quality as are found elsewhere, we have not as yet done much towards 
supplying ourselves with fire-bricks, or other articles of a highly refrac- 
tory kind. The principal reason for this has been the low prices at 
which the English bricks have sold in this market, being often brought 
as ballast on ships coming here to load with wheat. They are now 
selling in San Francisco at $30@$35 per 1,000, a price at which we can 
hardly afford to make and deliver them in the city, the principal 
distributing point on the coast. It may be, too, that our manufac- 
turers have not always used as much care in making these articles as 
they should have done; nor, perhaps, has the clay employed been 
always of the best kind. We know, from many trials made, that we 
have good, if not the very best, of clays for this purpose; and if some 
of our home-made bricks have not given satisfaction, it may have 
been because good clays were not selected; or, more likely, because 
there was a lack of skill or care in making them. Deposits of first 
class fire clay are scarce even in England, and when found are con- 
sidered very valuable. Neither in England nor France are the fire- 
bricks of uniform excellence, owing to difference in the quality of the 
clays from which they are made. The properties most desirable in 
a brick of this kind are ability to resist intense and long continued 
heat, sudden extremes of temperature, great pressure, and the action 
of corrosive substances; hence the value of a clay that fulfills, or 
comes nearest to fulfilling, these conditions. The term fire-proof clay 
is comparative, there being no clay that will resist the heat at which 
platinum melts. A brick may be said to be fire-proof that will 
answer the particular purpose for which it is required. All clays 
intended for the manufacture of fire-bricks should, however, be free 
from the oxide of iron, contain but little potash or soda, and be mixed 
with fifty to sixty per cent pulverized fire-brick, or baked clay. 

The firm of Gladding, McBean & Company has placed in the State 
Museum samples of such of their clays as have been analyzed, both 
those used for the manufacture of fire-bricks and pottery wares, an 
example that should be followed by others in the business. 

As the consumption on this coast is large and likely to increase, it 
may be expected that we will soon supply the demand, in good part, 
with fire-bricks of domestic make, fully half a million dollars having 
heretofore been paid out every year for English bricks and clay, some 
of the latter being also imported. An extensive bed of fire clay was 
discovered not long since in Inyo County, and having been tested in 
the cupola furnaces there, and found to stand well, this material will 
be likely to come into considerable use, as many structures of the 
kind will, in the course of time, be needed in that region, which 
abounds with rich galena and other ores requiring to be reduced by 


Owing to the rather bulky and fragile character of this class of 
wares, works for manufacturing the coarser kinds of pottery were 
started in California at an early day. Although most of these pioneer 


establishments have gone out of existence, we have at the present 
time eleven potteries running in the State, besides several works at 
which drain and water pipes are made from cement. As yet not much, 
except the more cheap and common articles, have been produced here, 
such as vitrified iron-stone pipes, terra cotta, coarse earthenware, tiles, 
etc. Some little glazed yellow ware and other of the better grades of 
crockery have been made, and now that kaolin has been found in the 
State, it is probable something better than has yet been produced in 
this department will be attempted. The climate of California, by 
reason of our long dry Summers and even temperature, greatly favors 
the prosecution of this industry. Our imports in this line have 
been heavy, amounting to three thousand packages per annum — 
exports about half that number of packages, the most of them sent 
to Western Mexico, Central America, the Sandwich Islands, and 
British America. The largest establishment of this kind in the 
State is— 

The Pottery of Gladding, McBean & Company, located at the town 
of Lincoln, Placer County, on the line of the Oregon Division of the 
Central Pacific Railroad. At this point the above company have put 
up capacious works, the main building being 160x230 feet, a portion 
of it three and the balance two stories high. Commenced in 1875, 
these works have since been from time to time enlarged, covering 
now two acres of inclosed floor-room. The machinery and apparatus 
here in use are of the most approved patterns, the whole being 
operated by a sixty-horse power engine. The deposit of clay at this 
point is of good quality, and very extensive, being between twenty 
and thirty feet thick and covering many acres. The articles made 
at this pottery consist of iron-stone crockery, and pipes for the con- 
veyance of water, drainage, sewage, etc.; fire-bricks, architectural 
and ornamental terra cotta wares; fire, drainage, and sub-irrigation 
tiles; culvert pipes, well tubing, water niters and coolers; stove and 
flue lining, acid receivers, vases, flower pots, baskets, and boxes; 
water-closet bowls, slop-hoppers, grease traps, etc., the goods turned 
out here fairly representing those made at most of the other potteries 
in the State. This firm employs altogether about one hundred men. 
Their general depot and business office is at 1336 Market Street, City 
of San Francisco. 

The Other Potteries in California consist of the following: The 
Pacific— proprietors, N. Clark & Sons— works, Sacramento; principal 
office and depot in San Francisco; employ eighty hands; obtain most 
of their clay from Michigan Bar, and manufacture nearly all the 
wares above enumerated. Andrew Steiger, at the City of San Jose, 
employs fifteen men, and makes a variety of articles, sewer pipe 
largely. Henry F. Bundock and George Maddox, having small pot- 
teries in Sacramento, employ from four to six hands each, and make 
not much except iron-stone crockery. The California Pottery and 
Terra Cotta Company, Miller & Windsor proprietors, have extensive 
and well equipped works at East Oakland; they employ forty-eight 
hands; obtain their clay from Michigan Bar, Sacramento County, 
and make ornamental terra cotta, vases, moldings, and trimmings 
for buildings, sewer pipes, etc.; office and depot in San Francisco, 
with a branch office in Oakland, and another in Portland, Oregon. 
Daniel Brannan works in Oakland, employs four to six men, and 
makes little besides flower pots and acid wares. Dennison & Son, 
Napa City, who employ from six to eight men, turn out only drain 


tiles. The Mission Pottery, located near the corner of Seventeenth 
and Harrison Streets, San Francisco, yard and office on Market Street, 
employs twenty hands, and manufactures iron-stone sewer pipe, 
coarse crockery, terra cotta ware, etc. This company have a small 
pottery at Michigan Bar, not running of late, though it is their pur- 
pose to start it up soon. They also own the deposit of clay at that 
place, which, being especially well suited for making stone crockery, 
is supplied to several of the other factories that make this class of 
ware. This material is also brought to San Francisco and mixed 
with the rather poor clays found in the vicinity of the city, so im- 
proving them that they can. be used for making coarse articles to 

A pottery of limited capacity was built not long since near Kor- 
bel's Mills, in Sonoma County, for making glazed earthenware from 
clay found in that neighborhood. A similar establishment was put 
up last year at Los Angeles, by Messrs. Hazzard & Earl ; deposits of 
good clay occurring at a number of points not far from that city. 
The Albion Pottery, located at Antioch, and one of the earliest 
started in the State, has not been running for some years past, and 
will probably not again resume operations. It turned out at one 
time large quantities of fire-bricks, crucibles, stoneware, etc., made 
from clay found in a seam in the Black Diamond coal mine near by. 
One of the pioneer potteries of San Francisco, standing near the foot 
of Sixth Street, was some years ago converted into a sulphur refinery, 
for which purpose it has since been used. 


The potters about San Francisco, and elsewhere near the coast, 
keep up operations the year round. In the interior of the State, not 
much is done during the Winter, except at the larger establishments, 
where the processes are carried on mostly within doors. The capital 
invested in this line of business in California amounts to about three 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars; total number of hands employed, 
two hundred and seventy-five — one fourth of them, Chinese; most of 
the smaller works, however, employ only whites; wages paid vary 
from $1 — paid the Chinese — to $2 50 per day; working by the piece, a 
common practice, skillful hands make from $3 50 to $4 per day. 

The practice that has largely prevailed in this market of importing 
English crockery by the cargo, and selling it at auction, has forced 
our local manufacturers to so improve their wares, both as regards 
elegance of design and intrinsic merit, that they now compare favor- 
ably with foreign articles of the same grades; and it may safely be 
predicted that this branch of manufacture will so grow and improve 
as to greatly curtail, and perhaps wholly exclude, importations in the 
course of a few years. The demand for stone-iron pipe, for house 
and street sewerage, must necessarily increase rapidly, by reason of 
its great superiority for such purposes; while the requirements for 
flower pots, vases, and terra cotta wares, for the adornment of build- 
ings, gardens, parks, pleasure grounds,. etc., may be expected to keep 
pace with the increase of population and the growth of aesthetic cul- 
ture among our people. Being so well provided with the raw material, 
it may be expected that works for manufacturing the higher grades 
of pottery, including, perhaps, porcelain wares, will very soon be 
established in California. We have here not only the clays, but also 


all the other ingredients required for making both the common and 
the finer kinds of pottery; quartz for supplying the silica, feldspar, 
lead, borax, and soda, being abundant in this State. 


There is a pottery in Oregon, also one in Utah, and several in Color- 
ado, the number of these works in the United States amounting, accord- 
ing to the census report of 1880, to 686; the whole giving employment 
to 8,494 hands, using up $2,564,359 worth of raw material, and turn- 
ing out manufactured products to the value of $7,942,729 annually; 
capital invested, $6,380,610; expended in payment of wages, $3,279,535 
per year. In the same year there were in this country 5,631 estab- 
lishments devoted to the manufacture of brick, tile, drain pipe, etc.; 
they had an invested capital of $27,673,616, employed 66,355 hands, 
paid $13,443,532 in wages, used up $9,774,834 worth of material, 
including fuel, made 3,822,362,000 common brick, 163,184,000 fire- 
brick, 210,815,000 pressed brick, $2,944,239 worth of tile, $1,765,428 
worth of drain pipe, $719,926 worth of all other articles, and had a 
total value of all products of $32,833,587. 


The art of molding the plastic clays into useful and elegant forms 
is one of great antiquity, having been practiced by the more enlight- 
ened nations from the earliest periods of which we have any record, 
and even perhaps by those of prehistoric times. Indeed, there is 
reason to suppose that in the broken pottery, inscribed bricks and 
other ceramic relics, dug up in various parts of the world of late 
years, we have all that remains of races who once existed, but of 
whose presence on this planet every trace, save only these simple 
impressions in clay, has been extinguished. Scattered over the val- 
leys and mesas of northwestern Mexico and of Arizona are to be seen 
fragments of pottery made probably by a people of whom there is 
left not even so much as a tradition, they having disappeared before 
the Toltecs, their successors, came to occupy those regions. Babylon 
and Nineveh are gone — so nearly obliterated that it is difficult now to 
identify the sites they occupied; but the Assyrian tablets and the 
cunieform inscriptions remain to attest the existence of these once 
mighty cities. Burned into the indestructible clay, more enduring 
than granite or marble, these simple characters survive to tell in dis- 
jointed sentences the story of the past. The initials C. H. impressed 
in the brick of which our new City Hall is built, put there to denote 
that they were intended for that edifice, may (should they prove to 
possess the lasting properties claimed for them) become to the anti- 
quary of the remote future a source of much worriment as he labors 
to decipher their probable meaning. 


Though so generally practical and held in such high esteem by the 
ancients, the ceramic art has been hardly less appreciated in later 
years, the demand for its products having kept pace with the progress 
of aesthetics and the culture of public taste. Requirements in this 
line of production, both for purposes of utility and ornamentation, 


are growing rapidly, as is shown by the number of men engaged in 
the business, and the extent to which articles of this kind are being 
introduced in building, as well as for embellishing grounds, etc. 

So far as the making the very finest grades of pottery are concerned, 
the Chinese and Japanese have in recent times divided the art be- 
tween them, for which reason the name "China" has been given to 
this class of wares; the term "porcelain," by which also they are known, 
being derived from cypre'a porcellana, which shell they resemble. 
For a long time the Europeans obtained these fine wares exclusively 
from the Orient, but finding at length excellent clays at home their 
own artisans began to imitate them very closely. In the year 1710, 
Frederick Bottcher having put up rude works at Meissen in Saxony, 
succeeded in making pottery much resembling the Chinese article, 
and a deposit of kaolin having afterwards been found near by, such 
importance was attached to it, that its exportation was prohibited 
under the severest penalties. 

In 1765, the extensive deposit of fine clay at Sevres, France, having 
been discovered, works were put up there, at which, under the super- 
vision of the Government, there have continued to be manufactured 
large quantities of porcelain ware ever since. In connection with 
these works a ceramic museum has been established at that place. 

The clay deposits of New Jersey, in connection with the potteries 
erected for utilizing this material, are of great economic value to that 
State, these works giving employment to a large number of men, 
while their products find market in all parts of the Union; and yet, 
as before remarked, there is little doubt but equally good clays exist 
in various other parts of the country, it having been proved that we 
have such deposits in California, though their extent has not yet been 
fully established. 


Owing to the destructive fires that were of such frequent occurrence 
in the towns of California during the early history of the State, 
bricks coming into large demand for building purposes, the business 
of making them was extensively engaged in, brickyards having been 
started all over the State. Of late years we have manufactured these 
articles at the rate of perhaps 250,000,000 per year, more than one 
half being used in and about the city of San Francisco, in the vicinity 
of which a large proportion of them are made, notwithstanding little 
really good clay is found there. Since the more compact portions of 
the larger towns were built up we have consumed comparatively few 
bricks, most buildings put up in the country and outside the fire 
limits in the cities being constructed of wood. The adobe, a large 
sun-dried brick, was, in early times, the only material used for the 
walls of dwellings, and in fact for structures of every kind, the corrals, 
churches, presidios, everything, being composed of this cheap unburnt 
brick, which, when protected from the rains, stands for a long time. 
In sections of the country largely inhabited by Mexicans, native 
Calif ornians, or other races of Spanish descent/ as well, also, as in 
localities where lumber is scarce, the adobe is still much employed in 
the erection of dwellings, corrals, etc. 

Nearly all our large factories, foundries, woolen mills, churches, 
suburban residences, and country villas, and, in some instances, even 
our educational institutions, are built of wood. We have, however, a 
10 27 


good many structures in which a large number of bricks have been 
used. Into the Palace Hotel San Francisco, 23,000,000 bricks have 
been laid, nearly as many having been disposed of in the construc- 
tion of Fort Point. One reason that lumber has been so generally 
employed here in building is its greater cheapness and convenience 
as compared with bricks. Then the kind mostly used for this pur- 
pose, the redwood, is easily worked, never warps, and is very durable, 
lasting, even when exposed to the weather, for a very long time. 
Sticks of this timber in the old Mission churches of California remain 
as sound as when put in place a hundred years ago. 

In selecting a site for his business the California brick-maker has 
been embarrassed by the twofold trouble of securing cheap transpor- 
tation to market and a sufficiency of clay suitable for his purpose, 
the latter not always an easy thing to do in California. Sometimes 
our clays show an excess or deficiency of sand, while again they are 
contaminated with alkali, magnesia, or other objectionable mineral. 
As much of our clay is of an inferior quality so are the beds apt to 
be superficial, few of them anywhere having a depth of more than 
fifteen or twenty feet, those about San Francisco being even more 

A great many bricks are made near the cities of San Jose, Stockton, 
and Sacramento, at all of which a tolerably good clay is found. The 
pressed bricks made at San Jose are said to be nearly equal to the 
Philadelphia article, than which there are probably no better made 
anywhere. As many as six or seven million bricks per year have 
been turned out at the San Quentin State Prison, all marketed in San 

In the manufacture of bricks two methods are employed in this 
State, the old one of burning in kilns and a new method known as 
the Hoffman process, by which they are baked in furnaces, some of 
which are capable of holding nearly half a million at a batch. The 
advantages of this system consist in a saving of time, a batch being 
burned in about a day and a half, and in the ability to continue 
operations during the Winter, when by the old plan they have to be 
suspended, the working season in that case extending only from 
April to November. The price of bricks in San Francisco varies 
from $9 to $10 per 1,000 for ordinary, and from $25 to $30 per 1,000 
for pressed. This business, in which there is hardly less than $1,- 
000,000 invested, gives employment, directly and indirectly, to about 
1,700 men during the six dry months of the year, and to about one 
third that number during the wet season, a third of the whole being 

Burners in this business receive $70 per month ; molders and setters 
$45, and ordinary hands $35 to $40 per month, board in all cases 
being included— Chinese, less these rates by thirty-five per cent. 


We have in California a number of establishments for the manu- 
facture of this class of products, of which some mention may here 
properly be made. Not much pipe of this kind has been made in the 
city of late, its use having in great measure been prohibited by the 
municipal authorities. Very extensive works for its manufacture 
have, however, been put up at Ontario, in San Bernardino County, 


where great quantities are being turned out for use in that neighbor- 
hood. This pipe is employed mainly for the drainage of grounds and 
the conveyance of water, for which purposes it answers extremely well. 
As a water conduit it is especially valuable, being cheap, healthful, 
and capable of withstanding considerable pressure. A great deal of 
it will hereafter be required in California, as we will have much land 
to drain; then, water running in flumes or open ditches undergoes 
such waste in this hot and arid climate, that it will be found eco- 
nomical to carry it largely in pipes, whereby it will be protected from 
evaporation and absorption. The extent to which irrigation must 
come to be practiced in this country, makes our prospective wants, 
in this direction, very large. Vitrified clay sewer pipe is made by 
machinery, the clay being forced by a plunger through a cylinder, 
in which there has been placed a core, the sections or joints, cut off 
in three-foot lengths, being set on end in a well aired room to dry. 
The socket for the joint is pressed in a plaster mold, and poured in 
while the clay is damp. When perfectly dry, the joints are dipped 
into a vat containing water, holding a substance known as Albany 
slip in solution. After being again dried, they are hard burned. 

Coal — see Mineral Coal. 

Cobalt— see Erythrite and Millerite. 

Cobalt Bloom — see Erythrite. 

39. COCCINITE. Iodide of Mercury. 

Locality given by Dana, San Emidio Canon, Kern County. 
Colemanite — see Priceite. 

40. COPPER. Etym. Cuprum (Lai). 

Copper has a wide distribution in nature, being found in most parts 
of the world. It is one of the few metals that occurs in the metallic 
state in nature, for which reason it was in use by primitive man long 
before he learned to extract it from its ores. It also possesses proper- 
ties that impart to it a special value. It is malleable alone, but may 
be hardened by alloying with other metals, as with tin, producing 
bronze, and with zinc, producing brass. It fuses readily, and when 

f)olished is a beautif ul metal, possessing a rich color and considerable 
uster. Copper was an article of commerce in America in the time 
of the mound builders, and perhaps earlier, as the mines of metallic 
copper, on the shores of Lake Superior, appear to have been exten- 
sively worked by a people concerning whom there exists now no tra- 
dition or record. In the days of the alchy mists copper was named 
from Venus, and given the same astronomical sign. In later times 
this metal has become indispensable, and it is fortunate that its dis- 
tribution is so general over the surface of the earth. While some of 
its ores have been found very rich, the greater portion of the world's 
product has been obtained from those of low grade. This has here- 
tofore not been generally understood, especially in California, where, 
not until recently, have any attempts been made to utilize the poorer 
varieties of ore. 



While it is well known that copper ore occurs at a great many 
places in California, we are still much in the dark as to the extent 
and value of our cupriferous deposits, so little have they as yet been 
exploited. Dr. John B. Trask, first State Geologist, reported finding 
the ores of this metal in almost every county in California. Although 
this was the first officially recorded discovery of copper in the State, 
its existence here had been well known long before. The localities 
at which more or less work has been performed, and considerable 
quantities of ore have been extracted, are the following, there being 
many others where the occurrence of the ore has been observed and 
some exploratory work done: At Copperopolis, Calaveras County, 
where a large body of good ore was discovered in the Union mine 
in the Summer of 1861. Afterwards this deposit was extensively ex- 
ploited, over 60,000 tons of ore having been extracted from it during the 
next six years, when, by reason of diminished ore supply, litigation, 
and lower prices for copper, work on this and adjacent mines was sus- 
pended, and has never since been resumed. From the Empire, Key- 
stone, and various other claims in the vicinity of the Union, several 
thousand tons of copper ore were taken during the above period, 
nearly all of which was shipped to Liverpool, at a cost (freights and 
other charges included) of about $25 per ton, this being aside from 
cost of mining, sacks, etc. Owing to these heavy expenses, no ore 
carrying less than 10 per cent metal was ever shipped from these 
mines, the Union ore sent away having averaged about 15, and that 
from the other mines about 16 per cent. At the time operations were 
suspended on the Union mine the lode had been opened up to a per- 
pendicular depth of 500 feet, at which point it showed a width of 15 
feet, and still carried a good body of medium grade ore. The depth 
reached on some of the other mines on the range was nearly as great, 
the show for ore on these being also tolerably good when work was 
closed down in 1867. 

This Copperopolis find led to much prospecting for and the discov- 
ery of numerous other deposits of copper ore in California, a good 
deal of money having been expended in the search, and afterwards 
in opening up mines and supplying them with plant, between the 
years 1861 and 1868. 


During the period above mentioned a deposit of copper ore was 
discovered one and a half miles from the town of Campo Seco, Cal- 
averas County, in a heavy cupriferous belt that here traverses the 
country. Furnaces were put up here at an early day, and a railroad 
built connecting them with the mine, which, at the time of my visit, 
I found had been opened by a vertical shaft 275 feet deep, and by 
three levels, 80, 140, and 200 feet deep respectively. From Mr. C. 
Berger, Superintendent, I learned that the vein is well defined in a 
country of slate; course of vein, northeast and southwest; dip, 62° S. 
E. In his opinion there is here a large body of ore that will average 
ten per cent copper. The hoisting-works are driven by water com- 
municated by an ordinary hurdy wheel at a cost for water of three 
dollars per day. The ores are generally chalcopyrite with some 
bornite and iron pyrites. The reduction works put up here are 


extensive and complete. The ores after being passed through a rock- 
breaker are dry-crushed by a Dodge pulverizer, and passed through 
a 40-mesh screen at the rate of twenty-five tons per day. Falling into 
a chamber, the dry pulp is carried from this to a more elevated cham- 
ber, and thence fed into a Dodge rotary roaster, lined with fire-bricks. 
As this furnace, which is forty feet long and octagonal in form, slowly 
revolves, the ore falls from each interior face in a succession of drops, 
while the reverberatory flame passes through from end to end; the 
ore at the same time moves slowly forward and finally drops into a 
receiving chamber of brick. The roasting is .so managed that the 
sulphur in the ore is oxidized to form sulphate of copper. The oper- 
ation is checked from time to time by withdrawing a portion of ore, 
and shaking it up in a test tube with water and ammonia, when it 
yields a blue solution, which is compared with similar solutions of 
known strength. This, added to preliminary assays of the raw ore, 
gives data by which the roasting may be regulated. The roasted 
ore is withdrawn from time to time from the receiving chamber, and 
extracted with water in large brick vats set at a slightly lower level 
The solution containing sulphate of copper is drawn into similar vats 
at a still lower level, into which scrap iron has been placed. In these 
vats sulphuric acid leaves the copper and takes an equivalent of iron, 
for which it has a greater affinity, forming basic sulphate of iron, 
which is drawn off and allowed to go to waste, although its value is well 
known. The cement copper is then detached from the iron scraps, 
dried, placed in bags, and sent to San Francisco, and a market. After 
a brief trial of the above method these works were shut down, and 
have since so remained, but whether in consequence of defects in 
the process employed, or the low price of cement, we are not advised. 
Cement copper, which a few years ago commanded eighteen cents per 
pound for eighty-five per cent, can now be sold for only twelve cents 
for one hundred per cent, or at that rate. 

Commencing in 1869 and continuing until 1873, Mr. E. T. Stein 
treated the low grade ores from the Napoleon mine by the Haskell 
patent process, whereby the liquors from which the copper has been 
precipitated are required to be returned to the heaps for a second 
operation. Except in this particular, the Haskell process differs not 
materially from that above described. Mr. Stein made twelve tons 
of good quality Venetian red from his waste solutions, and found the 
business, while engaged in it, fairly profitable. 


This mine, now owned by Horace D. Ranlett, of San Francisco, is 
the old Lancha Plana under a new name. It is situated one and a 
quarter miles from the town of Campo Seco, and lies on the southeast 
quarter of Section 4, Township 4 north, Range 10 east, Mount Diablo 
meridian, and appears to be on the same belt with the Campo Seco 
mine, both having been discovered in 1861. Extensive reduction 
works, including a smelter, were put up here in 1865-6, at which 
time as many as one hundred and fifty men were employed about 
the mines and works. The ground is opened by two shafts, three 
hundred feet apart; the one represented to be three hundred and the 
other four hundred feet deep— the two being connected by a level. 
There were formerly extracted from this mine large quantities of 
rather low grade pyritic ores, which are now being leached. From 


the bottom of a winze put down from a new level, over a ton of me- 
tallic copper, consisting of magnificent specimens, has been extracted, 
also masses of ore largely melaconite, and containing granules of 
native copper. These ores occur in a shistose rock having a nearly- 
vertical dip, and which is capped by a heavy deposit of gravel, for- 
merly worked for gold, and not yet exhausted. Latterly, some two 
thousand tons, composed mostly of oxidized ores, have been raised 
here, about one fourth of which was shipped to Baltimore and the 
remainder placed on the heaps now being leached. The copper- 
bearing minerals observed here consist of chalcopyrite, bornite, 
melanconite, azurite, and chalcanthite, with quartz, barite, slate, ser- 
pentine, and a rock resembling diorite. Although generally of low 
grade some of the ore found in this mine is extremely rich, the stock 
appearing to be ample to keep the reduction works employed for a 
considerable time. 

These works, erected at a cost of $2,500, differ but little from those 
of the Sunrise Company, the roasting being conducted on the same 
principle. Scrap iron delivered at the mine costs from $10 to $20 
per ton in carloads, freight being from $3 to $4 per ton. Burson, the 
new station on the San Joaquin and Sierra Nevada Railroad, is about 
four miles from the mine, the latter being twenty-three miles easterly 
from the town of Lodi on the Central Pacific Railroad. Water can 
be procured from the Mokelumne and Campo Seco Canal and Mining 
Company by laying a pipe one thousand feet in length, whereby a fall 
of one hundred and seventy-five feet can be obtained, affording a 
fifty-horse power at an estimated cost of $8 per day. The copper 
cement produced at this mine is sent principally to Boston, Balti- 
more, and New York, with a little also to Liverpool. 

The Little Satellite, an extension of the Satellite, and formerly 
called the Star, is also owned by Mr. Ranlett. It lies parallel to the 
Campo Seco mine, and shows good indications of ore, having recently 
been opened by a tunnel. From the old Star shaft considerable ore 
was extracted at a depth of ninety feet. 


Situated on the banks of the Mokelumne River, two miles from 
Campo Seco, are the Sunrise Placer Mining and Copper Reduction 
Works. The material operated upon here consists of the low grade 
ore taken from the old dumps of the Campo Seco copper mine, the 
business being conducted on an extensive scale, and, it appears, with 
very satisfactory results. Two methods of treatment are employed 
here. By one of these the ores are roasted, and by the other not. By 
the former, the higher sulphuretted ores are piled up in heaps, on a 
foundation of rough stones. Along this foundation work, at intervals 
of ten to fifteen feet, arches are formed, connected with vents in the 
chimney. The ore having been piled on these arches, the firing is 
commenced in them by burning wood; when sufficient heat has 
been produced to start the burning of the sulphur, the whole pile is 
covered with earth, and the air excluded, except small quantities 
entering the orifices at the several fire places. The sulphur con- 
tinues slowly burning for from five to seven months. White fumes 
.of sulphurous acid escape from the chimney, forming beautiful crys- 
tals of sulphur about the vents. The operation is ended when no 
more fumes are seen to escape, after which all the vents are closed 


and the pile allowed to cool. The roasted ore is then treated like the 
raw ores by the second process. 

The raw ores containing much sulphuret of iron are placed on beds 
of rough and rather large stones, the beds being horizontal and loosely 
piled. The foundation upon which the rough stones are placed is 
slightly inclined towards the collection and precipitating tanks on 
the river bank, and is made water-tight with cement. The water 
supply is obtained from a reservoir fed from a mining ditch near by, 
this reservoir being connected with the ore beds by small iron pipes. 
To the ends of these pipes flexible hose are attached, ending in 
sprinklers, which throw a gentle spray over the*piles of pyrites. The 
water sinks through the loose ore and assists in oxidizing the iron 
and copper pyrites to sulphates, which are dissolved by the percolating 
stream that flows into a collecting cistern, whence they are conducted 
to a series of sluices placed nearly level and in which large quantities 
of scrap iron have been thrown. The copper is precipitated but the 
sulphate of iron remains in solution and is allowed to go to waste. 
When the copper has accumulated in sufficient quantities the iron 
scraps are washed in a tank, whereby the copper is removed from the 
larger pieces, which are returned to the sluices for a fresh operation. 
To remove the smaller pieces of iron which result from the rapid 
solution of that metal, the cement copper is washed in a cradle on a 
punched screen through which the pulpy copper passes while the 
metallic iron remains behind. The cement is then dried artificially 
and packed in bags for shipment. The operation is simple and 
requires but few workmen, while the yield is very satisfactory. Messrs. 
F. W. and C. S. Utter, proprietors of these works, are also treating in 
a similar manner the ores from the old Napoleon and Empire mines 
near Quail Hill, Calaveras County. Mr. C. S. Utter, the superintend- 
ent, estimates the production of cement copper per annum at 9 tons 
to each man employed. The yield of the Sunrise works is about 40 
tons per year. In the above described process the sulphur and the iron 
are wasted, both of which should be saved. In roasting the crude 
ores the sulphur could be saved as sulphur or made into sulphuric 
acid. The large quantity of metallic iron scraps used for reducing 
the copper is changed in the process into basic sulphate of iron, also 
allowed to go to waste. The solutions containing it should, however, 
be run off into shallow tanks and evaporated to dryness by the heat 
of the sun. This dry residue sent to San Francisco could be converted 
into Venetian red by simple calcination, or be treated with sulphuric 
acid and crystallized into green vitriol or sulphate of iron, which is 
the best of all disinfectants for sewers and closets, and has uses in 
many of the arts. It is to be hoped that this valuable product will 
hereafter be saved and turned to profitable account. 


These mines, owned and operated by the San Francisco Copper Min- 
ing Company, are situated at the town of Spenceville, Nevada County, 
twenty miles east from Marysville, and at an elevation of 400 feet 
above sea level. The company's claim, consisting of 3,000 feet, forms 
part of the broad copper-bearing zone that crosses this region in a 
northerly and southerly direction, and which, during the era of cop- 
per excitement, already alluded to, was the site of great activity, thou- 
sands of claims having been taken up and much work done upon 


them. As the excitement died out, these claims were gradually aban- 
doned. After a time, Mr. C. Berger began experimenting on these 
ores, and becoming satisfied that they could be made to pay under 
proper treatment, the above company was formed and commenced 
operations, the method of reduction in use here differing but little 
from that employed at Campo Seco. The works of this company are 
very extensive, as are also the developments made on the lode, which 
is worked after the manner of an open quarry. The excavation opened 
covers nearly an acre, and has been worked to a depth of about 100 
feet. The ore is brought out on cars running on an incline. The 
hoisting works, mill,froasting sheds, leaching vats, etc., cover several 
acres, the improvements made by the company having cost over 
$100,000. They employ a working force of seventy-five men in and 
about the mines, besides wood-choppers, teamsters, etc., and turn out 
monthly about forty-five tons of copper cement, averaging eighty -five 
per cent metal. They keep a large supply of ore constantly on hand, 
there being, it is said, heavy reserves exposed in their mine, which 
will assay from three to five per cent copper; the ore worked averag- 
ing four per cent copper. The operations of this company are and 
for several years past have been paying a fair per cent on their invest- 

The Newton mine, in Amador County, continues to turn out cop- 
per cement in limited quantities, and with some profit; there being 
several other mines, in different parts of the State, that are extract- 
ing ore in small lots, the most of which are sent to the San Francisco 
market. • 

The following are given, with authorities, as some of the localities 
in which copper occurs in California: 

Cow Creek, Shasta County (1751); with Azurite, Telegraph mine, 
Hog Hill, Calaveras County (2401); Iron Mountain, Shasta County; 
Union mine, Calaveras County; Dendritic or Mess Copper (Blake); 
Keystone mine, Calaveras County (Blake); Napoleon and Lancha 
Plana mines, Calaveras County, and Cosumnes mine, Sacramento 
County (Blake); Santa Barbara County, disseminated in grains in 
serpentine rocks (Blake). It occurs with Rhodonite at Mumford's 
Hill, Plumas County (Edman). 


The metallic copper or its equivalent in ores produced on this coast 
may be set down for the year 1883 as follows: California, 700 tons; 
Nevada, 500 tons; Arizona, 10,000 tons; Montana, 8,800 tons; a total 
of 20,000 tons; this industry in the above Territories being now in a 
very flourishing condition. During the year 1882, there were ship- 
ped from San Francisco to England by sea 864,700 pounds of copper 
ore, and by rail east 126,541 pounds of copper, 1,795,104 pounds of 
copper cement, and 100,000 pounds of copper ore; the shipments of 
these several products for the past year having been a little larger. 


We copy from the New York Engineering and Mining Journal the 
following table, compiled by Messrs. Harry R. Merton & Co., of Lon- 
don, showing the production of copper made in the countries men- 



tioned during the past five years; the figures marked with a star 
being estimates: 

1883. 1882. 
Tons. Tous. 


Argentine Republic 



Bolivia — 



Cape of Good Hope — 

Cape Copper Company. 



Germany — 


Other German 


Italy ._"_ 



Newfoundland — 

Betts Cove 

Norway — 


Other Norwegian 


Spain and Portugal- 

"Rio Tinto 


Mason & Barry. . 




United States 

Venezuela — 

New Quebrada ... 






































































































193,454 174,596 159,711 151,057 

What promises partial relief from the disadvantage of costly trans- 
portation alluded to, is the practice now coming into vogue of concen- 
trating the low grade copper ores, or reducing them to regulus at the 
mines, a plan that in this State is likely to be widely acted upon here- 
after. It is probable, too, that we shall yet see a comprehensive 
system of reduction works established at some point on the Bay of San 
Francisco, whereat every class of copper ore can be economically and 
successfully treated, and a regular market be thus furnished for the 
product of our mines. The method here so often pursued of erecting 
small and imperfect works on the ground for handling only the richer 
portion of the ores is both expensive and wasteful. The secret of the 
success reached at Swansea, Wales, in treating copper ores, consists 
in securing great quantities of every class of ores, and through skill- 
ful selection so combining them that one class supplies the elements 
in which another is deficient. We have only to adopt and carefully 
carry out the methods practiced in these oider countries to render 
copper mining a very prosperous industry in California. 



With some improvement made in the methods of reduction, trans- 
portation somewhat cheapened, and conditions otherwise more favor- 
able now than aforetime, an increased output of copper ores may be 
looked for in California, our cupriferous resources being undoubtedly 
very considerable. Some of the richest deposits yet found in the 
State have remained unworked and but little developed, partly because 
mining for the precious metals has been with us the all-absorbing 
pursuit, and partly owing to the cost of transporting this class of ores 
to market, the Rodger's mine, in Hope Valley, lying in the eastern 
part of Amador County, being a case in point. The ore here, a com- 
bination of sulphide, oxides, and carbonates, is very rich, and so 
attractive in appearance that it has been much sought after for cabi- 
net specimens. Though discovered nearly thirty years ago the deposit 
has not yet been sufficiently exploited to determine its extent or value. 
So, also, the deposits in the Alta district, Del Norte County, though 
discovered many years ago and known to abound with ores of good 
grade have been almost wholly neglected; the fifteen miles of wagon 
transportation, over a rough country to Crescent City, having been 
the barrier to their earlier development. 


Copper ores are tested and assayed by the following methods: To 
simply ascertain if an ore, mineral, or substance contains copper, the 
simplest method is to place a small fragment on a clean piece of 
charcoal, and heat it strongly before the flame of a lamp urged by a 
blast from a common mouth blowpipe. This may be continued for 
some minutes. Then a few drops of hydrochloric acid is taken on 
a glass rod and placed on the assay. This may be repeated several 
times until the fragment of ore is wet with the acid. A fine pointed 
blowpipe flame is then directed on the assay, and if the flame is turned 
distinctly blue, copper is present. This experiment is best made in 
the dark. The ores of copper when pulverized and heated before 
the blowpipe with fluxes (carbonate of soda and borax) yield generally 
a globule of copper, which may be recognized as such by being ham- 
mered out thin and scraped with the point of a knife. If now ex- 
amined by daylight under a microscope of moderate power there 
can be no mistake, especially after some experience obtained by 

To make an assay of ore for the copper it contains, a different treat- 
ment must be employed. The ore is first to be finely pulverized and 
sifted. A portion is then weighed but with accuracy — say five grams. 
This is placed in a clean small porcelain evaporating dish, and wet 
with concentrated sulphuric acid, after which it must be stirred 
with a glass rod, or strip of glass, which must not be removed 
during the operation. The dish is then set either out of doors or 
under a chimney having a strong draft, when a few drops of nitric 
acid is poured upon it. Intense action generally takes place with the 
evolution of orange fumes of nitrous acid, the inhaling of which 
should be carefully avoided. When the action partially ceases more 
acid is added at intervals, until a green liquid is obtained, containing 
copper in solution. During this operation the mixture should be 


frequently stirred with the glass rod. Gentle heat is then applied, 
with frequent stirring on a sand bath, until the contents of the dish 
are reduced nearly to a state of dryness, great care being taken to 
prevent loss bv spurting. After the mass has been allowed to cool, 
sulphuric acid and water are added, and the whole poured on a paper 
filter Carefully washing the rod and dish with water, this is also 
poured on the filter. The contents of the latter are washed with 
water, until the dropping filtrate has no taste. When the operation 
is finished the clear green liquid is poured into a capacious and clean 
beaker glass, and gently heated. A strip of clean Russian sheet iron 
is prepared and placed in the beaker. It should be at least two 
inches wide, and long enough to project above the liquid, so that it 
may be handled. In a short time all the copper will be precipitated, 
which is shown when no more falls, when the adhering copper is 
shaken from the iron slip. The iron is then removed, and the liquid 
decanted from the precipitated copper, leaving enough to cover the 
precipitate. Boiling water is then poured on, and in a few minutes 
decanted. This is repeated several times. The last time the whole 
is poured on a weighed filter, and washed several times with boiling 
water, then with alcohol, and lastly with ether. The filter is then 
removed from the tunnel, and quickly dried on a water bath and 
weighed. When the weight of the filter is deducted, and the re- 
mainder multiplied by twenty, the result will be the percentage of 
copper in the ore. This assay is very accurate, if carefully performed 
but unreliable otherwise. The assay by the volumetric method and 
by fire may be learned from chemical text-books and works on assay- 
ing; but the above will answer the purposes of the prospector suffi- 
ciently well. 


Crystallized sulphate of copper has the following composition : 

Oxide of copper 31.86=copper, 25.3 percent. 

Sulphuric acid 32.07 

Water 36.07 


The crystals should be blue, without any green shade. They crys- 
tallize in the rhomboidal system. Sulphate of copper dissolves m 4 
parts of cold, or 2 parts of boiling water. The following table will 
show the amount, in per cents, that a solution of sulphate of copper 
contains of the crystals at 75° F. It must be assumed that nothing is 
held in solution but sulphate of copper: 

At 10° Beaume 7 percent. 

At 12° Beaume 8 per cent. 

At 15° Beaume 10 percent. 

At 18° Beaume 12 per cent. 

At 21° Beaume la P er ceut - 

At 24° Beaume 17 per cent. 

At 27° Beaume 19 per cent... 

At 30° Beaume 20 percent. 

The usual impurity of sulphate of copper is sulphate of iron, with 
which it forms a double salt that cannot be separated by crystalliza- 
tion. This may be detected by adding to a solution of the crystals, 
first, a drop of pure nitric acid, and then sufficient ammonia to form 


a clear deep blue solution; if the sulphate of copper is pure, there 
will be no residue of floating particles. If these are seen, of a flaky 
brown appearance, it is a proof that the sulphate is impure and con- 
tains iron. The quantity will give an idea as to the extent of this 
impurity. This iron can be removed and pure sulphate of copper 
obtained. This is effected by heating the crystals to dull redness and 
redissolving, which leaves the sulphate of copper nearly pure; as this 
is a costly operation it is seldom resorted to unless the copper is very 
impure. Commercial sulphate is supposed to contain some sulphate 
of iron. 

Sulphate of copper is made on a large scale in several different 

If the ore is a sulphide, which may be known by roasting a pow- 
dered sample in a shovel, when the smell of burnt sulphur may with 
certainty be recognized, the ore must be roasted. 

If no sulphuric acid is to be used the roasting must be done in a 
reverberatory furnace, with free access of air, and the roasting must 
not be pushed too far. The exact point can only be learned by prac- 
tice; it will be found to require considerable skill. When the exact 
point is reached the ore is drawn out and spread on an inclined sur- 
face, and sprinkled with water. The incline is so arranged that the 
water may be collected and again returned to the roasted ore. After 
a time the wash water becomes blue, and may be evaporated to crys- 
tallization. Sulphate of copper so obtained generally contains much 
sulphate of iron, which must be separated as before described. 

If it is intended to use sulphur the roasting must be pushed 
further. The roasted ore is then boiled in sulphuric acid and water, 
and the solution evaporated to 30° Beaume, and left to crystallize. 
This is best done in copper pans, but may be done in lead-lined tanks. • 

Some ores, such as oxides or carbonates, may be decomposed eco- 
nomically by boiling in sulphur without roasting. The following 
experiment will determine if the ore is of such a nature. Boil, in a 
porcelain dish, a small quantity of the ore with sulphuric acid, 
diluted with one half water. If a deep blue solution is obtained the 
operation may be repeated on a weighed portion, after which the 
solution may be evaporated to dryness and weighed. And thus an 
idea can be gained of the quantity of sulphate the ore will yield. Say 
the weight of the ore taken was 100 grams, and the sulphate obtained 
was 76 grams, then 76+20=1520 in pounds that a ton of the ore 
would yield by such treatment on a large scale, if a fair sample has 
been operated on. Large quantities of sulphate copper are made from 
old copper plates taken from ships. The same plan may be pursued 
to work plates from sluices and batteries and recover the gold they 
contain. There are several ways of working these plates. 

The copper sheets can be dissolved in concentrated sulphuric acid 
by boiling in a cast-iron pot which strong acid does not attack. The 
gold, if any, will be found in the bottom of the pot as a black powder, 
which may be washed and melted. The copper solution can be run 
into lead pans concentrated to 30°, crystallized, and the mother liquid 
evaporated. Sometimes copper plates are heated red hot in a rever- 
beratory furnace, drawn out when hot and hammered to remove the 
oxide; this being repeated until the whole sheet is oxidized. Steam is 
sometimes blown in to assist the process. The oxide is easily dis- 
solved in diluted sulphuric acid. Sometimes sulphur is thrown in 
and the furnace closed and the sulphuret decomposed by boiling in 


sulphuric acid. When the sulphate is dissolved, the plates are 
returned to the furnace, more sulphur added, and the operation 
repeated until the sheets are all dissolved. 

Another method is to make a succession of lead-lined tanks, one 
above the other. These are loosely filled with sheets of copper; they 
are all furnished with perforated bottoms; diluted sulphuric acid is 
pumped up into the upper one and showered over the copper from a 
rose sprinkler; this passes down through the other tanks and is again 
pumped up several times a day. The solution soon assumes a blue 
color, and gains strength. By this method the copper is in a short 
time dissolved ; when the acid becomes saturated more must be added. 

41. COPPERAS. Etym. Cujirosa (L&t). Coquimbite, in part Hydrous 

Sulphate of Iron. 

Sulphate of iron occurs in several localities in the State, and is 
generally the result of solfataric action, as at the Sulphur Bank in 
Lake County, where it is very abundant. No analysis has been made 
of it, so that its exact composition is unknown. Dr. Trask, in his 
report of 1854, fol. 56, says it is found in large quantities near the 
town of Santa Cruz; in such quantity that it could be extensively 
manufactured as an article of commerce. I formed the same opinion 
as to the sulphur bank before mentioned. Sulphate of iron is valu- 
able as a disinfectant, as a source of sulphuric acid, and Venetian red. 
It is also used in dyeing, bleaching, the manufacture of ink, and in 
chemical operations" The estimated production of sulphate of iron 
in the United States in 1882, was 15,000,000 pounds. The operation 
of making it from the crude material is easy. It is simply required 
to leach it out of the earth, and crystallize it in suitable tanks. It has 
been mentioned elsewhere that large quantities of this material were 
wasted in the production of metallic copper from the mutual ex- 
change of elements, when metallic iron is placed in a solution of 
sulphate of copper, at the extensive works in Calaveras County. In 
other places sulphate of iron could also be obtained from the refuse 
of the chlorination treatment of sulphides from the gold mines in the 
State. A sample of saturated solution of sulphate of iron was sent 
to the Mining Bureau recently, leached from ground sulphides that 
the party who sent it states could be obtained at the rate of seventy 
gallons per ton. This is only another evidence of the enormous waste 
that is permitted in the metallurgy of ores in California. 

Copper— Blue Carbonate — see Azurite. 

Copper Glance — see Chalcosite. 

Copper— Green Carbonate— see Malachite. 

42. CORUNDUM. Etym. Kurand (Hindoo). 

This mineral is composed of alumina. When pure it is sapphire, 
ruby, oriental topaz, oriental emerald, oriental amethyst, etc. When 
combined with manganese and other impurities it becomes emery, 
very valuable for the manufacture of emery wheels, and cloth, and 
whetstones for grinding, and for grinding and polishing m a pow- 
dered state. According to Baron Richthoven it is found in the drift 
in the San Francisquito Pass, Los Angeles County, California. 


43. CUBAN. Etym. Cuba. 

This mineral sulphate of copper and iron resembles chalcopyrite 
in composition. It has a brownish appearance, and it is said to be 
found on Santa Rosa Creek, San Luis Obispo County. One mass 
weighed 1,000 pounds. 1 consider this statement as doubtful. 

44. CUPRITE. Etym. Cuprum, copper (Latin). Red Oxide of 


Copper 88.8 

Oxygen 11.2 

H=3.5— 4, sp. gr.=5.85 — 6.15. Color red, almost vermilion red in 
some specimens, in others of a darker shade. Sometimes earthy and 
of brick-red color (tile ore); when mixed with oxide of iron nearly 
black. B. B. on ch. easily reduced to a globule of copper; wet with 
hydrochloric acid colors R. F. blue. Cuprite is rather a common 
mineral in California. It is found with native copper in the Pearl 
copper mine, Del Norte County; near St. Helena, Napa County, in 
masses of considerable size, with native copper; with malachite and 
calcite at the San Emedio Ranch, Coast Range; at the May Flower 
mine, Mineral King district, Tulare County; in microscopic crystals 
in the Peck mine, Copper Hill, Shasta County; on the borders of 
Mono Lake, Mono County; at the Candace mine, Colusa County; and 
near Lincoln, Placer County. 

(3369) is from the Reward mine, Plumas County. 

(3714) is from the Mammoth copper mine, Mono County. 

(4456) with native copper, from Trinity County. 

(4653) with native copper, from Meadow Lake, Nevada County. 

(4746) with azurite and malachite, Kerrick mine, Mono County. 

(5158) in microscopic crystals, with chrysocolla and cerargyrite, 
from Lundy, Mono County. 

And at numerous localities in the Inyo Mountains, Mono and Inyo 

According to Blake, it occurs sparingly in thin crusts and sheets 
with the surface ores of the principal copper mines in Calaveras 
County, especially the Union and the Keystone; in Mariposa County, 
at La Victoire mine, with green and blue carbonates of copper; in 
Del Norte County, at the Evoca, Alta, and other mines, in very good 
cabinet specimens, the cavities being lined with crystal; in Plumas 
County, and in the upper parts of most of the copper veins of the 


This mineral is a tungstate of lime and copper, first discovered by 
Prof. J. D. Whitney in 1863, and described in the Proceedings of the 
California Academy of Sciences, vol. 3, fol. 287. It has been found 
massive, and in well defined crystals. Homogeneous, yellowish- 
green color. Luster, vitreous. H=5.5., sp. gr.— 5.863. Streak, white. 
Anhydrous. Fusible ; after heating turns purple. B. B. dissolves in 
borax to opaque white bead ; dissolves in microcosmic salt with green 
color, both hot and cold. It is insoluble in water, hydrochloric acid, 


or aqua regia. Even after fusion with bisulphate of potash, a dense 
golden-yellow powder remains in either case. Fused with 1 part of 
nitrate of potash, 2 parts of carbonate of potash, and 2 parts of car- 
bonate of soda, it becomes soluble; the portion insoluble in water 
being wholly soluble in hydrochloric acid. When first found it was 
supposed to be a mechanical mixture of scheelite with some copper 
mineral, but a close examination under the microscope shows it to 
be perfectly homogeneous. A large crystal was found in Kern County, 
which would hardly occur in a mechanical mixture of two minerals. 
The specimen described by Prof. Whitney was from Lower Califor- 
nia, of which the following is an analysis: 

Tungstie acid c'77 

Oxide of copper 



Protoxide of iron 


Water L4 ° 


It has since been found in the Green Monster copper mine, Kern 
County, about twelve miles east of White River Post Office. Cupro- 
scheelite is generally found with black tourmaline. No. 3666, also 
from Kern County, has this mineral as an associate. As a source of 
tungstie acid it would be valuable if found in sufficient quantity. 

46. DATOLITE, OR DATHOLITE. Etym. " To Divide" (Greek). 

So named from the granular structure of certain varieties. It is a 
silicate of lime, containing from eighteen to twenty-two per cent of 
boracic acid, found in trappean rocks— gneiss, dionte,and serpentine. 
It is a probable source of boracic acid resulting from the decompo- 
sition of rocks. 

This mineral has, as yet, been found at one locality only, but from 
the universal distribution of boracic acid in the State, it is likely to 
be found elsewhere. The locality (of the specimen No. 2190) is a 
mining tunnel near San Carlos, Inyo County. It occurs with gross- 
ularite in fine crystals, the datholite being the matrix in which the 
grossularite is imbedded. This mineral was first noticed by the late 
J. Lawrence Smith and an account of it published in the American 
Journal of Science a number of years ago. 

47. DIALLOGITE. Etym. doubtful (Greek). Rhodochrosite, Car- 

bonate of Manganese. 

This mineral is represented in the State Museum by a single 
specimen, No. 3584, in beautiful pink crystals from the Colorado 
mine, No. 2, Monitor District, Alpine County. 


The name diamond is a corruption of "adamas" or "adamant," 
derived from two Greek words, meaning "I conquer," referring to its 
excessive hardness. It is pure carbon crystallized. Chemically it 
does not differ from charcoal, and is also nearly identical in composi- 
tion with graphite. It is the hardest of all known substances. Its 
specific gravity is 3.529 to 3.55. Diamonds are not always colorless, 


and this fact renders their determination difficult. They are some- 
times tinged yellow, red, orange, green, brown, blue, rose-red, and 
often black. When the color is decided they are more valuable than 
when limpid. When light colored, they are said to be "off color." 
The fracture of the diamond is fourfold, parallel to the faces of the 
octahedron. The fragments are octahedral or tetrahedral. It strikes 
fire with steel, the surface is often rough or striated, sometimes cov- 
ered with a scaly crust. The touch of the diamond is cold. When 
the cut gem is breathed upon the luster is lost for a moment, when 
defects are seen. 

Sir David Brewster found cavities in the Kohinoor, and other large 
diamonds, with the microscope. Black diamonds lie found to be 
opaque from a multitude of such cavities. One large diamond hav- 
ing a black spot in it was cut in two, and the defect was found to be 
vegetable mud inclosed in the crystal. 

There is a peculiar appearance about a rough diamond which can 
hardly be described. No written description would convey to the 
reader a correct idea of what it is exactly like. It is easy to say 
that they possess a peculiar luster, like spermaceti, but who would 
feel certain of the identity of a diamond from such a description ? 
Once seen, this peculiar luster becomes impressed on the mind. To 
educate the eye, models of rough diamonds are made at Amsterdam 
for the use of prospectors, and they are found extremely useful. 

The diamond crystallizes in the isometric system. Sometimes 
crystals show the impression of other crystals upon their faces. The 
Indian diamonds are generally octahedral; those from Brazil dodec- 
ahedral. It has been found massive in Brazil. In this form it cuts 
glass, scratches quartz and topaz, has a specific gravity of 3.27 to 3.52, 
and is nearly pure carbon, being completely consumed in oxygen gas. 
It occurs in kidney-shaped, irregular masses, exterior generally black, 
sometimes resembling graphite, has a somewhat resinous luster, and 
sometimes takes very singular forms. The outer coating black and 
resinous interior crystalline, vitreous and lamellar, like the diamond. 
It has been used in powder to cut other diamonds. The diamond 
cutters call this variety "cheese stones." 

Black diamonds are sometimes called "carbonate," or "carbonado." 
They are even harder than the crystallized stones. They are found 
in mammillary masses, sometimes 1,000 carats in weight. 

The diamond is supposed to be of vegetable origin, and is believed, 
by those who have studied it carefully, to be produced by slow decorii- 
position of vegetation or bituminous matters. It is generally color- 
less, but always transparent (except in case of the black diamond), 
and often found in rounded masses, occasionally in curious, irregular, 
concretionary forms, like chalcedony, or semi-opal. Generally the 
faces of the crystals are curved ; sometimes they take a nearly spherical 
form, having forty-eight faces. 

The diamond exhibits a beautiful play of colors in the direct rays 
of the sun or bright artificial light. To its luster has been given the 
name of "diamond," or "adamantine luster." Its refraction is sim- 
ple, but it possesses this power in a higher degree than most other 
minerals of equal specific gravity. In consequence of its extreme 
hardness, it can only be cut by its own powder. The common saying 
"diamond cut diamond," is exceedingly expressive. When rubbed 
it becomes positively electrical, even before being cut, in which it 
differs from all other gems. When, after exposure to direct sunlight, 


it is suddenly placed in darkness, it shows phosphorescence, and the 
evolution of light continues for some time. It is not acted upon by 
any acid or alkali, but it may be consumed and completely oxidized 
to carbonic acid at a high heat in the atmosphere. It is so difficult to 
burn that the ordinary blowpipe flame has no effect upon it. It may 
be heated to whiteness in a closed crucible without change, but it 
begins to burn in a muffle at the melting point of silver. At a high 
heat, with nitrate of potash, it is rapidly decomposed. A diamond 
may be burned away on a piece of platinum in the flame of a power- 
ful blast blowpipe. 

Newton first suggested the probability of the diamond being com- 
bustibl e. He was led to this opinion by observing its power of refract- 
ing light so strongly. It was in 1675 that he advanced this theory. 
In 1694, the members of the Academy of Florence succeeded by 
means of powerful lenses in consuming diamonds. Lavoisier and 
others proved that the diamond was not evaporated, as supposed by 
the Academicians, but was actually burned. Lavoisier found by his 
experiment that if air was excluded, no decomposition took place. 
He burned diamonds in close vessels with powerful burning glasses, 
and found that carbonic acid was produced, and discovered and 
announced the striking similarity between their nature and that of 

Sir George McKenzie found that they could be consumed in a com- 
mon muffle. In 1797, Mr. Tennant made a decisive experiment, by 
placing a diamond, the weight of which was noted, into a tube of 
gold with nitrate of potash. The tube was subjected to great heat, 
which was maintained some time. The diamond was oxidized at 
the expense of the niter. The carbonic acid evolved was conducted 
into lime water, and the precipitated carbonate of lime weighed. It 
was found to be equivalent to carbon, equal to the weight of the 
diamond consumed, proving it to be pure carbon. 

The diamond may be burned in oxygen by suspending it in a glass 
globe filled with that gas. The stone is held suspended in a coil of 
fine platinum wire, which is made red hot by passing a current of 
electricity through it. The diamond soon begins to burn, and is 
wholly consumed. Lime water or baryta water is then shaken in the 
globe, when a precipitate of carbonate of lime or baryta is formed, 
which dissolves with effervescence in dilute acids. 

The diamond can be fused by the action of a powerful galvanic 
battery. Experiments made with a view to prove this resulted in the 
fusion of six small diamonds in seven and one half minutes. On 
exposure to the greatest heat, they first changed to charcoal, then to 
graphite, after which they fused into globules. These experiments 
led to the conclusion that the diamond is not produced by the action 
of intense heat on vegetable or organic substances, which is a favorite 
theory. The diamond is a non-conductor of electricity. After a great 
fire in Hamburg, diamonds were sold for small sums, which had 
turned black, but, upon being repolished, they became again as bril- 
liant as ever. 

With the information given in this paper, and the specimen in 
the State Museum, miners and prospectors should be able to recog- 
nize diamonds if they find them in their claims, and as it is more 
than possible that gems of great value may be discovered, it will be 
well to observe the following rules in dealing with such discoveries: 


When a stone supposed to be a diamond is found, do not attempt to 
test its> hardness, even by gentle blows with a hammer. To properly 
do this, a small emery wheel may be used. Any miner can send 
to San Francisco, or elsewhere, and have such a wheel sent to 
him by mail. A suitable size would be one about two inches in 
diameter and one quarter of an inch in thickness. Such wheels are 
used by dentists and jewelers, and may be obtained from dealers in 
such goods. The wheel may be laid on the table flat, and the stone 
rubbed on it. If the stone is worn away in the least degree, it is not 
a diamond. By this simple test, the question may be answered in 
numerous cases. Should the stone resist the emery wheel, it may be 
a diamond; but this is not certain, for other stones will also stand 
this test. 

The diamond is generally, if not invariably, found associated with 
a peculiar granular laminated quartz rock or sandstone, to which 
the name of itacolumite has been given. According to Dana it owes 
its lamination to a little talc or mica. This rock is found in Brazil, 
in the Urals, and in North Carolina and Georgia, A specimen from 
the latter locality may be seen in the State Museum — catalogue num- 
ber 1371. It is five inches long, and so flexible that it may be bent a 
quarter of an inch without breaking. As far as I know, this rock 
has not been found in California. Professor Whitney does not men- 
tion it in either his volume on general geology or his auriferous 
gravels. I have looked for it at the localities of the diamond that I 
have visited, and have made many inquiries, but as yet without 

Diamonds are found in Brazil, in beds of gravelly conglomerate 
called '"cascalho," frequently cemented by oxide of iron, and from 
description, resembling some of the cemented gravels so common 
in the hydraulic and drift mines of California. In such an iron 
cemented formation a negro slave in Brazil found a bed or cluster of 
diamonds— probably in place— which sold for $1,500,000. Shortly 
after the discovery of the African diamond fields, Mr. J. H. Reily, who 
returned from thence, brought to California samples of the gravels 
associated with diamonds, which are probably preserved in some col- 
lection in the State. 

Platinum, gold, rutile, zircon, quartz, feldspar, brookite, diaspore, 
magnetite, and yttria minerals are almost always the associates of the 
diamond. Some platinum has been found in Georgia and North Car- 
olina, where a few diamonds have also been found. 

Humboldt, in one of his works ("Essay on the Bearing of Rocks"), 
calls attention to the fact that gold, platinum, and diamonds are asso- 
ciates in various parts of the globe — in some places gold, platinum, 
and palladium; in others, gold, platinum, and diamonds. In the 
River Aboite, in Brazil, diamonds are found with platinum; near 
Tejuca, with platinum and gold. These facts awakened in him the 
strongest hope of finding diamonds in the Ural, where the association 
of these metals is known to exist. When he arrived at any of the 
works, he caused the gold sands to be examined microscopically, and 
if gold and platinum were found, he directed the workmen to look 
carefully for diamonds. These examinations led to the discovery of 
microscopic crystals, previously unknown in the gold sands of the 
Ural— such crystals, as in Brazil, occurred with gold, platinum, and 

The truth of Humboldt's theory as to the existence of diamonds 


in the gold sands of the Ural was proved by the subsequent discovery 
of a valuable stone by Paul Popoff, a boy of fourteen years, to whom 
belongs the honor. It was at first supposed to be a topaz, but a young 
* reiberg student, a Mr. Schmidt, who had the necessary instruments 
to test the hardness and specific gravity, identified it as a true dia- 
mond Two others were soon afterwards found, the third being larger 
than both the others, followed by systematic search, which has since 
produced many valuable stones. 

Diamonds found in river beds are generally in amorphous, while 
those found embedded in the formations peculiar to their locality are 
covered with an earthy pale gray, yellow, or rose-red coating. The 
texture of the diamond is lamellar. 

The early history of the diamond is obscure. There seem to have 
been stones of quite different nature known to the ancients as "ada- 
mas. Pliny says: "Adamas is a mineral which for a long time was 
known to kings only and to but few of them. The ancients supposed 
that adamas was only to be discovered in the mines of ^Ethiopia 
between the temple of Mercury and the Island of Meroe, and thev 
have informed us that it was never larger than a cucumber, or dif 
tered at all from it in color." 

It is very certain that Pliny knew but little of the matter, for he 
describes six varieties, all of which, according to his description pos- 
sessed properties not found in the diamond, but he becomes absurd 
when he says that the diamond, "which resists every force of nature 
is made to yield before the blood of a he goat." To those who wish 
to verify this reaction he gives the following advice : "The blood 
however, must be warm; the stone, too, must be well steeped in it' 
and then subjected to repeated blows." P ' 

Allusions met with in their ancient mythology lead to the suppo- 
sition that the Hindoos were in possession of gems and held them in 
high estimation. 

According to Jewish history as set forth in the Bible, the diamond 
was one of the twelve gems set in the breastplate of the high priest 
But to my surprise I find that Josephus denies this indirectly As 
the discrepancy is remarkable, I have given both authorities- 

Sard i us ] 

„ U1US , Sardonyx 

I -Topaz 2 T > az 

d Carbuncle I 3 Emer £ ld 

4 Emerald I 4 Carbuncle 

D Sapphire 5 j 

ft Diamond 6 Sapphire 

Id! Amethyst | 9 A?kte 


IZ Jasper 

10 Chrysolite 

)l Onyx 

12 Beryl 

™<£U W - H ^ Seen + that ¥ *!? e lis ? given °y J^ephus that the arrange- 

AoPnJfn i + r S nt h-v!f d + i ha ^ the cl ? r ysolite replaces the diamond. 

^We°l^grf b ^ ediam0nd TO ° ne ° f the P recious *»« 

History shows that the ancients attributed great medicinal powers 


to gems. They were worn also as a protection against all forms of 
evil, some in a vague general way, while others were regarded as 
antagonistic to special diseases or accidents. Pliny claims for the 
diamond that it will " overcome and neutralize poisons, dispel delir- 
ium, and banish groundless perturbations of mind." Less than a 
century ago diamonds were borrowed from rich families to act as a 
cure for certain diseases. It is said that to prevent them being swal- 
lowed by .the patient they were secured by a string when placed in 
the mouth. 

Plato and Pythagoras must have known something of gems and 
crystals, as they have beautifully written how " Nature, in the dark 
recesses of the earth, occupies her time in working out geometrical 

It is a curious historical fact that when, during the French revolu- 
tion, the diamonds of the rich were given to the people, it was found 
that many of them were imitation. 

Until quite recently the chemical composition of the diamond was 
unknown, nor could it be cut by any means known. It was worn as 
found, and was consequently inferior in appearance to those we see 
in our day. As soon as its chemical nature was discovered, attempts 
were made to produce it artificially in the laboratory, but up to the 
present day with only partial success. 

The first diamonds came from India. The famous mines of Gol- 
conda are situated between Hydrabad and Masulipatam . Other 
localities in India have produced large quantities. It is said that 
Sultan Mahmoud, when he died, left 400 pounds of diamonds. These 
diamond fields are now exhausted and seldom produce any stones of 

Diamonds were discovered in Brazil in 1728. They had always 
been thrown aside as useless in gold washing, until one who had seen 
this gem in the rough state quietly collected a large quantity of them, 
from the sale of which, in Portugal, he realized a fortune. They are 
found in an alluvial soil, in the district of Cerro di Fria, Minas 
Geraes, San Paulo, and in other localities. Those Californians who 
have visited Rio Janeiro will remember the gorgeous display of dia- 
monds in the shop windows— the product of these mines. It is said 
that Brazil has produced over two tons of diamonds. When the 
Brazilian diamond fields were opened, it was not believed in England; 
but it was thought that Indian diamonds had been sent to Brazil, and 
from thence to England. The mines of Borneo have produced but 
few large diamonds, but great quantities of small ones. The amount 
of annual production credited to that island is 2,000 carats— l. T V$H- 
tt>s. avoirdupois. There have been two panics in the price of dia- 
monds; the first when it was known that Brazil was producing large 
quantities of this gem, and the other at the time of the French revo- 
lution. At these periods the prices of diamonds fluctuated in the 
strangest manner. 

The discovery of unusually large deposits of diamonds in South 
Africa in the year 1867 caused considerable commotion in the dia- 
mond trade. In 1880 the gross weight of diamonds that passed 
through the Post Office at Kimberley was 1,440 pounds and 12 ounces 
avoirdupois, the estimated value of which was $16,000,000. At the 
end of 1880, 22,000 blacks and 1,700 white men were employed in the 
diamond fields of South Africa; 250 men were engaged in diamond 
mining on the Vaal River the same year. 



From Kimberley and Old De Beer's mines alone diamonds to the 
amount of 3,000,000 carats are annually raised. The other mines pro- 
duced 300,000 carats in 1880. 

According to Professor Tennant, ten per cent of the Cape diamonds 
are first class, fifteen per cent second class, twenty per cent of the third; 
the remainder being of the quality known as bort, and are useful only 
to cut other diamonds, and for glaziers' diamonds, rock drills, etc. 

The most valuable diamond found in the United States was discov- 
ered in 1856 on the banks of the James River, opposite Richmond, 
Virginia; its weight was 23.7 carats (ninety-nine grains). 


A diamond over ten carats in weight is called a " princely " dia- 
mond; only one in about 10,000 can lay claim to this distinction. 
There are eight diamonds which, being of unusual size and splendor, 
are called " sovereigns." All of them are more than one hundred 
carats in weight. The following is a list of the sovereigns, and the 
most celebrated of the princely diamonds known: 



Great Mogul 


Florentine, or Toscanor 

Regent, or Pitt 

Star of the South 


297 T 3 F 
106 T V 

Princely Diamonds. 




Bryce Wright 



Hope (blue) 

Pasha of Egypt 


Polar Star 










* Thought to be a Topaz. 

There are others which could be mentioned, but the above table 
includes all those of special interest. A green diamond at Dresden 
weighs forty-eight and a half carats, and is said to possess remarkable 
brilliancy and beauty. The celebrated French blue diamond was 
lost in the revolution and never found. 

Diamond cutting not only requires great skill and judgment, but 
also the outlay of considerable capital. The largest establishments 
for this branch of industry are in Amsterdam. In the year 1872 I 
visited the works of M. & E. Coster, in that city, and saw the whole 
operation. The building is a large brick structure, every part of 
which is devoted to some branch of the trade. A beautiful and 
powerful engine in the basement drives the machinery. Vertical 
shafts pass up to the top of the building, and from these the grinding 
discs are geared. 

I was first shown the room where the diamonds are kept for safety, 
and had the opportunity of seeing some fine stones. From this room 
I was shown to another where the diamonds are split. This is a 
curious and delicate operation. Only workmen of great experience 
are allowed to attempt this work. 

The rough diamond is taken up by one of the workmen in this 
room, who studies it carefully, calculates mentally what parts can be 


removed without detracting from the value of the stone, keeping in 
mind the rule, that the value of a rough diamond is only that of the 
largest doubly truncated perfect octahedron that it will make. All 
excess must be removed . It is a great advantage to split off fragments, 
for the double reason that the larger fragments maybe cut with profit 
into small stones, to set around opals or pearls, and because it is a 
great economy of time, as the grinding down of the stone is a slow 
and tedious operation. It sometimes becomes necessary to remove 
flaws by this operation. 

The workman is well aware of the fact I have already stated, that 
the Cleavage of the diamond is fourfold, and takes of it every advan- 
tage. It is astonishing to witness the skill with which the operation 
is performed. A workman cements the stone to a piece of compact 
wood by means of strong cement, leaving the portion to be removed 
exposed. To this end he fashions the cement with his fingers, while 
still soft, then with a fragment of another diamond he makes a deep 
scratch along the line of cleavage. Then, after wrapping the stone in 
loose folds of cloth, he applies a steel rule or knife, and with a gentle 
and skillful blow with a light rod of steel, he breaks off the portion 
he wishes to remove with unerring certainty. 

From the hands of this workman the stone passes to another in a 
second room, who continues the operation by cementing it again to 
the end of a stick, and taking another diamond of equal size, also 
cemented in the same manner to a stick, he rubs the two together 
until he produces the proper facets on each — each grinding the other 
down. The workman to whom this operation is intrusted wears 
heavy leather gloves. The powder resulting from the abrasion is 
carefully collected in a box, in which oil is kept, which collects the 
dust, and prevents it from being blown away. When sufficient 
has collected, the oil is burned away, leaving a gray powder called 
"bort," which is more finely powdered, and used to polish other dia- 
monds. During the operation of grinding, the workman frequently 
touches the stone to his tongue, to see how the operation progresses; 
first, however, removing any adhering diamond dust with a camel's 
hair brush. This work does not form all the facets of a perfect stone. 

The next and last operation is that of polishing the rough cut stone, 
and of cutting away some of the edges, producing a new set of facets, 
due to a perfectly cut brilliant. 

The polishing is done on discs of iron or steel. These wheels are 
about three feet in diameter, and rotate horizontally. They move 
with great velocity, making two thousand revolutions in a minute. 
They are so true, and run so smoothly, that at first glance they seem 
like stationary tables, sustained by the vertical shafts. It requires 
some skill and labor to prepare the surface of these discs to render 
them suitable for receiving the diamond powder. Stones of varying 
fineness are used in such a manner as to leave strise on the surface, 
something like that of the burr millstone, but very much finer. A 
mixture of diamond dust and olive oil is then placed on the face of 
the disc, which is called a " skaif ." The workman then takes a brass 
tripod, of which one arm is longer than the others; in the end of this 
longer part there is a socket, which he fills with melted solder, into 
which, as it cools, he imbeds the stone, leaving the face only exposed 
which he wishes to polish. When the solder is perfectly cold and 
hard, he turns the stone down on the revolving plate, allowing the 
shorter arms to act as a claw to hold against the friction of the wheel. 


He then puts weights on the end of the tripod above the stone. These 
are heavy or light, as the face is large or small. 

The Amsterdam establishment employs from five hundred to six 
hundred persons. An establishment for diamond cutting has lately 
been started in New York, under the name of the New York Dia- 
mond Company. For many years diamonds have been cut and pol- 
ished in Boston, and quite recently the English have turned their 
attention to the art in which they once excelled. 

It requires practice to judge of the diamond in its rough state. A 
rough diamond of the first water would be hardly recognized by the 
uneducated eye as a valuable gem. In describing the diamond, many 
of its characteristics are visible only in its cut state. Half the stone 
is sometimes cut away before a perfect gem can be produced. The 
diamond washers of Brazil rub the stones together and produce a 
peculiar grating sound, by which tliey claim to judge of their value. 

There are three modes of cutting the diamond ; the rose, the bril- 
liant, and the cabochon. The shape of the rough stone, and the taste 
or want of taste of the owner, determines which style shall be adopted. 
The art of cutting diamonds by their own powder originated with 
Louis Berghen, of Bruges, in the year 1476. At first the style was a 
flat table, with facets on the edges. The brilliant was invented dur- 
ing the reign of Louis XII. Cardinal Mazarin is said to have been the 
first who had diamonds cut in that form. 

The cutting of the brilliant is governed by certain rigid rules, the 
slightest deviation from which produces an imperfect gem. David 
Jeffries, who published a treatise on diamonds and pearls in London 
in 1750, a copy of which may be found in the library of the State 
Mining Bureau, gives the rules in detail, illustrated by diagrams. 
The work also gives tables for valuing diamonds from one to one 
hundred carats, increasing by eighths of carats. 

The stone is first reduced to a perfect octahedron, in which all the 
axes are equal. Setting one axis vertical, he divides it into eighteen 
imaginary equal parts. The edges at which the pyramids meet is 
called the "girdle." The upper part of the octahedron is cut off at 
the fifth division from the top and parallel to the girdle, forming the 
face, which is called the "table." The bottom part of the stone is 
then cut off at the first division, leaving a small face called the "col- 
let;" the remainder is then a perfect square brilliant. The edges and 
solid angles are then cut into a number of facets and highly polished, 
and the brilliant is finished. 

Sometimes to make a diamond appear larger the angle of the crys- 
tal is made greater than ninety degrees. Such a stone, wanting in 
depth, is deficient in brilliancy, although appearing larger than a 
perfectly proportioned stone. Such diamonds are called "spread 
brilliants." In other cases, for certain reasons, the angle is less than 
ninety degrees. The table is then smaller than it should be, and is 
unsatisfactory to the educated eye. Jeffries' tables for valuing stones 
is used as follows: Suppose the reader has a diamond which weighs 
four and one eighth carats, and wishes to ascertain if it has been 
properly cut. With a pair of small calipers he takes the width of the 
diamond and compares it with the model of a brilliant of the same 
weight in the table. Then with the calipers he takes the thickness 
of the stone, from table to collet, and compares it with the bar below 
the model. Lastly, he measures the size of the collet; if the diamond 


is badly cut the defect will be seen at once. These tables are much 
used, and may be found in works on diamonds and precious stones. 

Diamonds are valued according to weight, purity of color, freedom 
from defects, etc. Much depends also on the state of the country 
where they are for sale. When times are prosperous and money 
plenty, they will find a readier sale than when the reverse is the 
case. There is no rule which gives the absolute value of first- 
class diamonds. But the trade is governed to a great extent by the 
formula devised by Jeffries, to whose work I have before alluded. 
His tables assume that diamonds increase in value proportionally 
to their increase in size. At the time his tables were calculated it 
was assumed that rough diamonds, both good and bad, averaged ten 
dollars (two pounds sterling) per carat. (One carat equals four 
grains.) To ascertain the value of any rough diamond he multiplied 
the square of its weight by the value of one carat. Thus, if a rough 
diamond weighed five carats, its weight would be 5X5X$10=$250. 

A cut stone was calculated differently. It was taken for granted 
that a rough diamond loses half its weight in cutting, therefore the 
calculation was made on the value of a rough stone of double the 
weight; for example: for a cut stone of five carats, 10 X 10 X $10= 
$1,000, and to this price was added the cost of cutting. The best 
glazier's diamonds are worth fifty dollars per carat, but few being 
fitted for that purpose. 

The value of fine diamonds has largely increased since Jeffries' time, 
1750, and in 1865 a diamond of five carats was worth in London 
£350, or $1,750, reckoning the pound at five dollars. The same 
authority from which I take this valuation says that the stone must 
be free from the faintest tinge of color, from any flaws, specks, marks, 
or fissures of any sort, must be bright and lively, and free from what 
is technically called "milk" or "salt." The stone must also be cut 
in perfect proportion, according to the rules before given. This au- 
thor also says that it is impossible to calculate the value of a stone 
above five carats, as the price then depends wholly upon supply and 
demand. When a diamond has a decided color it is called a fancy 
stone, and will bring a very high price. 

Unfortunately, the temptation to produce large-surfaced stones art 
the expense of the rules of the true proportion is so great that per- 
fectly cut stones are seldom seen. 

The existence of diamonds in California was early known. In the 
Annual of Scientific Discovery for 1850, in an article quoted from 
Silliman's Journal, may be found a statement to the effect that the 
Rev. Mr. Lyman, formerly from New England, saw a crystal in Cali- 
fornia of a light straw color, having the usual convex faces, and 
about the size of a small pea. He saw the crystal but for a few min- 
utes, and had no opportunity for close examination, but the appear- 
ance and form left little doubt that it was a true diamond. From 
that time to the present, diamonds have been occasionally found in 
the State. 

Mr. W. A. Goodyear is quoted in Whitney's "Auriferous Gravels 
of the Sierra Nevada of California" as follows: "He saw a diamond 
in the possession of Mrs. Olmstead, at Dirty Flat, near Placerville, 
El Dorado County, which measured nine thirty-seconds of an inch 
maximum diameter, and weighed one and a quarter carats — 5 T y ¥ 
grains. It was found by Mr. Olmstead in cleaning up the sluices of 


the Cruson tunnel, Dirty Flat." The same stone is mentioned in 
Mr. Carpender's letter. 

At the McConnell & Reed claim, on the south side of Webber Hill, 
a diamond the size of a small white bean was found. This diamond 
was discovered a few feet above the bedrock. Mr. McConnell thinks 
on a previous occasion he had thrown away a diamond as large as 
the end of his thumb, in ignorance of its true character. Two other 
diamonds were found in another claim, also on the south side of 
Webber Hill. 

Three or four diamonds were found near White Rock. Mr. Good- 
year purchased a crystal of Mr. Thomas Potts. It weighed half a 
carat — two grains; had a slight yellowish tinge, and was found in 
washing the gravel which came from a tunnel driven into White 
Rock. (See Mr. Carpender's letter.) Near the same locality three 
diamonds were found in gravel by the Wood Brothers, in 1867. The 
largest was valued by a San Francisco dealer at fifty dollars. The 
same authority gives the following localities of California diamonds: 
Jackass Gulch, near Volcano, Amador County; Indian Gulch, Loafer 
Hill, near Fiddletown, Amador County; French Corral, Nevada 
County, one specimen weighing seA~en and one half grains. 

Diamonds have been found at Volcano, in Amador County, in a 
peculiar volcanic formation, described by Professor Whitney as 
"ashes and pumice cemented and stratified by water." The crystals 
had the form of the icositetrahedron, with faces curved in the man- 
ner peculiar to the diamond. 

A formation occurs at Cherokee, Butte County, above the bedrock, 
which has the appearance of being the same volcanic mud'to which I 
have before alluded, and somewhat resembling the deposit at Volcano, 
which I have seen and examined. Strong evidence that the so called 
white lava was not an igneous flow, and that it was at one time soft 
and plastic, is shown by the leaf impressions (Museum specimen No. 
4219) presented by Dr. William Jones, and obtained two miles from 
San Andreas, Calaveras County. If the " lava " had been hot, it would 
have burned the leaves before they could have made any impression, 
and if the formation had been at all indurated the leaves could not 
have imbedded themselves, as shown in the specimen. With all our 
investigation and theories, we have much to learn concerning the 
auriferous gravels of California, their interesting mineral associates, 
and the geology of their deposition and occurrence. 

Knowing that diamonds had been found at or near Placerville, and 
not having time to visit the locality, I addressed a letter to Mr. A. J. 
Lowry, Postmaster at Placerville, asking information, and in due 
time received the following reply : 

Placerville, September 12, 1882. 
Henry G. Hanks, State Mineralogist : 

Dear Sir : Your letter of August nineteenth, to Postmaster Lowry, of this place, asking for 
information as to the finding of diamonds near Placerville, has been banded to me, with the 
request that I answer it. 

In 1871, Mr. W. A. Goodyear, Assistant State Geologist, while examining the deposits of aurif- 
erous gravels in the ancient river bed, about three miles east of Placerville, found several spec- 
imens of itacolumite, and expressed the opinion that diamonds should be found in the gravels. 
I assisted him in searching for them, and we found several in the hands of the miners. Mr. 
Goodyear bought one of them as a geological specimen. None of the parties who had them 
knew what they were, but had kept them as curiosities. The gravel in the channel is capped 
with lava from 50 to 450 feet in depth. Of late years the gravel is worked by stamp gravel 
mills, and I know of instances where fragments of broken diamonds have been found in pan- 
ning out the batteries. 


I give you the names of the finders of several diamonds in this vicinity, namely : 

Charles Reed, one. 

Mr. Jeffreys, one. 

Thomas Ward & Co., three — Two white; one yellow. One of these is now in the possession 
of Mr. Ashcroft, of Oakland, who had it cut in England. 

Cruson <fe Olmstead, four— One of which Olmstead sold to Tucker of San Francisco. It meas- 
ured nine thirty-seconds of an inch in diameter, was pure, and nearly round. I think he got 
about $300 for it. 

Thomas Potts, one— Which he sold to Mr. Goodyear for fifteen dollars. It was small, and flawed. 

Jacob Lyon, one — Light straw colored, about the size of a medium-sized pea: also, several 
fragments obtaiued from the tailings of a gravel mill at the Lyon Mine. 

A. Brooks, one — Small white. 

F. Benfeldt, one — Small yellow, weighs two grains. It passed through a gravel mill. 

The diamond mentioned in your letter as being " found by a lady in a dump at the mouth of 
a shaft," was probably the one found by Mrs. Henderson, in some tailings that had been washed 
for gold. 

Yours, truly, 


Mr. Melville Attwood was among the first to predict the discovery 
of diamonds in California. The following is an extract from a news- 
paper article written by him in 1854: 

I am anxious to call attention to the chance of finding diamonds in this country, and the 
likelihood of their being overlooked. The rocks in which they occur are common in California. 
Itacolumite, a soft micaceous sandstone, always the associate of the diamond, is also found here. 
The graflrel always found in the river washings so closely resembles the "cascalho," or "dia- 
mond gravel " of Brazil, that I think it very probable that if proper search was made diamonds 
would be found. 

Mr. Attwood spent several years in the diamond districts of Brazil, 
and is familiar with the subject of which he wrote. 

In August of this year I visited Cherokee, Butte County, specially 
to study that celebrated diamond locality. Mr. A. McDermott, drug- 
gist of Oroville, says that a diamond was sent to him in 1862 which 
was as large as a small pea. It was nearly globular and obscurely 
crystallized and of yellow color. He does not know the subsequent 
history of the stone, where it was found, or the owner's name. 

At Cherokee, diamonds and zircons are found in cleaning up sluices 
and undercurrents. The first notice of diamonds at this locality dates 
from 1853, the largest discovered, which was two and a quarter carats 
(nine grains), is now in the possession of John More. There have 
been from fifty to sixty found, from first to last; some were rose colored, 
some yellow, others pure white, and all associated with zircons, plati- 
num, iridium, magnetite, gold, and other minerals. 

A similar association of metals occurs in the northern counties of 
California, especially in the region drained by the Trinity River, in 
the sands of which microscopic diamonds are actually found. The 
same may be said of the vicinity of Coos Bay, in Oregon, and along 
the banks of Smith River, in Del Norte County. Miners throughout 
this whole region, and in the hydraulic mines, should search carefully 
for diamonds, and should send anything they find, which is likely to 
be such, to the State Mineralogist for identification. Diamonds may 
be looked for in flumes, and in cleaning up sluices, with gold and 
platinum. An examination of the platinum sands of the Trinity 
River was made by Professor F. Woehler, of Gottingen, who found 
diamonds in them. After removing gold, platinum, chromic iron, 
silica, ruthenium, etc., by the usual methods, he examined the residue 
microscopically, and observed colorless, transparent grains, which he 
presumed to be diamonds. Subsequent combustion in oxygen and 


precipitation from solution of baryta, by the carbonic acid evolved, 
convinced him that the microscopic crystals were true diamonds. 
This fact is an extremely important one to the inhabitants of the 
Pacific Coast. 

Platinum minerals have been found rather abundantly in Butte 
County. At St. Clair Flat, near Pence, they were collected in quantity 
in the early days of placer mining. They are found also at the Corbier 
mine, near Magalia (Dogtown). In 1861 a diamond was found one 
and a half miles northwest of Yankee Hill, Butte County, in cleaning 
up a placer mine. The stone was taken from the sluice with the gold, 
and sold to M. H. Wells, to whom I am indebted for this information. 
Mr. Wells presented the gem to John Bidwell, of Chico, who had it 
cut in Boston. It weighed one and a half carats — six grains. Mr. 
Bidwell gave the diamond to his wife, who now wears it on her finger. 
This was the only diamond found at the locality. 

The State Museum is indebted to Mr. Louis Glass, Secretary of the 
Spring Valley Hydraulic Gold Company of Cherokee, for fine samples 
of platinum No. 4224 gold, No. 4225, and other interesting minerals 
from that locality. 

A fine diamond from the Spring Valley mine, Cherokee, has also 
been presented to the State Museum No. 4033 by Mr. G. F. Williams, 
Superintendent, which has been placed in the Butte County case in 
the State Museum. Samples, also, of the gravels, and concentrations 
of black sands, platinum minerals, lava, bedrocks, etc., have been 
collected, and being now in process of arrangement, will soon be 
properly displayed. Samples of the interesting association of black 
sands described by me, and in Professor Silliman's papers, have been 
set aside for those who desire to make a special study of them, and 
to whom specimens will be sent on application. I had the pleasure 
of seeing a number of other diamonds from this locality during a 
recent visit. Mrs. Harris has a beautiful Cherokee rough diamond 
set in a ring. Mr. Harris, who was formerly Superintendent of the 
Spring Valley Hydraulic mine, has another, which has been cut. 
Of the two, I consider the natural crystal the most interesting and 
beautiful. Mrs. W. C. Hendricks, of Morris Ravine, near Oroville, 
also has a fine Cherokee diamond set in a ring. 

A very interesting stone has lately been brought to my notice, which 
was found in July, 1883, by George Evans, on the surface of the ground 
at Rancheria, a small mining camp about four miles northwest of 
Volcano, Amador County. It weighs 255 milligrams. Its length is 
0.315 inches; thickness, 0.215 inches. It is irregularly globular in 
form, all the faces being convex. Its form, magnified seven diam- 
eters, is shown in the cut. It is pale straw colored, very brilliant, 
and, as far as could be distinguished even under the microscope, is 
without a flaw. 


Amador County Diamond, magnified seven diameters — drawn with camera lucida. 

Miners are generally not familiar with the appearance of diamonds 
in the rough state, and would most likely mistake them, if found, for 
chalcedony or some similar mineral. If in crystal form, it would be 
to them a crystal only — interesting for the moment, to be soon thrown 
aside as useless. A case has been mentioned in which a beautiful 
crystal, supposed to be a diamond, being found in some placer mine 
in California, was put to the following test: It was placed on an anvil 
and struck a heavy blow with a sledge hammer, it being assumed that 
the diamond, being the hardest of known substances, could not be 
broken. This idea is more ancient than is generally supposed. The 
statement has been made by Pliny, but it is doubtful if he ever made 
the experiment himself. In speaking of Adamas, he says " it cannot 
be crushed, but would split hammers and anvils in the attempt." 
'It is certain that this is a mistake. The diamond can be split on the 
edge of a knife, and even a light blow with a hammer might destroy 
the most costly gem. 


A diatom is generally admitted to be a single-celled plant, bearing 
a singular relation to the animal and even to the mineral kingdom, 
being considered by some as belonging partly to the latter, and regarded 
as a vegetable crystal, differing only from minerals in having the 
power of locomotion and of multiplying by separation. Kutzing 
says: "In comparing the arguments which indicate the vegetable 
nature of the diatomaceae with those which favor their animal nature, 
we are, of necessity, led to the latter opinion." 

In connection with the idea that the diatom pertains somewhat to 
the mineral as well as the animal kingdom, it is a curious fact that if 
silica, deposited from fluoride of silicon, be crushed between plates of 
glass, and examined microscopically, with a medium power, markings 
may be seen on the outer surfaces of the vesicles which resemble those 
of the diatoms, especially pleurosigma and coscinodiscus. It is also 
remarkable that Dr. James Blake collected fifty species of living dia- 
toms from a hot spring in Pueblo Valley, Nevada, the temperature of 
which was 163 F. Flint probably originates from diatoms, as does 
also the silica in certain rocks. 

The name diatom is derived from a Greek word signifying being 


cut in two. Diatoms resemble the desmids, but differ in having an 
outer skeleton, or frustrule of silica. The frustrule of a diatom is a 
silicious box, always in two parts, one slipping over the other like a 
pill box, or with edges opposed. The thickness of a single diatom is, 
roughly, the sixth that of a human hair, and its weight is estimated 
at the 187-millionth part of a grain. Some varieties attach them- 
selves to other bodies as the algse, while others swim in the water free. 

The study of the diatomacese, aside from the scientific interest, is 
very fascinating. Their extreme and varied beauty is a source of 
constant pleasure to the microscopist, and the question is often asked, 
why is so much beauty vailed from human sight ? 

The beauty of the diatoms consists in their color, their general 
form and sculpture, or natural markings, which characterize nearly 
all of them. These delicate markings are seen under the microscope 
to be processes, knobs, bosses, concavities, ribs, groovings, and lines, so 
minute that the highest powers made by the most skillful opticians are 
required to see them at all; even then, they can only be resolved when 
the apparatus is manipulated by the most skillful operators. The 
lines of certain diatoms have been measured and are used to test the 
magnifying and penetrating power of object glasses. A slide called 
a test plate has been prepared, on which twenty well known species 
are mounted, commencing with one on which the lines are compar- 
atively coarse, and ending with one — Amphipleura pellucida — which 
has 130,000 lines to the linear inch. For the convenience of study, 
typical diatoms are mounted on a single glass slide, so arranged that 
reference can be made to a printed catalogue for the names, while in 
some cases the names of the species are micro-photographed on the 

The diatoms are placed on the plate by the aid of an ingenious 
device called a mechanical finger, by means of which the shells can 
be picked up singly and given the desired position. Moller's typen 
platte number one, has four groups, twenty-four lines in each, com- 
prising about 500 individuals, of 395 distinct species and seventeen 
genera. The cost, with printed catalogue, is forty dollars. Some 
microscopists are so fond of the study of these minute forms, that 
they scarcely do any other work than to observe, collect, classify, and 
describe thejn. 

When it is stated that the names of more than 4,000 distinct species 
of diatoms are given in a catalogue published by Frederick Habir- 
shaw, of New York, each of which has some feature by which it may 
be distinguished; that this vast kingdom, so to speak, is invisible to 
the human eye, or nearly so; that when highly magnified many of 
the species are extremely beautiful, and all of them interesting, it is 
easy to understand why so much interest is taken in them the wide 
world over, and why every new discovery is heralded, and calls for 
samples come from the whole scientific world. 

It is an established fact, strange as it may seem, that some of the 
greatest mountain chains, such as the Andes, and the very soil beneath 
our feet, is chiefly composed of the remains of animalcules, invisible 
to the eye; that is to say, the matter has been used by animated beings 
and returned again to the mineral kingdom, retaining the form which 
it assumed while a part of their minute bodies. Byron has written, 
with more truth than he probably realized, that "the dust we tread 
upon was once alive;" and the remark of Dr. Buckland is often quoted: 
" The remains of these minute animals have added more to the mass 


of minerals which compose the exterior crust of the globe than the 
bones of the elephants, hippopotami, and whales." 

In the tertiary age, beds of diatomaceous or infusorial earth were 
deposited, consisting almost wholly of these microscopic organisms. 
The extent of some of these deposits is almost incredible, and is 
regarded as an evidence of the great age of the world. The Bohemian 
deposit in Europe is fourteen feet thick, and, by the estimation of 
Ehrenberg, contains 40,000,000,000 diatoms to the cubic inch. 

Darwin observed in Patagonia, along the coast, for hundreds of 
miles in extent, a bed of tertiary sedimentary formation 800 feet in 
thickness, overlaid by a stratum of diatomaceous earth. At Bilin, in 
Austria, a bed of infusorial earth, fourteen feet thick, occurs. One 
merchant sells annually many hundred tons of it. The Bergh mehl, 
or mountain meal of Lapland and Norway, is from beds thirty feet 
in thickness. It must be remembered that these deposits extend over 
many thousands of square miles. Notwithstanding the astonishing 
fact that vast areas of the earth's surface are built of these minute 
forms, the true nature of these deposits was not known until 1837, 
when Ehrenberg published his celebrated work on that subject. The 
same deposition is taking place at the present time. In certain lakes 
in the United States and elsewhere, deposits several inches in thick- 
ness accumulate, composed wholly of the remains of recent diatoms. 
When thoroughly dried, a chalky powder is obtained, which, under 
the microscope, is easily recognized. Similar deposits have been 
made known by dredging the bottom of the sea. 

■ According to Prof. Joseph Le Conte, of the California State Univer- 
sity, in the deeper parts of Lake Tahoe, which sediments do not 
reach, the ooze is composed wholly of diatoms or infusorial shells. 

Dusty showers of a grayish or red color are not unfrequent on the 
Atlantic and Indian Oceans, near the coast of Africa. Ehrenberg 
examined this dust, and found it to consist largely of diatoms. He 
estimated the quantity let fall during a dust shower in the year 1846, 
near Lyons, at 720,000 pounds, one eighth of which was diatomaceous, 
or 90,000 pounds, equal to forty-five tons. Diatomaceous earth may 
be distinguished from other formations of a similar appearance by 
its insolubility in acids, extreme lightness, power of absorbing liquids, 
and property of polishing metals. It is instantly recognized under 
the microscope in the hands of one who is familiar with its use. 
Diatomaceous earth has its uses as well as its scientific interest. It is 
largely consumed as a polishing powder, under the name of tripoli, 
from the locality which first gave it to commerce. It is known in 
California by the absurd name of electro-silicon, and at the East by a 
variety of trade names. It is a very convenient source of soluble 
silica, employed in the manufacture of silicate of soda or potash, also 
known as soluble glass. The manufacture of this compound is sim- 
plicity itself. Carbonate of soda, or potash, as the case may be, is 
dissolved in boiling water to saturation, in a capacious iron kettle, 
and fresh hydrate of lime added until all the carbonic acid is precip- 
itated, and the alkali becomes caustic. Diatomaceous earth in a 
powdered state is then added as long as silica is dissolved, and the 
whole covered and allowed to cool. When the insoluble matters 
have settled, the clear liquid is drawn off and evaporated in a clean 
vessel to the required density. 

Diatomaceous earth is also used in the manufacture of porcelain, 
and is a constituent of certain cements and artificial stones. At one 


time it was claimed to be a fertilizer, but this is thought to be a 
fallacy, although Ehrenberg states that the fertilizing power of the 
Nile mud is furnished by fossil infusoria. Slabs of diatomaceous 
earth absorb liquids with avidity, and are used in laboratories for 
drying crystals and filters. This property might be more generally 
utilized, if better known. 

A convenient contrivance for lighting fires is a lump of diatoma- 
ceous earth with a handle of stout iron wire. It is dipped into a 
vessel of petroleum, placed in the stove or fireplace, and lighted with 
a match. It continues to burn safely for some time. It can be used 
again and again. No person, however, should make use of it who 
has not the common sense to carefully set away the vessel containing 
the coal oil before lighting the match. 

Bricks that float in water are made of diatomaceous earth mixed 
with one twentieth part of clay and well burned. The art of making 
these floating bricks was well known in the time of Pliny, but was 
afterwards lost. It has recently been rediscovered. In the Italian 
department of the Paris Exposition of 1878, these bricks were exhib- 
ited, which attracted considerable attention. Floating bricks, made 
wholly of California material, may be seen in the State Museum. 

Keiselghur, or " flint froth," of the Germans, from a deposit in 
Hanover, is extensively used in the manufacture of dynamite, giant 
powder, lithofracteur, and other explosives. Diatomaceous earth 
absorbs from three to four times its weight of nitro-glycerine, with 
the advantage over other absorbants of retaining the nitro-glycerine 
under greater pressure. Dynamite contains twenty-seven per cent 
and lithofracteur twenty-three per cent of diatomaceous earth. Before 
the keiselghur can be used, it is subjected to treatment to remove 
water, all organic matter, and coarse particles. It is first calcined in 
a succession of furnaces, crushed between rollers, and sifted. It is 
claimed that the diatomaceous earths of California are unfit for this 
purpose, but-it is my opinion that they have not had a fair trial. 

Diatomaceous earth is largely used in the manufacture of soap, to 
mechanically increase its detersive power. The Standard Company 
receive large quantities of it from the southern counties of the State. 
A polishing powder is sold in San Francisco under the name of " El 
Dorado Polish." It comes from Prospect Flat, three fourths of a mile 
from Smith's Flat, near Placerville. It is a diatomaceous earth. The 
deposit is called the "Silicon Lead." 

Diatomaceous earth has been used with cement as a lining for fire- 
proof safes, and in the fining of wines. It is not to be supposed that 
all the uses of this remarkable substance have been discovered; it 
remains for the intelligent inventor to search for new applications. 

Diatomaceous earths are abundant in California, some of them 
being very interesting. The Monterey deposit has long been known 
to the scientific world. Dr. James Blake, who has made this subject 
a special study, thinks that all the California earths are of the mio- 
cene age. 

The following is a list of the localities represented in the State 
Museum, samples of which (except the Santa Monica) will be fur- 
nished to specialists who make application for them. The numbers 
refer to the Museum catalogue: 

35. Santa Monica, Los Angeles County. 
175. lone Valley, Amador County. 



240. Los Angeles County. 

436. San Gregorio, San Mateo County. 

444. San Joaquin Valley, near San Carlos Ranch. 

547. Seacoast, 40 miles north of San Diego. 

557. Staples' Ranch, San Joaquin County. 

654. Ten miles north of Petaluma, Sonoma County. 

791. Santa Barbara. 

830. Monterey County. 
1 184. Near Comanche, Calaveras County. 
1246. Lost Spring Ranch, Lake County. 
1284. Santa Catalina Island. 
1331. Dutch Flat, Placer County. 
1448. Port Harford, San Luis Obispo County. 
1742. Fourteen miles below San Pedro, Los Angeles County. 
1832. Eighteen miles southeast of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. 

Of all those mentioned above, the Santa Monica is the most noted. 
Slides of this material grace the cabinets of microscopists in all parts 
of the world, and yet the deposit from which it came is not known. 
The history of the specimen which furnished so much to science is 

In March, 1876, Mr. Thomas B. "Woodward, then connected with 
the United States Coast Survey, sent a fragment of diatomaceous 
earth to the California State Geological Society, which he found in 
tidal refuse on the seashore near Santa Monica, Los Angeles County. 
The piece could not have weighed more than two pounds, and had 
so long been subjected to the action of the waves that the edges and 
angles were rounded. The exact locality was two miles southeast 
of the lagoon, and several miles southeast of Santa Monica. He 
saw no other sign of a deposit of the earth. The genuine Santa 
Monica (which name refers to the waif) is now the most interesting 
of any known, and is prized above gold. Several attempts have 
been made to discover the origin of the fragment, but so far without 

The following list of diatoms found in the Santa Monica will give 
some idea of its prolific character. The list is by no means complete, 
being only those identified by William J. Gray, M.D., of London, 
England; Charles Stodder, of Boston, Mass.; F. H. Engels, M.D., of 
Nevada City, Cal., and Wm. Norris, of this city. The State Mineral- 
ogist will be pleased to receive contributions to the catalogue from 
any diatomist who may see this article: 


1. Actinophseni sp] en dens. 

2. Aetinoptychus superbus. 

3. Actinocyclus interpunctatus. 

4. Arachnoidiseus ornatus. 

5. Arachnoidiseus ehrenbergii. 

6. Amphitetras elegans. 

7. Amphitetras wilkesii. 

8. Asterolampra variabilis. 

9. Asteromphalus darwinii. 

10. Auliscus elegans. 

11. Auliscus mirabilis. 

12. Auliscus notatus. 

13. Auliscus pruinosus. 

14. Auliscus racemosus. 

15. Auliscus reticulatus. 

16. Auliscus sculptus. 

17. Auliscus hardmanianus. 

18. Aulacodiscus browneii. 

19. Aulacodiscus kittonii. 

20. Aulacodiscus margaritaeeus. 

21. Aulacodiscus oregonensis. 

22. Aulacodiscus pulcher. 

23. Biddulpbia aurita. 

24. Biddulphia Johnsonian a. 

25. Biddulphia tuomeyii. 

26. Campylodiscus. 

27. Chsetoceros. 

28. Climacosphenia moniligera. 

29. Cocconeis parmula. 

30. Cocconeis punctatissima. 

31. Cocconeis fimbriata. 

32. Cocconeis scutellum. 

33. Cocconeis splendida. 

34. Cocconeis pseudomarginata. 

35. Cocconeis grevillii. 

36. Coscinodiscus gigas. 

37. Coscinodiscus concavus. 

38. Coscinodiscus oculus-iridis. 

39. Coscinodiscus subtil is. 

40. Coscinodiscus robustus. 



41. Cosmoidiscus elegans. 

42. Cresswellia rudis. 

43. Dietyocha (?) variens. 

44. Ditylum. 

45. Discoid forms— rare and very plenty. 

46. Euodia gibba. 

47. Eupodiscus oculatus. 

48. Eupodiscus rogersii. 

49. Endyctia oceonica. 

50. Gephyria constricta. 

51. Gephyria gigantea. 

52. Gephyria incurvata. 

53. Gephyria telfairise. 

54. Grammatophora marina. 

55. Grammatophora — unnamed large variety. 

56. Grammatophora macilenta. 

57. Grammatophora serpentina. 

58. Goniothecum. 

59. Glypodiscus stellatus — 4, 5, and 9 pro- 


60. Hyalodiscus californicus. 

61. Hemiaulus californicus. 

62. Hercotheca. 

63. Heliopelta leeuwenhoekii. 

64. Heliopelta nitida. 

65. Isthmia nervosa. 

66. Melosira sol. 

67. Navicula califomica. 

68. Navicula excavata. 

69. Navicula lyra. 

70. Navicula nebulosa. 


Navicula praetexta. 

Navicula spectabilis. 

Omphalopelta moronensis. 

Omphalopelta versicolor. 




Porpeia quadrata. 

Porpeia ornata. 

Rhabdonema adriaticum. 


Rutilaria epsilon. 

Rutilaria obesa. 

Stictodiscus californicus. 

Stictodiscus hardraanianus. 

Stictodiscus — new form. 

Synedra — very large. 

Stephanopyxis oblongus. 

Stephanopyxis umbonatus. 


Stauroneis aspera. 

Triceratium arcticum. 

Triceratium niontereyii. 

Triceratium parallelum. 

Triceratium wilkesii. 

Triceratium — large variety of forms. 

Triceratium, with five or six angles. 

Xanthiopyxis — new. 

Xanthiopyxis oblonga. 

Xanthiopyxis umbonatus. 

50. DOLOMITE. Named from the French geologist Dolomieu. 
Carbonate of Lime and Magnesia, 

When pure it has the following composition : 

Carbonate of lime 54.35 

Carbonate of magnesia 45.65 

11=3.5 — 4, sp. gr. 2.8 — 2.9; color, white, gray, green, brown, and 
nearly black. Many limestones contain magnesia, and are classed 
as magnesian limestones. Dolomite may be distinguished from lime- 
stone by the feeble action of cold acids upon it, although when the 
acid is hot, the effervescence produced is energetic. Dolomite makes 
better and more durable mortar than ordinary lime, and it is gen- 
erally an excellent building stone, though some varieties decompose 
when exposed to the humid, smoky, and sometimes acid atmosphere 
of large manufacturing cities, like London. Dolomite is rather 
abundant in California, and is found, according to Blake, at the fol- 
lowing localities : Amador County, in narrow snow white veins, tra- 
versing a talcose chloritic rock and bearing coarse free gold; Calaveras 
County, Angel's Camp, in the Winter Hills and other mines, 
massive, with the quartz veins, and bears gold; sometimes in fine 
crystals, lining cavities; San Bernardino County, at the Amargosa 
mine, bearing coarse gold. It is also found with pyrite, at Mumford's 
Hill, Plumas County (Edman), at Mount Catherine, Napa County, 
and in Mendocino County. 

The following localities are represented in the State Museum: 
(2175) from the Modoc mine, Inyo County. (2238) resembling fos- 
sil coral, Moro, San Luis Obispo County. (2524) in nodules, from 


a few inches to a foot or more in diameter, some of them containing 
cavities lined with crystals. (4483) pure white variety, Amargosa 
wash, San Bernardino County. This rock is very common in the 
Inyo Range, from the White Mountains, Mono County, southward. 
White Mountain peak is named from the appearance of its summit 
which seems to be composed of this rock, often mistaken for snow, 
and which is found in great quantities at its base. (5051) is a 
specimen of the same from near Independence, Inyo County. (5558) 
is the same rock found at Tujunga Canon, San Gabriel Mountains, 
Los Angeles County. 

51. DUFRENOYSITE. Etym. Dufrenoy, French mineralogist. 

A mineral composed of Sulphur, arsenic, and lead. Said to be 
found in the Union mine, Cerro Gordo, Inyo County (doubtful). 

Electrum — see Gold. 

52. EMBOLITE. From a Greek word, meaning an intermediate. 

This is a chloro-bromide of silver. Except in being dark green in 
color, it resembles cerargyrite, and may be distinguished by the tests 
given under that head. It is rather an abundant mineral in south- 
ern California, but is seldom found in masses of any considerable 
size, being generally disseminated throughout the other ores of silver, 
Or occurring in their crusts. It is almost always associated with 
cerargyrite, for which it is often mistaken. It is found in the Minnie 
mine, Sweetwater Range, Mono County, and in the Indiana mine, 
near Swansea, Inyo County. No. 5025 is a large specimen of silver 
ore (brecciated), a large portion of which is covered with embolite. 
It is from the Alhambra mine, Calico district, San Bernardino County. 

Emerald Nickel — see Zaratite. 

53. ENARGITE. Etym. obvious (Greek). 

This mineral is a sulpho-arsenide of copper, sometimes containing 
antimony, iron, silver, or zinc. It occurs at least at one place in Cali- 
fornia, where it is abundant, associated with pyrite and other min- 
erals. It has a disposition to change to arsenious acid and sulphate 
of copper, a reference to which has been made under the head of 
arsenolite. The locality is the Morning Star mine, Monitor District, 
Alpine County, from which there are fine specimens in the State 
Museum, Nos. 639 and 2832. 

54. ENSTATITE. Etym. An Opponent (Greek). Bronzite. 

This mineral is a silicate of magnesia, alumina, iron, lime, manga- 
nese, etc. The variety Bronzite is found in Alameda County. No. 
4237 is from the Berkeley Hills. 

55. EPIDOTE. Etym. Increase (Greek). 

Is a silicate of alumina, lime, iron, etc., which occurs sparingly in 
California, at Long Valley, on the Mohawk road, Plumas County 


(Edman), Miners' Ravine, Placer County (Dana). It has been found 
with copper ores in Calaveras and El Dorado Counties, but the exact 
localities are uncertain. 

Erubescite — see Bornite. 
56. EPSOMITE. Epsom Salt, Hair Salt, Sulphate of Magnesia. 
MgO SOs+7 HO. 

Magnesia . 


Sulphuric acid _ _ __ 025 

Water '__'_"'_ ~.""~_V_V_~_~_ 1V"//////_1~_~_" "_'"_'_ 51.2 


This rather rare mineral occurs in the Redington quicksilver 
mine, Napa County, in curved porous crystals several inches long, 
white color, nearly wholly soluble in water, gives much acid water in 
closed tube, and a black sublimate of sulphide of mercury which is 
present as an impurity. B. B. on ch. melts in its water of crystal- 
lization, and becomes pink on addition of nitrate of cobalt at a red 

A qualitative analysis shows it to contain alumina, and traces of 
iron. The small residue left after solution in water was examined 
microscopically and found to consist of black, yellow, and transparent 
particles, some sulphide of iron (pyrites), and a small amount of 
cinnabar. The black particles proved to be magnetite, the yellow 
free sulphur, and the transparent, selenite— altogether an interesting 
association, and one that will be studied more carefully in the future 
This specimen has been entered No. (6001) in the Museum catalogue. 

Erubescite — see Bornite. 

57. ERYTHRITE. Etym. Red (Greek). Arseniate of Cobalt. 

This rare mineral has recently been found in California and Ne- 
vada. It is found as a rose-red incrustation on a grayish earthy min- 
eral at the Kelsey mine, Compton, Los Angeles County (2805) It 
was described by Prof. William P. Blake in "Contributions to the 
Mineralogy of California," in the appendix to the second annual 
report of the State Mineralogist, 1882, which is repeated here: 

Erythrite: Cobalt Bloom. In minute mamillary incrustations, showing when broken radial 
aggregations of silky, fibrous crystals. Color: deep carmine or rosy-red, also, peach-blossom 
red. btreak same color, but blue after the mineral has been heated. It gives the usual reac- 
tions for cobalt, arsenic, and water. Occurs also in massive earthv a^re^ations of small 
fibrous crystals, ot a rose-pink color. It is associated with an ore of silver ami cobalt in dark 
colored earthy masses a mechanical mixture, assaying at the rate of 5,000 to 6,000 ounces of 
silver to the ton, but the precise nature of which is not yet ascertained, in a gangue of heavy 
spar containing also nodular masses of chaleopyrite (yellow copper ore). This is believed to 
be the first observation of the occurrence of this species in the United States. 

This mineral, which is valuable, may be easily distinguished by 
the following reactions: B. B. on ch. gives off arsenic fumes, which 
smell like garlic; when the fumes cease, the assay powdered in an 
agate mortar yields to a bead of borax a beautiful blue color. The 
mineral is soluble m muriatic acid, giving a rose-colored solution 

Cobalt is a metal named from Cobalus, the demon of miners The 
ores were at first considered mysterious and intractable (Ure) 


It is reddish gray in color, sp. gr. 7.7, magnetic, slightly malleable, 
fuses at a lower temperature than iron, but higher than gold. It has 
no use in the arts, but its oxide is largely employed to color glass, and 
in porcelain painting, for which purpose it has been used from the 
earliest times. 

Several pigments are prepared from cobalt, one of which is Rin- 
man's Green, to make which a mixed solution of sulphate of cobalt 
and zinc is prepared, which is precipitated with solution of carbonate 
of soda. The precipitate is carefully and thoroughly washed with 
hot water and calcined. 

Thenard's Blue, or Cobalt Blue, is prepared by first precipitating 
nitrate of cobalt with phosphate of potassium. In another vessel 
alumina is precipitated from alum by carbonate of sodium, and one 
part of the first by volume is thoroughly mixed with four parts of the 
second while still moist. The mixture is then dried, calcined, and 
ground to a fine powder for use. 

58. FELDSPAR— see also Albite, Labradorite, and Orthoclase. 

The name Feldspar generally applies to Orthoclase, but it also indi- 
cates a group of minerals, called the feldspar group, as follows: Albite — 
Soda feldspar; Andesite — Soda, lime feldspar; Anorthite — Lime, soda 
feldspar; Hyalophane — Bury la, potash feldspar; Labradorite — Lime, 
soda feldspar; Oligoclase — Soda lime; Orthoclase — Potash feldspar. 

The feldspars enter largely into the composition of the rocks which 
form in decomposing soils, and furnish the alkalies so essential to 
the growth of plants. 

The secondary minerals resulting from such disintegration and de- 
composition are lithomage, kaolin, halloysite, rock soap, agalmato- 
lite, etc. 

It is difficult to distinguish the feldspars from each other in rocks, 
although they may be readily determined if in sufficiently large 
masses to admit of their being isolated mechanically. This is at- 
tempted even in fine-grained rocks, by treating the powdered rock 
with successive solutions having different specific gravities. The 
microscope aids the lithologist. One skilled in the use of the instru- 
ment, and practiced in observing rocks cut into thin sections, seldom 
fails in recognizing the species by simple inspection. Lithology has 
so direct a bearing on mineral veins and their contents that the pros- 
pector would do well to study rocks, by collecting them and observing 
their characteristics and differences. There are several excellent 
works on this subject, although generally they have the fault of being 
too scientific for the average mining prospector, and in not giving 
sufficient detailed instruction in classification and determination. 

The following are practical and fairly explicit, and can be recom- 
mended to those who desire to study the very useful and fascinating 
science of Lithology or Petrology: 

Rocks classified and described by Bernhard Von Cotta, London, 
1866, and "The Study of Rocks," by Frank Rutley, New York, 1879. 

Pinkerton's Petrology is a most excellent work, although published 
in 1800, but it is out of print and difficult to obtain. There are many 
elaborate and costly works on this subject published within a few 
years, and since the microscope has been applied to the study of rocks. 
Any bookseller would send a list of them on application being made 
to him. 


59. FLUORITE. Etym. To Flow (Latin). Fluor Spar, Fluoride of 


Found only sparingly in small white cubes, with copper ore, at 
Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County (Blake). 

Fluor Spar — see Fluorite. 

French Chalk — see Talc. 

60. GALENA. Etym. Lead Ore or Lead Dross (Latin). Galenite— 

see, also, Lead. Sulphide of Lead. (Pb.S.) 



Color, lead gray; luster, highly metallic. H=2.5 — 2.75, sp. gr.= 
7.25 — 7.7, easily fusible. When melted in a crucible with metallic 
iron, metallic lead and sulphide of iron are produced. B. B. on ch. 
melts easily, giving off fumes of sulphur; after a continued blowing 
a button of lead is obtained which generally affords a bead of silver 
if cupelled. Galena is a common ore of lead and very abundant in 
California. It is found in the northern part of the State with pyrite 
and blende, in the gold mines, and in the south with silver ores; 
sometimes disseminated through the ore, at other times in distinct 
veins, and in masses of considerable size. The time will come when 
by a proper system of concentration this mineral will be gathered 
and will add largely to the lead production of the world. It is found 
with copper ores in Light's Canon and in Granite Basin, Plumas 
County (Edman); in Calaveras County, at Murphy's, in the Star 
of the West mine, Blue Mountain district, and the Gold Hunter 
claims (Blake); in Nevada County, with gold in the several gold 
mines, and at Meadow Lake with blende and gold; in Tehama 
County at Cow Creek; in Sacramento County at Michigan Bar, with 
blende and pyrite; in Mariposa County in the Marble Springs 
mine. Galena is well represented in the State Museum from the fol- 
lowing localities: (295) San Bernardino County; (673, 4071) Santa 
Catalina Island; (1105) New Coso mine, Inyo County; (1302, 4211) 
argentiferous, Hidalgo mine, Inyo County; (1394, 2112) May Lundy 
mine, Homer District, Mono County; (1653) Modoc mine, Inyo County; 
(1880) in quartz, Rising Sun mine, near Aqueduct City, Amador 
County; (3587) argentiferous, showing radiated structure, Brown 
Monster mine, Invo County; (4759) with native silver, partzite, etc., 
Tower mine, near Benton, Mono County; (5329,5330,5331) Soulsby 
mine, Tuolumne County, in white quartz with heavy gold, pyrite, 
and blende. 

61. GARNET. Etym. Pomegranate Seeds (Latin). Andradite. 

Garnets are found in a number of localities in California, but no 
stones suitable for jewelry work, or which could be called gems, are 
known. According to Blake, garnets are found at the following local- 
ities: El Dorado County, at the Fairmount mine, three miles from 
Pilot Hill, in large blocks and masses two feet thick and more. Asso- 
ciated with specular iron, calc spar, iron pyrites, and copper pyrites, 


with actinolite in steatite, near Petaluma, Sonoma County. In large 
semi-crystalline masses, weighing ten to twenty pounds, and of a light 
color, in the Coso mining district. (Specimens of this were brought 
to San Francisco under the supposition that it was tin ore.) A beau- 
tiful green grossular garnet is found with the copper ore of the Rog- 
ers claim, Hope Valley, El Dorado County, and similarly in copper 
ore at the Mountain Meadows, Los Angeles County. Anderson & 
Randolph, jewelers of San Francisco, report precious garnet in Cala- 
veras County. Aaron found garnets in clusters near Mono Lake, 
Mono County. Edman discovered iron garnets in Long Valley, Plu- 
mas County. Dana gives the following localities: In copper ore, Moun- 
tain Meadows, Los Angeles County; Soledad mine, San Isabel, San 
Diego County; and chrome garnet near Idria, Fresno County. 

Garnets may be seen in the State Museum from the following local- 
ities: (243) In mica schist, 30 miles northeast of San Jose, Santa 
Clara County; (2365) Peru Mountains, Ventura County. 

They also occur in schist at the mouth of Russian River, Sonoma 

62. GAY-LUSSITE. Etym. Gay-Lussac, French chemist. 

This is a carbonate of lime and soda found in alkaline lakes in fine 
crystals. It has no present economic value. Thinolite, which forms 
mountains in Nevada and elsewhere in the Great Basin, is believed to 
be a pseudomorph after Gay-Lussite; if this is so, the quantity of 
carbonate of soda set free must also have been very great. This sub- 
ject forms the substance of several chapters in the " Geology of the 
Fortieth Parallel," Clarence King. Gay-Lussite is found in California 
at Borax Lake, San Bernardino County, and probably elsewhere. 

63. GEOCRONITE. Etym. Earth and Saturn, the alchemistic 

name for lead (Greek). 

Sulphide of lead and antimony, has been observed with galena in 
small masses in the Inyo Mountains, Inyo County. A specimen was 
exhibited in the California collection at the Paris Exposition of 1878. 

64. GLAUBERITE. Etym. Glauber, German chemist. 

Sulphate of lime and soda, was found at Borax Lake, Lake County, 
in blue clay at a depth of 40 feet, having been obtained in an arte- 
sian boring (Dana). It is reported also in San Bernardino County, 
at the borax works, and it is said to exist at the Geysers in Sonoma 

65. GLAUCOPHANE. Etym. Glaucus, sea green color (Latin). 


This mineral occurs in a rock matrix, widely distributed in Cali- 
fornia, and associated with serpentine. The rock was first observed 
in 1877, when sections were cut for microscopic observation. A speci- 
men was exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1878, and when seen by 
M. Michel Levy was recognized as the " Mica schiste a glaucophane de 
Syra, Greece," figured in his " Mineralogie micro-graphique des Roches 
Eruptive Franchises," planche 1, Fig. 2. This rock is represented in 


the State Museum by No. 4259. The wall rock of the Collier mine, 
six miles northeast of Murphy's, Calaveras County, and (4720) micro- 
scopic slide from near the Wall Street quicksilver mine, Lake County; 
this is the slide exhibited in Paris. 

66. GOLD. 


There is probably no metal more generally distributed over the 
earth's surface than gold, but its physical properties are such that 
it can only exist in comparatively small quantities within the reach 
of man. Iron and most other metals have such an affinity for oxygen 
that they form compounds with that element, becoming oxides, which 
form secondary compounds with other elements and compounds and 
become part of the rocks which constitute the earth's crust; gold, and 
a few other metals, having little or no affinity for oxygen, and for 
that reason called "noble metals," retain their metallic state and are 
seldom found otherwise. 

The color of pure gold is bright yellow, tinged slightly with red. 
It has a higher luster than copper, but less than silver, steel, mercury, 
or platinum. It is softer than silver, and more ductile and malleable 
than any other metal. When passing from a liquid to a solid state 
it contracts more than any other metal. The atomic weight of gold 
is 196.5, hydrogen being taken as unity. It fuses at a temperature of 
2016 . Fahrenheit. Gold may be distinguished from all other sub- 
stances by the following simple and characteristic tests: It is yelloio; 
is not acted on by nitric acid, and it fuses B.B. to a bright bead on char- 
coat without incrustation. In sufficiently large pieces, it may be recog- 
nized by being malleable under the hammer, and cutting with a knife 
without crumbling. 

Gold, when alloyed with other metals, cannot be so easily distin- 
guished, as its associates somewhat modify the reactions. The color 
of native gold is degraded by metals with which it is alloyed. In 
some localities it is found pale from admixture with silver, and in 
others red from the presence of copper. 

According to Berthier, the specific gravity of gold is 19.258, which 
may be increased to 19.376 by hammering. In a melted state it is 
said to assume a bluish -green color. I have never observed this prop- 
erty of gold. Its tenacity is lessened by hammering or rolling, but it 
may be restored by subjection to sufficient heat. 

Gold leaf is green by transmitted light, but it becomes red when 
strongly heated. In red gold glass, the metal is said to be in the 
metallic state. Gold does not oxidize at ordinary temperatures, nor 
in the hottest furnaces. A slight oxidation takes place when it is 
exposed in thin leaves to the action of the compound blowpipe, or to 
a powerful galvanic battery. In a vacuum the electric spark divides 
it into a very fine powder. Gold is less tenacious than copper, iron, 
platinum, or silver. A wire of gold only the .078 of an inch in diam- 
eter will not break until loaded with a weight of 150 pounds. In 
cooling after fusion gold forms crystals. Gold is not the most beauti- 
ful metal, nor is it the best fitted for all the uses to which it is applied, 
it being found necessary to alloy it with other metals for certain pur- 

Gold powder or bronze is made by grinding gold leaf in a mortar 


with honey, extracting the honey with hot water, and drying the pow- 
der. It is used in illumination and miniature painting. 

Gold is extensively used in the arts. More than 1,000 ounces of 
pure gold are consumed in Birmingham alone every week, and in 
the whole of England the weekly consumption of gold leaf is 584 
ounces, while for electro-gilding and other uses 10,000 ounces are 
required annually. Two pottery establishments use $35,000 worth of 
gold per annum, for gilding porcelain and for making purple and 
rose colors. Nearly 10,000 ounces of gold are consumed by the Staf- 
fordshire potteries annually. Gold has become so plentiful that but 
few persons are met who do not have this metal about their person, 
either as coin, jewelry, or timepiece. The amount of gold used and 
lost in ornament is beyond calculation. 

Native gold is usually found in scales, threads, plates, and irregular 
masses, from a few grains in weight to many pounds. Although gen- 
erally amorphous, it is frequently found in crystals, which usually 
assume some modification of the octahedron. Crystals of gold are 
never found large. Beautiful microscopic octahedral crystals of gold 
are found in the Ida mine in Inyo County, California, and at the 
White Bull mine, Linn County, Oregon. Many substances are mis- 
taken for gold. Some varieties of mica resemble it in certain lights, 
so much as at times to deceive the most experienced eye. Chalco- 
pyrite or copper pyrites, or even iron pyrites, are sometimes mistaken 
for it; and wulfenite or molybdate of lead, quite common in Nevada 
and Eastern California, bears a perplexing resemblance to it. 

One grain of pure gold is worth $0.0430663; one gramme pure 
gold is worth $0.6646+ ; one ounce troy of gold is worth $20.671791 ; 
one pound avoirdupois gold is worth $301.46+; one ton (2000 lbs. 
=29,166.6 oz. troy), $602,927.36; one cubic inch (10.12883 oz. troy), 
$209.38; one cubic foot (17,579.9808+ oz. troy), 1,205.4898 pounds 
avoirdupois; value $363,409.85. The standard fineness United States 
gold coin=900; one cubic inch of standard gold, 9.0989 oz.=$169.28; 
one cubic foot standard gold=$292,500.00. The average specific 
gravity of California gold dust, as it would be in a box or bag, was 
found by the United States Mint to be 9.61. It occupies about twice 
as much space as when melted into bars. A rectangular box, eight 
by ten inches and five inches deep, will contain $36,000 in gold coin 
laid in order, and $27,000 poured in and shaken. A bag six inches by 
nine inches will hold $5,000 in gold coin with room to tie. 


Gold alloys readily with most metals, the various compounds hav- 
ing physical properties almost characteristic as distinct elements. 
This is the case more especially when the metals are combined in 
chemical equivalents. 

The only alloys of gold which find extensive use in the arts, are 
those of silver and copper; pure gold is too soft and too costly a metal 
to be suitable for coin, or for manufacturing purposes. It is, there- 
fore, hardened by the addition of other metals. 

Jewelers' gold is alloyed to suit the purposes for which it is required. 
The following are some of the alloys, with the technical names given 
to them : 


Yellow gold, pure ^old 1000 Rose copper Silver 

Red gold, pure gold 750 Rose copper 250 Silver 

Green gold, pure gold 750 Rose copper Silver 250 

Dead leaf, pure gold 700 Rose copper Silver 300 

Water green, pure gold 600 Rose copper Silver 400 

Blue gold, pure gold 750 Iron 250 Silver 

White gold contains silver in excess. 

Alloys are also made by the jewelers, and the manufactured articles 
acted on by acids. The surface becomes pure gold, and the composite 
nature of the alloy is dishonestly concealed. The solution said to be 
used for this purpose, is a mixture of two parts of nitrate of soda, one 
part of chloride of sodium, one part of Roman alum, in three or four 
parts of distilled water. The articles are boiled in this solution until 
the proper shade or color is obtained, generally fifteen to twenty min- 
utes. They are then taken out, washed and burnished. 

The alloys of gold and copper are more fusible than either of the 
metals alone. Copper gives the alloy the required hardness. 

Silver and gold form useful alloys, but are liable to separate if the 
crucible in which they are melted is allowed to stand without being 
stirred; the alloy is harder than either of the metals. The hardness 
is at its maximum when the proportions are two parts of gold to one 
of silver. Twenty parts of gold becomes visibly whiter when alloyed 
with one part of silver. This alloy is more fusible than pure gold. 

Platinum does not alloy readily with gold. To form this alloy, it 
is necessary to fuse the metals at a very high heat, or the platinum 
will only be disseminated through the gold. The alloy has the color 
of bell metal, or tarnished silver. When the platinum is in the pro- 
portion of one sixth, the color of gold is lost. An alloy of equal parts 
of gold and platinum has the hardness of wrought iron. It is slightly 

Gold and antimony form an alloy, which has a pale, dull color; it 
is exceedingly brittle. The fracture is ash colored. 

Alloys of gold with lead have a color from that of pure gold to 
white, according to the amount of lead employed. All these alloys 
are brittle, some as much so as glass; the alloy is brittle, if only a 
trace of lead is present. Even the fumes of lead are said to give 
gold an inconvenient brittleness. 

In the United States the value of an alloy of gold is always expressed 
in thousandths. The coin of the United States is nine hundred fine, 
containing nine hundred parts of pure gold in one thousand parts. 
The gold is melted with one hundred parts of an alloy of nine tenths 
of copper and one tenth of silver, thus: Gold, nine hundred; copper, 
ninety; silver, ten; total, one thousand. 

In England the gold in alloys is expressed in carats; the carat is 
divided into four grains, which are subdivided into quarters and 
eighths. Pure gold is twenty-four carats fine. The standard of gold 
in England is twenty-two parts of pure gold to two of copper. 

It may sometimes be interesting to know the relation between the 
fineness of gold and its value in carats. Pure gold (one thousand fine) 
is said to be twenty-four carats fine; twelve carats would evidently be 
five hundred fine, or one half gold. The following table will show 
the relative value: 


_ . . 

Carats. Valne. Carats. 


. .041667 

2 . .. .... 

! .083334 

3 _ .__——— 

! .12.5001 

4 . .. 


.. _ .208333 


_ . ,250000 

7 _. . 

..... . _ .291666 

S . -- 

. .333333 


. .. J .374999 



12. -- . 



. .... .500000 

13 .541667 

14 .583333 

15 .624555 

16 .666607 

17 .707333 

18 .75(1000 

19 .791666 

; 20 .833333 

21 ! .874999 

22 ' .916666 

I || 23 ' .958333 

24 i 1.000000 

The following table gives the properties of the alloys of gold with 
other metals: 

Brittle Alloys axd their Colors. Malleable Alloys and their Colors. 

Cobalt Dull yellow. 

Nickel Brass yellow. 

Antimony Pale yellow. 

Zinc 1 . White. 

Bismuth Brass vellow. 

Lead White. 

Rhodium Yellow. 

Manganese Gray. 

Iron Gray. 

Copper Yellow. 

Tin Pale yellow. 

Silver Pale yellow. 

Platinum - White. 

Palladium Gray to white. 

Mercury White. . Iridium Pale yellow. 

Osmium Pale vellow. 

Gold is not found in nature alloyed in chemical equivalents. 


Homberg was the first to notice that gold was volatile at a very 
high temperature. His experiments were made with a large lens, by 
the aid of which he readily volatilized gold leaf. If a slip of gold 
foil, or leaf, is placed between plates of glass, the ends being allowed 
to project, and a powerful current of electricity passed through it, the 
gold will disappear, while a purple stain will be left on the glass. 
This experiment was first made by Franklin. 

Advantage is taken of the power of electricity to volatilize gold by 
spectroscopists, when they desire to examine the spectrum of that 
metal. Some years ago, in Calaveras County, an old furnace used in 
roasting pyrites, preparatory to its treatment by chlorination, was 
torn down* and the arch found to be coated with gold. A specimen 
is preserved in the Museum of the University of California. This is 
a proof that gold is volatile at a comparatively low heat. 

Some interesting experiments made by Mr. James Napier, assayer of 
the Mexican Mint, published in the Quarterly Journal of the Chem- 
ical Society, London, 1857, also show that gold is volatile at a compar- 
atively low temperature. The same experiment was made a number 
of years ago at the old mint at San Francisco, when gold was discov- 
ered on the roof of that building. The experiments of Mr. Napier show 
that gold, when alloyed with copper, becomes volatile in proportion 
to the copper present, and to the degree of heat. In one experiment, 


gold was melted in a small clay cup, with a cupel inverted over it. 
On removing the covered cup from the fire the cupel was observed 
to show the characteristic purple stain of gold. A second experiment 
gave positive proof of the volatility of the precious metal. Observing 
fumes rising from a black lead melting pot, he placed a bell glass, 
wet with distilled water, over the pot, and within a few inches as it 
was being poured, the exposure only occupied one minute of time; 
on examining the under surface of the glass very many minute glob- 
ules were observed. The bell glass was washed with water and again 
examined. The metallic powder was collected, cupelled, and a glob- 
ule of gold obtained, weighing 4.25 grains. 

In refining platinum by the process of St. Claire de Ville, gold, 
with other metals, is volatilized by the heat required to melt the 
platinum. This high heat is produced by the compound or oxyhy- 
drogen blowpipe. In melting the natural platinum alloys the foreign 
metals, such as copper, lead, iron, silver, and gold, are eliminated, 
and the platinum brought to a state of great purity, simply by raising 
the heat to a point at which the foreign metals are volatilized. Gold 
is seen to escape in fumes of a purple color. 


Recent investigation leads to the opinion that gold, in a state of 
extreme division, is omnipresent in the earth's crust. T. Sterry 
Hunt, in his work, " Chemical and Geological Essays," quotes other 
authors to show that the sea water on the British coast contains, 
beside silver, gold in solution, estimated to be about one grain to a 
ton of water. Mr. J. Cosmo Newbery, Chemist of the Geological 
Survey of Victoria, Australia, has made some very interesting inves- 
tigations bearing on the divisibility of gold. He found that the water 
in certain gold mines contained gold. The timber used to support 
the mine was carefully assayed, and in nearly every case was found 
to contain gold. R, Brough Smyth, Chief of the Survey, came to the 
conclusion that the gold was precipitated from solution. 

Mr. Newbery had reason to believe, from examination of specimens, 
that gold was "being deposited in many mines. He thinks, however, 
that finely divided gold is held in suspension in mine water, but not 
in solution. A sample of mud deposited from mine water of a mine 
on Hasler's line of reef, Sandhurst, was examined, by careful wash- 
ing, and the heavier particles were found to consist of auriferous 
pyrites and free gold. The particles of gold were large enough to be 
recognized by the microscope. They were in irregular flattened 

Pure gold is the most malleable of metals, and there seems to be 
no limit to its ductility. A single grain has been drawn into a wire 
five hundred feet in length. It may be beaten into leaves which are 
onlv the 282,000 part of an inch in thickness. Reaumer covered a 
cylinder of silver with .002778 of its weight of gold. It was drawn 
into a wire, six feet in length of which weighed one grain. This 
wire was then rolled until it was the one forty-eighth of an inch wide, 
which increased its length to seventy-five feet, The coating of gold 
was so perfect that the microscope failed to detect the color of silver. 
In the days of Pliny gold was beaten so thin that one ounce was flat- 
tened into 750 leaves, four fingers square. It has been calculated that 
the leaves were three times thicker than ours. Gold has been beaten 


so thin in modern times that 367,000 leaves would only make an inch 
in thickness, if piled upon each other. The same number of leaves 
of ordinary printing paper would make a pile seventy-five feet high. 
Compared with the thickness of the gold on fine gilded wire, gold leaf 
is thick. It has been calculated that it would take 14,000,000 films, 
such as sometimes put on the fine wire of which gold lace is made, to 
equal an inch in thickness, while the same number of leaves of 
printing paper would make a pile 3,000 feet high. One ounce of pure 
gold is supposed to be sufficient to gild such a wire 1 ,300 miles in 
length . 


When perfectly clean gold is exposed to the action of pure quick- 
silver, it is instantly seized by the latter and coated with amalgam. 
The accident of gold being alloyed with other metals in nature does 
not impair its affinity for mercury, if the surface is made bright 
mechanically by filing or scraping. Much of the native gold found 
in placer mines, apparently clean, is slightly tarnished by the oxidiz- 
ing or mineralizing of its alloy, in which case it amalgamates with 
difficulty. I have failed in every instance to find gold in quartz in 
this condition, although intelligent miners have informed me that 
they have sometimes observed it in their experience. A large pro- 
portion of the placer gold found in California is wholly or partly 
coated with silica, cemented by sesquioxide of iron. When wholly 
coated it is perfectly inert to the action of mercury (one might as well 
put gold in a glass bottle and attempt to amalgamate it from the out- 
side). When partly coated, the exposed parts become amalgamated, 
and to that extent only is the gold held by the mercury. If rusty 
gold is digested in hydrochloric acid the iron is dissolved, and a 
slight mechanical force then serves to detach the silica, when amal- 
gamation takes place without difficulty. There is no hope of being 
able to free the gold from this coating during the few hours it is 
exposed to the forces employed in the well known hydraulic process. 
When clean gold amalgamates it does not become homogeneous, 
but the amalgam forms only on the surface. I have had a piece 
of placer gold in mercury, standing in my laboratory, for several 
months, during which time I have frequently triturated it— some- 
times several times a day— and it is not yet dissolved; still, in pour- 
ing from one vessel to another, the mercury flows freely without 
showing the gold, but I can at any time fish it up with my finger. 
Gold so amalgamated could not, in the process of placer washing, 
escape from the mercury, but coated gold, under the same circum- 
stances, will float on the surface of the quicksilver, and any slight 
force sufficient to overcome its specific gravity will detach it. 

The coating of gold may be imitated, as found by experiment. A 
piece of pure gold, after annealing, was placed in pure mercury, and 
it instantly became amalgamated. Another portion, exactly similar, 
was hammered on a perfectly clean and polished anvil, with a pol- 
ished hammer, and placed in mercury like the first. It became as 
quickly amalgamated. Pure quartz was then ground to a powder and 
sifted on the anvil in a thin stratum. A third piece of the same gold 
was then laid on the powdered quartz, struck several times with the 
hammer, turned over, placed on a different spot, and again hammered. 
The gold was then examined under the microscope, and seen to 
resemble the coated gold found in the placers, the quartz particles 


being imbedded in its surface. When placed in mercury, and allowed 
to remain for some time with frequent agitation, it floated on the sur- 
face, and seemed to be wholly unacted upon, but when placed under 
the microscope it was found that the mercury had attacked the gold 
through the small interstices, but only to a very limited extent. The 
gold was then placed on an iron slab, and gently rubbed with an iron 
muller, by which treatment it became more perfectly coated, and was 
now an exact imitation of the natural coated gold, minus the iron 
cement. In the natural coating of placer gold I consider the cement- 
ing to be a secondary process, and the sesquioxide of iron to result 
from decomposing pyrite, which was abundant in the quartz veins 
that yielded the gold. 
Mr. Goodyear thinks, and with good reason, that vast quantities of 
"lie under the great valleys of the State, between the Coast Range 
and the Sierra, which can never be recovered. It has been pretty 
generally established that the most productive portion of known 
quartz ledges lie comparatively near the surface; this being admitted, 
there is reason to believe that if the bedrocks below the present work- 
ings should become in time disintegrated, a smaller portion of gold 
would be set free. 


Ter-oxide of gold is a dark-colored powder, and its hydrate the 
same color, but of a lighter shade; both are reduced to metallic gold 
by the action of light and heat. Oxide of gold dissolves in hydro- 
chloric acid, and partially, in sulphuric and nitric acids. All the 
salts of gold are yellow, and retain this characteristic color even 
when largely diluted. The salts are decomposed when heated — they 
have the property of reddening litmus paper even when free from 
other acids. Hydro-sulphuric acid precipitates all the gold from 
neutral or acid solutions. This precipitate is ter-sulphide of gold. 
The precipitate does not yield to any single acid, but dissolves readily 
in nitro-muriatic acid, and in the sulphides of the alkalies. Sul- 
phide of ammonium also throws down gold from solution, as the ter- 
sulphide, which redissolves wholly in excess of the reagent, when an 
excess of sulphur is present. 

Proto-sulphate of iron precipitates gold from solutions in the state 
of finely divided metallic gold powder, at first black, but which 
becomes gold color and metallic when dried and heated to redness. 
Gold so treated is chemically pure. 

Ter-oxide of gold has the properties of an acid, and is called "auric 
acid." It may be prepared by digesting a solution of ter-chloride of 
gold with magnesia, washing the precipitate with water, and dissolv- 
ing out the excess of magnesia with diluted nitric acid. 

Hydrated-ter-oxide of gold forms salts with the alkalies, which are 
called by chemists "aurates." If finely divided gold be heated with 
sulphur in the presence of carbonate of potassium, a double sulphide 
of gold and potassium is formed, which is used in gilding porcelain. 
If highly concentrated sulphuric ether be added to an aqueous solu- 
tion of ter-chloride of gold, the chloride will leave the water and 
take to the ether, which may be separated by decantation. This 
ethereal solution is used in gilding. 

Metallic gold is insoluble in nitric, sulphuric, or hydrochloric acids, 
but dissolves in fluids evolving or containing chlorine. Nitro-hydro- 
chloric acid is the usual solvent. The solution contains ter-chloride 


of gold. "Aqua regia," so called by the alchemists because gold (the 
king of the metals) was conquered by it, is a mechanical mixture of 
nitric and muriatic acids, generally in the proportion of one of the 
former to three or four of the latter. Gold is used as a reagent in 
analytical chemistry as a test for nitric acid — the substance to be 
tested being boiled with the muriatic acid and the gold leaf added. 
If nitric acid is present the gold will be dissolved. 

Proto-chloride of tin in solution, mixed with ter-chloride of gold 
also in solution, throws down, even if the solutions are dilute, a pur- 
ple precipitate with a violet shade. This is one of the most delicate 
and characteristic tests for both gold and tin. If the solutions are too 
dilute to give a precipitate, the violet color is still imparted to them. 
The precipitate is called Purple of Cassius, from a Dutch chemist, 
who lived at Leiden in the seventeenth century. Purple of Cassius 
may also be made by forming an alloy of gold, tin, and silver, and 
dissolving out the silver with nitric acid. To be able to do this, the 
latter metal must be in considerable excess. Gold Purple is used as 
a pigment. The composition of the precipitate is not well under- 
stood by chemists, but is regarded as a compound of binoxide of tin 
and protoxide of gold, mixed with protoxide and binoxide of tin and 
water. Ter-chloride of gold is prepared by dissolving gold — which 
may contain silver or copper — in aqua regia, evaporating to remove 
excess of acid, diluting again if necessary; filtering to remove chlo- 
ride of silver, acidulating with muriatic acid, and precipitating the 
gold with solution of protosulphate of iron. The precipitate must be 
washed on a filter with distilled water, dried, redissolved in aqua 
regia, and evaporated on a water bath to crystallization. Chloride of 
gold is obtained by evaporating a solution of ter-chloride of gold to 
dryness, heating the powder on a sand bath at the temperature of 
melting tin, and stirring as long as chlorine is evolved. 

Ammonia precipitates from concentrated solutions of gold an 
orange colored precipitate of aurate of ammonia called also "fulmin- 
ating gold." It is a very dangerous substance — it can be dried at 
212° F. — but the slightest friction causes it to explode with the great- 
est violence. A dreadful accident happened in the laboratory of 
Beaume— -an assistant lost both of his eyes by the explosion of a vial 
of fulminating gold, caused by the friction of the glass stopper. 

Gold may be separated from alloys of other metals, with the excep- 
tion of tin, antimony, and platinum, by simply boiling with nitric 
acid, but the gold must not be present in a larger proportion than one 
fourth. Should the proportion be greater, silver or copper must be 
melted with the alloy, which must be granulated by pouring, while 
in a fluid state, into water. Upon being boiled in concentrated 
nitric acid, the other metals will be dissolved, leaving the gold as a 
metallic powder. Gold is also separated from alloys by means of 
strong sulphuric acid. The alloy is granulated, as above, and treated 
in a suitable vessel of platinum or cast iron. Two and a half parts, 
by weight, of 66° acid is added, and heat continued as long as sul- 
phurous acid is evolved. By this treatment silver and copper become 
soluble sulphates, while the gold remains unchanged. The solution 
is poured off, and the gold again boiled with a fresh portion of acid, 
of 58° Beaume, and the whole allowed to remain for a time at rest. 
The gold settles from the solution, after which silver is precipitated 
by plates of copper, the copper replacing the silver, which, with the 
copper in the alloy, is crystallized out as sulphate of copper, or precip- 


itated, as metallic copper, by plates of metallic iron. The gold still 
contains a small portion of silver, which is separated by a second 
boiling with strong sulphuric acid, after which it contains only .005 
per cent. This process is not suitable for alloys containing more than 
twenty per cent of gold. If richer, the alloys must be remelted, with 
the addition of sufficient silver to reduce them to this standard. 


It is a well known fact that the gold in California is argentiferous. 
Formerly the average fineness was 885, but it is not now so high. The 
record of the assay of several millions of dollars worth of California 
gold at the Philadelphia Mint showed an average of 880, the sample 
lots having a range between 870 and 890. 

There is a region of country, lying partly in California and partly 
in Nevada, in which the gold contains an unusually large quantity of 
silver. At Aurora, in Esmeralda County, Nevada, the gold is of this 
nature. During several years' mining in that locality, no true silver 
minerals, that could be distinguished as such, have been noticed. A 
blue stain in the rock has, we think, never been examined micro- 
scopically or chemically. Most of the rich rock was "peppered " with 
pale gold, and most of the bullion came from this source. 

Many years ago, a specimen of white quartz from the Jeff. Davis 
mine, situated near Millerton, in Fresno County, was exhibited, in 
which a quantity of very pale native gold was imbedded. 

The Bodie electrum is of a pale yellow color, resembling German 
silver; has a metallic luster; takes a high polish; is malleable and 
ductile; its hardness equals 3; it is softer than either a gold or silver 
American coin, being scratched by both. ■ 

Specific gravity, 15.15; contains gold, 633.4; silver, 364.1; total, 997.5. 

Electrum is well known to mineralogists, although it is rather rare. 
The largest mass of which we can find any record was taken from the 
mines of Vorospatak, in Transylvania; it weighed twenty-five pounds, 
and contained twenty-five per cent of silver. 

Electrum was also well known to the ancients. Pliny, in his great 
work on Natural History (book 33, chapter 23), describes it as con- 
taining silver in varying proportions. " When the silver is one fifth 
of the ore, it is known as electrum." He also mentions an artificial 
electrum made by melting together gold and silver. In writing of 
the properties of electrum, this ancient writer states "that one pecu- 
liar advantage of electrum is its superior brilliancy to silver by lamp- 
light." The reader, however, begins to lose confidence in his judgment 
when he states seriously that native electrum has the property of 
detecting poisons; "for, in such a case, semicircles will form on the 
surface of the goblet, and emit a crackling noise like that of a flame, 
thus giving a twofold indication of the presence of poison." 

Electrum is known from California to Cape Horn, among miners 
of Spanish descent, as "oroclie," which fact would indicate that this 
mineral is not uncommon on the American Continent. The gold of 
Chili ranges in fineness from 840 to 960. 

The following analyses of electrum are from Dana's Mineralogy: 


Barbara Transylvania 

PRSrospatak Transylvania. 

Siranovski Altai 

Schlangenberg Altai 

Santa Rosa, New Granada. 





: 604.9 

3 8 If. 4 

.'. J 609.8 


1 640.0 


i 649.3 


There seems to be a law governing the fineness of native gold in 
countries where mines of silver exist, and it may be reasonably 
expected that in localities where the gold is found to be argentifer- 
ous, silver mines may be discovered, if not already known. 


Experience has shown that the soil of gold countries contains par- 
ticles of gold which may be separated by washing. Beds of streams 
contain more gold after they enter the plains than before. Gold is 
found in certain localities in streams. In following them upward 
toward the mountains it is frequently found that the gold disappears. 
Many rivers afford no gold while they run in the hills, but it is found 
on bars below. Gold and iron are found associated in all localities, 
and it is a question if all pyrites will not afford at least a trace of gold 
with the same certainty that all lead contains more or less silver. 
' There is a remarkable instance at a mine in El Dorado County, 
California, in which small globules of gold are found on the surface 
of large crystals of pyrite. The gold seems to have been squeezed 
out of the crystals. Fine specimens of this singular association of 
minerals may be seen in the State Museum. Humboldt has stated 
that in Guiana gold, like tin, is sometimes disseminated in an almost 
imperceptible manner in the granite rocks, without the ramification 
or interlacing of any small veins. At the Braidwood district, south 
of Sydney, New South Wales, there exists a variety of feldspathic 
granite, described by the Rev. Mr. Clarke as being permeated by 
small particles of gold; and Murchison has quoted a statement by 
Hoffman, that in Siberia gold is found in minute quantities dissemi- 
nated through clay slate. 

Every variety of placer mining is based upon the fact that gold has 
a greater specific gravity than most other metals or substances. This 
property causes it to resist the force of water in motion, which, acting 
upon other lighter minerals, moves them forward in the direction of 
the course of the stream, while the gold remains behind, and taking 
advantage of the agitation of movable particles, caused by the action 
of the water, gravitates toward the earth's center until arrested by the 
fixed rock formation, technically known to the miners as "bedrock." 
It frequently happens that the bedrock of a mountain torrent upon 
which the gold settles is smooth, and having a descent toward the 
plains below, the gold is forced forward by the stream, aided by the 
moving bowlders, until it meets some accidental depression, where it 
remains. Similar conditions cause other gold particles to move to 
the same depression, where in time a considerable quantity collects, 
and a natural placer is formed. In the early history of California 
such depressions were sought in the beds of modern rivers, and large 
quantities of gold taken out. When the laws which govern these 


deposits were still but vaguely understood, the miner could without 
difficulty pan out almost fabulous quantities of gold dust. These 
placers were successively discovered and exhausted, after which gold 
washing became more and more difficult, and costly operations were 
then undertaken. Beds of swift-running rivers were exposed by 
turning the waters aside in artificial channels or flumes. Soon other 
appliances were required and invented to facilitate the collection of 
the gold from the placers, the cream of which had been skimmed by 
the lucky ones first on the ground. 

Gold has been observed native in the following minerals and rocks: 
Pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, mispickel, tetradymite, native 
bismuth, stibnite, magnetite, hornstone, asbestus, tellurium, orpi- 
ment, hematite, barite, fluorite, siderite, chrysocolla, cuprite, granite, 
porphyry, and quartz. In California it is found at Moccasin Creek' 
Tuolumne County, in steatite; in the Manzanita mine, Sulphur 
Creek, Colusa County, in cinnabar; in Mono County in calcite; in 
the Melones mine, Tuolumne County, in sylvanite; 'in roscoelit'e at 
several localities near Coloma, El Dorado County; in galena, near 
Walker River; in pyrolusite at the Banghart mine, Shasta County 
m chalcedony in the Empire mine, Grass Valley, Nevada County', 
and in asbestus near Georgetown, El Dorado County. 

Dr. Percy thinks that gold is precipitated from an aqueous solution. 
Murchison holds that quartz is of volcanic or solfataric origin, and 
has all been in a gelatinous state, in which it included the 'gold 
mechanically. He gives as an example, the silicious sinter which 
rises m a fluid state from Hecla, and coagulates into quartz around 
the volcanic vents. The oldest rocks are the most likely to contain 
gold in place, viz.: the azoic and the palaeozoic. The general facts 
relating to the geological occurrence of gold are similar, without 
regard to geographical position. 

m Sir Roderick Murchison has assumed that gold cannot be expected 
in considerable quantities above the palaeozoic rocks. It has been 
• observed by other geologists that in California gold is found in 
abundance m the Jurassic and cretaceous formations. These more 
recent rocks are made up of the older ones, changed by the action of 
nature's laws, and gold being metallic and free, has gravitated to the 
position m which it is now found. The great mother vein, which is 
probably the source of all the gold in California, is so metamorphic 
in character that its geological age is still unknown; but there are 
evidences that it is much older than the formation in which gold is 
found. Had there been no eruptive rocks, gold would probably have 
been unknown to man. 


The miner's pan is made of the best quality of Russia iron, some 
are stamped out of a single sheet, while others are jointed like the 
sections of a stovepipe; no solder is used as it would soon be taken 
up by the quicksilver frequently used. The miner's pan is, in form 
something like the common milk pan, but with the sides more flar- 
ing 1 he usual dimensions are ten inches in diameter at the bottom 
sixteen inches at the top, and two and two tenths inches deep. The 
angle of the jides from the horizontal is thirty-seven degrees. The 


rim is strengthened by a strong iron wire rolled in. This is the con- 
ventional miner's pan, and is the result of thirty-three years' experi- 
ence in California. The retail price of such a pan, in San Francisco, 
is ninety cents. 

The mode of using the pan, in placer mining, is as follows: Hav- 
ing carefully removed the superficial earth to a point within a few 
inches of the bedrock, the miner places a portion of the gravelly 
matter containing gold, in his pan, and goes to a neighboring 
stream, or pond, and kneeling by the side of the water, sinks the pan 
containing the auriferous earth slowly beneath the surface, holding 
it horizontally, and causing the water to flow into the pan equally 
over the sides; when the pan is full, he lifts it and placing it on his 
knee or on a convenient stone, he stirs the mass with his fingers. 

The skillful miner, in washing a panful of "dirt," unconsciously 
divides the operation into five stages. He breaks the lumps with his 
fingers and stirs the contents of the pan until a soft mud is formed. 
Sinking, now, the pan beneath the water, the second stage commences. 
This is to so agitate the muddy prospect that gold, gravel, and coarse 
sand sink to the bottom, while the finer and lighter particles flow 
over the rim and escape. This being for a time continued, the remain- 
ing contents of the pan become clean and the water is no longer 
loaded with slickens. The third operation is to pick out carefully all 
the large pebbles and gravel, which are examined, and if found worth- 
less, are thrown aside. The agitation is continued with but little 
water in the pan, and by a motion of the ball of the thumb, difficult 
to describe, the coarse particles are raked out and rejected. At this 
stage a. very large proportion of the original prospect has been 
removed, but every grain of gold lies at the bottom, although still 
invisible. The fourth operation is to so agitate the remaining con- 
tents of the pan (now inclined and only partly under the water) that 
the coarse sand flows over the edge in a thin stream, every particle 
passing under the eye of the operator, who may be certain that no 
gold escapes. This is continued until but a small quantity remains 
in the pan, when, lifting it from the water, the last operation begins, 
which is the concentration and perfect separation of the gold. This 
is effected by an undulatory motion, causing the sand to flow with 
the water across the bottom of the pan, revealing a cluster of gold 
particles, if the dirt is rich and wholly isolated. The pan is then 
inclined toward the sand, leaving the gold stranded in one portion, 
and the sand and water lying in another. The edge containing the 
sand is then held over and very near the water, of which the miner 
lifts a small quantity in the hollow of his hand, and pouring it behind 
the sand, washes it away, leaving the gold only in the pan. There 
being no quicksilver used, the gold is collected wholly by its specific 

It usually is found that a small portion of black sand appears 
beneath the lighter colored residue which icsults from the disintegra- 
tion of igneous rocks, which does not necessarily indicate the presence 
of gold, although if gold is found at all it is generally associated with 
black sand, as they possess similar specific gravities. The gold may 
be dried in the pan and brushed out into some convenient receptacle. 
The last portion of black sand is taken out with a magnet, and the 
quartz sand gently blown away while the gold lies on a clean piece 
of paper, or in a peculiar flat scoop of tin plate or brass, made for 
that purpose. 


From this "prospect" the gold washer judges of the value of the 
claim. Each particle of gold, no matter how small, is called a 
"color." To find the color is to find at least one particle of gold. 
From the quantity he will estimate, in a rough way, the value of the 
gold. He will state, with considerable accuracy, that there are "five 
cents to the pan," or "one dollar to the pan," as the case maybe. 
Sometimes a large piece of gold will be found; but such a circum- 
stance is quite unusual. The gold washer's pan, in the last stages of 
the operation described, often contains substances of great interest to 
the mineralogist; as, for example, beautiful zircons, platinum, unique 
crystals or scales of gold, occasionally rubies, and even diamonds, 
too minute, however, to have any but a scientific value, rolled masses 
of chromic iron, etc. 

The miner's pan has become, in California, a sort of vade mecum, 
not only to the miner, but to the millman and the assay er. The 
same results are obtained in other countries by different appliances. 
The Cornish miner tests the quality of his tin ores by washing on 
the blade of a shovel : the Mexican uses a horn spoon, and the Bra- 
zilian the batea. 


The horn spoon is a long irregular trough cut from a large ox horn. 
It is divided from the horn by sawing; when first cut is rough and 
clumsy, but by. scraping it is soon reduced to an elegant and conve- 
nient vessel, admirably suited for washing small quantities, but too 
small for utility in placer mining, and open to the objection that it 
soon warps out of shape, and under the influence of repeated wetting 
and drying, cracks and becomes worthless. While the horn spoon is 
inferior to the miner's pan, the Brazilian batea is superior, and should 
be better understood by miners generally. 


The batea is a wooden bowl used in the place of the miner's iron 
pan, which is a convenient modification of it; but while the iron pan 
is generally useful, the work done by the batea is better. The Brazil- 
ian batea is a rude vessel of wood, but the improved California batea 
is constructed on scientific principles, and is the invention of Mr. 
Melville Attwood, of San Francisco, who is remarkably skillful in 
its use. The following is his description: 

Batea is the name given to the gold-washer's bowl, or vanning dish, used in the placer and 
gold mines of Brazil; a small implement, which affords the most simple method of separating, 
on a limited scale, the grains of gold from the dirt, sand, pyritic matter, magnetic iron, etc. 
The form of the batea in common use in Brazil is a circular, shallow, wooden dish, or bowl, 
rudely fashioned with an adze and chisel, varying considerably in depth and size, but, never- 
theless, in practical hands giving remarkable results. 

In 1853 I had a few bateas made of a much better form, the inside being turned smooth to 
the center, in a lathe. I introduced them at that time into the mills under my control at Grass 
Valley and Agua Fria, where they were used for the purpose of testing or making mechanical 
assays of the tailings, blanket-washings, and as a concentration to find the percentage of pyritic 
matter in the vein-stone under treatment. 

Some years ago numerous samples of sea beach, or gold sands, were sent to me for examina- 
tion, and as the batea I had then in use did not separate the gold particles as clean and rapidly' 
as I wished, induced me to make further alterations. After many trials and much trouble, I 
succeeded in getting the form I now use. Those persons accustomed to us.' the horn spoon, or 
pan, would be astonished at the ease and rapidity with which the gold in the sands can be 
washed out with this improved form of batea. As a concentrator for small parcels, or to test 
the working of a larger one, nothing that I have yet seen in operation can equal it. 


The form of the California batea is such that the sands on the bot- 
tom form a perfect sector, the gold, cinnabar, tin ore, galena, or other 
heavy minerals, lying on the point in the most perfect state of concen- 
tration. No matter how small the quantity, it is wholly isolated, and 
may be observed with a magnifying glass if required. 

Mr. John Roach, optician of San Francisco, gives the following 
directions, by which, he says, any good turner will be able to make 
them: "A disk of seventeen inches diameter being turned conical 
twelve degrees, will have a depth of one and seven eighths inches 
from center to surface. The thickness may be five eighths of an inch. 
The other edge, perpendicular to axis, will require wood two and 
one half inches thick for its construction. The best wood is Hon- 
duras mahogany." 

To millmen it is a most useful implement, enabling them, amongst 
other things, to test what quicksilver is being carried away in the 
tailings. Silver ore can easily be separated from its gangues. The 
lithologist it will help greatly in his examination of the rocks. 

The movements of most of the large concentrators can be easily 
copied, particularly that of the percussion table, but with the dif- 
ference in favor of the batea, that the shock, either light or hard, can 
be given and varied as required, by striking the side of the bowl with 
the hand. 

The manner of using the batea may be described as follows: Quite 
a quantity of water will be required. This may be contained in a 
tank or large tub, or the operation may be conducted at a convenient 
place near the bank of a stream or lake. The pulverized ore — several 
pounds at a time — is placed in the batea, which is gradually sunk in 
the water. Several times it is broken down with the fingers, while 
the batea floats on the water. When the ore is thoroughly wet and 
formed into mud, the batea is taken by the rim with both hands and 
again sunk in the water. A circular motion is then imparted to it 
(soon learned by practice). The lighter particles will continuously 
flow over the edge and sink, while the heavier ones collect at the 

When only a small portion remains, the batea may be lifted, and 
the water held in the depression caused to sweep round the center, 
while one edge is slightly depressed. This motion will gradually 
remove the heavier particles toward the depressed part. If there is 
any gold, platinum, galena, cinnabar, or other unusually heavy sub- 
stance, its gravity will resist the power of the water, while compara- 
tively light particles move slowly forward. The form of the vessel is 
such that the heaviest matter can be closely observed. If there is a 
particle of gold present, it will be found at the point, clearly distinct 
from all other substances. The value of the batea to the prospector 
cannot be too highly estimated, and it should come into more gen- 
eral use. 

Applications for the improved batea have been made to the State 
Mining Bureau from Australia, where it is to be introduced. 


As this assay is of the utmost practical value to the miner, I shall 
describe it with minuteness. 


It must be understood that this is only a working test. It does not 
give all the gold in the rock, as shown by a careful fire assay, but what 
is of equal importance to the mine owner, millman, and practical 
miner, it gives what he can reasonably expect to save in a good 
quartz mill. It is really milling on a small scale. It is generally 
very correct and reliable, if a quantity of material be sampled. The 
only operation which requires much skill is the washing, generally 
well understood by those who are most likely to avail themselves of 
this instruction. These rules apply equally to placer gravels. Take 
a quantity of the ore — the larger the better — and spall it into pieces of 
less size than an egg. If more than 500 pounds spread on a good floor 
and, with a shovel, mix very thoroughly; then shovel into three piles, 
placing one shovelful upon each in succession, until all is disposed of. 
Two of the piles may then be put into bags. The remaining pile is 
spread out on the floor, mixed as before, and shoveled in the same 
manner into three piles. This is repeated according to the quantity 
sampled, until the last pile does not contain more than thirty pounds 
of ore. As the quantity on the floor becomes smaller, the lumps must 
be broken finer until the last, when they should not exceed an inch 
in diameter. What remains is removed to an iron slab and, by the 
aid of an iron ring and hammer, reduced to the size of peas. The 
whole thirty pounds is then spread out, and after careful mixing, 
portions are lifted with a flat knife — taking up the fine dust with the 
larger fragments — until about ten pounds have been gathered. This 
quantity is then ground down fine with an iron muller, and passed 
through a forty-mesh sieve. If the rock is rich, the last portion may 
be found to contain some free gold in flattened discs, which will not 
pass the sieve. These must be placed with the pulverized ore, and 
the whole thoroughly mixed, if the quantity is small; but if large, 
must be treated separately, and the amount of gold calculated into 
the whole ten pounds, and noted when the final calculation is made. 

From the thoroughly mixed sample two kilogrammes (two thou- 
sand grammes) must be carefully weighed out. This is placed in a 
pan, or, better, in a batea, and carefully washed down until the gold 
begins to appear. Clean water is then used, and when the pan and 
the small residue are clean, most of the water is poured off and a 
globule of pure quicksilver (which must be free from gold) is dropped 
in — a piece of cyanide of potassium is also placed with it. As the 
cyanide begins to dissolve, a rotary motion is imparted to the dish — 
best done by holding the arms stiff and moving the body. As the 
mercury rolls over and plows through the sand, under the influence 
of the cyanide, it will collect together all the particles of free gold. 
When it is certain that all is collected, the mercury may be carefully 
transferred to a small porcelain cup, or test tube, and boiled with 
strong nitric acid, which must be pure. When the mercury is all 
dissolved, the acid is poured off, more nitric acid applied cold, and 
rejected, and the gold then washed with distilled water and dried. 

The object of washing with acid the second time is to remove any 
nitrate of mercury which might remain with the gold, and which is 
immediately precipitated if water is first used. 

The resulting gold is not pure, but has the composition of the natural 
alloy. Before accurate value calculations can be made it will be neces- 
sary to render the gold pure and weigh it carefully. 

To purify the gold, it must be melted with silver, rolled out, or ham- 


uiered thin, boiled twice with nitric acid, washed, dried, and heated 
to redness. The manner of doing this will be described hereafter. 

The method of calculating this assay is very simple. It will be 
observed that two thousand grammes were weighed out. Let the two 
thousand grammes represent a ton of two thousand pounds, then each 
gramme will be equivalent to a pound avoirdupois, or one two-thou- 
sandth part of the whole, and the decimals of a gramme the decimals 
of a pound. Suppose the ore yielded, by the assay just described, fine 
gold, weighing .072 grammes, it must be quite evident that a ton of 
the ore would yield the same decimal of a pound. Now, as a pound 
of gold is worth $301 46, it is only necessary to multiply this value 
bv the weight of gold obtained in grammes and decimals to find the 
value of the gold in a ton of ore— $301 46X. 072=121 70. 

Care must be taken in this assay to keep the cyanide solution rather 
weak, as gold is somewhat soluble in strong solution of cyanide of 
potassium, and to remember that cyanide is deadly poison, which 
should be handled with great care. 

The crucible assay of ores containing gold, which is the same for 
silver, will be described under that head. 


A person skilled in the use of the blowpipe, possessing a good bal- 
ance, can make perfectly accurate assays of bullion or gold dust, but 
the results will only approximate, unless the whole lot is melted 
into a bar; as this, however, is not always convenient, the following 
plan may be adopted: 

Pour the gold dust out on a large and perfectly clean sheet of 
paper, and with the ends of the fingers, mix it thoroughly, occasion- 
ally lifting the edge of the paper to throw it together, and again 
mixing to insure uniformity; then, from various parts, lift small 
portions, until more than an ounce is collected — this is best done with 
a flat knife, or by pinching with the thumb and forefinger — from 
this, weigh out accurately, an ounce troy; place this in a small cru- 
cible, add a little borax, carbonate of soda, and nitrate of potash, 
and melt the whole together — this may easily be done in a black- 
smith's forge or in a coal stove— when perfectly melted, set the crucible 
aside, and when cold, break and remove the gold button ; this must be 
freed from clay and slag by light blows of the hammer on its edges, 
and subsequent washing. When perfectly clean and dry, weigh 
again. The loss is water, iron, sand, mercury, and other impurities 
which may be assumed to be the average of the entire lot. Cut off a 
small portion from each side with a cold-chisel, wrap the pieces in 
paper to prevent them from flying, and hammer down on the anvil 
until thin enough to cut with scissors; place upon charcoal and heat 
with the blowpipe flame until the paper is burned away, taking care 
not to melt the gold. Cut with a pair of shears sufficient to weigh 
exactly the tenth of a gramme, or one hundred milligrammes; a 
portion should be taken from each of the pieces. The weighing must 
be conducted with the greatest accuracy, for the success of the assay 
depends upon precise, manipulation. 

Blowpipe cupels are made of the finest washed bone ash, formed 
in a cupel mold of boxwood or ebony, hammered with sufficient 
force to make them compact, and well dried. They are about half 
an inch in diameter, and less than that in height. For convenience, 


they may be supported in a ring of platinum wire, in a handle of 
cork, or fused into a glass rod, as described in works on the blowpipe. 

The assay is continued as follows: Place the assay in the center of 
a piece of lead foil about half an inch square; fold the lead over the 
gold, and with the fingers carefully form it into a ball and set it aside. 
Prepare two assays like this. Take the cupel support in the left hand, 
and, having lighted a spirit lamp, lift one of the cupels by placing 
the end of the forefinger in the concave part, and holding it lightly 
with the thumb, place it in the loop of wire. Heat the cupel by urg- 
ing the whole of the flame upon it, producing, in doing so, a roaring 
sound. This is best done by holding the point of the blowpipe 
outside the flame. When the cupel is hot enough, which is known 
by its becoming white after first blackening, lift with the pliers one of 
the assays and place it in the center of the cupel. A steadily-pointed 
blue flame must then be directed upon the assay until it melts 
and begins to oxidize, when the flame is changed to a roaring blast, 
and the cupel moved further from the lamp. Cupellation goes on 
rapidly if the flame is directed against the cupel beyond the assay, 
and not directly upon it, and if the cupel is kept cool — that is to say, 
at the lowest temperature at which the lead can be kept fluid. It 
will be found advantageous to discontinue the flame for an instant 
occasionally, and to direct it by short puffs at times. The exact point 
can only be attained by removing the cupel from the lamp, and 
returning it gradually, as may be required. As the cupellation goes 
on, the bead becomes more spherical ; little patches of lead oxide form 
and pass to the cupel, becoming thinner, until at last the gold bead 
can be seen through the slight film of oxide. When nearly finished, 
the molten gold spits up towards the flame. At last, at the proper 
moment, learned only by practice, an instant cessation of the blast 
causes a flash and a bright yellow golden bead remains on the cupel. 
AVhen cold, the bead is removed from the cupel with pliers, and placed 
flat side down on a clean piece of paper. It is then grasped with a large 
pair of pinchers and squeezed by a strong pressure. This generally 
removes all adhering bone ash, and renders the button fit for weigh- 
ing. To make sure, turn it over, examine with the magnifying glass, 
and brush with a small short-bristle brush. If anything should be 
found attached to it, a squeeze at right angles with the first will gen- 
erally remove it. Place the button in the pan of the balance and 
weigh it carefully. Its weight in milligrammes is the total fineness 
in hundredths. For instance, seventy-four milligrammes would be 
740 fine. With a delicate balance, thousandths can be weighed, each 
tenth of a milligramme being .001. 

The button will probably contain silver. To ascertain the fineness 
of gold it must be subjected to a second process. The weight of the 
bead being noted, a cavity is made in a piece of charcoal, held by 
means of a proper support. In the cavity is placed the gold button, 
with four or five times its volume of pure silver, and both metals are 
melted together, before a strong blowpipe flame. The alloy must be 
thoroughly fused. When cool it is wrapped in paper, hammered flat, 
heated red Hot, to burn away the paper, cleaned with a stiff brush, 
placed in a test tube with nitric acid, and boiled over a spirit lamp 
until no more red fumes are given off. A black powder, which is 
gold, willremain. The tube is then filled up with distilled water, 
which is poured off carefully, so as not to permit any of the finely 
divided gold to pass away with it. This must be repeated, and the 


tube filled full for a third time with distilled water. A porcelain cup 
is then placed over the tube, like a cap, and both inverted together. 
The gold falls to the bottom of the cup, and the tube is carefully 
removed. The water is then poured from the gold in the cup, which 
is first subjected to a gentle heat, and then made red hot by the aid 
of the blowpipe. During the process the cup may be held, by the 
aid of pinchers, over the flame of the spirit lamp, which is urged 
upwards against it from below. When the gold has assumed its me- 
tallic color the operation is finished. When cold, the gold is brushed 
into the pan of the balance, and its weight, in tenths of a milligramme, 
noted. The results may be written as follows: Suppose the weight of 
the cupelled button, in milligrammes, to be 74.4, the total fineness 
will be 744; weight of gold powder, 69.2—692; fineness of silver, 52. 
Or, fineness of gold, 692; fineness of silver, 52; total fineness, 744. 

It is important in estimating the value of purchased gold dust, to 
carefully examine, to see if there is any counterfeit, or, as it is called, 
"bogus" dust present. If all from the same locality, the dust will 
have a uniform color. Any suspicious looking pieces should be set 
aside and cut with a cold-chisel while lying on a small anvil. A fair 
sample of the whole lot of gold dust under examination should then 
be placed in an evaporating dish, the suspected pieces being placed 
on top, and nitric acid poured over them. If any reaction takes 
place, such as effervescence or evolution of red fumes, or if the acid 
becomes colored, there is foreign matter present, and should this be 
the case, adulteration or counterfeit gold dust may be suspected. 

Place two watch glasses, one on a piece of white paper and the other 
on black, or other dark color; then, with a glass rod, convey a few 
drops of the acid from the dish to each. To the white, add a drop or 
two of ammonia, until it smells strongly ammoniacal; a blue color 
indicates copper. To the other add hydrochloric acid in the same 
manner. If a white curdy precipitate forms, which does not dissolve 
upon the addition of water, silver is being dissolved from the gold 
dust in the evaporating dish. If the dust is of very low grade, these 
metals may dissolve in very small quantities. But such gold dust 
would be easily detected by its inferior color and appearance. 

If no action is observed, even after heating the dish, there is no 
counterfeit present. Counterfeit gold dust is sometimes so heavily 
coated with pure gold (by the galvanic process) as to protect the base 
alloy from the action of nitric acid, hence the necessity of cutting all 
suspected pieces before submitting to the action of the acid. To 
remove the acid from the gold, wash with water thoroughly, and dry 
over the spirit lamp. 


The needles are described under the head of Assay of Gold Bullion. 

Select from the samples several pieces, to represent as fair an 
average as possible, and divide each of them with a cold-chisel. 
Then with each piece, using the fresh cut edges, make parallel marks 
on the touchstone, and lay the pieces of gold on the table in the 
same succession. Wet the gold streaks on the stone with nitric acid, 
using a glass rod or the stopper of a coin test. If no reaction takes 
place, and the streaks look as bright and metallic as before, the gold 
is at least 640 fine, and probably finer even than that; wipe the stone 
gently with a piece of soft rag, and apply test acid in the same man- 


ner; if there is still no reaction, the gold is finer than 750; if any 
action is observed, the fineness is between the two. Test acid is 
made by mixing ninety-eight parts of pure nitric acid of thirty-seven 
degrees Beaume with two parts of hydrochloric acid of twenty -one 
degrees, and twenty-five parts of distilled water by measure. If the 
golden streaks are not acted on by nitric acid, nor by the test acid, 
take a touch needle marked 700, and make a similar streak on the 
stone below that made with the samples. Compare the color, and 
then progress with other needles, both copper and silver, using a 
higher mark each time, until a color corresponding to that of the 
samples is had; an approximate knowledge of the quality of the gold 
will thus be obtained. 

But, should nitric acid cause any change in the appearance of the 
streaks on the touchstone and the preliminary tests in the watch glass 
indicated copper, try the copper needles and apply them in the reverse 
order until you hit the color, and find a needle, the streak of which 
is acted upon in a similar manner by nitric acid. If silver was indi- 
cated, use the silver needles. Considerable practice and a good eye 
are required to obtain accurate results with the touchstone, but this 
is soon acquired. 

Gold dust and retorted amalgam should also be examined for mer- 
cury. This is done by putting a small fragment into a glass tube, 
closed at one end, observing that it falls quite to the bottom. Place 
the end of the finger loosely over the opening, and heat the closed 
end of the tube where the piece of gold lies, in the flame of the spirit 
lamp. If mercury is present, a bright ring will form in the tube above 
the assay. Upon examination with a magnifying glass, the ring will 
be found to consist of the minute globules of mercury. To be certain, 
make a scratch with a file below the ring, and break off the closed 
end of the tube. Place the end of the now open tube in a few drops 
of water in a watch glass, and then with a feather, or small stick, the 
sublimate may be brushed into the water, and by gently shaking, be 
Caused to coalesce into a single globule, in which form it cannot be 
mistaken for any other substance. 


Absolutely accurate assays of gold bullion require care, skill, and 
first-class apparatus. The skill may soon be acquired by practice, 
but the apparatus must not only be of the very best quality but 
must be kept in the most perfect state of adjustment. It is not 
enough to purchase chemicals which are marked "pure," or a balance, 
supposed to be accurate. The chemicals must be tested, and the 
accuracy and adjustment of the balance and weights verified before 
correct results can be certain. 

The process of assaying gold bullion is divided into several opera- 
tions as follows: Melting the crude gold and casting the bar, cutting 
the assay chips, the assay proper, calculating the results, and stamp- 
ing the fineness and value on the bar. 

For melting, a wind furnace is best, but a good coal stove, such as 
used in offices, will answer the purpose if the amount operated upon 
be small. The wind furnace is a square box of fire-brick, built in the 
form of a cube of three-foot face, with an opening in the center of 
the upper face. The firebox is about a foot square and fourteen 
inches deep, provided with an ash pit, movable grate, bars, and sliding 


cast-iron cover. The flue should be a horizontal opening, about three 
by six inches, near the top of the firebox, and connected with a chim- 
ney at least thirty feet high, to insure a good draft. The furnace can 
be built by any bricklayer of ordinary skill and judgment. No mor- 
tar should be used in laying the fire-brick, but good clay, mixed with 
a portion of coarse sand substituted. 

Gold is generally melted in a black lead crucible. Before such a 
crucible can be safely used, it must be annealed. Were this neglected, 
and it should be placed in the fire without this precaution, it would 
soon fly to pieces. This is caused by the water it contains being con- 
verted into steam; and the structure of the material being such that 
the steam cannot make its escape, destruction of the crucible follows. 
It is best to commence annealing the crucible some time before it is 
wanted. It should be set near the hot furnace for several days and 
turned occasionally. When the fire is nearly spent, it may be placed, 
rim downward, upon the hot sand in the pan generally placed on top of 
the furnace. A day or two of such treatment will make it safe to hold 
it over the open furnace by the aid of the crucible tongs or poker. 
After it has been frequently turned, and is hotter than boiling water, 
it is safe to place it, rim downward, upon the burning coals. When 
the rim is red hot, all danger is passed, and it may be turned and 
placed in position for the reception of the gold. 

If the fuel is charcoal, it will be best not to use small pieces, or at 
least not coal dust. Pieces the size of an egg, or larger, will make the 
best fire. When the crucible becomes red hot, a long piece of quarter- 
inch gas pipe is used to blow out any dust or ashes that may have 
fallen into it, A cover is then placed on the crucible, and lumps of 
coal built up around it with a long pair of cupel tongs. 

When the crucible has attained a full red heat, one or two spoon- 
fuls of borax, wrapped in paper, are placed in it, using the cupel 
tongs. When the borax has melted a small quantity of gold dust, 
also wrapped in paper, is placed in the crucible in the same manner. 
Several portions may be thus added, according to the size of the cru^ 
cible. A fresh supply of charcoal must be built up around the cru- 
cible when required, the cover having been previously replaced. 
When the gold has melted down, more is added in the same manner, 
until the crucible has received all that is to constitute the bar. In 
the meantime, the ingot mold, in which it is intended to cast the 
gold, must be made smooth and clean inside. This is best done by 
rubbing with sandpaper and oil, or with a dry piece of pumice stone. 
It is then wiped dry and clean with a rag, oiled slightly, and placed 
on the edge of the furnace in such a position that it may become 
quite hot; not so hot, however, as to approach redness, nor to cause 
the oil to burn. 

When the gold is in a fluid state in the crucible, the mold must be 
placed on a level surface and oil poured into it. To make a clean 
bar, it will be found best to use considerable oil — sufficient to cover 
the bottom of the mold to the depth of at least one fourth of an inch. 
The mold should be turned in such a manner as to allow the oil to 
flow to all parts of its interior, and then placed again level and in the 
position it is to occupy while casting the gold. If the gold is clean, 
and the quantity less than fifty ounces, it is best not to attempt to 
skim it. Two spoonfuls of nitrate of potash may be added, and one 
of carbonate of soda, and the whole allowed to melt and flow oyer 
the surface of the gold. When very hot and the slag perfectly fluid, 


the crucible is lifted from the furnace and with a bold and steady 
hand poured into the mold, the crucible being held for a little time 
in an inverted position, to allow the last portion of gold to flow from 
it. The oil inflames and remains burning on the slag, which flows 
evenly on the surface of the gold. If the mold is clean, and of the 
right temperature, and if sufficient oil is used, a clean bar will result. 
A little practice will enable the operator to hit the exact conditions. 
The oil used should be a cheap animal oil; common whale oil answers 
every purpose; lard oil is also well suited. Coal oil is too inflamma- 
ble as well as dangerous, and should never be used. When cold, the 
bar falls easily from the mold ; a slight tap with a hammer separates 
the slag, and the bar may be cleaned with water and nitric acid, or, 
if necessary, with sand and a suitable brush. A good plan is to place 
the bar in the furnace until it becomes nearly red hot, and then to 
quench it suddenly in water. This will be unnecessary if proper pre- 
cautions have been observed in preparing the mold. 

When the gold is very impure — which is the case when in the form 
of retorted amalgam which has not been properly cleaned — a differ- 
ent method of treatment should be adopted. A larger sized crucible 
will be required. Three or four times the amount of flux must be put 
in, with the addition of a spoonful of carbonate of potash. A skimmer 
must be prepared by forming the end of a large wire, about the size 
of a common lead pencil, into a spiral about an inch and a half in 
diameter, and bending it so that when the skimmer is let down verti- 
cally into the crucible, the spiral will lie flat upon the surface of its 
contents. A bucket of water is set near the furnace, and, when the 
slag has become fluid, and it is beyond question that the gold has 
become perfectly melted, the skimmer is touched to the slag and 
gently moved from side to side; a portion of the slag adheresto the 
iron, the skimmer is removed and plunged into the water, and imme- 
diately replaced in the crucible; an additional portion attaches itself 
to the skimmer, which is again quenched in water. This is repeated 
until a large portion of the slag is removed, and a new charge of flux, 
consisting, this time, of borax and nitrate of potash, is allowed to fuse 
upon the surface of the gold. The first flux is removed from the 
skimmer by a slight blow with a hammer, and the crucible is skimmed 
with it as before. This must be repeated until all iron and other 
impurities have been removed, and the surface of the molten gold 
appears, when exposed, clean and reflective as a mirror. It may then 
be poured into the mold, as described before. Care should be taken 
not to dip the wet skimmer beneath the .surface of the gold, or an 
explosion will take place. 

In large meltings it is customary always to skim the gold before 
pouring, and so far to remove the slag that any remaining portion 
may be left on the sides of the crucible, and the gold only allowed to 
flow into the mold. This requires some skill and considerable prac- 
tice. As it is imperative that the bar should be homogeneous to 
insure a correct assay, it is usual to mix the melted gold thoroughly 
before pouring. This is done in the large way by stirring just before 
lffting from the furnace. It may be done with an iron rod, with a 
piece of black lead held with the tongs, or with a clay stirrer made 
specially for that purpose, in which case it will be necessary to allow 
it to remain in the crucible until it has acquired the temperature of 
the fused gold; otherwise, a portion of the gold may attach itself to 
the stirrer and be removed with it. In small meltings it will be 


found sufficient to mix the gold by giving the crucible a rotary motion 
while holding it with the tongs just previous to pouring. This must 
be done so quickly that the crucible has no time to cool. For very 
small fusions it is best to use a small Hessian crucible, and, when the 
gold is melted with plenty of flux, to set it aside to cool, and then 
break the crucible and separate the pieces of crucible and portions of 
slag by slight blows of a hammer on the edges of the button. It is 
very difficult to pour small quantities of gold without loss from por- 
tions remaining on the sides of the crucible. 

When the bar is clean, a small portion must be taken from differ- 
ent parts for assay. It is customary to cut from opposite corners with 
a cold-chisel, but this is extremely clumsy and in every way incon- 
venient. If the bar is brittle, a much larger piece may break off 
with the chip than is required. If the proper sized chip is cut off 
successfully, it is likely to fly away and be lost. A better way is to 
bore into the bar in different parts with a small drill. This may be 
done in a lathe, or by means of a ratchet drill. The bar should be 
placed in a clean copper pan, so that no loss may occur; the surface 
borings, resulting from the first revolutions of the drill, should be 
rejected. Those that follow, to the extent of a little more than one 
gram, are to be placed in a suitable vessel and carefully preserved 
for assay. Before cutting or boring the bar, the number of the assay 
should be stamped upon it, and the same number placed with the 
clippings. This number should represent the bar through every 
stage of the assay by which its value is ascertained. Some assay ers 
stamp the initial of their name on the cut faces, so that no portion 
can be removed after it leaves their hands. 

The next step is to ascertain the weight of the bar in troy ounces 
and decimals. This must be done with the greatest accuracy. A 
good bullion balance is much to be desired; but a bar can be weighed 
on a defective balance if it is sufficiently delicate to turn distinctly 
with the hundredth part of a troy ounce. This method of weighing 
is called counterpoising, and is conducted as follows: 

The beam must first be brought to a level by putting sand, small 
shot, or other convenient weights into the lightest pan. When in 
perfect equilibrium, a small weight is placed in one of the pans to 
test the delicacy of the movement, and if satisfactory the bar is laid 
in one pan and the equilibrium restored by putting any convenient 
substance, as sand, into the other. The bar is then removed and 
ounce weights put in its place, which will be the exact weight of the 
bar, all errors of the apparatus being corrected by counterpoising, 
which will be evident to the reader without further explanation. Of 
course the ounce weights must be proved by experiment to be correct 
among themselves. 

It is sometimes impossible to obtain troy ounce weights, in which 
case avoirdupois may be used. The same rule as to accuracy applies 
equally to them. Each pound equals 14.5833 troy ounces. An excess 
of even pounds must be made with ounces and decimals, which can 
be prepared by any person of moderate mechanical skill. The value 
of an avoirdupois ounce is 0.911458 ounces troy, or one sixteenth bf 
a pound. To make the calculation, it is only necessary to multiply 
pounds by the former and ounces by the latter factor, and add the 
two together. The following table may be used to facilitate the cal- 



Avoiudupois. 1 Troy Ounces. 



Troy Ounces. 










8 ounces 


5 pounds 


]() ounces 

' 102.083333 

8 pounds 



Suppose the bar to weigh twelve pounds and nine ounces, set the 
figures down thus: 

10. pounds. 
2. pounds. 
.9 ounces. 


Look for ten pounds in the table, which will be the same as one 
pound with the decimal point moved one place to the right; 145,833, 
opposite two, will be found 29,166; nine ounces will be found to be 
8,203, which are to be added as follows: 

10. pounds 145,833 

2. pounds 29,166 

0.9 ounces 8,203 

12.9 — weight of the bar. 

183,202 troy ounces. 

When decimals of an ounce are calculated, the values may be 
taken from the first column of the table. Suppose the decimal to be 
.7, or 7-10, move the decimal point in the seventh line one place to 
the left, and the result will be .6380208, which is to be added to the 
sum of pounds and ounces. 

The above method of weighing is sometimes convenient in isolated 
mining localities where no accurate bullion balance or large sets of 
troy weights can be obtained. 

A table having been given to calculate troy ounces from avoirdu- 
pois pounds, the following table has been prepared to reverse the 
operation,, and it will in many cases be found convenient: 

Table for Changing Troy Ounces to Pounds and Decimals Avoirdupois. 

Troy Ounces. 

Pounds — 

Troy Ounces. 

Pounds — 












9 :::::::: 




Gold is always estimated in troy ounces and decimals 
ient set of weights may be constructed as follows: 

A conven- 








300 ... ._ 


>... - 




200 — - .. - 





20 .. -- 



The weight of the bar being accurately ascertained, the next step 
will be "the bullion assay proper." 

The method of conducting the assay is as follows: The assayer seats 
himself before the balance, having the clippings in a convenient posi- 
tion inside the case. Half a gramme weight is placed in the right- 
hand pan of the balance, and portions of the clippings in the other 
until nearly correct, but the gold should be in excess. The largest 
piece is then removed by the aid of a pair of pliers, and touched 
against a clean file,.by which a minute portion is removed. By care- 
ful manipulation nearly the exact point will soon be obtained, but 
with the greatest care; if the balance is delicate, it will be found 
nearly impossible to adjust the weight so perfectly that the index will 
not point either one side or the other of the zero. In such a case, it 
will be necessary to make a memorandum of the error and mark it 
with the number of the assay, and in weighing the cornet to take the 
same reading of the index. 

The gold is removed from the balance-pan and carefully folded in 
a piece of lead foil an inch square. Care must be taken in preparing 
this lead, that it is as pure as possible. It must contain no trace of 
gold. Its purity being established, it is easily prepared by rolling 
out to a uniform thickness and cutting into inch squares ; these 
should always be prepared by the assayer himself, and kept on hand 
in sufficient quantity. Two assays must be prepared, as described 
above. Two small, well made cupels are then to be placed in the 
muffle, and when hot, a piece of pure lead, weighing three grammes, 
is placed in each, which will soon melt and begin to "drive" — that is 
begin to be absorbed by the cupel— the assays are then to be added, 
using the cupel tongs. When perfectly melted, the cupels are drawn 
forward to that point in the muffle which experience has shown to the 
assayer that cupellation progresses most successfully. When the cupel - 
lation is finished, and the buttons have assumed a brilliant yellow 
metallic luster, they are removed, hammered slightly on their edge on 
a clean anvil, and examined carefully with a magnifying glass to see 
that all bone ash has been removed. The two buttons should weigh 
exactly alike; if this should not be the case, the heaviest one must be 
examined carefully to see if any particle of bone ash may have been 
overlooked. If this should fail, there is no recourse but to make 
another assay, which should agree with one of the first. The correct 
weight of one of the buttons in half milligrammes represents the total 
fineness, or the gold and silver in the bar, expressed in thousandths. 

The weight of the buttons being carefully noted, pure silver is added 
and they are again cupelled. It has been found that silver cannot be 
dissolved out of an alloy of that metal with gold, unless the propor- 
tion of silver is at least two and one half times that of the gold. If 
a larger proportion is used, the gold is left in the form of a powder, 


and cannot be dried and weighed without danger of mechanical loss. 
If less, the gold protects the silver, and the action of the acid ceases, 
while some of the silver remains undissolved. An alloy of three 
parts of silver to one of gold was formerly taken, from which the 
common term quartation comes, but of late years the above propor- 
tions have been found to be best. . 

As the button resulting from the first cupellation may contain silver, 
it will be necessary to ascertain if such is the fact, and, if so, in what 
quantity it may be present. . A , 31 

A preliminary assay is easily made by means of touch needles, to 
be described. When great accuracy is required— as in case of many 
assays of gold from the same mine— half a gramme may be cupelled 
with five or six parts of silver and the proper quantity of lead, the 
resulting button rolled out and boiled in nitric acid, as will be fully 
described hereafter. With the data so obtained it will be easy to 
make up the proper alloy for the actual assay. By this test the gold 
will be obtaiued as a powder, but the results will be sufficiently accu- 
rate for a preliminary assay. For all practical purposes the touch 
needles will give results sufficiently exact, and may be confidently 
used after a little practice. . . 

Two sets of needles will be required, one, the alloy of which is silver, 
the other copper. These needles can be made by any handy person. 
Absolutely pure gold and silver are required. 

The ordinary plan is to draw out copper wire through a wire plate 
with square holes, to about the size of the square point of a tenpenny 
nail. This is cut into lengths of about two inches— five of these con- 
stitute a set. It is best to commence each with pure gold ; but only 
one is actually necessary, for pure gold is, of course, the standard of 
either set. , . . 

Weigh out ten grains of pure gold, melt before the olowpipe in a 
cavity in a piece of charcoal, hammer square and solder to the end 
of one of the square wires. This requires some skill and an under- 
standing of the nature of this kind of soldering, but any jeweler can 
do it from this description. When soldered, file down even with the 
sides of the wire, and stamp on the wire 1000, which represents pure 
gold. For the other end make an alloy by weighing out very care- 
fully nine grains of pure gold and one grain of pure silver; these are 
melted on charcoal together— care being taken that sufficient heat 
is produced to render the alloy perfectly fluid— hammered square, 
and soldered in the other end of the first needle. This is stamped 
900. One needle being complete, the others are made in the same 
way, as follows: 

Grains Gold. Grains Silver. Stamped. 

o . 2 80H 

---- s 700 

, 4 g00 

- -,- ^ ^ 50Q 

o ::::::::: 6 ::::. 400 

^ 300 

1 8 _ _ 200 

\ ™™i"™™™™™~"«-~~~" 9 :i""""i 100 

The second set is made in exactly the same way, except that copper 
takes the place of silver in the alloy. ; . 

The only source of error is the heating of the solder so hot that it 
melts the alloy, and by fusing with it a new and unknown alloy is 


formed. The alloy should be considerably larger than the needle so 
that it can be filed down, thus removing the solder from all parts 
except where the copper is joined to it. 

A touchstone is best purchased, but the black quartz stones found 
in the beds of some rivers and creeks will answer the purpose if they 
will scratch glass, and acids have no effect upon them. A smooth face 
should be formed by grinding. The true touchstone is a variety of 
black quartz called basanite or Lydian stone, from a well known local- 
ity. It is also found in Bohemia, Saxony, and Silesia. 

The touch needles are used for comparison, as follows: The alloy 
to be tested is rubbed on the touchstone, leaving a characteristic 
metallic streak; the needles are then compared with the streak on 
the stone by placing them in succession beside it, until one is found 
which appears the same in color to the eye; a comparative streak is 
then made with this needle, parallel and near the alloy, both of 
which are then closely observed under a common lens; if they exactly 
compare, the alloy is supposed to be the same degree of fineness as 
the needle; if not, a similar experiment is made with needles finer 
or otherwise, as the case may be; a glass rod dipped in strong nitric 
acid is then touched to the stone covering a portion of both streaks; 
the action of the acid gives confirmatory evidence as to the fineness 
of the alloy. 

An example will fully explain the manner of making up the alloy 
in the bullion assay when the fineness is made known by actual ex- 

Suppose the button is found to weigh 972 one-thousandths of the unit, 
according to the weights used, and by preliminary assay, the gold 896 
fine; which is 896 thousandths. It is evident that there is 896 of gold 
and 76 of silver in the alloy, very nearly. If these results were 
accurate, there would be no use of proceeding any further, but the 
results are only sufficiently so to insure a good alloy for the continu- 
ation of the assay. Multiply the gold by 2.5, which will give the 
silver required to be added to the gold, .896X2.5=2,240; but there is 
already .076 parts of silver with the gold, which must be deducted, 
therefore 2,164 is the amount of silver to be added to the button: 

In case the touch needles are used, a different calculation will be 
necessary. The following formula is self explanatory: 

Let "A" equal the weight of the button after cupellation in millegram~. 

" B "=The fineness of the gold in A, as determined by the touch needles. 

" C"=The gold in the button approximately.* 

" D "=The silver required for parting (two and a half or three parts). 

" E "=The silver already in the button.f 

" F"=The weight of the silver to be added to the button for parting. 

tl-C=Ef ThenC XD-E=F. 

The silver used need not necessarily be chemically pure, but it 
must contain no trace of gold. It is convenient to roll it out in thin 
strips to be cut with scissors as required. 

When the proper amount of silver is weighed out it is to be folded 
in lead foil, with the gold button, and cupelled as before. 

Two of the gold buttons which weighed alike in the first cupella- 
tion, must be alloyed with silver and treated as above. It is not 
absolutely necessary to cupel the alloy the second time, but it is con- 


venient to do so while the muffle is hot— it insures a malleable button, 
which can be rolled out without breaking, and there is more cer- 
tainty, in unskillful hands, of perfect fusion, and, consequently, 
perfect mixture of the two metals, which must be effected to obtain 
perfect results. But the gold and silver may be melted together in 
a cavity in a piece of charcoal, by a person skilled in the use of the 
blowpipe, with the same certainty of success as when the muffle is 

The* buttons resulting from the second cupellation are removed 
from the cupel, hammered slightly on the edges, to remove bone ash, 
and afterwards flattened on an anvil by blows from a small hammer, 
the last blow being given near one edge, to make that part thinner, 
in order to facilitate the rolling process which follows. 

At this stage, before rolling out the alloy, the buttons should be 
annealed; which can be done in the muffle, if still hot, or upon char- 
coal, with the flame of a spirit lamp urged with a blowpipe. They 
are then rolled out into ribbons about three inches long, and rolled 
up into a spiral form upon a glass rod or lead pencil. A slight pinch, 
after the rod is removed, will prevent their unrolling. They are then 
ready for treatment with acid. 

The cornets are next placed in clean glass flasks and covered with 
about a fluid ounce of twenty degree nitric acid, placed on the 
sand bath which acts as cover of the furnace, or on a small sand 
bath supported on the ring of a retort stand over a spirit lamp, and 
boiled until no more red fumes are evolved. A folded piece of paper, 
or a pair of wooden tongs, are used to lift the flasks and pour the 
acid carefully into some convenient vessel kept to receive it, as the 
silver is valuable, and may be recovered when a sufficient quantity 
has accumulated. The same quantity of thirty degree acid is then 
poured into each flask, and, being placed on the sand bath, again 
boiled. A small piece of charcoal, which must not contain chlorine, 
is put into each flask to prevent bumping. After five minutes boiling, 
the acid is poured off, and each flask is filled up with distilled water, 
which is carefully rejected, and the flasks again filled with the dis- 
tilled water, this time quite to the brim. Over the mouth of each 
flask a dry cup is placed, mouth downward, like a cap, and the flask 
and dry cup inverted together. The cornet falls gently and without 
breaking to the bottom of the cup. The flask is then gently raised 
until on a level with the edge of the cup, when, with a quick side 
motion, the flask is removed and held for a moment to allow the 
water to fall from it, when it is set aside. Both flasks are treated in 
the same way. The water in the dry cups is then poured off without 
disturbing the cornets, after which each cup with cornet is heated 
red hot in the muffle. The gold will be found to have regained its 
natural color, and can be removed without danger and taken to the 
scales to be weighed. If the operation has been skillfully conducted, 
the result is practically pure gold. It must be weighed accurately, 
noting any memorandum regarding the position of the index in 
weighing out the bullion in the first operation. Its weight in half 
milligrammes will represent the fineness of gold in the bar, expressed, 
as before, in thousandths. 

Suppose the total fineness to be 970, and the fineness of gold as 
found by assay, to be 898, by subtracting the result from the first, the 
fineness of silver will be found to be 072. Now, as one ounce of pure 



gold is worth $20.6918, one one thousandth will be worth $0.0206718, 
therefore, an ounce of alloy, containing 898 parts of pure gold, would 
be worth 898X0.0206718, or $18.56327. The last three decimals may 
be disregarded unless the bar is very large. 

The value of the silver is obtained in the same way. An ounce of 
pure silver is worth $1.2929, and one thousandth equals $0.0012929. 
This, multiplied by the fineness of silver as found, would give the 
value of the silver in each ounce of the bar. 

To facilitate this calculation I have computed a table by which 
multiplication is avoided : 

Table for determining the Value of Gold and Silver Bullion. 





.000i - - - . 



.000* . .. .. 





.002 _ 

.002 . 


.003 -- - -. 

.003 -. . 









.006 -. . . 



, .007. _. 



| .008 - 



.009 _ 


The manner of using this table is the same as a similar one before 
described : 

800 same as 008 decimal 2 places right =$16.53746 

090 same as 009 decimal 1 place right = 1.86046 

008 = .16537 

898 value of gold per ounce =$18.56329 


070 = same as 7—1 place right $0.0905 

002 = .0025 

072= $0.0930 

Value of gold per ounce $18.5632 

Value of silver per ounce .0930 

Total value per ounce $18.6562 

These results, multiplied by the number of ounces and decimals of 
an ounce the bar weighs, would be its value in dollars and cents. 
Suppose the bar weighed 100 ounces: 

Value of gold $1,856.32 

Value of silver 9.30 

Total value $1,865.62 

The following must be stamped on the bar before it can be sold: 

Number of the assay: name of assayer; weight of bar in ounces and decimals; fineness of 
gold: fineness of silver; total value of the bar in dollars and cents. 

When several assays of gold bullion are to be made together, the 
plan of operation is somewhat modified. Let it be required to con- 


duct nine assays together. Certain tools and appliances will be nec- 
essary which have not yet been described. 

A piece of hard wood is made about four inches square and an inch 
in thickness. On one side a portion of the wood projects to serve as 
a handle; nine half inch holes are bored in the square part nearly 
through the thickness. On the under surface iu -each corner a small 
knob is screwed which serves as feet to raise the board above the 
table. In each of the holes is to be placed a tube of glass closed at 
one end. The other end of each is cut off square, and ground flat on 
a grindstone or emery wheel. The size of the tubes is such that 
they can be easily removed and replaced in the holes. The tubes are 
a little more than an inch long, so that they can be easily grasped 
with the finger and thumb when it is required to remove them from 
the holes. 

Each of the tubes are marked with a letter of the alphabet, from 
A to I inclusive. This may be done with a writing diamond, or with 
a corner of a freshly broken file. Near each hole on the board is also 
stamped a letter, using the same as those marked on the tubes. For 
want of a better name, let this be called a "tube rack." 

On commencing the assay, the bars are first stamped with the run- 
ning number of the assays, to correspond with the entries in the rec- 
ord book of the assay office. Similar entries are then made on a 
small memorandum book, and to each entry letters are added thus- 
No 794, A; No. 795, B; No. 796, C, etc. The bars are then all 'taken 
to the anvil, and assay chips cut from them, or borings taken in the 
manner before described. The clippings from the bar stamped 794 
must be put into the tube marked A, which is then placed in its proper 
hole; those from 795 in the tube marked B, etc. The bars are then 
set aside, and the tube rack taken to the balance. Here other appa- 
ratus will be required. A square block of wood, with a single hole 
bored in it the same size and depth of those in the tube rack, and 
another square piece of wood, with handle, of the same size and thick- 
ness as the tube rack, but instead of holes, nine hemispherical cav- 
ities are cut, each of which is about an inch in diameter and half an 
inch deep. These cavities are marked with the same letters, and in 
, the same succession, as those of the tube rack. The tube marked A 
is lifted from the rack and placed vertically in the hole in the second 
block, which serves for a temporary stand for it. The clippings that 
are contained in it must previously be poured out on a clean piece of 
paper, placed, for convenience, inside the balance case. After the 
assays are weighed out, the remaining gold is put back into the tube 
Ihe assays, in their leaden envelopes, are placed in the cavity marked 
A. B is then treated in the same way, and so on through the whole 

Nine cupels are then marked and placed in the muffle in the same 
order and with the same letters. The object of marking the cupels 
is, that it is sometimes necessary to change their position in the muf- 
fle, and even to take one or more of them out, before the others are 

The manner of marking the cupels is as follows: Some red chalk 
is ground fine, mixed with water, and kept in a small wide-mouthed 
bottle for use. When required to mark cupels, the contents of the 
bottle are stirred and applied with a small camel's hair brush. The 
cupels should be marked on two sides. 

When the cupels are taken from the muffle, they are placed in a 


rack of sheet iron divided into nine compartments, and when the 
buttons are removed they are placed back into the cavities in the 
board from which they were taken when placed in the cupels. This 
serves to convey them to the balance, when they are weighed, alloyed 
with silver, and returned to the muffle for second cupullation. It 
will be seen that to this stage the assays are always kept in compart- 
ments bearing their mark, and with ordinary care no mistake can 

AY hen the assays are alloyed with silver and rolled out, the proper 
letter is stamped on the end of each, somewhat deeply. The assay is 
then rolled up in spiral form in the usual manner, commencing 
at the end which is not stamped. This letter will be as distinctly 
seen after boiling in acid as before. The cornets are then placed in 
flasks, boiled with acid, and dried in the usual manner. 

It has been recommended to place all of the cornets in one flask, 
and after boiling, to invert it in a somewhat capacious dish of water; 
to pick out the cornets with a pair of forceps, and to anneal them 
altogether in the muffle on a tile. I have never tried it, but I con- 
sider it to be unsafe, as with the best of care the cornets are some- 
times broken in the boiling. The elegant plan of boiling a number 
of cornets in baskets of platinum wire, in one vessel, is open to the 
same objection. 

Before attempting to make a gold bullion assay, the following 
sources of errors should be known : 

First, those errors which may result from the non-adjustment of 
the balance and weights. If the balance is sufficiently delicate, most 
of the errors may be disregarded if the weights are always placed in 
the same pan; and all of them by counterpoising, which has already 
been described. Such weighing will do in extreme cases, but no 
assayer should be without a first-class balance. 

Any convenient unit divided into 1,000 parts may be used in the 
bullion assay. For gold assays the unit is usually one half gramme 
so divided, while for silver, being less valuable, one gramme is used. 
It is not safe to trust the weights of any maker, no matter how cele- 
brated he may be, but the assayer should test their accuracy for 

Another source of error is a slight loss of gold on the cupel. This 
error may be corrected by cupeling a proof in the muffle at the 
same time with the assay. The proof is pure gold and silver, as 
near the composition of the assay as can be made. The loss of the 
proof is supposed to be equal to that of the assay and is to be added 
to its weight. 

The manner of using the proof is as follows: First, consider what 
will be the average fineness of the assays being conducted. The pre- 
liminary assays will furnish the data. Let it be supposed that this 
average will be .950, weigh out nine hundred and fifty thousandths 
of pure gold, alloy it w 7 ith two and a half its weight of silver, and 
cupel it in the muffle with the nine assays, boil with the same acid, 
and under exactly similar circumstances, heat to redness in a dry cup 
and weigh. It will generally be found to have increased in weight, 
owing to the surcharge being in excess of the mechanical loss. What 
the proof has gained in weight must be subtracted from the other 
assays; when many assays are to be made from the same mine, an 
alloy of copper, silver, and pure gold must be made up as nearly 


identical as can be with the composition of the bullion, and this alloy- 
used as a proof. Of course a full unit must be employed in this case. 

A third error may result from using an impure acid, causing a loss 
of gold, from its solubility in nitric acid containing chlorine. This 
error may be avoided by always having a little silver dissolved in the 
acid. It is too expensive and wholly unnecessary to employ chemic- 
ally pure acid in the gold assay. Good commercial nitric acid, treated 
in the manner to be described, will answer every purpose. Acid of 
two grades of strength must be prepared from the strong acid, one of 
twenty degrees Beaume, and one of thirty degrees. It is best to dilute 
all the acid to thirty degrees with distilled water, and to add a few 
drops of a solution of nitrate of silver. Let it remain twenty-four 
hours to settle, and add a few more drops of silver solution. If no 
cloudiness appears, the diluted acid is allowed to stand covered for a 
week, and the clear portion decanted from the slight precipitate of 
chloride of silver. One third of the acid is then diluted with distilled 
water to twenty degrees. The process of diluting is easily performed 
by the aid of a hydrometer. A portion of the acid is poured into a 
cylinder deep enough to float the hydrometer, which will sink to a 
certain point according to the density of the acid. The strength in 
degrees can be read on a scale on the inside of the stem. 

Every assayer should possess a hydrometer and cylinder, and dilute 
his acid himself. The acid so prepared should be distinctly labeled, 
and the fact of its containing silver noted on the label. It should be 
used for no other purpose. 

Still another error to be guarded against is the surcharge, which is 
the small amount of silver which always remains in the cornet, no 
matter how carefully the manipulations may be conducted. There are 
several tables computed to correct this. The finer the gold the greater 
will be the surcharge. 

The following results were obtained by a series of careful experi- 
ments in the Paris mint, by weighing out accurately gold and silver, 
both absolutely pure, to represent the fineness written in the first 
column. The results in the second column show the surcharge when 
they are greater than the fineness, and the loss on the cupel when 
they are less. The assays were : 

900 900.25 I 400 399.5 

800 800.5 , 300 299.5 

700 700.0 200 199.5 

600 600.0 100 99.5 

500 499.5 • 

Pure gold for proofs may be obtained in the manner described 
under the head of the chemistry of gold. The pure metal should be 
melted, rolled out thin, cleaned from oil, cut into shreds, and kept 
in a clean bottle for use. 

There are a few points to be borne in mind in making the bullion 
assay to insure success. The alloy of gold and silver should not be 
rolled out too thin, as it is likely to be broken when this precaution 
is disregarded. The cornet must never be weighed without being 
heated to redness. Simple drying will not give correct results. In 
boiling with acid, the flasks should be turned on their sides at an 
inclination of 45° to prevent loss of acid in the event of sudden 
ebullition. A graduated measure should be used for the acid, that 
the amount put in each flask may be equal. Common water should 


never be used in washing the cornet, as chloride of silver is formed 
in the pores of the gold, which cannot be removed, and which being 
insoluble in acid remains in the cornet and gives incorrect results. 


For small operations, the retort used is a deep cast-iron vessel, 
shaped somewhat like a bowl. The top edge is planed level, and 
upon this fits a cover, also planed true, so that when put together, 
the two parts form a perfect joint. From the cover an iron tube 
rises and bends downward, at an angle of about twenty degrees from 
the horizontal. The cover is fastened by a clamp and set screw. A 
mixture of wood ashes and clay is prepared by mixing them into a 
thick paste with water. When all is ready the balls of amalgam are 
placed in the bowl, the mixture of ashes is put thickly around the 
edge, the cover fitted, clamp adjusted, and the whole firmly fixed by 
means of the set screw. All the superfluous luting is removed, and 
the retort placed in a furnace over a moderate fire. The end of the 
pipe must dip just below the surface of water placed in any conven- 
ient vessel ; if the fire is kept well under control there will be no 
necessity for cooling the pipe. It sometimes happens that when the 
amalgam has been imperfectly cleaned, the gold will stick to the 
retort; this may be obviated by chalking the interior of the retort, 
or putting a piece of common writing paper under the amalgam 
balls. However, when the amalgam is clean and has been thor- 
oughly worked over, the gold will come out easily. 

A very convenient way to retort is to drive two small stakes into 
the ground, and to fasten a small iron rod to each, at a convenient 
height; upon this the retort is hung, and around it a fire of small 
wood built. When the retort has attained a dull red heat, and no 
more mercury distils over, the fire is put out and the retort allowed 
to cool; the cover is taken off and the bullion removed. If the 
amalgam has been properly cleaned, it will be found after retorting, 
to be metallic in appearance, and of a gold color. It is ready for the 
melting pot as soon as taken out. 

It is never safe to open the retort before it is cool, nor will it stand 
being cooled in water. Many persons have done themselves great 
injury in their impatience to see the result of an important run, by 
opening the hot retort, and inhaling the poisonous mercurial fumes. 

In extensive runs, when the clean-up is large, a retort of cast iron, 
made something like a gas-house retort, with movable front door, is 
set in brick work and furnished with a cooler surrounded by con- 
stantly changing water. 

Inexperienced miners find it difficult to separate iron from amal- 
gam, which is too often put into the retort without proper cleaning, 
in which case the bullion comes from the retort looking like soot; 
yet the management of amalgam is simple, and when once under- 
stood there need be no failure. 

Many experiments have been made to clean improperly retorted 
gold bullion by the use of acids. This is nearly always attended 
with loss of gold or is inoperative. I once saw a miner in Mariposa 
County cleaning crude bullion just from the retort, by boiling in 
aqua regia — nitro-muriatic acid — after which he threw the acid away ! ! 

Some miners wash amalgam as taken from the bags, first in di- 
luted sulphuric acid, and then with nitric acid supposed to be pure. 


It is almost needless to say that such treatment shows gross igno- 
rance. It is better to properly clean the amalgam and to flux off 
any accidental impurity in the crucible. 


Gold exists in nearly every county in California. To enumerate 
all the localities in detail would be useless. In the second report 
of this office, the subject of placer, hydraulic, and drift mining was 
very fully treated. 


To treat the subject of quartz mining in California with the full- 
ness and completeness that its importance demands, would require 
more time and means than the State Mineralogist has now at his dis- 
posal ; wherefore it has been thought best to defer the whole matter 
till his next annual report, in the hope that he will be able in the 
interim to collect such data as will prove of interest to the public at 
large, and of special service to the millman and miner. While so 
reserving this subject for future consideration, it may be observed 
that the business of quartz mining is in a very healthful and prom- 
ising condition in this State. Purged of such elements of speculation 
as formerly entered into it, this industry is now being carried on 
with something of that system and careful attention to details that is 
deemed essential in the prosecution of other legitimate pursuits. The 
inordinate expectations of earlier times have been moderated, and 
economy has largely taken the place of lavish expenditure, while 
theories have everywhere been subordinated to practical experience, 
many valuable improvements having, meantime, been introduced 
into every department of the business. How large these gains have 
been is denoted by the fact that many abandoned mines are again 
being worked, while ores once rejected as worthless are now being 
reduced with profit. In some instances quartz rock is being mined 
and milled in California that pays on an average not over three dol- 
lars per ton, whereas twenty dollar rock was at one time considered 
too low grade to warrant its removal from the mines. While three 
dollar ore can, as a matter of course, be handled to advantage only 
where the conditions are exceptionally favorable, still, we have in 
this State such infinite quantities of four and five dollar ore that very 
rarely will it be found necessary to run on a much poorer grade. 
Although much of the gold in our California ores is found combined 
with sulphur, not until recently have effective means been adopted 
for fully saving these sulphurets, nor for a long time had any satis- 
factory process for their subsequent treatment been devised. All 
this is now changed or is undergoing a change that must result in a 
very great saving of the precious metal, a large percentage of which, 
under the old wasteful system, was lost. 

In the mechanical as well as in the metallurgical branch of the 
business much progress has been made. While the stamp and mor- 
tar still holds its supremacy as an ore crushing implement, its prov- 
ince is being invaded by other appliances, some of which, having 
been continued in use after the most critical tests, may be expected 
to retain the favor that they have gained with the millmen. And so, 
of various other mechanisms that have already been adopted, or which 
are seeking recognition at the hands of the mining public. 


For many years it has been the practice of Californians to interest 
themselves in the mines of Nevada, Arizona, Mexico, and other out- 
side localities. But, with the improved condition of things at home, 
it may safely be predicted that very little local capital will hereafter 
seek investment beyond the limits of the State. This growing dispo- 
sition on the part of our moneyed men to embark their means in the 
mines of California insures for quartz operations here an early expan- 
sion and a prosperous future. That the number of stamps now 
running in the State will be increased from sixty to eighty per cent 
within the next ten years seems highly probable, and that the busi- 
ness of quartz mining will hereafter see fewer losses and failures than 
have attended it in the past may be accounted altogether certain. 


Since the grand discovery of gold in California, which occurred 
January 19, 1848, the value of that metal produced in this State 
amounts, according to the authorities cited below, to $1,049,323,545, 
the product for 1884 being by us estimated on the basis of the average 
product of the preceding two years. 


1846 to 1868 (inclusive). W. P. Blake's Report on the Precious Metals, folio 

21 (estimated) $807,000,000 

1869 Rossiter W. Raymond 20,000,000 

1870 John Valentine 18,682,972 

1871 : Rossiter W. Raymond : 16,167,484 

1872 ; John Valentine 19,049,098 

1873 j Mining and Scientific Press (October 24, 1874) , 18,052,722 

1874 John Valentine 1 17,617,124 

1875 John Valentine 16,326,211 

1876 John Valentine 16,099,499 

1877 John Valentine 15,237,729 

1878 John Valentine : 17,306,508 

1879 John Valentine ; 18.190,973 

1880 John Valentine 17,745,745 

1881 John Valentine j 17,166,674 

1882 John Valentine , 15,520,325 

1883 John Valentine 13,841,297 

18S4 Estimated 14,680,806 

Total Sl.078,685,167 

j 1 

This, if refined to pure gold and melted, would make about 2,968 
cubic feet, and form a cube having an altitude of 14 T VoV f eet , nearly. 

The following table, which covers the entire era of gold production 
in California, giving both the yearly and total output during that 
period, has been prepared for this report by Dr. Henry Degroot, a 
painstaking and generally accurate statistician. As will be seen, only 
round figures have here been employed, since, however, Mr. Valentine 
may be able to give with exactness the amount of gold received and 
transmitted by the express company of which he is Superintendent, 
to attempt the same precision in compiling a table of the total gold 
product of the State where the data is so uncertain and the means of 
collecting it so insufficient, would be to pretend to an accuracy not 
attainable in dealing with this class of facts: 


DR. degroot's estimate. 



Amount. Year. 




i 1868 . 


1 1869 .. . 






! 1871 



i 1872 . 


1873 . 



1874 .__. .. . 


1875 ... . __ . 



1 1876 . . 



| 1877 



j 1878 . 



1 1879 



! 1880 - _ . 



; 1881 



! 1882 



| 1883 - . .... 



! 1884 (estimated) 



1866 „ .- 


1867 . - 


Early Fictions and Actual Discoveries. — The belief so generally enter- 
tained that the gold discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848 was the first 
ever found in California, is erroneous, placers of limited extent hav- 
ing been met with at various points in the country long before that 
date. As to the early traditions which ascribed to this section of the 
Pacific Coast a marvelous wealth of the precious metals, they are not 
only apocryphal, but for the most part wholly fictitious, it having 
been the custom a few centuries since for the discoverers of new lands 
to magnify their importance by setting afloat stories of this kind. 
Thus, Sir Francis Drake, who, in 1579, visited this coast and entered 
the bay which now bears his name, on his return to England, gave 
such a glowing account of the country that Hakluyt, a historian of 
that day, in writing about it remarks that "there is no part of the 
earth here to be taken up wherein there is not a reasonable quantity 
of gold or silver" — this being said about the district lying adjacent 
to Drake's Bay, in which no sign of the precious metals has ever been 
found. This, then, was a sheer fabrication of the great navigator, 
unless, to be sure, an entire absence of gold and silver may be con- 
strued to constitute "a reasonable quantity" of these metals. Again, 
in a book published at Lorraine, about the time above mentioned, 
there occurs the following passage: "The soldiers of Vasquirus Coron- 
atus, having found no gold in Vivola, in order not to return to Mexico 
without gold, resolved to come to Quivera (California), for they had 
heard much of its gold mines, and that Tatarraxus, the powerful 
King of that country, was amply provided with riches." Stories of 
this kind were rife during the period of the Spanish conquests, hav- 
ing been invented to stimulate the cupidity of the soldiery and 
encourage all to new adventures. 

Of the placers discovered here in early times one was located near 
the Colorado River, San Diego County; this, the first found, having 
been discovered in 1775. The site of this find is embraced within 


the limits of what is now known as the Carga Muchacho mining dis- 
trict, located about fifteen miles a little north of west from Fort Yuma. 
Situated on a dry mesa, with no water nearer than the Colorado River, 
twelve miles distant to the southeast, it is not probable that this placer 
was ever worked much, though some gold has been gathered there of 
late years; the miners taking advantage of the little water afforded 
by the Winter rains, in that region very scanty. Some dry washing 
with machines has also been practiced at this locality. The quartz 
lodes, numerous in the neighborhood, were undoubtedly the primary 
sources of these placer deposits. These lodes are quite rich in gold, 
as is shown by the production made by the Yuma Mining Company, 
who put up a mill there several years ago, and had prior to June, 1882, 
taken out $167,000 from 14,000 tons of quartz. With even a moderate 
supply of water this placer, though not very extensive, could, no doubt, 
be worked with profit. 

The next discovery of this kind made, occurred fifty-three years 
later at San Isidro, in the same county, gold diggings having after- 
wards been found on the upper waters of Santa Clara River, and still 
later in the San Fernando Mountains, both in Los Angeles County. 
These San Fernando diggings were worked steadily in a small way 
for twenty years, not having been wholly abandoned until the Spring 
of 1848. Here considerable gold dust was taken out, to the value, 
probably, of $150,000, or $200,000. From the other placers mentioned, 
however, very little was ever collected. Being by no means rich, and 
but scantily supplied with water, these could, in fact, be worked only 
in a limited way, and were incapable of paying large wages. Some ten 
or twelve years ago portions of the gold-bearing gravel in the San Fer- 
nando region were worked by the hydraulic process, but the operations 
not proving remunerative were, after a trial of several years, sus- 
pended. There is a talk now of new enterprises of this kind being 
undertaken in that district; it being the opinion of good judges that 
under present improved conditions, these gravel banks can be made 
to pay. A project is also at this time entertained of bringing water 
from Lake Elizabeth upon the ancient Santa Clara placer, which, with 
the supply so afforded, it is believed, would give profitable employ- 
ment for many years to a considerable number of men. Gold gather- 
ing in a small way, conducted in some instances by dry washing is, 
and for many years past has been, carried on all through this San 
Fernando region, the merchants at Newhall and elsewhere in the 
vicinity buying small lots of it, for which they pay $17 50 per ounce. 
Colors, and in some cases, very fair prospects can be found in many 
of the ravines in this range and along Placenta Canon, five miles 
from Newhall, where several small parties are engaged in gold wash- 
ing, at which business they make good wages most of the year. 




Compiled from notes made by John S. Hittell: 


Amador County. 

Buena Vista 880 to 940 

Butte Flat 880 to 920 

Clinton 860 to 880 

Drytown 860 to 880 

French Hill 920 to 930 , 

Humbug 920 to 930 I 

Irishtown 860 to 880 ! 

Jackson Creek 860 to 880 , 

Lancha Plana 880 to 940 

Mokelumne River 860 to 870 i 

Red Hill 920 to 930 

Slabtown 860 to 880 I 

Sutter Creek 840 to 860 j 

Stone Creek 850 

Tunnel Hill 920 ! 

Willow Springs 860 ! 

Brown's Flat 920 to 925 

Douglasville 930 to 935 

East Columbia 905 to 935 | 

East Columbia (Lower part main gulch).__937 
East Columbia (Upper part main gulch)__.920 

Knapp's Ranch 940 to 950 

Matelot Gulch 930 

Pine Log 890 to 895 

Rensomville 945 

Rio Vista 925 

San Diego Gulch 940 

Sawmill Flat 920 

Springfield Flat 950 to 965 

Three Pine 935 

Under lava beds at Gold Hill 968 

Yankee Hill 917 to 930 

Butte County. 

Blue Lead 950 

Butte Creek 880 

Bangor 910 

Cherokee 970 

Dogtown 880 

Dry Creek 925 

French Creek 870 

Forbestown 870 to 880 

Forbes Ravine 898 

Hansonville 925 

Holt's Ravine 935 

Honcut 910 to 925 

Kimshew 920 

Main Feather River 890 to 900 

Middle Fork Feather River 890 

Morris Ravine 918 to 920 

Moore ville 890 

Nirnshew 900 

North Fork Feather River 880 

N. S. Flat 910 

Oregon House 900 

OphirFlat 875 

Oroville 920 

Prairie House 925 

Rancheria 920 

South Fork Feather River 892 

Thompson's Flat 940 

Walker's Plains 920 

Willow Creek 900 

.Wyandotte 900 

Yankee Flat 930 to 950 

Calaveras County. 

Albany 892 

Average 900 

Balaklava Hill ...900 to 910 

Byrne's Ferry 860 

Calaveras River S95 

Campo Seco 845 

Cave City 900 

Chile Gulch 890 

Central Hill 780 to 785 

Chichi 935 to 940 

Corral Flat 910 

Corral Hill 955 

Douglas Flat 900 

El Dorado 880 to 890 to 895 

Empire Gulch 870 

I French Gulch 870 to 875 

Gravel Ridge 908 

Humbug Hill 928 to 940 to 947 

Indian Creek 870 to 880 

Jackson 935 to 945 

Mokelumne Hill 930 

Murphv's 888 

Old Channel 905 

Old Gulch 895 

O'Neil's Creek 911 

Pennsvlvania Gulch 908 

Owlsbarron Flat 900 

Red Hill 840 to 850 

Rich Gulch 895 

Salt Spring Valley 700 

San Andreas 900 

San Antonio 850 to 884 

San Domingo 852 

Snake Gulch 875 to 880 

Tunnel Hill 883 

Texas Gulch 895 

Union Claim 942 

Vallecito 900 to 945 

Vallecito Hill 940 

Vallecito Flat 900 to 910 

Waite's Flat 940 

Wm. Holmes 900 

El Dorado County. 

I Aurum City 870 

I Bottle Hill 888 

I Brownsville 900 to 800 to 960 

, Buckeve Hill 91" 

Buckeye Flat 850 

Big Canon 857 

I Canon Creek 885 

I Carson Creek 910 

Centerville 927 

Coloma 880 

Cosumnes 856 to 880 to 810 

! Clay Hill 915 

Coon Hill 965 

Coon Hollow 910 to 970 

Cedarville and Mount Auburn 800 



Deer Creek 895 

Divide, between American and Weber 

Creek 850 to 900 

Dogtown 825 

Dross Ravine 850 

Dry Creek 850 

Empire Ravine 885 

Empire Canon 860 to 880 to S90 

Fairplay 800 

French Creek 820 

French Town 840 

Georgetown 860 to 885 

Gold'Hill 900 to 890 

Grizzly Flat 735 to 650 to 865 

Green Valley 900 

Grizzly Gulch 850 

Hangtown Creek 900 

Hermitage Ranch 950 

Illinois Canon 890 

Immigrant Ravine 910 

Indian Diggings 925 to 900 

Indian Creek 890 

Indian Hill 950 

John town 885 

Kelsey 870 

Kentucky Hill 890 

Latrobe 890 

Matthews' Creek 890 

Manhattan Creek 940 

Missouri Flat 938 

Missouri Canon 775 to 880 

Mount Gregory 830 

New York Ravine 915 

Otter Creek 880 to 830 

Oregon Canon 890 

Pleasant Valley and Newtown 910 

Plunkett's Ravine 905 

Quartz Canon 840 

Quartz Hill 870 

Reservoir Hill 910 to 940 

Rich Bar 885 

Rock Creek 890 

Shingle Springs 852 

Smith's Flat 975 

Spanish Hill 900 to 950 to 987 

Spanish Camp 855 

Spanish Dry Diggings 750 to 880 

Spring Hill 875 

Stillwagen's 675 

South Fork of American River.900 to 890 to 875 

Slate Creek 850 

Sugar Loaf 968 

Uniontown 880 

Webber Creek 888 to 890 

White Rock Hill 965 

West Canon 890 

Kern County. 
Kern River 659 

Mariposa County. 

Black Creek 848 

Blue Gulch 892 

Coulterville, Bear Valley .830 to 840 

Flvawav 862 

Gentry's Gulch 895 to 898 

Horseshoe Bend 855 

Maxwell's Creek 861 

Merced River 850 to S60 

Pefion Blanco 860 

Sherlock's Creek 860 

Sheldon 760 

Solomon's 862 

Nevada County. 

Alpha 917 to 968 to 908 to 965 

American Hill... 875 to 885 to 905 

Arkansas Canon 936 

Bear River 870 to 878 to 900 

Blue Tent 885 to 925 

Beckville 848 

Birchville 942 

Borrjers Ranch 847 

Bourbon Hill 840 to 837 to 844 

Brandy City 870 

Brush Creek 958 to 961 

Brown's Hill 906 

Buckeye Hill. 877 

Canada Hill 545 

Cedar Ravine 865 

Cement Hill 840 to 852 

Chalk Bluff 960 to 970 to 976 

Christmas Hill 980 

Cherokee 910 to 920 

Columbia Hill 922 to 961 

Colton Hill 890 to 964 

Cooley Hill 964 

Coyote Hill 850 to 860 

Crumbeck Ravine 866 

Deer Creek 949 to 950 to 955 

Rough and Ready 875 to 880 

Diamond Creek 845 to 850 to 890 to 906 

Eagle Ravine 848 

Eureka 831 to 825 to 835 to 870 to 853 

Fall Creek 878 to 880 

French Garden 820 

French Corral 840 

Gold Hill 965 to 970 

Gold Canon 920 

Gold Flat 837 to 815 to 831 

Gopher Hill 884 to 825 to 925 to 936 

Greenhorn 865 to 870 

Green Mountain 916 

Grizzly Canon 810 

Hunt's Hill 912 to 935 to 913 to 930 

Humbug-.. 920 to 953 to 885 to 923 

Hitchcock Ravine 825 

Illinois Ravine 861 

Jackass Flat , 859 

Jefferson Flat 874 

Jefferson Hill 911 

Jones' Bar 884 

Kanaka Creek 875 to 880 

Kansas Hill 836 

Kentucky Flat 870 

Lawson Flat 877 

Liberty Hill 896 to 908 

Little York 960 to 892 to 910 

Little Deer Creek 845 to 850 

Lost Hill 885 to 890 

Lost Ravine 870 to 903 

Lowell Hill 904 

Long Hollow _. 834 

Manzanita Hill 820 to 830 

Miles' Ravine 860 

Middle Yuba 880 

Missouri Bar 883 to 884 

Mount Oro 872 

Moore's Flat 860 to 875 

Montezuma Hill 865 

Mosquito Creek 790 to 800 

Mud Flat 818 

Myers' Ravine 860 to 870 

Native American Ravine 884 

Nevada City 815 to 840 

Newtown 826 



North Yuba 890 

Omega 950 to 975 

Orleans Flat 895 to 910 

Oregon Hill 875 to 890 

Osborne Hill 841 

Peck's Ravine 828 to 833 

Phelps' Hill 913 to 920 

Pleasant Vallev 898 to 904 

Picavune Point 850 to S90 

Quaker Hill 922 to 960 

Randolph Flat 920 

Rattlesnake 810 

Red Dog and You Bet-903 to 860 to 875 to 930 

Relief Hill 931 

Remington Hill 920 

Rock Creek 869 to 870 

Round Mountain 834 to 879 

Rush Creek 840 to S50 

Sailors' Flat 870 to 875 

San Juan North 960 

Selby Hill 840 to 865 to 814 

Selbv Flat 840 to 845 

South Yuba 870 to 875 

Scott's Flat 922 to 940 

Shady Creek 900 to 910 

Slate Creek 814 

Snow Point 880 to 885 

Steep Hollow 900 to 903 

Sweetland 900 to 930 

Scotchman's Creek 897 to 922 

San Juan, Columbia Hill, and Hum- 
bug 912 to 935 

Timbuctoo 940 to 950 

Thomas* Flat S54 

Ural 811 to S20 

Virgin Flat 886 

Washington 870 to 886 

Walloupa 852 to 880 to 910 

Woods' Ravine 855 to 845 

Wet Hill S55 to 875 

Wolf Creek 910 to 829 to 825 to 800 

Woolsey's Flat 910 

Wilcox" Ravine 845 to 855 

You Bet (blue gravel) S90 to 919 

You Bet (red gravel) 907 to 984 

Yankee Hill 917 

Placer County. 

Antelope Ravine 770 

Antone 900 to 910 

Auburn Ravine 810 

Bath 870 to 910 

Bear River 900 to 910 to 930 

Bear Vallev 914 

Blue Gulch 925 

Blue Lead 930 to 935 to 940 to 944 

Bird's Flat 893 

Bird Valley 830 to 890 

Brushy Canon 925 

Burnt Flat 865 to 870 

Canon Creek 950 

Canada Hill 900 to 910 

Cedar Company 965 

Colfax Ravine 900 

Damascus 900 to 890 

Deadwood 930 to 945 

Devil's Basin 945 

Doten's Bar 870 

Doty's Flat 750 

Doty's Ravine 750 

Dutch Ravine 310 

Dutch Flat 934 to 950 to 940 to 970 

Dutch Flat Ravine 930 

El Dorado Canon 870 to 935 

Elizabethtown 860 

Forest Hill 880 to 890 

Gold Run 950 to 975 

Green Valley 920 

Grizzlv Flat 905 

Humbug Canon S90 to 894 

Huyck Company 945 

lllinoistown 794 

Indiana Hill 925 

Iowa Hill 900 

Last Chance 915 to 920 

Ladies' Canon 750 to 870 

Long Canon 930 

Lost Camp 940 

Mad Canon 870 

Michigan Bluff 940 to 970 

Michigan Flat 925 to 970 

Minna Flat 890 

Middle Fork of American 870 to 880 to 890 

Millertown 800 

Miller's Defeat 916 

Miners' Ravine 760 

Nary Red 916 to 935 

Nevada Company 945 

North Fork of American 870 to 875 to 910 

North Ravine 790 

Ophir 740 

Paradise 830 to 840 

Pine Flat 800 

Red Hill 960 to 970 

Roach Hill 918 

Rock Creek 910 

Rich Flat .- 915 

Rock Spring 690 

Secret Canon 900 to 910 

Secret Town 825 to 860 

Secret Ravine 800 

Squires' Canon 960 to 965 

Tavlor Company 965 

Van Cliff .--900 to 910 

Virginiatown 775 

Yankee Jim 900 

Plumas County. 

Jamison 860 

Laporte 940 to 945 

Onion Valley 900 

Poorman's Creek 860 to 880 

Sierra County. 

Alleghanv 900 

American Hill 935 to 950 

Bald Mountain 915 to 956 

Balsam Flat 880 

Canon Creek S80 

Cedar Grove 930 

Chaparral Hill 905 

Chipps'Flat 880 

Citv of Six 900 

Chandlerville 920 to 940 

Cold Canon 918 

Craycroft 880 

Deadwood 840 

Downieville 885 

Eureka 840 to 905 

Excelsior 905 

Feather River 870 

Fir Cap (Fir Gap) 828 

Forest City 900 

French Ravine 800 



.Green Gulch $38 00 

Goodwin * 50 00 

Hite'sCove $25 to 30 00 

Louisiana $6 to 8 00 

Mariposa 9 00 

Marble Springs 25 00 

Maxwell Creek $8 to 9 00 

McKenzie 20 00 

Mount Ophir $8 to 12 00 

New Britain 20 00 

Nonpariel $13 to 30 00 

Princeton $16 to 18 00 

Potts $50 to 60 00 

Sherman $60 to 100 00 

Nevada County. 

Gold Hill and Rocky Bar $80 00 

Placer County. 

Empire $8 00 

Golden Rule 12 00 

Green Emigrant 10 00 

Sehnabel's 6 00 

Stewart's Flat Mining Company 15 00 

Wells _. 12 00 

Plumas County. 

Bullfrog $8 00 

Callahan's 12 00 

Crescent $12 to 15 00 

Eureka Plumas 12 00 

Indian Valley 18 00 

Premium 19 00 

Plumas Mill $8 to 10 00 

Sierra County. 

Independence $10 00 

Keystone 17 00 

67. GRAPHITE. Etym. "I W 
Lead, etc. 

Oak Flat . $15 to 23 00 

Primrose 15 00 

Reis 16 00 

Tuolumne County. 

App $15 00 

Anthrac 14 00 

Argentum 125 00 

Big Basin $40 to 50 00 

Burns 15 00 

Carson Creek (portion of vein 60 ounces 

silver per ton) $7 to 8 00 

Columbia 11 00 

Davidson 40 00 

Eagle $18 to 30 00 

Golden Rule $10 to 12 00 

Gillis 25 00 

Heslep - 10 00 

Kimball (extension) 10 00 

Mount Vernon 100 00 

Mooney & Co. 4 75 

Mother lode at Rawhide $8 to 70 00 

Old Gelsen mine 50 00 

Rawhide ._-__. $1 to 8 00 

Small mine, Knight's Creek 50 00 

Starr King 15 00 

Shawmut IS 00 

Summit Pass 8 00 

Summit $10 to 80 00 

Talc Lode $5 to 6 00 

Yuba County. 

Deadwood $30 00 

Dannenbroge $15 to 20 00 

Honeycomb 7 00 

Pennsylvania $15 to 20 00 

Polecat 12 00 

Rattlesnake 18 00 

rite" (Greek). Plumbago, Black 

Graphite, when pure, consists of carbon; but it is comparatively 
seldom found pure, being generally mixed with earthy matters, from 
which it can be freed by mechanical means. The operation is, 
however, expensive and not always satisfactory, for which reason low 
grade graphite has but little value. There are a number of localities 
in the world (Cumberland, England, Ural Mountains, Russia, Ceylon, 
Madagascar, and elsewhere), where a fair quality is obtained in abun- 
dance, from which the market is supplied. No graphite of good 
quality has been found in California, although an inferior article is 
not uncommon in the State. Molybdenite is frequently mistaken 
for it. 

The following constitute the principal places where graphite has 
been found in California: One mile north of the town of Sonora, and 
at Gold Springs, in Tuolumne County; near Port Tejon, Kern County; 
on the border of Tomales Bay, in the Coast Range; near Summit 
City, Alpine County; and at various localities in Sonoma, Marin, 
Plumas, and Sierra Counties. A heavy deposit of this mineral is 
said to have been discovered quite recently at Tejunga, twenty-live 
miles from the City of Los Angeles, and twelve miles from the line 
of the Southern Pacific Railroad; and another at Borer Hill, in the 
northeastern part of Fresno County. With so many discoveries 
reported, but little graphite has yet been mined in this State. Only 


on the Sonora deposit has much work been done, and from this alone 
has even so much as a few tons of the mineral been extracted; this 
neglect being due to a variety of causes, such as the impure character 
of the mineral, cost of mining and transportation to market, etc. 
This Sonora deposit, which was discovered in 1853, was afterwards, 
under the name of the Eureka Plumbago mine, worked in an inef- 
ficient and limited way for a number of years, about 1,000 tons of 
plumbago having been extracted altogether. There being little 
demand for the article in California, nearly the whole of it was 
shipped to England, France, and Germany, and there sold at an 
average price of $100 per ton, which it was at the time claimed 
afforded a net profit of $50 per ton. The cost per ton of production 
and marketing here was about as follows: Mining and preparing the 
material, $5; sacks, $2; freight to Stockton, $9; freight to San Fran- 
cisco, $1 50; freight to Liverpool, $14; commissions, storage, insur- 
ance, etc., $18 50. Not for the past fifteen years has anything been 
done at this mine; pretty good evidence that operations on it could 
not be made to pay. The trouble consisted, no doubt, in the difficulty 
of obtaining here a merchantable article without incurring too much 
expense, this mine containing a large mass of low grade, with only 
a small per cent of pure mineral. From the accounts given of them, 
several of the other deposits found in the State may be expected to 
yield much larger quantities of marketable graphite than this mine 
near Sonora, and as some of them are located near railroads, they 
will probably meet with early and profitable exploitation. 

The principal uses of graphite are the manufacture of the so called 
lead pencils; as an anti-friction substance; stove polish; the manu- 
facture of crucibles; and as a pigment, which is claimed to be very 
durable. This paint is specially useful as a protection for smoke 
stacks against acid fumes. For the three latter purposes, the graphite 
refined from the impure mineral serves very well, and it is probable 
that for such purposes the California deposits will in the future be 
largely utilized. According to Blake, it is found twenty miles above 
Big Tree Grove, in crystalline scales (probably molybdenite); and 
at Knight's Valley, Sonoma County. The following localities are 
represented in the State Museum: (929) is from Sonora, Tuolumne 
County; (1895) from Guerneville, Sonoma County; (3746) from near 
Pine Flat, Sonoma County. 

Gray Copper — see Tetrahedrite. 

68. GROSSULARITE. Etym. Gooseberry (Latin). 

Lime garnet is quite abundant in California, especially in the 
southern counties, where it has often been mistaken for tin by Cor- 
nish miners who have seen it, and several tin excitements have had 
their origin in this mistake. It is found also with copper ore in the 
Roger's claim, Hope Valley, El Dorado County (Dana), and, as in the 
specimen No. 2190, in the State Museum, with datholite, near San 
Carlos, Inyo County. 

69. GYPSUM. Ancient name- Alabaster, Selenite, Satin Spar, 

Plaster of Paris. 

15 27 



Gibsonville 900 to 936 

Hepsidam « 900 

Hopkins' Creek 915 

Howland Flat 900 to 909 to 919 

Kanaka Creek 860 

Ladies' Canon 884 

Middle Yuba 875 

Monte Christo 905 

Minnesota 880 

Near Sierra Buttes 920 

Nebraska (blue lead) 935 

Nelson ". 887 to 906 

Oregon Creek 830 

Poker Flat 890 

Pine Grove 920 

Potosi 912 to 919 

Poorman 910 

Port Wine 935 

Ravines near Laporte 900 

Richmond Hill . 910 

Rock Creek 900 

SawpitFlat 910 

Slate Creek 900 to 880 

Smith's Flat 825 

Spanish Ranch 945 

St. Louis 900 to 925 

Sweet Oil Diggings 875 

Union Company 870 

Washington Hill 906 

Wet Ravine 825 

Whisky Diggings 905 

Young America Flat 800 to 820 

Tuolumne County- 

American Camp 850 

Cooper's Flat 735 to 825 

Columbia .' 930 to 950 

Golden Rule 800 

Jamestown 890 to 900 to 815 to 820 

Montezuma 900 

Poverty Hill 890 to 900 

Shaw's Flat 927 to 930 

Springfield 930 to 960 

Sonora ■ 878 

Somerville 780 

Sugar Pine 900 to 920 

Rawhide Ranch 850 

Yuba Count]/. 

Brownsville 890 

Mooney Flat 900 to 940 

Ousely's Bar ...950 

Parks' Bar 960 

Timbuctoo 930 to 962 


Amador County. 

Conev - 878 

Fogus 780 

Hinckley 800 

Jackson 810 

No. 1. Jones at American Camp (with lead). 540 

No. 2. Jones at American Camp 750 

Kelly & Stevenson 820 to 810 

Keystone 830 

Oneida S30 

Paugh's S10 to 830 

Plymouth 770 to 772 to 840 

Seaton : 730 

Shanghai 870 

Spring Hill 820 to 824 

Tellurium 750 

Butte County. 

Mount HoDe 860 

Nesbit 890 

Calaveras County. 

Angel Quartz Company 900 

Bovee 908 

Dr. Hill 900 

French Gulch 803 

Flanigan 910 

Isabel 875 to 880 

Morgan 910 

Quail Hill 560 

Stickles 885 

Union 904 to 908 

Woodhouse 820 

El Dorado County. 

Clipper Hill 900 

Dane'.-;-. 800 

Eagle 650 

Gray's 895 

Georgia Slide 900 

Hermitage Ranch 887 

Independence 796 


Steeley . 

Mariposa County. 

Bear Creek . 877 

Goodwin 895 

Hite'sCove 814 

Hornitos Creek 650 to 660 

Louisiana 652 

Mariposa 700 to 800 

Mariposa.. 1 f S69 to 875 

Princeton . | Josephine 1 750 to 820 

Pine Tree. [ lode. ] 780 to 790 

Ryerson-.J [ 918 

Wright 738 

Nevada County. 

Allison Ranch . 

Bear River 

Ben. Franklin- 

Canada Hill- 


East End 

Forest Spring.. 

.850 to 860 




.850 to 852 


.846 to 856 

Goodyear Company. 

Gaston Ridge 819 

Gold Hill 850 to 860 to 875 



i lone 815 

Jim 827 

! Lucky 817 

| Merrimac .. 817 

| Murphy 800 

I Nevada Companv 830 to S59 

i North Star 852 

I Osborne Hill 760 to 775 

Potosi 816 

I Pacific 845 

Rattlesnake . -.800 

! Rocky Bar 853 



Shanghai 860 

Shamrock 799 

Sneath & Clay 823 

Union Hill 822 

Upham 821 

Ural -- 802 to 807 

Union Jack 811 to 823 

Washington 860 

Whigham S06 

Wyoming 798 to 819 

Placer County. 

American Bar 860 

Ophir 690 

Rugh 630 

Schnabel's 688 

Sierra County. 

American Hill 877 to 886 

Eureka 875 

Independence 866 

Ironside - 900 

Keystone 93-3 

Mammoth 870 

Oak Flat -*. 780 to 800 

Reis 860 

Rough and Ready 900 

Sierra Buttes 865 

Union 823 

Tuolumne County. 

Big Basin -600 to 785 

Bald Mountain 930 to 950 

Heslep 775 

Mount Vernon 860 to 894 

Reist 790 

Table Mountain 908 to 950 

Rawhide 830 

Talc Lode 600 to 785 

Yuba County. 

Dannenbroge 860 to 900 

Jefferson 840 

Pennsylvania 840 

Sweet Vengeance 880 


Compiled from notes made by John S. Hittell : 

Amador County. 

Bunker Hill $10 00 

Coney $13 to 13 50 

Craft's 15 °° 

Golden Eagle 15 00 

Hazard 12 00 

Hincklev 12 00 

Kellv & Co 14 00 

Mitchell 60 00 

Oneida 17 00 

Paugh's 10 00 

Pioneer 40 00 

Plymouth 8 00 

Railroad 15 00 

Seaton 8 00 

Shanghai 32 00 

Sirocco 15 00 

Spring Hill 8 00 

VanTromp 100 00 

Vaughn 10 00 

Webster 7 00 

Butte County. 

Bateman $30 to $40 00 

Forbestown 20 00 

Genesee 18 00 

Mexican 10 00 

Rare Ripe 18 00 

Round Vallev 22 00 

Shakespeare 10 00 

Spring Valley $10 to 18 00 

Calaveras County. 

Albion $6 00 

Angel Q. M. Company $8 to 15 00 

Bovee ..„• $9 to 10 00 

Badger and Eureka $12 to 15 00 

Chaparral Tunnel 240 00 

Crispin 20 00 

Ella 8 00 

Fisher's 7 00 

Grizzly $8 to 10 00 

Harris — _ - 5 00 

Mina Rica $35 00 

Morris 50 00 

Mosquito 7 00 

Reserve 100 00 

Rocky Bar 25 00 

Skull Company $30 to 35 00 

Santa Cruz 300 00 

South Carolina Co $lu to 12 00 

Thorpe's 10 00 

Union Mine 23 00 

Woodhouse $10 to 14 00 

El Dorado County. 

Alpine $72 00 

Clipper 15 00 

Collins 15 00 

Cosumnes H 00 

Eppley 50 00 

Independence 30 00 

McDowell 3 50 

Montezuma 10 00 

Manning 30 00 

Pacific 15 00 

Persevere 15 00 

Pocahontas 15 00 

Plymouth 18 00 

Rosecrans 12 00 

Shepard 25 00 

Stillwagen 1 25 00 

Woodside 30 00 

Mariposa County. 

Adelaide $8 00 

Black... 40 00 

Benton MiiIs7-~-L-~- 29 00 

Calico 20 00 

Cherokee 35 00 

Coward 40 00 

Crown Lead 9 °° 

Derrick $20 to 30 00 

Epperson $9 to 13 00 

Ferguson 25 00 

Flanigan... 35 00 


This mineral is a hydrous sulphate of lime. (CaO, S0 8 +2 HO.) 

Sulphuric acid 46.5 

Lime 32.6 

Water 20.9 


H=1.5— 2. -2.328. Color: white, gray, pink, yellow, 
blue, and sometimes almost black; transparent to opaque. When it 
is fine grained and compact it is called Alabaster, from "Alabaster" 
or "Alabastra," the ancient name of a box for holding perfumes and 
ointments; whether the box was named from the stone, or the 
reverse, is uncertain. Alabestrites, from which these boxes were 
made, was aragonite, or stalagmite, probably the variety described 
under the head of onyx marble. Gypsum in transparent plates, like 
mica, is called selenite, from the Latin "selenitis/ 5 the moon; the 
word being of Greek derivation: and when fibrous satin-spar. 

Gypsum is employed in the arts as a cement (Plaster of Paris), and 
as a fertilizer. For the latter purpose it must in time be extensively 
used on the lands of California, now being rapidly exhausted. The 
farmers will some day awake to the fact that they cannot continue to 
harvest crop after crop from their lands without returning something 
to them, and the day is not far distant when fertilizers of all kinds will 
be used and not wasted as at present. Plaster of Paris is made by cal- 
cining pulverized gypsum at a low heat in iron kettles, by which the 
water is driven off. When so prepared, it has the remarkable and use- 
ful property of hardening again when water is added. When calcined 
with alum a harder cement is formed, " Keene's." When borax takes 
the place of alum it forms "Parian;" when pearl ash, "Martin's ce- 
ment." Stucco is Plaster of Paris mixed with weak glue. Plaster of 
Paris is used with lime for hard finish plastering, and for making imi- 
tation marbles, for filling in between floors, and in other useful ways. 

In the manufacture of bay salt, extensively produced on the shores 
of San Francisco Bay, and described in the second annual report of 
the State Mineralogist, sulphate of lime (gypsum) deposits from the 
sea water in the tanks. This deposit at the works of the Union 
Pacific Salt Company is estimated by Mr: Winegar to be over 1,000 
tons per year. This could be gathered, ground, and washed to re- 
move the salt, in which condition it would be valuable to sow on the 
lands as a manure. It is a question if there is another locality where 
so large a quantity of a valuable fertilizer would remain so long 
unused. At the other salt works the same material forms in pro- 
portion to the quantity of salt produced. The following California 
localities of gypsum are given by Blake: 

Los Angeles County, in the Great Basin, near the entrance to 
the Soledad or "New Pass." San Diego County, along the banks of 
Carizzo Creek, and on the slope of the Desert. Tulare County, at 
the vein of stibnite in crystals. Nevada County, near the Truckee 
Pass, in beautiful stellar radiations, from half of an inch to three 
inches in diameter — (Cabinet of C. W. Smith, Grass Valley). Fine 
specimens are brought from the Ojai Ranch, Ventura County. It is 
found also in the mountains of the Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo 
County. The following localities are represented in the State Museum : 
(362.) Lockwood Creek, Los Angeles County. (667.) Monterey County. 
(2268.) Near Breckenridge Kern County. (3726.) Near Hill's Ferry, 
Stanislaus County. (5018.) Posa Creek, Kern County. 



Arrovo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, Los Angeles County 
(Blake). Point Sal, Santa Barbara County (6051). 


In large slabs, Soledad Canon, Los Angeles County. 

(354.) Lockwood Creek, Ventura County. 

(799.) Santa Barbara County. 

(957.) Near Dos Palmas Station, Southern Pacific Railroad, San 
Diego County. 

(1260.) Robinson's Ranch, Lake County. 

(1721.) In large slabs, near Susan ville, Lassen County. 

(2890.) Buena Vista, Kern County. 

(3699.) Colorado Desert, San Diego County, five miles west of Vol- 
cano Station, Southern Pacific Railroad. 

(4089.) San Emidio antimony mine, Kern County. 

(4465.) Bear Valley, Mariposa County. 

(4464.) Near Modesto, Stanislaus County. 

(4672.) Calico, San Bernardino County. 

(4765.) Near Gilroy, Santa Clara County. 


(1847.) White River, Tulare County. 

(4361.) San Bernardino County. 

The deposit in Santa Barbara County (6051 ), represented to be of great 
excellence and very extensive, possesses the further advantage of being 
located within two miles of Point Sal, a shipping station on the coast 
for this portion of the county. This gypsum is of the white or Nova 
Scotia variety, being a kind well suited for making plaster of Paris, 
and which is said to occur abundantly at only a few other points in 
the United States. 

Lucas & Company, proprietors of the Golden Gate Plaster Mill, in 
San Francisco, having leased this Point Sal gypsum bed for a long 
term of years, are now working the same actively, over one thousand 
tons of the raw material having been sent to their mill and manufac- 
tured into plaster of Paris. The article made by this firm is preferred 
to the best imported; plaster, like all these calcareous products, owing 
to the readiness with which it absorbs moisture, being greatly deterior- 
ated by a long sea voyage. Formerly all the plaster consumed on this 
coast was imported, but since the Golden Gate Mill commenced oper- 
ations, about ten years ago, importations have fallen off heavily, and 
will probably be still further diminished hereafter. 

The imports of plaster of Paris at San Francisco have been as fol- 


1874 19,176 1879 5,400 

1875 22,782 1880 3,200 

1876 14,918 1881 5,850 

1877 14.4s7 1882 4.777 

1878 11,038 

Of late, prices have been low, being at present quoted at $2 50 and 
S3 per barrel. 


The Santa Barbara deposit, above alluded to, if of the extent and 
kind represented by the local press, would seern to be the most impor- 
tant gypsum find that has yet occurred in California, being of easy 
access and located in a section of country where this mineral will be 
likely to come into large use as a fertilizer. Gypsum, found at a point 
about ten miles from Los Angeles, has been taken to that city, ground 
in the mill there, and on being applied to the land showed excellent 
fertilizing properties. The gypsum beds of Kern County extend 
along the foothills from Caliente to Long Tom, a distance of about 
thirty miles. Though occurring at intervals along so great a linear 
extent not much is known as to the quantity of the mineral here, no 
work having been done on these beds. Heavy beds of gypsum are 
reported in San Bernardino County at a point forty miles south from 
the county seat and fifteen from the line of the Southern Pacific 

For a number of years prior to the Santa Barbara discovery, the 
mills in this city procured their supply of gypsum for making plaster 
of Paris from Lower California, where an article suitable for this pur- 
pose can be readily obtained, ships being able to come within a short 
distance of the deposit. 

70. HALITE. Etym. Salt (Greek). Common Salt. 

The manufacture of salt was described in a special paper in the 
second annual report of the State Mineralogist. Since that report 
was published, several new salt springs have been discovered, and in 
sinking wells for petroleum, salt water frequently rises. The following 
is an analysis of a sample of water, No. 1936, from Placer County, 
near the Clipper Gap iron mines: 

Solid matter, per gallon 17.65 grains 

Silica, per cent .58 By weight, grains .102 

Sulphate of lime, per cent .53 By weight, grains .093 

Carbonate of lime, per cent 53.55 By weight, grains 9.450 

Chloride of sodium (salt), per cent 45.34 By weight, grains 8.005 

100.00 17.650 

Magnesia, oxide of iron, and alumina, traces. 

The following is a statement of the production of salt in Alameda 
County, since the publication of the second annual report: 

1882, about 35,000 tons; 1883, about 33,000 tons, most of which is still on hand at the works— 
at least 35,000 tons — some having been left over from 1882. Xo new companies have been 
started since 1882. 

Union Pacific Salt Company. 

71. HEMATITE. Etym. Blood (Greek). Haematitis, Specular Iron, 

Micaceous Iron, Red Hematite, Sesquioxide of Iron. (Fe2, 

Iron 70 

Oxygen 30 

The name comes from an early historical period, being mentioned 
by Theophrastus, Pliny, and other ancient writers. Color and streak, 


bright red; translucent in thin fragments. B. B. on ch., infusible, 
but becomes magnetic; soluble in muriatic acid; these tests serve to 
distinguish it. It is a valuable iron ore, and is rather common in 
California, with other ores of iron. 


The variety, specular iron, occurs at Mumford's Hill, Plumas 
County (Edman); in large masses at Light's Canon, Plumas County 
(Blake); near Shasta City, Shasta County (Dana). It is represented 
in the State Museum by the following specimens: 

(87.) lone Valley, Amador County. (1606.) (red) Owens' River 
Valley, Inyo County. (1860.) Clipper Gap iron mine, Placer 
County. (1861.) (ochrous) Clipper Gap iron mine, Placer County. 
(1896.) Kelsev Tunnel, fourteen miles southeast of Crescent City, Del 
Norte County. (1937.) Red Hill, Placer County. (2336.) Alameda 
County. (2833.) (earthy) Monitor, Alpine County. (2285.) (mica- 
ceous) Feather River, near Oroville, Butte County. (3367.) Near 
Campo Seco, Calaveras County. (3652, 3760.) San Andreas, Cala- 
veras County. (3761.) Near St. Helena, Napa County. (3766.) Big 
Trees, Calaveras County. (3773.) Nevada County. (4356.) Diamond 
Springs, El Dorado County. (4652, 4987.) Near Jackson, Amador 

72. HESSITE. Etym. Hess, Russian chemist. Telluride of Silver. 

A single specimen was obtained in 1854, near Georgetown, El Do- 
rado County. It had been washed out from the gold drift, and the 
parent vein has never been found (Blake). 

Hornblende — see Amphibole. 

Hornsilver — see Cerargyrite. 

Horseflesh Copper Ore — see Bornite. 

Hyalite — see Opal. 


A mineral, supposed to be hydromagnesite (no analysis), is found 
in the serpentines on the peninsula of San Francisco, and elsewhere 
in the State. It is represented by specimen No. 1320, in the State 

Iceland Spar — see Calcite. 

Idocrase — see Vesuvianite. 

Idrialite — see Petroleum. 

Ilmenite— see Menaccanite. 

Iodide of Mercury — see Coccinite. 

Ionite — see Mineral Coal. 


74. IODINE. Etym. Violet (Greek). 

Iodine is one of the elements resembling chlorine and bromine. 
It was discovered by accident in 1812 by M. de Courtois, while manu- 
facturing saltpeter in Paris. In decomposing the ashes of seaweed to 
obtain soda he discovered this substance, which corroded the metallic 
vessels in which the operation was conducted. The chemists Clem- 
ent and Desormes, who first examined it, found that at a low temper- 
ature it became a violet colored gas; from this they named it 
"Iodine." Iodine, like chlorine and bromine, has a strong affinity 
for silver; advantage was taken of this in the early history of pho- 
tography. So combined, it is found in nature as iodyrite, or iodide 
of silver, discovered by Vaquelin soon after the element became 

Iodine exists in many marine plants and animals, in mineral 
waters, and in a few minerals, notably with nitrate of soda and salt. 
It is largely manufactured in Scotland from the seaweed abundant 
on the Scotch and Irish coasts. The weeds are thrown up on the 
beach and dried in the sun, after which they are burned, forming 
kelp. This is lixiviated and the solution concentrated by evapora- 
tion, the useful salts which crystallize out being removed from time 
to time. The dark colored liquors which remain are acidulated with 
sulphuric acid, and then heated with bin-oxide of manganese, in a 
leaden retort set in brick and connected with a series of condensers, 
in which the sublimed iodine collects. The apparatus may be found 
figured in "Graham's Elements of Chemistry," London, 1850, vol. 1, 
fol. 492, and in other works on technical chemistry. This process is 
mentioned here because there is reason to think that iodine is more 
abundant on the Pacific Coast than is generally supposed. Dr. Trask 
found free iodine and bromine in the serpentine rocks at Point Lobos,- 
San Francisco. ("Report on the Geology of the Coast Mountains, 
etc., J. B. Trask, State Geologist, 1854," fols. 26 and 92.) About seven- 
teen years ago I made an analysis of mineral water containing a 
large quantity of iodine. The sample was furnished by Mr. Fargo, 
of San Francisco, who has since informed me that the spring from 
which it was taken was at the entrance of Grizzly Canon, Lake 
County, five or six miles from Wilbur Springs. In a letter by Dr. 
John A. Veatch, quoted in the third annual report of the State Min- 
eralogist, 1883, fol. 17, he writes: "Nothing of much importance 
presented itself until reaching the saline district, about eighty miles 
south of Red Bluff. It is on one of the branches of Stony Creek. 
Valuable salt springs exist here. The waters contain the borates in 
minute quantities, and one spring was remarkable for the enormous 
proportion of iodine salts held in solution." I have long suspected 
that the mother liquors of the borax works in California and Ne- 
vada contained iodine, and have it still in mind to examine them in 
the near future. The recent discovery of nitrate of soda in Califor- 
nia and Nevada adds to the likelihood of finding iodine. Mineral 
water containing iodine, but no objectionable minerals, must of neces- 
sity constitute a valuable medicinal agent in the hands of medical 
men familiar with its analysis. And here it is proper to call atten- 
tion to the importance of having an official guide-book to the min- 
eral springs of the State, containing full and careful analyses of all 
the known springs, made in the laboratory of a State institution, and 
at the public expense, the accuracy of which could not be questioned, 


as those made in the interest of the proprietors of the springs some- 
times are. 

Iodine is a valuable substance, being much used in the arts, and 
indispensable in medicine; and as it brings a high price, its produc- 
tion in the State is a matter of importance. 

75. IRIDIUM. Etym. Rainbow (Latin). 

This is one of the metals of the platinum group, and is never found 
except in association with the others. The metals of the "platinum 
group" are platinum, iridium, rhodium, osmium, and palladium. 
These metals are found in placers like gold, and general^ if not 
invariably associated with that metal, and frequently with copper, 
magnetite, zircons, and sand. The proportions of the platinum 
metals vary among themselves, platinum grains being in the major- 
ity. Iridium, like the others of the group, is invariably found in the 
metallic state, always alloyed with platinum or osmium, as platini- 
ridium, and iridosmine or osmiridiumin flat metallic scales, tin-white, 
and infusible. H=67, sp. gr.=19.3— 21.12, only slightly malleable. 
A specimen from California gave the following analysis (Dana): 

Iridium 53.50 

Rhodium 2.60 

Ruthenium 0.50 

Osmium 43.40 


Iridium was discovered and made known by Smithson Tennant 
in 1804. In dissolving native platinum in aqua regia a residue 
remained, which proved to be a new metal, iridium and osmium. 
Iridium being very hard is used in the arts for a number of purposes 
for which it is specially fitted; such as points for gold pens, called 
diamond points, for which purpose it must be very carefully selected. 
The ore is first spread on paper and the iron removed with a magnet; 
it is then sifted to remove fine dust, and subjected to the action of 
quicksilver to remove gold, then boiled with acids, washed, and dried. 
From what remains, pieces are picked out with forceps by hand, 
under a magnifying glass; only those suitable for the purpose are 
selected. This must be done by a person of experience. The por- 
tion rejected is then treated by fusion and the action of acids, by 
which platinum is separated, and it is then ready for other uses, 
such as the manufacture of plates for drawing steel and gold wire, 
knife edges for chemical balances, hypodermic needles, electric light- 
ing, bushing for the touchholes of heavy ordnance, etc. 

Iridium has been found with gold and platinum in all the stream 
washings or placer mines of California — also in the auriferous beach 
sands. As not much effort has ever been made by the miners to save 
it, the quantity collected in this State has not been large. During the 
earlier stages of gold washing, when operations were prosecuted on a 
more extended scale, the miners finding this troublesome stuff in their 
sluices, where its great weight had retained it with the gold, were at 
much pains to separate it from the latter, after which, being ignorant 
of its value, the most of it was thrown away. Afterwards, when the 
miners found out what it was, they began to save this metal, and small 
lots, finding their way to San Francisco, were sold at such prices as 
happened to be offered for it, there being no regular purchasers in this 


market. For a number of years considerable quantities of iridium 
continued to be sent to this city, some of it gathered in this State and 
some coming from Oregon. Latterly, however, the business of collect- 
ing it seems to have entirely ceased, but for what reason is not quite 
apparent, as placer operations are still conducted in California on a 
large scale. Whether the prices paid for the metal here were so little 
satisfactory that the miners did not care to further look after it, or 
whether they no longer find it in their sluices, we are not advised; the 
latter, however, can hardly be the case. 

Of large quantities of iridium collected very little is found of the 
size and shape that adapts it for the special uses that render such small 
portion extremely valuable. For instance, hardly one per cent of any 
average lot will prove suitable for pointing gold pens, or for the other 
delicate work for which the metal is used. Selecting these particles, 
dealers pay for them large prices, perhaps twenty, thirty, or even fifty 
dollars per troy ounce; whereas, for the rejected portions, they will pay 
scarcely more than three or four dollars per ounce, and for a very poor 
quality not one quarter as much. But, even at the least price paid for 
this metal, it might be worth while for our miners to look after it, if 
the placers continue to yield it, as it can be recovered and saved, where 
gravel washing is going on, with very little extra labor. The cheaper 
and lower grade metal is used for making iridium oxide, a black pig- 
ment employed for decorating fine porcelain. It is also useful, and 
perhaps essential, in the production of electric lights, Edison having, 
it is said, sent to California for all that could here be obtained of that 

In melting gold in the United States Mint in San Francisco, and 
in the bullion refineries of the State, much iridium was collected 
which rose to the surface of the melted gold, and was skimmed off 
with the flux or dross. At the San Francisco Assaying and Refining 
Works, under the management of Kellogg & Hewston, large quan- 
tities were so collected. The principal localities in the State where 
it has been found will be given under the head of Platinum. 

Iridosmine — see Iridium and Platinum. 

Iron Garnet — see Garnet. 

76. IKON AND IRON ORES. See also Hematite, Limonite, and 

Of all the metals known to man, iron is the most generally useful. 
It has been said that the civilization of a country may be measured 
by the quantity of iron produced and consumed. While iron is the 
most useful of metals, it is at the same time the most widely distrib- 
uted. Although seldom found in a metallic state in nature, it seems 
to permeate the earth's crust, and appears in many forms. It is one 
of the constituents of the granites which are considered to be almost 
the foundation of the earth. It is abundant as an ingredient in 
the volcanic rocks, and still more so in mountain masses, beds, strat- 
ified deposits, eruptive masses, etc., at many localities on the surface 
of the earth. It is found in mineral waters, and it circulates in solu- 
tion in the veins and tissues of plants and animals. 

Native iron being extremely rare, being almost wholly, as far as 
known, of meteoric origin, we must look to the ores of that metal for 
our material. These ores occur in rocks of all ages, and are abun- 


dant in California at a number of known localities. There are two 
distinct classes of iron ores that are sought by the smelter: those 
known as spathic, the most important of which is siderite or carbonate 
of iron, and the oxidized ores known as magnetite, hematite, and 
limonite. The latter are the most common in the State. Iron occurs 
in other forms, combined to a greater or less extent with other sub- 
stances and metals, as franklinite, pyrites, titaniferous iron, chrome- 
iron, magnetic sands, etc., which have their uses in the arts, but which 
are not suitable for the production of the metal. 

Long ages passed, after man appeared on the earth, before the use 
of iron was discovered. That metal has so strong an affinity for 
oxygen that it does not long remain in a metallic state, and there 
is nothing in the appearance of the rusty looking oxides that would 
indicate to the uneducated mind that a valuable metal could be 
extracted from them. The progress was gradual, as shown by the 
study of primitive man— from the use of rude stone implements to 
those of polished stone, then to the era of bronze and copper, fol- 
lowed in comparatively modern times by the use of iron. There can 
be no doubt that gold and copper were in common use long before 
iron was known. When this metal was first introduced it was, no 
doubt, far more precious than gold. It represented excessive labor, 
while gold and copper were found in a metallic state, and were easily 
wrought. The relative value of these metals in early times is illus- 
trated by swords and knives of gold, the edges only being of iron, 
found in ancient mounds in Denmark, with older implements of the 
stone age, now preserved in the Museum of Copenhagen. 

Manifold are the uses to which iron may be put, from the construc- 
tion of the hull of a war ship to the tiniest screw in a lady's watch. 
It can be rolled into sheets as thin as paper, drawn into the finest 
wire, twisted and woven, rolled into bars that can be tied into knots 
without breaking. It can be forged, welded, and turned into desired 
shapes in lathes. It takes the polish of a mirror, and it can be melted 
like water and cast in quantities weighing many tons. Its salts, and 
compounds with other substances, have many uses in the arts; that 
of war being almost dependent upon iron, which has led to the naming 
many of its salts after Mars, the war god of the ancients. In short, 
this metal has become almost indispensable to mankind. 

There are three kinds of iron in common use: crude cast or pig 
iron, malleable or bar iron, and steel. The different states of the iron 
depend principally on the quantity of carbon they contain. Cast iron 
has the most, and bar iron the least. All iron was formerly smelted 
by the heat generated by the combustion of wood charcoal. In six- 
teen hundred and eleven it was discovered that mineral or pit coal 
could be substituted for charcoal, which revolutionized the iron man- 
ufacture. It was not, however, successfully used until one hundred 
and twenty -four years later. In fifteen hundred and eighty-four the 
attention of the British Government was called to the threatened 
destruction of the forests by the use of the wood for making charcoal 
for iron furnaces. An Act of Parliament was passed restricting the 
use of wood for that purpose. 

In countries where forest trees are abundant, charcoal is still ex- 
tensively used for the production of crude iron. In California, for 
the time being, this fuel must be used, unless our extensive deposits 
of petroleum can be utilized for that purpose. In early times rude 
and temporary furnaces were used for smelting, but in modern days 


they have been improved until they have become models of human 
ingenuity and skill. They now represent large capital. They are 
costly and complex, and, at the same time, nearly perfect in all their 
parts, the result of consecutive years of experience and study. 

As molten iron comes from the blast furnace, it is formed into 
rude ingots known as "pigs," or "pig iron." In this state it is very 
hard and impure, and can be put only to limited use. To render it 
malleable is to purify it. of certain objectionable substances, such as 
sulphur, phosphorus, and, more especially, carbon. This is effected 
by a process called " puddling," by which nearly all the carbon is 
oxidized. For this purpose a peculiar furnace is used, called, from 
the operation, a " puddling furnace," in which the crude iron is sub- 
jected to the action of heat, and a blast of atmospheric air so man- 
aged that the impurities are eliminated, and by a system of stirring, 
which is very laborious, the soft iron is aggregated into "puddle 
balls," which are, while in a semi-molten state, hammered, squeezed, 
or rolled by heavy machinery, until the purified metal becomes 
homogeneous, and is ready to be drawn into bars or rolled into sheets, 
as may be required. The same in effect is accomplished in a large 
way by the Bessemer and other modern processes. 

In view of the importance to California of a supply of cheap iron of 
home production, and as it is desirable that many idle hands should 
be employed, and that money sent abroad for what could well be 
produced in the State, should be retained in the land to circulate 
among our citizens and impart new life to our waning prosperity, it 
is interesting to know that at least one of the iron deposits of the 
State is being developed, and the question solved as to whether labor 
and capital in California can and will cooperate to their mutual 
advantage, and thus institute important iron interests leading to 
other industries and manufactures, without which the State must 
recede rather than advance in prosperity and importance. 

The deposit alluded to is in Placer County, near Clipper Gap. 
The property is in the hands of some of California's most enterpris- 
ing citizens, and what is very important in a work of such magni- 
tude, is backed by ample capital. The furnace and charcoal ovens 
were nearly complete when visited by the State Mineralogist in 
October, 1883. The furnace is constructed on the most modern and 
approved plans. No expense has been spared to make it as complete 
and perfect as possible. It is due to the State Geological Survey, 
conducted by Professor Whitney, to state here that the information 
which led to this important result is given in the volume on Geol- 
ogy, folio 284, in the following words: 

The ore crops out on a hillside and forms a mass more than thirty feet thick, of which the 
longitudinal extent is not known, although it is evidently considerable. It is hematite, per- 
haps mixed with some limonite, and has not yet been analyzed. It appears, however, to be of 
excellent quality, and is remarkably pure and free from intermixture with rook. With the 
present prices of fuel and labor, it is not easy to say how soon California will be able to manu- 
facture her own iron; but this locality is, perhaps, more favorably situated than any yet dis- 
covered in the State for trying the experiment. 

This statement, published eighteen years ago, attracted the atten- 
tion of a gentleman identified with the iron interests, and led to the 
enterprise above mentioned. 

Samples of ores, limestones, fire clays, and other products have 
been sent to the State Museum. 



Few countries consume so much iron in proportion to their popu- 
lation as California, notwithstanding this metal has here always com- 
manded extra high prices. This comparatively large consumption 
grows out of our considerable requirements for mining purposes, and 
the extent to which we employ this material in building houses, 
fences, bridges, etc., the high prices we have had to pay for it being- 
due to the fact that our supplies have been imported" from distant 
sources of production, subjecting them to heavy freights and other 
charges, and compelling dealers to keep large and varied stocks con- 
stantly on hand. The destructive fires that so frequently occurred in 
the early history of the State, led to a free use of iron in the erection 
of warehouses, stores, and other business structures in cities and 
larger towns. Additional demands meantime had sprung up for the 
outfitting of quartz mills, hydraulic plant, etc., the growth of such 
demands keeping pace w T ith the expansion of these several branches 
of mining. The substitution of iron pipes for wooden flumes for 
conveying water across rivers, ravines, and other depressions, has 
also called for a good deal of iron. Then came the era of railroad 
construction, adding immensely to other causes of iron absorption, 
all of which have kept on year by year, undergoing steady enlarge- 
ment. Besides supplying the Pacific States and Territories, our shops 
and foundries have turned out great quantities of mining machinery 
and castings for northwestern Mexico, South and Central America, 
and British Columbia, with some products in this line for China, Ja- 
pan, and the islands of the Pacific, the Hawaiian sugar planters hav- 
ing here obtained all their mills, pans, etc. But with requirements 
so great and the raw material of superior quality scattered abundantly 
all over the State, not until recently were any well directed and effect- 
ual efforts made to manufacture iron in California, the cost of produc- 
tion and fear of foreign competition having deterred even the most 
enterprising from undertaking it. Although companies had before 
been formed for producing this metal here, and even taken some pre- 
liminary steps in the business, not until 1880 was any purpose of this 
kind prosecuted to a determinate and successful issue. 


The annual consumption of pig iron on this coast during the past ten 
years has averaged about fourteen thousand tons, nearly as much more 
iron in the shape of bars, sheets, and in other forms, having meantime 
been consumed. The whole of this, with the exception of some little 
made in Oregon, has, up till the past year, been imported from the east- 
ern States and Europe, mostly from the latter. As the price of pig iron 
in San Francisco has averaged thirty dollars per ton, and of other kinds 
at least three times as much, our annual expenditures on account of 
this item have amounted to $1,350,000— $13,500,000 for the above period, 
and $35,000,000 or $40,000,000 since the State was founded. That such 
a drain upon our means should have been suffered to go on so long with- 
out any effectual steps being taken to check it, does not argue well for 
either the thrift or the enterprise of our people; more especially as 
we possess the raw material in such profusion, as well as the skill 
and capital requisite for transforming it into useful shapes. What 


has tended to somewhat relieve the stringency of the iron question 
here has been the manner in which the extensive rolling mills, 
erected in San Francisco some fifteen years ago, have since been able 
to work up the large quantities of old iron that before were either 
thrown aside as useless, or gathered up and shipped out of the coun- 
try. Except as affected by the product of these rolling mills, our 
iron market has, until lately, been without any competitive check. 
Besides filling orders for iron in cases of emergency, and which could 
otherwise have been filled only after a long delay, these mills have, 
in a general way, rendered valuable service to all our other industries. 
Nevertheless, many of our vital interests have suffered materially 
through long neglect to produce at home this article of prime neces- 


As before remarked, beds and veins of iron ores are widely dis- 
tributed over California, our wealth in this mineral being surpassed 
by that of few other countries in the world. We have iron fields in 
the northern, central, and southern counties, and even far out on the 
deserts that occupy the northeastern and southeastern angles of the 
State. Iron ore occurs in reefs high up in the Sierra Nevada, and 
even in notable quantity among the sands along the ocean beach. 
We do not claim to have mountains of this metal, but in our inex- 
haustible deposits we have what amounts practically to the same 
thing. These most useful of all ores are found here, not only at many 
points and in the greatest profusion, but they are varied in kind and 
excellent in quality. 


Throughout the whole tier of our northern counties iron ore, at 
least on the surface, is met with. The deposits near Crescent City, 
though not much explored, are apparently extensive, and being close 
to an eligible shipping point will, no doubt, prove valuable. In 
Shasta County the ores of this metal are especially abundant. At 
Iron Mountain, situate a short distance north from the town of Shasta 
and three miles west of the Sacramento River, exists an extensive 
bed of iron ore. The deposit crops out on the mountain side, expos- 
ing thousands of tons of ore in place, detached masses of great size 
being also scattered over the surface of the ground adjacent. As there 
is limestone and timber not far off, this mine could be profitably 
worked by bringing the ore, fuel, and flux together on the railroad, 
when it comes to be extended north from Redding, the present ter- 
minus, as it soon will be. As this property belongs to men of large 
means, something will probably be done with it when the railroad is 
advanced to a point opposite the mine, and from which it will be 
but three miles distant. 


At a point twelve miles northeast of Downieville, and at an eleva- 
tion of 6,200 feet above sea level, occur very extensive deposits of 
magnetic iron ore, much of which carries from forty to fifty per cent 
of metal. Touching the character and extent of these deposits, Baron 
Von Richthofen, in a report upon the same to the owners, remarks 
as follows: " Your mines consist altogether of magnetic iron ores, the 


same from which the celebrated Swedish and Russian iron is man- 
ufactured. A total amount of ore which may be extracted from the 
different deposits, by quarrying, I estimate at about 1,400,000 tons — 
average yield, from forty-five to fifty per cent. Even the removal of 
the ore next the surface will be the work of a generation." The 
ore here is represented to be so highly magnetic that it not only 
attracts the needle, but possesses polarity. This ore is found in three 
conditions— massive, with a bright steel luster, intermixed with car- 
bonate of lime, and interspersed, in the form of crystals, through 
chlorite and talcose slate. Thousands of tons of it could be readily 
mined, and there is plenty of wood and water in the vicinity, but 
the deposits are so remote, and at present so difficult of access, that 
they possess little or no commercial value. In working them, nearly 
eighty miles of wagon transportation, over mountain roads, would 
have to be made, at a cost of $20, or more, per ton. With a railroad 
leading to Oroville, or through the mountains to some point on the 
Central Pacific, the ores here could no doubt be reduced with profit. 


Mixed with the sand on the ocean shore, and extending for long 
distances both to the north and south of San Francisco, are immense 
quantities of magnetic iron ore, and which occurring in the form of 
small particles, constitute a considerable portion of these beach sands. 
A sample of this sand, taken from a drift near the end of the Cali- 
fornia Street Railroad, San Francisco, partly concentrated by the 
wind, contained 5.63 per cent of magnetite. Deposits of a similar 
character are abundant along the entire coast line of the State. It 
would, of course, be practicable to separate this ore from the silicious 
particles with which it is intermixed, by washing, or by the use of 
magnets, as practiced in some other countries; a process with which 
we, but for our more available deposits elsewhere, might be tempted 
to experiment. This magnetic sand makes iron of such superior 
quality, that it has, in some places, long been employed for that pur- 
pose. At Moisic, in Canada, and also in northern New York, this 
class of ore is extensively smelted after being separated from its 
associated earthy impurities through the employment of magnets, 
which perform the work cheaply and quickly. In some cases massive 
iron ore is pulverized, in order to be cleaned in this manner. 


The California Iron Company was organized in the month of Jan- 
uary, 1880, and inaugurated active operations immediately thereafter 
at Hotaling, Placer County, extensive tracts of iron-producing and 
timber-bearing lands, at and in the vicinity, having previously been 
secured. During the first year dams, roads, and bridges, some of them 
very costly structures, were built; houses, shops, and other out-build- 
ings were put up, and a very complete blast furnace erected. Expen- 
sive machinery, including a powerful steam engine, was gotten on the 
ground and put in place, the propulsive power here employed being 
steam. Although operations in the field were consigned to seemingly 
competent hands, the company did not wholly escape the blunders 
and mishaps which at the outset are so apt to attend ventures of this 
kind. Some portions of the works, owing perhaps to a lack of proper 


supervision or planning, proved so defective as to necessitate exten- 
sive repairs, and, in some cases, entire rebuilding, within a very short 
time after they were finished. 

But, despite these disasters and troubles, the company succeeded in 
advancing their works with a good deal of rapidity, getting their fur- 
nace, which has a smelting capacity of 25 tons per day, ready for 
operations in April, 1881. The product of this furnace for that year 
amounted to 4,260 tons of pig iron — being at the rate of about 500 
tons per mouth for the time it was in blast. The monthly product 
made by this company during the first half of 1882, and up to the 
time of their retirement from business, having been somewhat larger 
than during the preceding year. 

The metal made by them has met with ready sale, at extreme prices, 
having been regarded with great favor by all classes of iron workers 
and dealers, who prefer it to the best imported brands, it being, in 
fact, actually worth from 18 to $10 per ton more than the latter. The 
California Iron Company has been succeeded by 

The California Iron and Steel Company. — The new company, though 
composed mainly of the members of the old, have greatly enlarged the 
plans and purposes of their predecessors, it being their intention to 
enter extensively into the manufacture of bar and plate iron, steel 
rails, etc., as well as carry on the business of making pig metal. To 
this end they have not only purchased the entire estate of the old 
company, consisting of their ore beds, furnace, charcoal kilns, wood 
lands, roads, ditches, etc., but have projected large establishments, 
some of which are already completed, for carrying out the above 

While constructing these new works the company's smelter was kept 
in full blast up to the time of its partial destruction by fire, in the 
month of September, 1882, causing a temporary interruption of this 
branch of their business. With these multiplied and enlarged aims, 
it will become necessary for the company to increase the capacity of 
their smelting works, a measure that will meet with early consum- 
mation, and which, when carried out, must have the effect to largely 
curtail the importation of pig metal thereafter. With the product 
of the Washington and Oregon furnaces it is even probable that the 
importation of this staple will, in the course of a few years, cease 
altogether, with the exception of such small quantities of Scotch pig 
as are required for admixture with our home made iron. Meantime, 
extensive rolling mills will be put up at some eligible site, probably 
in the city, or at some point on the Bay of San Francisco, the nail 
factory that forms a part of this project, being already finished and 
fully equipped for active service. This establishment, which consists 
of seven large buildings, having a floor-room of nearly 53,000 square 
feet, is located in West Oakland, on the line of the Central Pacific 
Railroad. Besides nails of various kinds, files, tacks, brads, hard- 
ware, and many other articles composed of iron will be manufac- 
tured here. This company is made up of successful, practical men, 
each member being peculiarly fitted, by experience and natural 
qualifications, for looking after some particular branch of the busi- 
ness they have undertaken. They are all men of large wealth, and 
at the same time active workers — men who earn and execute as well 
as think and plan. The cash investment made by the members of 
the California Iron and Steel Company on account of the Clipper 
Gap estate alone, approximates half a million dollars, their disburse- 


ments elsewhere having been very considerable. As their sagacity 
in divining the future of the State has rarely ever been at fault, these 
heavy ventures may be construed into omens favorable to our indus- 
trial future. 

Since the preparation of my second annual report, this industry 
has undergone some expansion, and, in view of the condition of the 
business elsewhere, may here be considered to be fairly prosperous. 

The California Iron and Steel Company having rebuilt their fur- 
nace, and again commenced smelting operations in May, 1883, have 
since turned out 15,000 tons of pig iron. This iron being of good 
quality, has met with ready sale on the San Francisco market at 
current prices, being now extensively used by our foundries, nail 
works, and other local factories. During the past year this com- 
pany have increased the capacity of their plant, acquired additional 
wood lands, and otherwise improved and enlarged their property. 
The survey of a railroad route between their smelter and Clipper 
Gap, on the Central Pacific Railroad, indicates a purpose on the 
part of the company to connect these two points by rail. This en- 
terprise being in the hands of men of large means and progressive 
ideas, will be kept well up with the times as regards the adoption of 
the best methods and appliances extant in this line of business. This 
company employs about three hundred hands — furnacemen, wood 
choppers, coal burners, teamsters, etc , included. 

The Puget Sound and the Oswego Iron Works — The one located at 
Port Townsend, Washington Territory, and the other near Portland, 
Oregon, are the only works on the Pacific Coast that make any iron 
outside of California, except a little produced in Utah. These north- 
ern works have lately been running to their full capacity, with the 
prospect of being kept steadily employed in the future; the business 
activity incident to the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad 
having created a lively demand for iron all through that region. 
Very little iron from these works was ever shipped to California, and 
hereafter it is not likely that any at all will be sent to this market. 

The Judson Manufacturing Company — Whose establishment is 
located at West Oakland, have, in pursuance of their original inten- 
tion, gone on introducing one new industry after another, until half 
a dozen or more important branches of business are now being car- 
ried on there with marked success : Thus, we find grouped together 
here an extensive foundry, forges, and rolling mills, a file, a nail, a 
tack, and general hardware factory; a department for making mow- 
ing machines and other agricultural implements; spacious wood, 
paint, and blacksmith shops, the whole supplemented with pattern, 
drawing, and packing rooms, and the other usual adjuncts of such large 
and varied plant. The establishment has been superbly equipped, 
and the enterprise being under an able business and financial 
administration, promises to become a great success. The tools made 
here cover a wide range and are of pronounced excellence; and 
such is the company's confidence in their ability to do good work in 
every branch of business undertaken by them, that they have fur- 
nished their works with machinery for making everything they will 
hereafter require in the prosecution of their multifarious industries. 
The iron used by this company consists of the Clipper Gap pig almost 
exclusively, converting it into blooms in their own forges when bar 
and other forms of wrought iron are required. This company have 
in their service over four hundred employes, a portion of them boys, 


women, and girls: the sum paid out monthly for wages amounting to 
about $20,000. 

The Pacific Iron and Nail Company — Have recently put up in the 
city of Oakland a rolling mill, a nail factory, and a machine shop, 
whereat a working force of two hundred and twenty-five hands are 
steadily employed, at an expense for wages of $12,500 per month. 
Eight steam engines, with five boilers, supply here the requisite 
motive power. Of the seventy-one nail machines run, sixty-three 
are self-feeding, the rest being fed by hand. The preparation of the 
iron and the manufacture of nails of almost every variety constitute 
here the principal business carried on, the value of the products turned 
out being at the rate of $750,000 per year. The company is financially 
strong, and is doing a prosperous business. 

Various other works — For the manufacture of iron, or for tlie con- 
version of iron into steel, have been projected in this State, some of 
these being already in course of construction, one or two nearly com- 
pleted. A company is putting up an establishment for making steel 
at the town of Martinez, in Contra Costa County, and have it well 
advanced, the building being finished and much of the machinery 
in position. The site of this company's works has been well chosen, 
both as regards railroad and water transportation. To facilitate ship- 
ments by vessels, they will build a wharf at that place. This com- 
pany will manufacture all kinds of steel by a new process, so cheap 
and effective, as is claimed, that it will bring to them great advan- 
tages. Works are also being put up at the city of Los Angeles for 
making steel in connection with the manufacture of boilers, bolts, 
etc., these works being now nearly ready for operations. 

The Pacific Rolling Mills Company, of San Francisco, have recently 
added to their establishment open hearth steel works, with a yearly 
capacity of 10,000 tons. To the single furnace now in use others will 
be added, should trade requirements justify. The method employed 
here is that known as the Siemens-Martin process, by which a very 
superior steel is produced. In operating this process the company 
have already achieved a notable success. These rolling mills, the 
pioneer in this line, having been erected in 1866, remain the most 
extensive on the coast, the working force here employed, though 
much reduced just now, amounting in ordinary times to nearly 800 
hands. The products of these works include about everything made 
at similar establishments elsewhere, the principal articles manufac- 
tured consisting of steel and T rails, bar and band iron, car and loco- 
motive axles and frames; steamboat shafts, cranks, pistons, etc.; 
ships' knees, chains, and anchor stocks, with a long list of minor 
articles, such as spikes, nails, bolts, screws, rivets, etc. Of the 26,000 
tons of rails and nail plates turned out in California in 1882, much 
the greater portion came from these works. 

The Union Iron Works Company, another of the pioneer institu- 
tions of San Francisco, have during the present year erected on an 
eligible site at the Potrero new buildings, to which their large busi- 
ness will in a short time be transferred. To each of the capacious 
buildings here put up will be assigned one or more of the various 
branches of business carried on by the company; one will serve for 
the boiler department and the smitheries, another for the iron and 
brass foundries, a third for the machine shops, etc. These buildings, 
which cover an average ground area of 50,000 square feet each, are 
divided into compartments separated from each other by rows of cast 



iron columns thirty-two feet high. These works have been furnished 
throughout with the most perfect, powerful, and labor economizing 
tools, mechanisms, and appliances yet invented. When completed, 
the establishment will present a model in its way, both as regards 
equipments, convenience, and sanitary arrangements. A hydraulic 
lift dock and a marine railway, both nearly finished, form a part of 
the company's new works; it being their intention to make the build- 
ing of iron vessels a specialty. This dock has capacity to take up 
vessels 500 feet long. A spacious wharf, to which ships of the deep- 
est draft can come up, two lines of rails, the one extending from the 
wharf to the shops and the other connecting the latter with the out- 
side railroad system, constitute other features of the improvements 
here made. 

While the business of producing, casting, rolling, forging, and other- 
wise manipulating iron has with us, during the past year, shared to 
some extent the depression common the world over, it has, neverthe- 
less, been pretty active, and in some of its departments tolerably 
remunerative. The loss sustained by this industry through the par- 
tial cessation of hydraulic mining and railroad building has, in some 
measure, been made up by the preference everywhere given for our 
mining machinery, for which there have been heavy orders of late 
from South America, Africa, and other foreign countries. Our im- 
portations last year consisted of 23,142 tons of soft, 1,838 tons of white, 
and 17,780 tons of scrap iron. Importations of white and soft have, 
during the past five years, been as follows: 




1 Tons. 




1882 _- 






A visit was recently made to the Iron Monarch iron mine, near 
Campo Seco, Calaveras County, No. 3763. 

The altitude by aneroid was found to be 620 feet— the locality 
shows large cropping of limonite. The formation in which it lies 
seems to be a highly ferruginous sandstone conglomerate, containing 
bowlders of quartz imbedded. For 2,400 feet northerly and southerly 
there are here indications of iron ore, with an occasional outcrop. At 
the north end of the claim there is a hill overlaid with white water- worn 
quartz bowlders. The whole country seems to have been covered with 
a drift of quartz bowlders, similar to those in the hydraulic mines at 
Dutch Flat, Placer County, which lie nearly north, and about sixty- 
six miles distant. There is no reasonable doubt as to the common 
origin of these beds or deposits. The country has been denuded irreg- 
ularly, and the drift left on the summits of hills and table mountains 
so formed. The Clipper Gap iron mines are similarly situated. Near 
Messenger's House, Section 6, Township 4 north, Range 11 east, there 
is a cropping of good limestone suitable for building purposes, flux 
for iron ore, and lime burning, and also a porphyritic stone similar to 
that near Clipper Gap, but softer, and a volcanic ash or tufa (5601), 
which seems to be suitable for building, and of which several houses 
have been constructed. Of this stone there is a fine specimen in the 
16 27 


State Museum, No. 5601. The following is an analysis by W. D. 
Johnston : 

Silica — 72.00 

Alumina 26.20 

Sesquioxide iron .60 

Lime .51 


Of the iron ores rive samples were selected to represent gradation 
from best quality to the poorest; of these samples assays were made 
by Falkenau & Reese, as follows: 



Per Cent 
of Iron. 

1 . - . __ „ 



2 . -_-_.-- 


3 _________________ _. . 


4 - __ 


5 ... . .. . _._ -.--.. ... . 



(1861.) Hematite, Ochrous — Clipper Gap iron mine, Section 24, 
Township 13 north, Range 8 east, Mount Diablo meridian, Placer 

(3585.) Magnetite— Near the New England Mills, Placer County. 

(1333.) Magnetite, in dodecahedral crystals— Six miles from Au- 
burn, Placer County. 

(3361.) Hematite and Magnetite — Near Crescent Mills, Plumas 

(3756.) Magnetite— Mohawk Valley, Sierra County. 

(1712.) Iron Ore, Oxide — Average from tunnel, Iron Mountain 
mine, seven miles from Shasta, Shasta County. 

(1873.) Magnetite — Iron Mountain, Shasta County. 

(20.) Magnetite— McCloud River, Shasta County. 

(3422.) Jaspery Iron Ore — Northwest corner of Sonoma County, 
near Point Arena. 

(3759.) Magnetite — San Bernardino County; six miles from water. 

(2886.) Magnetite— Eight or nine miles north of Mesquite Station, 
San Diego County. 

(1552.) Limonite or Hematite— Harrington iron mine, San Luis 
Obispo County, California, four miles southwest of the city of San 
Luis Obispo, on subdivision of the Rancho Canada de Los Osos, 
Township 31 south, Ranges 11 and 12 east, Mount Diablo meridian. 
The ledge has a northwesterly direction, with a dip to the west. Sup- 
ply of ore seemingly inexhaustible. 

(3762.) Iron Ore, Limonite — San Luis Obispo County. 

(3774.) Iron Ore, Limonite— Twenty-five miles east of Visalia, Tu- 
lare County. 

(1519.) Black Sand — Concentration from hydraulic washing, Hop- 
land, Mendocino County. 

(3639.) Iron Ore, Magnetite— Solid Iron mine, Indian District, Mono 

(3768.) Iron Ore, Magnetite— Near Benton, Mono County. 

(3757.) Magnetite — Near St. Helena, Napa County. 


(3758.) Metallic Iron, reduced from magnetite found near St. Helena. 
Napa County. 

(3773.) Iron Ore, Hematite— Holden Ledge, Township 15 north, 
Range 7 east, Mount Diablo meridian, Nevada County. 

(3767.) Iron Ore, Magnetite— Grass Valley, Nevada County. 

(2397.) Limonite Concretions— Forest Hill, Placer County. 

(1937.) Hematite— From Red Hill, Section 15, Township 13 north, 
Range 8 east, Mount Diablo meridian, Placer County. 

(1938.) Magnetite— Section 15, Township 13 north, Range 8 east, 
Mount Diablo meridian, Placer County. 

(2848.) Pig of Cast Iron — From the first cast made by the Califor- 
nia Iron Company, Sunday. April 23, 1881. Works at Clipper Gap, 
Placer County. 

(4019.) Iron Buttons— Obtained in crucibles, from the Campo Seco 
iron ore, Calaveras County. 

(3760.) Iron Ore, Limonite, and Hematite — San Andreas, Calaveras 

(4058.) Iron Ore — Said to occur in large quantities one mile north- 
east of Sperry's hotel, Murphys, Calaveras County. It lies between 
limestone and slate. Plenty of wood and water. 

(1896.) Hematite— Occurs in the rock formation, Kelsey Tunnel, 
fourteen miles southeast of Crescent City, Del Norte County. 

(965.) Magnetite — El Dorado County, California, two miles north- 
west of Shingle Springs. 

(3712.) Siderite, Carbonate of Iron— Tejunga Canon, Los Angeles 

(4148.) Iron Ore, Limonite— Near Latrobe, El Dorado County. Vein 
twenty-two feet wide. Plenty of wood and water. Metallic iron, 
55.41 per cent. 

(1996.) Magnetite — Coulterville, Mariposa County. 

(3717.) Limonite, after Pyrite, perfect crystals— Chowchilla Valley, 
Mariposa County. 

(3005.) Magnetite— Base of Mount Hoffman, south side of the 
dividing ridge between Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties. 

(3006.) Magnetite in gangue— Base of Mount Hoffman. 

(1673.) Magnetic Sand with Pyrites— Hydraulic washings, two 
miles northeast of Jackson, Amador County. 

(87.) Hematite — lone Valley, Amador County. 

(3750.) Nodule of Hematite— Near Volcano, Amador County. 

(2833.) Earthy Hematite -Monitor, Alpine County. 

(2336.) Hematite— Alameda County. 

(2788.) Iron Ore, Magnetite— Oroville, Butte County. 

(2285.) Micaceous Iron, Hematite— Feather River, near Oroville, 
Butte County. 

(3763.) Iron Ore, Limonite— Iron Monarch mine, Township 4 north, 
Range 10 east, Mount Diablo meridian, opposite Section 3, in unsur- 
veyed land, two miles in a southerly direction from Campo Seco, 
Calaveras County. 

(3766.) Iron Ore, Hematite— Big Tree iron mine, Calaveras County. 

(2455.) Iron Ore, Limonite— Between Jenny Lind and Campo Seco, 
Calaveras County. 

(2745.) Impure Red Ochre— McPherson's claim, Sheep Ranch dis- 
trict, Calaveras County. 

(4010.) Yellow Ochre, Limonite— Found in considerable quantities 


adjoining an iron mine, Campo Seco township, near Campo Seco, 
Calaveras County. Valuable as a pigment. 

(4011.) Burnt Ochre (same as No. 4010) — Near Campo Seco, Cala- 
veras County. 

Isinglass— see Mica. 

77. JAMESONITE. Named from Jameson, Scotch geologist. Sul- 

phide of Antimony, Lead, Iron, Copper, and Zinc. 

This mineral is represented in the State Museum by a single speci- 
men, No. 2262, from Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County. 

Jasper — see Quartz. 

78. JEFFERISITE. Named from Jefferis, mineralogist, of Penn- 


A mineral resembling mica, which is a hydrous silicate of numer- 
ous bases, principally alumina, iron, and magnesia. Specimens in 
the State Museum are (2126), from Susanville, Lassen County, and 
(4911), from Tulare County. 

Kaolin — Kaolinite— see Clay. 

79. LABRADORITE. Etym. Labrador. Feldspar. 

This mineral has been observed in small quantities in street pave- 
ment blocks in San Francisco; the exact locality is not known. 

80. LEAD AND LEAD ORES. See also Galena, Anglesite, and 


Metallic lead has a bluish gray color. It is usually tarnished, in 
which case it has no luster, but when freshly cut shows a surface 
highly metallic and brilliant. It is a soft metal, very malleable, 
easily fusible, and volatile at a white heat. It is scarcely acted upon 
by hydrochloric acid or dilute sulphuric acid; but moderately dilute 
nitric acid dissolves it, more readily if heat is applied. 

The presence of lead in any substance containing it may with cer- 
tainty and ease be determined by heating the sample on a piece of 
well-burned willow charcoal, in one portion of which — nearest the 
flame— a small cavity or depression has been made, in which the 
assay may be placed, a little carbonate of soda added, and the flame 
of an oil lamp or large candle turned upon it by means of the mouth 
blowpipe. The direction of the flame at first should be downwards 
until the assay begins to melt, after which it should be blown softly 
and nearly horizontally across the charcoal. If lead is present in the 
assay a coating will form on the charcoal which is lemon yellow when 
hot and sulphur yellow when cold. Other volatile substances which 
may be present may also form coatings, but they will be characteristic, 
and at distances more remote from the assay, nor will they be the same 
color. Zinc, like lead, gives a yellow coating, which to the inexpe- 
rienced might lead to mistakes, but if the charcoal is allowed to cool, 
the zinc coating will become white, by which reaction it may be dis- 


The following are the reagents used in the determination of lead in 
the wet way, and the reactions which occur: 

Hydro-sulphuric acid or sulphide of ammonium added to solutions 
of lead salts, gives black precipitates of sulphide of lead, which are 
not soluble in cold dilute acids, alkalies, alkaline sulphides, or cyan- 
ide of potassium, but the precipitate may be decomposed by boiling- 
nitric acid. The acid must be dilute or a part of the lead will be 
changed to the sulphate and remain insoluble. 

Soda, potassa, and ammonia, throw down basic salts of lead in the 
form of white precipitates, which are insoluble in ammonia. The 
exception is solution of acetate of lead, from which pure ammonia 
(free from carbonate) does not immediately produce a precipitate, a 
soluble triacetate of lead being formed. 

Carbonate of soda produces a white precipitate of basic carbonate 
of lead, when added in solution to the solution of any lead salt. This 
precipitate is not soluble in excess of the precipitant, nor in cyanide 
of potassium. 

Hydrochloric acid or the soluble chlorides produce in solutions of 
the lead salts, if concentrated, a heavy precipitate of chloride of lead, 
which is soluble in a large quantity of warm water. 

Sulphuric acid and sulphates throw down from lead solutions 
a heavy precipitate of sulphate of lead, which is nearly insoluble in 
water and dilute acids, but dissolves readily in solution of citrate 
of ammonia. 

Chromate of potassa when added to solution containing lead throws 
down a beautiful yellow precipitate of chromate of lead, which dis- 
solves in potassa, but which is nearly insoluble in nitric acid. 

It should be understood that the above reagents are in solution, and 
are to be added in every case to solutions of substances containing 

Lead occurs in nature in a variety of forms, but most of the metal 
furnished to commerce is from galena or sulphuret of lead. Native 
lead is reported as occurring in globules at Alston Moor and at the 
mines near Cartagena, Spain, but never in sufficient quantity to 
work, or even to furnish specimens for the cabinet of the mineral- 

Galena, the most abundant ore of lead, has a metallic luster. Its 
color and streak are pure lead gray. When broken it is still cubic in 
form, even when reduced to the finest powder. It always contains 
silver, and sometimes selenium, zinc, cadmium, manganese, gold, 
antimony, copper, and iron. Even platinum is said to be found in 
galena in France. 

It is a mistake to suppose that any external appearance indicates 
the quantity of silver in a sample of galena. 

There is a variety of galena which is called supersulphuretted lead. 
The excess of sulphur results from the decomposition of a portion of 
the galena, setting the sulphur free. 

There are several minerals which resemble galena, and may easily 
be mistaken for it. The most common is micaceous iron, a variety of 
hematite. The resemblance of this mineral to galena is sometimes 
so striking as to deceive the inexperienced. It may, however, be dis- 
tinguished by the following tests: When heated on charcoal it gives 
off no odor of sulphur, nor can it be fused before the blowpipe. No 
metallic beads are formed when carbonate of soda is added. After 


strong heating it becomes red, and on cooling is found to be attract- 
able by the magnet. 

Galena, anglesite, and cerusite have been noticed under their 
special headings. 


The assay of lead in the dry way is never absolutely correct, for 
several reasons: First, from the volatile nature of all lead com- 
pounds, making the result too small; second, from the tendency of 
other metals to alloy with the lead, as gold, silver, copper, antimony, 
etc., giving results too great; third, when sulphur is present some of 
the lead sulphide is liable to form' a slag or "matte" without being 
decomposed, and thus to escape determination. Notwithstanding 
these sources of error, such assays approximate to the working of the 
ores in a large way, and when carefully made and verified by proofs, 
are generally accepted as correct. 

The wet assay, although attended with some difficulties, is by far 
the most accurate and reliable. 

Before lead ores are prepared for assay in the dry way, regard must 
be had to their chemical character. It is best to divide them into 
classes, each of which must be treated by a different process. 

Class 1. Ores containing either sulphur or selenium, or both. 

Example: Galena, clausthalite, lead matte or regulus, furnace pro- 
ducts, etc. 

Class 2. Ores containing oxide of lead combined with various min- 
eral acids, sulphuric acid, chromic acid, phosphoric acid, arsenious 
acid, carbonic acid, etc, 

Example: Anglesite, cerusite, pyromorphite, etc. 

Class 3. Metallic lead alloyed with other metals. 

It is easy to distinguish to which class a specimen of lead mineral 
belongs. It has already been shown how to test a mineral for lead. 
After doing so observe if it has a metallic luster and a certain degree 
of malleability, showing a bright metallic streak when freshly cut. 
It will not be difficult to determine if it is an alloy by these tests. If 
so, it evidently belongs to Class 3. If not, fuse a small piece with car- 
bonate of soda on charcoal; when cold remove the slaggy mass and 
place it on a clean silver coin and add a few drops of water. If the 
silver is blackened so that the stain cannot be washed off with water, 
the mineral contains sulphur or selenium in some form. Before test- 
ing for sulphur with carbonate of soda and silver, the purity of the 
soda must be proved by wetting a small portion of it after fusion, and 
laying it on the bright silver. If pure, no blackening will appear. If 
the reverse should be the case, the reagent is worthless and should not 
be used ; such soda can be purified, but the process cannot be explained 
here. As sulphate of lead belonging to Class 2 gives this reaction. 
A second piece of the ore must be placed in a clean glass tube, four or 
five inches long, open at both ends, and heated while holding the 
tube in an inclined position. If sulphur is present as a sulphide, or 
if selenium is present, the smell can easily be recognized if the upper 
end of the tube is held near the nose. If sulphur, the smell of burn- 
ing sulphur will be observed. If selenium, that of rotten horseradish 
will be distinguished. If no sulphur is detected (Class 1) the sub- 
stance belongs to Class 2. 

Having decided to which class the substance belongs, it may be 
pulverized, passed through a sixty mesh sieve and thoroughly mixed. 


If in a metallic state (Class 3) a portion may be cut off with a cold- 
chisel, rolled out thin and cut into shreds with a pair of scissors, or 
may be drilled and the borings taken for assay. 


It is often required to sample a number of lead bars, and to make 
an assay representing the average of them all. The best method of 
proceeding is to drill a hole into each bar deep enough to obtain 
borings sufficient for duplicate assays. To insure a correct result it 
is best to take a portion from several parts of each bar; the samples 
should be numbered or marked to correspond with a similar mark 
or number on the bar. The bars are then weighed. If of uniform 
weight, equal portions by weight of the borings are thoroughly mixed 
and a portion of the mixture assayed, according to the directions to 
follow. If of unequal weights, the same weight in grams of each, cor- 
responding to the weight of the bar in pounds, is mixed for assay. 
If extreme accuracy is desired, the result may be verified by making 
single assays of each sample, and taking the mean of the result, 


There are a number of methods of assaying ores of the first class, 
each one having its own advocates: 

_ 1. Fusion with carbonate of potash. — In case the ore contains but 
little sulphurets other than those of lead, but more or less of earthy 

2. Fusion with black flux. — (Black flux is made by mixing two parts 
of argol and one part nitre in an iron vessel, setting the mixture on 
fire and allowing it to burn until all action ceases.) 

3. Fusion with or without fluxes in wrought iron crucibles. 

4. Fusion with carbonate of soda and nitre. 

5. Fusion in clay crucibles with fluxes and metallic iron. 

For all practical purposes the last mentioned is the best, and the 
modification proposed by Mitchell is simple and accurate. 

For the assay, ordinary sand crucibles, triangular at the top, are 
used (called Hessian crucibles). The most convenient size is four 
and one half inches high. It is recommended to smear them inside 
with plumbago, but I have never found this precaution necessary. 
Twenty grams of the ore are weighed out and placed in the crucible; 
5 grams of argol, 20 of carbonate of soda, 5 of carbonate of potash, 
and 10 of borax, are added, and the whole thoroughly mixed with a 
spoon or spatula. Three large nails are then placed, head downward, 
one in each corner. They must be pushed down to the bottom of 
the crucible, and the crucible tapped on the mixing table when the 
mixed contents form a level surface around the nails. The surface 
of the assay must then be covered with common salt (twenty grams 
will be about the amount required), and the crucible again tapped 
on the table, to settle all down evenly and compactly; ten grams of 
borax in lumps is put loosely on top, and the crucible is ready for the 
tire; a second crucible must be prepared exactly like the first for the 
duplicate assay. No single assay should be trusted. 



I have given the quantities of the fluxes by weight, but after prac- 
tice the assay er will be able to mix the assays by using a spoon about 
the size of an ordinary tablespoon and judging of the quantities by 
his eye. A little more or less of the fluxes does not materially matter. 
He will soon be able to judge of the quantity required and from the 
appearance of his crucible in the fire know what to add to make it 
fuse freely. Any addition that may be required may be made by 
wrapping the dry flux in a piece of paper and dropping it into the 
hot crucible with the cupel tongs. There are certain precautions to 
be observed in fusing the assay. Too hot a fire is apt to volatilize a 
portion of the lead, causing loss, while too -slow a fire does not effect 
the perfect fusion of the assay, and the globules which form cannot 
gravitate to the bottom, there to form a single prill or button. It is 
best to commence with a good fire which has burnt rather low, but 
in a hot furnace. The crucibles are placed on the hot coals and fresh 
fuel built up around them by putting in charcoal or coke, as the case 
maybe, in lumps singly with the cupel tongs. The dampers and 
doors of the furnace are then arranged so as to produce the best draft. 
When the fresh fuel is igniting the fusion progresses slowly. The 
furnace soon becomes very hot, which is the exact condition required 
for the finishing of the fusion. The crucibles which are at first 
covered must toward the end be uncovered and the covers need not 
again be replaced. When the assays are in the most perfect state of 
fusion the crucibles may be removed one at a time with suitable cru- 
cible tongs. As soon as removed from the furnace a rotary motion 
should be given to them (soon learned by practice). This motion 
causes the fluid slag to sweep round the inside of the crucible, wash- 
ing down to the center any stray globules. The nails are then re- 
moved by taking them out one by one with the cupel tongs, washing 
off any adhering lead by rinsing them in the liquid slag. When the 
nails are removed the crucible is tapped against the brick floor or 
against any hard non-inflammable substance, and set in some conve- 
nient and safe place to cool. 

When cold the crucible must be broken on an anvil and the button 
of lead hammered into a cube and weighed. Both buttons should 
weigh alike or nearly so. 


The calculation of percentage is simple: Suppose the twenty 
grams of ore contained 9.462 grams of lead; it is clear that 100 
grams would contain five times as much. The number of parts in 
one hundred being the percentage, the result would be as follows : 
9.462X5=47.31 per cent. 


Galena often contains antimony in the form of sulphuret, in which 
case the method described above would not give correct results. The 

Eresence of antimony may be proved by reducing a bead with car- 
onate of soda on charcoal. If the ore contains antimony white 
fumes will be given off, and a white coating on the charcoal will be 


seen more distant from the assay than the yellow coating of lead ; or 
the finely pulverized ore may be shaken up with a solution of caus- 
tic potash, the solution filtered and acidulated with a strong acid; a 
yellow precipitate of sulphide of antimony will fall if the ore contains 
a sulphuret of antimony. 

Antimonial galenas may be treated in such a way as to obtain the 
lead pure, or all the antimony combined with the lead at pleasure. 

To obtain the lead only, the assay must be mixed with four times 
its weight of carbonate of soda covered with salt, lumps of borax 
placed on top, and treated in the furnace exactly as described in the 
first operation. No nails should be added. 

To obtain the lead and antimony together, mix the assay with 
equal parts by weight of cyanide of potasium and carbonate of soda. 

It is sometimes found to be economical and not objectionable to 
pour the assay into a small concave mold instead of breaking the 
crucible, which may be used for subsequent assays. This should 
never be done unless in cases where many assays are to be made of 
ore from the same mine. 


Assays of the ores of the first class may be made by the humid 
method as follows: 

Pulverize the ore very finely, weigh ten grams carefully, boil in 
a flask with twenty C. C. of strong nitric acid on a sand bath until the 
ore is completely decomposed, and no more red fumes are given off. 
Pour out carefully into an evaporating dish and evaporate to com- 
plete dryness. Care must be taken in this operation that no violent 
spurting or decrepitation of the assay takes place by which any part 
may be lost. When the dry mass is cold it must be boiled with a 
strong solution of carbonate of soda. It should then be poured on a 
filter and well washed with distilled water. Dilute acetic acid is then 
cautiously added, by which it is dissolved, and passes through the 
filter into a clean beaker which must be placed to receive it. When 
the solution is complete, every portion of the solution must be washed 
from the filter with distilled water. Earthy matters remain in the 

If dilute sulphuric acid is now added to the contents of the beaker 
the whole of the lead is thrown down as sulphate, which may be 
placed on a weighed filter and thoroughly washed with distilled 
water and alcohol, dried at the temperature of two hundred and 
twelve degrees Fahrenheit, and weighed. The weight of the filter 
must be deducted from the weight obtained. The sulphate of lead 
contains 68.28 per cent of metallic lead. There are some sources of 
error to be avoided in this operation. If the precipitate is not thor- 
oughly dried in the filter, correct results will not be obtained, neither 
will it do to heat the filter so hot as to char or partly burn it. It is 
better to take two filters made of the same paper, fold them together 
while cutting them, then separate them, place one in each pan of a 
balance, and carefully trim the heaviest with a pair of scissors until 
they weigh alike; fold them together again, put them in the funnel 
together, wash the precipitate on them, dry together in a steam bath, 
then separate them, place the one with the precipitate in one pan of 
the balance and the other in the other pan; the difference will be 
the weight of the precipitate. There is a method common with 


chemists of burning the filter and incinerating the ashes with the 
precipitate in a platinum crucible, at a red heat, but the conve- 
niences are not found in ordinary assay offices. The details may be 
found in any work on quantitative analysis. With proper care, cor- 
rect results may be obtained by drying the precipitate on the niter. 
In the process given above the following reactions occur: 

First. — The nitric acid attacks the ore and oxidizes both the sul- 
phur and the lead, forming sulphate of lead. 

Second. — By evaporating to dryness, the excess of nitric acid is 
driven off, but leaving some nitrate of lead mixed with the sulphate. 

Third. — The carbonate of soda decomposes the sulphate of lead, 
forming carbonate of lead and soluble sulphate of soda, which is 
washed out as directed with distilled water. 

Fourth. — The dilute acetic acid poured on the filter decomposes 
the carbonate of lead and forms acetate of lead, which, being soluble, 
passes through the filter, leaving insoluble matter, if there be any, in 
the filter. 

Fifth. — Sulphuric acid, being a stronger acid than acetic, combines 
with the lead, giving now the pure sulphate. 

The calculation of the assay is made as follows : 

It has been shown that sulphate of lead contains 68.28 per cent of 
metallic lead; it is clear that we must find that per cent of the sul- 
phate of lead we obtain, which will be the amount of lead in ten 
grams of the ore. Suppose we obtain 7.46 grams of sulphate of 
lead in the ten grams of ore, then 7.46 X. 6828=5.09 metallic lead. 
Ten grams yielding this (5.09), it is clear that 100 grams would yield 
ten times as much, which is the percentage. The result would then 
be as follows: Lead, 50.9 per cent. 


The assay of substances belonging to class two is very simple. 
Twenty grams of the ore is weighed out as in the case of assay of 
first class, ten grams of red argol and thirty grams of carbonate 
of soda are well mixed in the crucible, the whole covered with a 
layer of salt and tapped on the mixing table to settle all down. Put 
the crucible into an increasing fire and keep at low red heat for 
quarter of an hour. Then increase the heat until the contents of the 
crucible flow freely, tap gently and set it aside to cool, break the cru- 
cible, hammer the button into a cube and weigh. If arsenite of lead 
or sulphide of lead are present, use nails. 

The humid assay of this class is made by heating ten grams of 
the substance to redness, and afterwards boiling it in a flask with 
dilute nitric acid (one part of acid to one-two of water by volume); 
when the action ceases pour the contents of the flask into an evapor- 
ating dish and cautiously evaporate to dryness, allow the dry mass 
to cool, add dilute nitric acid, gently warm for an hour, add water, 
boil, and filter. The solution now contains all the lead as nitrate; the 
precipitative washing and weighing may now be conducted as directed 
in humid assays of ores of the first class. 


Alloys must be boiled with dilute pure nitric acid, the solution 
decanted from the precipitate, which must be washed with water and 
the washings added to the solution, which must then be filtered. 


The solution may contain all the other metals likely to be present 
in alloys, except gold, platinum, antimony, and tin. 

The solution (which should never be too dilute) must be mixed 
with dilute sulphuric acid slightly in excess. (This may be explained 
by stating that "excess" means the slightest quantity of reagent in 
excess of what is required to precipitate all of the lead.) The dilute 
acid should be added slowly, and the precipitate allowed to settle 
before further addition is made. When the sulphate of lead has all 
precipitated, double the volume of alcohol is added, and the whole 
set aside for a few hours to settle, after which it is decanted and 
washed into a small filter, washed with alcohol, and dried on a water 
bath, or in the sun. When the precipitate on the filter is perfectly 
dry, a clean piece of writing paper is spread on a table, and a small 
clean porcelain cup set in the center of it. The precipitate must then 
be carefully detached from the filter, and transferred to the cup. The 
dry filter is then held in a pair of small pliers over the cup, and 
burned by applying a match or candle flame; the ashes which fall 
on the paper must be brushed into the cup. The cup may then be 
placed on a piece of wire gauze, set on the ring of a retort-stand, 
and heated from below with a spirit lamp to a red heat. When cold, 
the cup and contents are weighed, and the tare of the porcelain cup 
deducted ; the remaining weight will be that of the sulphate of lead 
obtained from the alloy. 

The weight of the alloy taken for assay and the calculation are the 
same as in the last example. 

When great accuracy is not required the use of alcohol may be 
dispensed with, but more excess of sulphuric acid must be used for 
precipitation, and the washing water must contain some dilute sul- 
phuric acid. 


Although some of the mining districts of California abound in 
plumbiferous ores, lead mining as a distinct business has never been 
pursued in this State, nor have we here treated any ores of this class 
exclusively for the lead they contained. At the works of the Selby 
Smelting and Lead Company, located in San Francisco, large quan- 
tities of argentiferous galena have been reduced, but the ore was 
mostly obtained from the Castle Dome district, Arizona. So, also, 
at these works, have many thousand tons of lead-silver bullion been 
parted and refined, this bullion coming nearly all from the mines of 
Eureka, in the State of Nevada, or from the Cerro Gordo district, in 
California. This company turn out an average of about 6,000 tons of 
lead per year, one half of which is exported, and the remainder 
manufactured by them into sheet, pipe, shot, and other articles com- 
posed of lead, of which they supply about all that is required on this 
coast. For a number of years we exported to China about 5,000 tons 
of lead annually. Lately we have sent very little to that country, 
the market there being supplied now mostly from England. 


For the benefit and guidance of those interested in mines producing 
smelting ore, we give some complete and authentic figures on the sub- 
ject, furnished to the Inyo Independent by Mr. W. Belshaw, of the 


Union Consolidated Mining Company, Cerro Gordo, Inyo County, 
California, These figures are taken from practical work and results, 
and are therefore of more than ordinary interest. The statement 
covers a period extending from February 1 to October 1, 1876: 

Total cost of mining and reduction, including interest on capital, 
$198,525 84, viz.: 

Mining expenses $154,966 61 

Furnace expenses 137,822 36 

Interest expenses 5,736 87 

Cost of mining 9,950 tons ore, $54,966 61, viz.: 

Labor $37,695 55 

Water 1,871 79 

Hauling ore 5,143 63 

Powder and fuse 585 10 

Candles 840 00 

Wood 1,508 50 

Blacksmithing 937 46 

Timbers and lagging 1,505 22 

Freights and sundries - 2,379 36 

Superintendence 2,500 00 

Carbonates and oxides (soft ores) 8,220 tons 

Estimated cost per ton for mining $4 43 

Sulphuret or galena ores 612 tons 

Estimated cost per ton for mining $10 00 

Silver-bearing quartz ores bought and mined 1,118 tons 

Estimated cost per ton $11 00 

Average assay of 8,220 tons 20 per cent lead 

Average assay of 612 tons 1 70 per cent lead 


Foremen and engineers, per day $5 00 

Ordinary labor, per day 4 00 

Mining Superintendent, J. L. Porter. 

Cost of reduction of 9,950 tons of ore, $137,822 36, viz.: 

Coal, l,960f tons, at $38 per ton $74,405 28 

Labor 31,339 87 

Wood 4,067 12 

Water 8,367 21 

Blacksmithing 458 29 

Freights 2,456 64 

Superintendence 4,999 66 

Paid men accidentally injured 474 35 

House expenses 3,235 56 

San Francisco office expenses 714 75 

Stable expenses 761 38 

Cerro Gordo office, legal, taxes, surveying, and sundry expenses 1,650 00 

Tools, oils, and repairs • 4,892 25 

Cost per ton of ores, reduction $13 85 

Cost per ton of ores, mining 5 53 

Cost per ton of ores, interest 58 

Total per ton for mining and reduction $19 96 


Engineers and chargers, per day $5 00 

Ordinary labor, per day i 4 00 

Superintendent of furnace, Hugh Morrison; Assistant Superintendent, Win. E. Goodrum. 

Total running time of furnaces, 331 days; tons of lead produced, 1,325 — or 64 per cent of 
lead assay; 90 per cent of silver values saved. 
Yours respectfully, 

M. W. BELSHAW, Sup't Union Con. M. Co. 



The rate at which San Francisco receipts of both lead and base 
bullion have fallen off during the last six years is shown by the fol- 
lowing table, the amounts being expressed in pounds: 

Years. ! Base Bullion. J Lead. 

1878 j 21,568.500 3,669,700 

1879 1 11,926,500 1,815,000 

1880 4,422,900 8,431,800 

1881 4,344,600 12,114,000 

1882 1,949,200 4,510,800 

1883 ; 1,634,800 1,470,400 

The extension of mining operations in the southeastern part of the 
State will be likely to increase receipts of the abova products at San 
Francisco hereafter. The low prices ruling for lead ($72 per ton of 
2,000 pounds in the New York market), has had a tendency to restrict 
production everywhere, these being figures that leave little chance 
for profit to either the miner or smelter. As the Leadville ores are 
becoming much impoverished, the enormous output made for several 
years past at that great center of production must suffer serious cur- 
tailment in the future, causing a corresponding hardening in prices. 

The Duty on foreign lead imported into this country in pigs, bars, 
etc., is two cents per pound; on lead manufactured into sheets, pipes, 
or shot, three cents per pound; a tariff that affords the domestic pro- 
ducer ample protection so far as the home market is concerned. 

The Production of Lead in the United States, commencing a little 
over fifty years ago at the rate of about 1,000 tons per year, has gone 
on increasing since, till it reaches now about 140,000 tons — the pro- 
duct of 1882 amounting to 133,000 tons. The increase during the last 
twelve years, since the opening up of the Utah, Nevada, and Colo- 
rado mines, has been very rapid. Most of the lead formerly pro- 
duced in this country was from the mines in Wisconsin, Missouri, 
and other Western States, which, for the ten years preceding 1849, 
had made an output varying from 15,000 to 25,000 tons per year. 
After 1850 the product in these Western States fell off rapidly, many 
of the miners having left for California. Prior to 1875 a good deal 
of lead was imported into the United States, as much some years as 
40,000 tons— generally, however, much less; some years none at all. 
Since 1875 imports have dwindled to a small amount — less than 4,000 
tons per year. The bulk of these importations has throughout, under 
the operation of the drawback provision in the law, been reexported 
in the shape of solder on tin cans containing petroleum, fruits, etc. 


The Pioneer Works of Whittier, Fuller & Co. — We have but a single 
establishment for the manufacture of white lead on this coast, that 
of Whittier, Fuller & Co., situated on Fremont Street, between How- 
ard and Folsom, in this city. These works are very extensive, being 
five stories high, and reaching from Fremont to Beale Street, 275 feet. 
The acid works and corroding sheds, adjoining the main building, 


have a frontage of 185 feet on Fremont, whence they extend back 275 
feet to JBeale Street. The machinery, apparatus, and processes em- 
ployed areas perfect, probably, as any in use; there being claimed 
for some of the processes here introduced a special excellence. About 
250 tons of pig lead are consumed here monthly. From this quantity 
of metal there is made an equal amount of white lead, the product 
of these works going far towards supplying the entire demand of the 
coast. The lead worked up here is obtained mostly from Utah and 
Colorado, but little being now received from Nevada, There are 
employed in the different departments of this establishment about 
120 men, some of whom are highly skilled in special lines of the 
business, such as making paints, grinding colors, etc. Besides white 
lead, this firm manufacture what is known as Pacific rubber paint. 
As everything connected with this industry — the lead, acid, linseed 
oil, packages, etc. — is the product of this coast, these works give 
employment, directly and indirectly, to a large amount of labor, 
besides retaining in the country considerable sums formerly sent 
abroad to purchase the commodities made here. 

By reason of so much white lead of superior quality being turned 
out at these works, the imports of this article at San Francisco have 
of late years been small. The quantity of the white lead made in the 
United States during the vear 1880 amounted to 123,477,800 pounds, 
valued at $8,770,699. 

81. LENZINITE. Hydrous Silicate of Alumina. 

"Mountain Butter" is found in cavities in rocks at the mouth of 
Pine Creek Canon, Alabama Range, Owens Valley, Inyo County. 
(Aaron.) This mineral is probably Lenzinite. 

82. LEPIDOLITE. Etym. Scale Stone (Greek). Lithium Mica, 

This beautiful mineral has recently been found in California, at 
several localities, with erythrite and rubellite. It is a pink colored, 
scaly mineral, containing from 2 to 6 per cent of lithium. The Cali- 
fornia mineral has not yet been analyzed. It might, at some future 
time, be found profitable to extract lithium from it. The salts of 
lithium are principally used in fireworks and in medicine. The 
California localities are represented in the State Museum by Nos. 
1229, San Diego County; 2773, twenty miles southwest of Colton. 
San Bernardino County; and 4262, with azurite, from the Half 
Dollar mine, Inyo County. 

83. LEUCOPYRITE. Etym. White (Greek), and Pyrite; Arsenical 


Said to occur in Los Angeles County, exact locality not given. 

Lignite — see Mineral Coal. 

Lime — see Calcite. 

Lime Garnet — see Grossularite. 

Limestone — see Calcite. 


84. LIMONITE. Etym. Meadow (Greek). See, also, Iron Ores. 

This is a hydrous sesquioxide of iron, found sometimes compact 
and fibrous, at others earthy and dull. When pure, it has the follow- 
ing composition : 

Sesquioxide of iron 85.6 

Water 14.4 


Equivalent in metallic iron, 59.3 per cent. Limonite is sediment- 
ary, and results from the weathering of rocks containing iron. It 
sometimes forms large beds in low marshy lands, and is known as bog 
iron ore. It also occurs in strata generally underlying gravel and clay, 
intimately mixed with fine sandy silt. When of a golden yellow color, 
it is called yellow ochre, in which form it is extensively used as a pig- 
ment. In both forms it is quite abundant in the State; in the former 
it is a valuable ore of iron, but more likely to contain sulphur and 
phosphorus than other iron ores. A large portion of the ore now being 
worked at Clipper Gap, Placer County, is limonite. Yellow ochre of 
most excellent quality is found at several localities in California. It 
was first discovered at Knight's Ferry, Stanislaus County, many years 
ago, and attempts were made to utilize it, but the market at that time 
was limited, and large stocks were held by the importers, who dis- 
couraged home production. The time has now arrived when it can 
be worked to advantage, and its production will retain considerable 
money in the State, and give remunerative employment to a few 
persons. Before yellow ochre can be used it must be submitted to a 
washing process to remove the sand and other impurities. This may 
be done on the ground, by the very simple process of breaking it up 
in a pug mill, such as used in brick making, or in a tub planned like 
an arastra, or silver mill separator. Whilst being agitated, water is 
allowed to flow in and out of the vat, and the outflow being near the 
top, the heavy sand and gravel, etc., is retained, the water carrying 
off only the fine ochre. Below the agitator a succession of vats, of 
convenient form and size, are arranged, through which the yellow 
muddy water flows. They should continue so far that the water will 
pass from the last one quite clear. The ochre will settle in the tanks, 
being finest in the one most distant from the agitator. When suf- 
ficient has accumulated the operation may be discontinued, and the 
yellow mud, which is the refined ochre, shoveled out and allowed 
to dry. It should be so fine that no grit can be felt when it is crushed 
between the fingers, and it should mix with oil to a smooth paint 
without grinding, which, when laid on, should show no sign of gritty 
particles. When yellow ochre is calcined it becomes red. The fol- 
lowing localities of limonite are represented in the State Museum: 

(2455.) Between Jenny Lind and Campo Seco, Calaveras County. 

(3002.) Gold Lake, Sierra County. 

(3760.) San Andreas, Calaveras County. 

(3762.) San Luis Obispo County. 

(3763.) Near Campo Seco, Calaveras County. 

(3766.) Near Big Trees, Calaveras County. 

(3774.) Twenty- five miles east of Visalia, Tulare County. 

(4148.) Near Latrobe, El Dorado County. 

(4907.) Five miles from Alameda, Alameda County. 



(4010.) Near Campo Seco, Calaveras County. Bright golden yel- 
low color. 

(4011.) The same, calcined. It is a very deep rich red color. 

(5301.) Yellow ochre of good color and quality, found in large 
quantities on Section 32, Township 12 north, Range 11 east, four 
miles east of Georgetown, El Dorado County. 

85. LITHARGE. Etym. Silver Stone (Greek). 

This substance has been found in San Bernardino County. It is 
probably a furnace product, made in prehistoric times. It has been 
found also in Arizona, in localities remote from the Missions, and 
under circumstances leading to the opinion that the furnaces, now 
obliterated, were erected and worked by the people who dug the irri- 
gating canals, and built the Casa Grande, in the Valley of the Gila 
River, and lived in the ancient cliff dwellings. 

Lithographic Stone — see Calcite. 

86. LITHOMARGE. Etym. Marl Stone (Greek and Latin). 

A tine grained hydrous silicate of alumina, probably sedimentary. 
It contains generally magnesia and lime. No. 423, in the State Museum, 
is from the Alpha mine, Table Mountain, Tuolumne County, called 
"pipe clay;" No. 2515 is from near the Big Trees, Calaveras County; 
and No. 4498 from Lassen County. 

Loadstone. Natural Magnet — see Magnetite. 

Macle — see Andalusite. 

Magnesian Limestone — see Dolomite. 

87. MAGNESITE. Etvin. Magnesia (Greek). Carbonate of Mag- 

nesia. (MgO, C0 2 .) 

Magnesia 47.6 

Carbonic acid 52.4 

H 3.5—4.5, sp. gr. 3. Color generally white, sometimes yellowish, 
with dark colored streaks. Fracture conchoidal, with sharp edges; 
dissolves in hot muriatic acid with effervescence. This valuable 
mineral, which is rather abundant, is used in the arts, principally in 
the manufacture of cements, and also as a convenient source of mag- 
nesia salts. There is a sample of hard artificial stone in the State 
Museum, No. 2791, thus described: 

Artificial stone, made from magnesite, from Coyote Creek, near Madrone Station, S. P. R. R. 
The rock was calcined, pulverized, and mixed with solution of chloride of magnesium, made 
by dissolving a portion of the powdered rock in common muriatic acid to about the consistence 
of cream. This was used as a cement to unite broken rock into a kind of concrete. In this 
specimen broken marble was used, as being most convenient at the time. 

The following is the Hohlweg Process for obtaining magnesium sul- 
phate from crude mineral (patented June 6, 1882): 


I take the crude mineral containing carbonate or silicate of magnesia, and reduce it to a fine 
powder, and mix with it, either when pulverizing or afterwards, about six times its weight of 
bisulphate of soda. The whole is placed in a tank, or vat, with a suitable quantity of water, 
in which condition it is kept for about twenty-four hours, and occasionally agitated by stirring 
the mass. By this means one equivalent of the sulphuric acid contained in the bisulphate of 
soda combines with the magnesia, from which action a mixture of sulphate of soda and sul- 
phate of magnesia is obtained. To the resulting solution of sulphate of socla and sulphate of 
magnesia I add carbonate of soda in quantity required, to precipitate the magnesia from the 
solution as carbonate in the usual manner. Should iron be present in the mixture, this may 
be removed in the usual way, and the pure sulphate of magnesia may be obtained from the 
solution by successive evaporation and crystallization, the sulphate of soda having first been 
removed by evaporation and crystallization, and afterwards the sulphate of magnesia. 

While carbonate of magnesia is found at numerous localities in 
the State, the following are the most important: On Coyote Creek, 
about two miles from Madrone Station, S. P. R. R., Santa Clara County, 
near the road is a large deposit; Nos. 119.5 and 5159 are from Gold 
Run, and Damascus, Placer County, where it occurs in large quan- 
tities; No. 3025 contains silica, and under the microscope shows a 
cryptocrystalline structure ; it is from a vein two feet wide on Arroyo 
Seco, Monterey County. 

The following localities are given by W. P. Blake: 

Tulare County, near Visalia, between Four Creeks and Moore's 
Creek, in solid beds of pure white massive carbonate of magnesia, 
hard, fine grained, and like unglazed porcelain in texture. The beds 
are from one to six feet thick, and interstratified with talcose slates 
and serpentine. Similar beds are described to me as existing in the 
Diablo Range, Alameda County, about thirty miles south of Mount 

Mariposa County and Tuolumne County. — A heavy bed of magne- 
sian rock, chiefly magnesite, charged with crystals of iron pyrites, 
accompanies the chief gold-bearing quartz vein of those counties. 
This rock is charged also with nickel and chrome talc in green films, 
like the magnesite of Canada. 

No. 4675 is an artificial carbonate of magnesia, obtained as a by- 
product in the tanks, in working the mother liquors from the manu- 
facture of salt, by the Union Pacific Salt Company, Alameda County, 
and largely used in the manufacture of explosives. 

Magnetic Pyrites — see Pyrrhotite. 

Magnetic Sands — see Magnetite. 

88. MAGNETITE. Etym. Magnesia Stone (Greek). Magnetic Iron 
Ore. (FeO, Fe 2 8 .) 

Protoxide of iron 31.03 

Sesquioxide of iron 68.97 


Equivalent to : 

Iron 72.4 

Oxygen 27.6 


11=5.5 — 6.5, sp. gr.=4.9 — 5.2. Color and streak, black; opaque, 
brittle; attracts the magnet, and deflects the magnetic needle strongly; 
frequently it possesses polarity, in which case it repels the magnetic 

1? 27 


needle and attracts soft iron in small fragments; it is then called 
natural magnet, or loadstone. Magnetite takes its name from Magnesia, 
a town in Asia Minor, where it was first discovered by the ancients; 
and' it is stated that a shepherd, while herding his sheep, observed 
that the iron ferrule of his staff and the nails in his shoes adhered in 
some places to the ground, which led to its discovery. The words 
magnetic and magnetism have the same derivation. It is said that 
the first mariner's compass of the Chinese was a fragment of load- 
stone, floated on a cork in a vessel of water. Advantage is taken of 
the magnetism of ores of iron by using a dipping needle in searching 
for them. As the prospector passes over the ground, the downward 
deflection of the needle indicates bodies of iron ore beneath the sur- 
face. Magnetite is a valuable ore of iron, and exists with other ores 
in numerous localities in California. The following are known local- 
ities, arranged by counties: 

Amador County. Two miles northeast of Jackson, magnetic sand, 
with pyrite. No. 65, Sutter Creek. 

Butte County. With native copper, in the Lincoln Tunnel. No. 
2788, Ball Creek, near Oroville. 

El Dorado County. Volcanoville (Blake). Crystals in slate, near 
Boston copper mine, and with quartz and pyrite. Excelsior copper 
mine (Blake). No. 965, two miles northwest of Shingle Springs. No. 
1667, near Big Red Ravine, two miles from Coloma. No. 4254, Clarks- 

Inyo County. Magnetite is found in a number of localities in the 
Inyo Mountains. Fine specimens of loadstone have lately been sent 
to the State Mining Bureau, from the Slate Range, where it exists in 

Los Angeles County. In the Canada de las Uvas there is a vein, 
three feet thick, in limestone (Blake). No. 4644, thirty miles north of 
Los Angeles. 

Mariposa County. East of the Mariposa estate (Blake). No. 1996, 
near Coulterville. No. 3005, base of Mount Hoffman. 

Mono County. In a vein, five miles south of Benton, with steatite 
and gold (Aaron). No. 3639, Indian district. Analysis by Falkenau 
& Reese: Peroxide of iron, 93.00; silica, 7.00; total, 100.00; graphite 
and sulphide of copper, traces. No. 3768, near Benton. Analysis 
by Falkenau & Reese: Peroxide of iron, 93.00; silica, 7.00; traces of 
sulphide of copper. This ore is said to be in very large quantities. 
Loadstone. Spur of White Mountains, half a mile south of Mont- 
gomery (Aaron). 

Napa County. No. 3757, near St. Helena. 

Nevada County. No. 4569; magnetic sands with gold and pyrite. 
concentration from hydraulic mines. No. 5767, Grass Valley. 

Placer County. Utt's Ranch (Blake). Near New England Mills. 
No. 1333, six miles from Auburn, large deposit, No. 1938, Section 
15, Township 13 north, Range 8 east. 

Plumas County. (After pyrite) Armentine mine, with epidote and 
garnet (Blake). Mumford's^Hill (Edman). No. 117, near Gold Lake, 
line of Plumas and Sierra Counties. No. 3361, with hematite, near 
Crescent Mills. 

San Benito County. No. 819, Tres Pinos. No. 2274, Coast Range 
Mountains. No. 4314, fourteen miles from Hollister, in large quan- 
tities with limestone. 

San Diego County. No. 2886, eight or nine miles north of Mesquit 


Santa Barbara County (Trask). 

Santa Cruz County. Near the town is an extensive bed ; the needle 
deflected 31 degrees on approaching it (Trask). 

Shasta County. At Iron Mountain, five miles from the Sacramento 
River. Altitude above river, 1,300 feet. An abundance of wood at 
C2 50 per cord, and plenty of water at the mine. Analysis by Kel- 
logg, Hewston & Co.: Protoxide of iron, 11,58; sesquioxide of iron 
80.1o; alumina, 1.69; silica, 4.95; water, 1.63. No. 20, McCloud River' 
S 08 '^ 1 ™ 1 - and 4 ? 83 ,' Potter ' s iron mine, seven miles from Shasta 
No. 4139, in octahedral crystals, exact locality not known 

Sierra County. In large beds (Blake). No. 3756, Mohawk Valley 
Sierra Iron Company. 

Sonoma County. No. 4238, mouth of Russian River; magnetic sands 

Trinity County. Near Weaverville (Trask). 

Yuba County. No. 579. 

89. MALACHITE. Ety m. "Mallow." Green Carbonate of Copper 
Mountain Green. (CuO, C0 2 +CuO, HO.) 

Protoxide of copper ,_ *, q 

Carbonic acid _ __ - • ,i.a 

water ------------~~-i~i-«izi"":~":~:;:::: I2 


Equivalent of copper, 57.39 per cent. H=3.5, sp. gr. 3.7—4 Color 
bright green; streak paler. It dissolves in acids with effervescence 
the solution becoming bright blue if ammonia is added in excess.' 
f i °x n ,, ' f uslble > a globule of copper is easily obtained. In a closed 
tube it blackens and yields water. This mineral is valuable as an 
ore of copper, but still more so as an ornamental stone when found in 
masses of sufficient size. Magnificent vases, tables, and mantels of 
malachite were shown m the Russian department of the Paris Expo- 

w °^;° f J 8 - 78 " V^ e ., s&me ob J ects had been exhibited at previous 
W orld s Fairs. ^ hile malachite has been found in numerous local- 
ities in California, it has never been obtained in sufficient quantity 
to be used for ornamental purposes. Malachite when ground and 
properly washed has been somewhat used as a pigment under the 
name of Mountain Green," but it is not so good for that purpose as 
some of the artificial greens. 


In remarkably fine specimens, associated with crystalline blue car- 
bonate, at Hughes' mine, Calaveras County (Blake): At Alisal, Mon- 
terey County (Trask) Santa Rosa Creek, San Luis Obispo County; 
San Emidio Ranch Kern County, with melaconite. Copperopolis 
Calaveras County; Del Norte County; Plumas County, with azurite' 
gold, and quartz. A\ hitman's Pass, Tuolumne County. No 67'^ with 
cuprite azurite, and chrysocolla, in the Lost mine, thirty miles west 
ot the Colorado River, San Diego County. No. 816, Peck mine 
Copper Hill Shasta County. No. 4746, with azurite, cuprite, and 
partzite, in the Kerrick mine, Blind Springs, Mono County; also at a 
number of localities in the Inyo and Coso Mountains. 

Maltha— see Petroleum. 

Manganese Oxide— see Pyrolusite. 


90. MARIPOSITE. Mariposa County. (Provisional name.) 

This is a mineral of an apple green color, found with quartz, on the 
Mariposa estate, Mariposa County; and elsewhere on the great mother 
lode of the State. It has not yet been fully determined. It is referred 
by Dana to fuchsite. It was first described by Prof. Silliman, Decem- 
ber 2, 1867: see Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 
vol. 3, fol. 380. It is represented in the State Museum by No. 1295, 
from the Josephine mine, Mariposa County. 

Marble — see Calcite and Building Stones. 

91. MARCASITE. Etym. ancient name for Pyrite (Arabic or Moor- 

ish origin). Sulphide of Iron, White Pyrites. 

This mineral has the same composition as pyrites, but is of a white 
color. It is put to the same uses, such as making sulphur, sulphuric 
acid, etc. It is quite common as an associate of gold in California 
with pyrite (yellow colored), chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, mis- 
pickel, etc. 

92. MELACONITE. Etym. Black (Greek). Black Oxide of Copper. 

This is a rare mineral in California. It is said to occur with mal- 
achite at the San Emidio ranch, Kern County. No. 812 is from the 
Afterthought mine, Shasta County. Melaconite occurs in the Satellite 
copper mine, formerly the Lancha Plana, near Campo Seco, Calaveras 
County, in masses of considerable size, with bornite, and containing 
granules of metallic copper the size of bird-shot. In the R. F. with 
chloride of ammonia it imparts an intense blue color to the flame. 
It is partly soluble in hydrochloric acid and is decomposed in nitro- 
hydrochloric acid with the separation of sulphur. This mineral 
occurs in nodules black and earthy inside but covered with a white 

93. MENACCANITE. Etym. Menaccan, in Cornwall, England. 

Ilmenite, Titaniferous Iron. 

A single but fine crystal was found in the gold washings near 
Georgetown, El Dorado County. It was about an inch in diameter 
with brilliant planes (Blake). Fine specimens are brought from Bill 
Taylor's ranch near Buchanan, Fresno County, twenty miles south- 
east of Mariposa. No. 2731 is from this locality. 

Mercury — see-'Quicksilver. 

94. METACINNABARITE. Etym. Beyond (Greek) and Cinnabar. 

This rare mineral is a black sulphide of mercury, described by G. 
E. Moore in 1870. It resembles cinnabar in composition, being like 
that species (Hg S), but differs from it in color, streak, specific gravity, 
and luster. It corresponds to the black sulphide of mercury pro- 
duced artificially by mixing the elements; while cinnabar conforms 
to the artificial sulphide obtained by sublimation. It occurs with 
cinnabar and native mercury in several quicksilver mines in Califor- 
nia, and has lately been found in Oregon. It has never been obtained 


in large quantities like cinnabar, and is still considered a rare min- 
eral. When first found it was generally thought to be amorphous, 
but it has since been found beautifully crystallized in the Redington 
mine, Napa County, the locality where it was first discovered. Fine 
specimens have been obtained in the Great Western mine, Lake 
County; in the California mine, Yolo County, No. 448, amorphous, 
and No. 540 in crystals; and in the Bonanza mine, Douglas County, 
Oregon, associated with cinnabar, No. 4455. 


Meteoric iron is of cosmical origin, having fallen to the earth from 
space. There are numerous theories as to the source from which 
these bodies come, but the question is far from being solved. Every 
new meteorite is studied, with a view to gain additional information 
upon this very interesting subject. The fall of aerolites has been 
observed from the earliest historical times, and regarded with awe 
and wonder. It is a singular fact that meteorites contain the same 
elements that are found on the earth; twenty-two of the known ele- 
ments having been found in aerolites, the principal ones being iron, 
nickel, hydrogen, cobalt, silica, manganese, and aluminium. Some 
meteorites are found to have absorbed a large quantity of hydrogen 
gas in their passage through space; but although a few combinations 
are found which have not been observed in terrestrial matter, no 
new element has as yet been discovered in any of them. Meteoric 
stones are classed in two groups: those containing metallic iron (sid- 
erites), and those which do not — stony meteorites. These groups are 
again subdivided. 

The iron meteorites have the singular property of developing or 
revealing crystalline structure when a smooth surface is acted on 
by dilute nitric acid. These crystals are called Widmannstattian 
figures, from the name of the discoverer. Some aerolites show this 
crystallization without etching, as is the case with both of those in 
the State Museum, to be described. In 1866 Dr. Trask found a small 
fragment of iron in Honcut Creek, Butte County. It had the appear- 
ance of cast iron, and was pronounced by Professor Brush not to be 
meteoric. Still it was considered remarkable at the time, that a frag- 
ment of cast iron should have been found under the circumstances, 
and it is a little singular that a similar fragment has been recently 
sent to the State Mining Bureau which was found on the bedrock, 
near Columbia, Tuolumne County. At a meeting of the California 
Academy of Sciences, February 19, 1866, Professor Whitney stated that 
Dr. J. G. Coffin had found fragments of iron in the bed of the Mohave 
River. At that time no meteorite had been found in California that 
was known to be such. 

There was a rumor, a number of years ago, that there was a large 
mass of meteoric iron on the line of travel up the coast, a few miles 
north of Crescent City, Del Norte County, but it could never be 
traced to any reliable source. The El Dorado meteorite was found 
at Shingle Springs, by a blacksmith whose name is not given. It 
was noticed by J. H. Crossman in 1871, and placed in the cabinet of 
W. V. H. Cronise, where it was seen and described by Professor B. Silli- 
man, in the American Journal of Science and Arts for July 18, 1873, 
with a figure from a photograph by Watkins of San Francisco. A 
short notice of it by Professor C. U. Shepard of Amherst College, 


appeared in the same journal of June, 1872. The weight of this me- 
teorite was about eighty-five pounds avoirdupois. Its largest dimen- 
sions were twenty-four and twenty-nine centimeters; density, 7.875. 
No Widmannstattian figures were developed by etching. 

The following analysis of it by J. A. Cairns, of the School of Mines, 
Columbia College, New York, is published: 

Iron 81.480 

Nickel 17.173 

Cobalt .604 


With the following elements in small proportions: aluminium, cal- 
cium, carbon, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sul- 

Professor Shepard arrived at quite different results, viz. : 

Iron . 88.02 

Nickel 8.88 

Insoluble 3.50 


This meteorite still remains in San Francisco. 

The San Bernardino Meteorite, No. 2339, State Museum, was found in 
1880 in the Ivanpah mining district, San Bernardino County, by Ste- 
phen Goddard. The weight, before cutting, was 1,870 troy ounces. Di- 
mensions: length, 13.5 inches; width, 9.7 inches; thickness, 8 inches. 
Specific gravity of the mass, 7.693. It is an irregular body or mass 
of malleable iron. The surface is covered with concave cup-like 
depressions, some of which have considerable depth. The fine Wid- 
mannstattian figures on the cut face were developed by the action of 
nitric acid, and the smooth rim or border was protected from the 
action of the acid by wax, and should not be mistaken for a crust or 
outer shell. On one end of the aerolite may be seen distinct crystals 
corresponding to those developed by acid. Photographs, on a scale 
of one third the actual size, were taken of this specimen, both before 
and after cutting. Lithographs from these photographs are published 
with this report. The following analysis was made in the Univer- 
sity of California by Mr. Gustav Gehring: 

University op California, Berkeley, May 17, 1884. 
Analysis of the San Bernardino Meteorite by Gustav Gehring, Assistant in Chemistry in the 
University of California: 

Iron . 94.856 

Nickel 4.469 

Cobalt - .261 

Silica .041 

Sulphur .004 

Phosphorus .002 

Carbon in combination .115 

Graphite .OP 7 

Hardness, 3.75; specific gravity, 8.076. 

The Chilcat Meteorite, No. 2925, State Museum, was purchased by 
the State Mining Bureau from Chief Donawack. It is from Portage 
Bay, Chilcoot Inlet, Alaska. Its weight is 1,410 troy ounces, or about 
961 pounds avoirdupois. The State is indebted to the Northwest 
Trading Company, and to J. M. Vanderbilt in particular for nego- 


tiating its purchase, and to John Muir for calling attention to it. 
No analysis of it has yet been made, but a small fragment treated 
with acid developed Widmannstattian figures. 

plint's natural history. 

Book 2, Chapter 59, " Of stones that have fallen from the clouds." The opinion of Anax- 
agoras respecting them: 

The Greeks boast that Anaxagoras, the Clazomenian, in the second year of the 78th Olym- 
piad, from his knowledge of what relates to the heavens, had predicted, that at a certain time, 
a stone would fall from the sun. And the thing accordingly happened in the daytime in a 
part of Thrace, at the river iEgos. The stone is now to be seen, a wagon-load in size, and of 
a burnt appearance; there was also a comet shining in the night at that time. But to believe 
that this had been predicted would be to admit that the divining powers of Anaxagoras were 
still more wonderful, and that our knowledge of the nature of things, and, indeed, everything 
else, would be thrown into confusion, were we to suppose either that the sun is itself composed of 
stone, or that there was even a stone in it ; yet there can be no doubt that stones have frequently 
fallen from the atmosphere. There is a stone, a small one, indeed, at this time, in the Gymna- 
sium of Albados, which ou this account is held in veneration, and which the same Anaxagoras 
predicted would fall in the middle of the earth. There is another at Cassandria, formerly 
called Potidfea. which from this circumstance was built in that place. I have, myself, seen one 
in the country of the Vocontii, which had been brought from the fields only a short time before. 

96. MICA. Etym. "A Crumb or Grain" (Latin). Isinglass, Muscovy 

Glass, etc. 

This name is not confined to a single mineral, but is applied to a 
group, the members of which are silicates of a variety of bases; all 
having a cleavage parallel with the base of the crystal. This cleav- 
age is so perfect that the mineral can be divided into sheets thinner 
than paper. It is to this property, and their transparency, that they 
owe their value in the arts. The minerals most_ characteristic of the 
mica group are Biotite, Phlogopite, and Muscovite. 

There seems to have been a confusion in the use of the name mica 
among the earlier mineralogists; they applied the term to any min- 
eral which could be separated into scales or lamina, regardless of its 
composition. Mohs, in his treatise on mineralogy, includes a number 
of minerals which are not now placed in the mica group, as follows: 
" Euchlore mica," hydrous arseniate of copper; " Cobalt mica," arsen- 
iate of cobalt, erythrite; "Iron mica," phosphate of iron, vivianite, 
and micaceous iron ore; " Graphite mica," foliated graphite; "Talc 
mica," chlorite; "Uran mica," phosphate of uranium, torbernite. 

In the second annual report of the State Mineralogist, folio 225, 
considerable space was given to the description of mica, and of the 
specimens in the State Museum at that time. No new localities have 
since been found which have any importance. The following is a 
quotation from the paper mentioned : 

In crossing certain streams or rivers flowing in shallow sandy beds, quartz sand may be seen 
to roll forward beneath the water, remaining near the bottom ; but particles of mica, frequently 
of a golden color, rise with the force of the stream to the surface, and glitter and gleam in the 
sunlight like particles of gold, for which they have often been mistaken. This peculiarity of 
mica was frequently noticed in the Platte River by the early emigrants to California, and by 
those who had discovered the mistake it was called "Fools' Gold." 

There is a specimen of yellow mica schist, No. 1626, in the Museum of the State Mining 
Bureau, from a large deposit, which caused the Gold Lake excitement, and it is so like the 
precious metal in appearance that it is not surprising the mistake should have been made. 
With the advancement of invention there has been created an increased demaud for mica, 
which has raised the price to that extent that a deposit of the best quality would be very valu- 
able to the finder. 

Mica is made a substitute for glass in certain cases where that material cannot be used, as in 
front of stoves, bakers' ovens, furnaces, certain lanterns, lamp chimneys, windows in ships of 
war, as such windows cannot be broken by the concussion of the guns. In chemistry it is 


sometimes used as a support for substances to be fused, and as thin covers for microscopic 
objects where it is desirable to have the cover thinner than can be attained by glass; it is also 
used in the pans of the balance upon which to place powders and damp or corrosive substances 
to be weighed. In this case two pieces of equal size and weight are used, which counterpoise 
each other. 

Mica is also applied to ornamental purposes. In paper hangings and decorative work it is 
ground or otherwise separated into a fine scaly powder and sifted over the work in a kind of 
frosting, which is made to adhere by a coating of glue size or paint. Mica of a yellow color is 
said to be used in the manufacture of artificial aventurine. 

Mica, being a constituent of granite, gneiss, and other of the more 
common rocks, is one of the most abundant minerals in nature. But 
it is only when it occurs separate and alone, and under other peculiar 
conditions, that it possesses any special value. Mica, in sheets or 
plates of the size and quality that adapt it for the uses to which it 
is mostly applied, is a mineral that, where the conditions are favor- 
able, can be mined with profit. Nevertheless, much misapprehension 
seems to exist among miners as to the requirements of the trade and 
the prices usually paid for this mineral; the idea having obtained 
among this class that mica is so scarce and in such demand, that 
there is always a market for it at extravagantly high figures. But 
this is a mistake; it is only sheets of superior quality and extra large 
size, such as are rarely found, that meet with ready sale at high prices. 
Owing to the erroneous notions entertained on this point, the several 
attempts that have been made at working the mica deposits of Cali- 
fornia and Nevada have resulted in disappointment and loss, the 
parties who engaged in these enterprises having failed to realize for 
their product such prices as they had counted upon, chiefly because 
it did not quite meet the wants of purchasers. The outlook for this 
industry is, however, by no means desperate, as there are many prom- 
ising deposits of mica in California, and elsewhere on the coast, and 
there is a chance that the quality of the article will improve when 
the mines come to be opened to greater depths. 


The following include the principal localities at which this mineral 
has been found in California : At Gold Lake, Plumas County ; in El 
Dorado County; Ivanpah district, San Bernardino County; near 
Susanville, Lassen County; and at Tehachipi Pass, Kern County; it 
having been observed at many other places in the State. As little or 
no work has been done on any of these deposits, not much can be said 
in regard to their probable value, one way or the other. We have 
reports of mica being found in nearly all the Pacific States and 
Territories; also in those contiguous to the Rocky Mountains; its 
occurrence in some of these being abundant, and extending to many 
different localities. 

Micaceous Iron — see Hematite. 

97. MILLEMTE. Sulphide of Nickel. 

This mineral is brass-yellow, resembling chalcopyrite. It is not a 
common or abundant mineral, and in California has been observed 
only at one locality— No. 3958, found half a mile from Cisco, Placer 


98. MINERAL COAL. Lignite, Anthracite, Ionite, etc. 


Possessing important minerals in great variety and abundance, Cal- 
ifornia has not yet shown such wealth of coal as is much to be desired 
and as it is to be hoped the future will reveal. Deposits of this fuel 
occur at many places in the State, some of them being quite heavy, 
but none consisting of the better varieties of coal. Our coal is a lig- 
nite, answering very well for making steam and for domestic uses, 
for which, being comparatively cheap, it is largely employed. But 
thus far there has been found in the State no anthracite, coking, or 
even first class bituminous coal. Our domestic supplies have from 
the first been nearly all obtained from the Mount Diablo mines, which, 
opened up in 1860, have since turned out a yearly average of about 
100,000 tons. 


The fossil fuels are among the staples for which we have always 
been obliged to pay high prices, whether required for forging iron, 
making gas, generating steam, cooking our food, or warming our 
houses. For whatever purpose employed this fuel has sold in the San 
Francisco market at an advance of nearly 100 per cent on eastern 
prices. Where the consumer almost anywhere east of the Mississippi 
has had to pay from $4 to $6 per ton for coal, we have had to pay for 
a like article from $6 to $13; the rates ruling at present and which 
have for some time past obtained in this market being shown by the 
following table : 





$6 25 

$7 25 

6 75 

7 25 

7 50 

8 25 

7 00 

8 00 

12 50 

13 00 

6 50 

7 50 

6 75 

7 50 

6 50 

7 50 


10 00 



West Hartley. 
Scotch Splint . 


Coos Bav 


Mount Diablo 

With us the price of foreign coal depends somewhat upon the 
amount of shipping required for carrying away our wheat crop. If 
this be large, vessels coming here to load with wheat, in the absence 
of other lading, bring coal at low rates, taking it sometimes as ballast. 
Not always, however, have these low freights inured to the benefit of 
the consumer, local dealers combining very often to control the market 
and so keep up prices. 


With the exception of some small lots taken from mines in the 
interior of the State, we procured our supplies of coal for the two 
years stated from the sources and in the quantities below set forth: 



Where From. 

























Chili . 

California's consumption of coal the current year will be somewhat 
larger than that of 1883, owing to various new industrial establish- 
ments having been started, some requiring it for furnaces and forges, 
and nearly all for making steam. The supplying sources continue 
the same, with an enlarged production from the British Columbia, 
the Carbon Hill, and the Coos Bay mines, and a falling off in the 
product of the Seattle mines; the Mount Diablo showing the same 
output this year as last. Our importations of coal from Australia, 
the United Kingdom, and the Eastern States have been much less 
thus far the current year than usual. We append table showing 
receipts at San Francisco during the first six months of 1884: 

Where From. 


English, Scotch, and Welsh 

British Columbia 

Eastern (Anthracite and Cumberland) 

Seattle T 

Carbon Hill (Tacoma) 

Mount Diablo 

Coos Bay 


The diminished receipts of foreign coal, as above shown, have been 
due to the following causes: Australia has this year a large wheat 
crop to move; hence, few vessels have arrived at this port from that 
country bringing coal. The dry weather that prevailed early in the 
year having threatened California with a short wheat crop, English 
ships, the usual carriers of coal, were deterred from coining here to 
load with that cereal; as a consequence, we are without our usual 
supply from that source, with prices meantime well maintained. 
More favorable weather later in the season having insured us an 
abundant yield of wheat, fleets of vessels will be attracted here from 
abroad, bringing, no doubt, their usual complement of coal. The 
prospect, therefore, is that the prices now ruling for the foreign article 
will recede before the year is ended. 



The only coal mines in California that have been worked to any 
extent and with even the smallest profit, are those included in the 
Mount Diablo coal field, a belt extending for ten or twelve miles 
along the northerly slope of Mount Diablo. All the mines, however, 
that have here been profitably worked, are included in a section of 
this belt, reaching not over two and one half miles along its western 
portion, and extending from the workings of the Black Diamond to 
those of the Pittsburg Company. The principal veins here consist 
of two, the Black Diamond having forty inches of coal, and the Clark 
having thirty-four inches, two small veins, the one having about a 
foot and the other five or six inches of coal, lying between them. 
Several other seams traverse the formation, but they are all too small 
to be of any value. While a great deal of money has been expended 
in this region prospecting for coal, only in a few instances have de- 
posits sufficiently heavy been developed to warrant their being worked. 
The only companies that are now making, or ever have made, any 
considerable production here, are the Black Diamond and the Pitts- 
burg, there being one or two others that are at present operating 
in a limited way. The Eureka, the Independent, the Union, the San 
Francisco, the Peacock, and the Stewart, or Central, are all among 
the mines that have been extensively exploited, but to so little pur- 
pose that work was suspended upon them many years ago. Since 
then, the most of them have filled with water, and having been dis- 
mantled, may now be considered practically abandoned. The devel- 
opments made in the Empire and the Rancho de Los Maganos, are 
such as have served to keep life in these properties, which will ulti- 
mately, no doubt, be brought into a productive condition. 

The trouble with these Mount Diablo mines is twofold — the coal, 
in the first place, is of an inferior quality, and then the cost of extrac- 
tion, is great, the beds being small and much disturbed by faults and 
dislocations. Mr. W. A. Goodyear, who several years since examined 
these deposits with great care, in remarking on this feature, observes 
that within the two and one half miles of profitable working, some 
seven or eight faults of considerable extent occur, involving throws of 
from ten to one hundred and fifty feet each, while immediately out- 
side this section are disturbances of still greater magnitude, lesser but 
well marked dislocations being extremely numerous in these mines. 
The cost of mining and placing this Mount Diablo coal in San Fran- 
cisco has averaged at least $5 per ton of 2,240 pounds, the cost of 
mining alone having averaged over $3 per ton. 

The following table shows yearly receipts at San Francisco of coal 
from the Mount Diablo mines, from the time they were first opened 
to date, the quantity received during the first six months of 1884 
being estimated : 




* Tons. 







1861 ... . ._..__. 














1862 ... 


1863 ... ... 


1864. . ... ... 

1877 . 


1865 . .. 

1878 . _ .. 

1866. .... . 



1867 . _ 

1880 . 





1882 ... 


1883 . 



1884 (first half) . 


Adding to the above ten per cent for coal sent from the mines to 
other points than San Francisco, and fifteen to twenty thousand tons 
to represent output of the lone, Lincoln, and various other small 
mines in the State, we have the total product of the California coal 
mines up to this time; the other sources from which we have been 
accustomed to obtain our supplies of this fuel being sufficiently indi- 
cated by the tables already given. 


Of the other localities in California at which coal or lignite deposits 
have been found, outside of the Mount Diablo field, the following may 
be noted: In lone Valley, Amador County, where the bed, which lies 
near the surface and can be easily worked, varies from five to fifteen 
feet in thickness. Although this deposit was discovered prior to 1870, 
and worked in a small way for several years thereafter, not until 1877 
was much coal taken out, the product that year having amounted to 
3,458 tons. From that time on not much was done here until 1883, 
when the mine began to be again actively worked, from forty to sixty 
tons per day having since been extracted. While this coal has been 
found to answer for making steam for general purposes, it does not 
answer for locomotives, the Central Pacific Railroad Company, after 
a trial of it on their engines, having discontinued its use. That com- 
pany several years ago constructed a railroad from Gait to these mines, 
a distance of twenty-two miles, in the expectation that this coal could 
be used to advantage on their locomotives. Through its failure to do 
so the company sustained a heavy loss. All the coal now being taken 
out at this place finds ready sale at remunerative prices, being used 
by the flouring mills and other industrial establishments in the vicin- 
ity, and also to some extent on the steamers running on the Mokel- 
umne, Sau Joaquin, and the Sacramento Rivers. 

Shortly after the opening up of this lone bed a similar deposit of 
coal was discovered at the town of Lincoln, in the southwestern part 
of Placer County. After some attempts at working this deposit oper- 
ations were suspended, the coal proving to be of very poor quality. 
After remaining idle for some years, a new shaft was put down, which 
not only developed a thicker vein but a better quality of coal. Since 
this strike several carloads have been taken from the mine daily. 
Though a rather poor article, it finds a market, as it answers tolerably 
well for making steam and as an ordinary fuel. The owners are sink- 


ing a third shaft on the vein, with a view to facilitating the work of 
extraction. This mine is favorably situated for shipping its product, 
being within a few hundred yards of the California and Oregon 

More than twenty years ago a coal field was discovered and par- 
tially explored at Corral Hollow, in the hills to the south of the 
Livermore Pass. Many shafts were sunk, tunnels driven, and much 
money expended here, without developing any valuable bodies of 
coal, and the locality has for many years past been abandoned. At 
the time these deposits were being actively explored, the Western 
Pacific Railroad Company laid down a track from Ellis Station to 
the mouth of Corral Hollow, in the hope of being able to get coal 
here for their locomotives; a hope in which they were disappointed. 


Among recent discoveries of coal in this State is the deposit known 
as the Mcintosh and Cheney mine, situated in San Diego County, 
4-1 miles from Laguna Station, on the California Southern Railroad. 
The developments made here consist of a tunnel started on the east- 
erly slope of the mountain in which the deposit occurs, and which, 
when 40 feet in, struck a vein of lignite 4* feet thick. This tunnel was 
carried forward 206* feet further, all the way in a bed of coal, which 
at this point measured 7 feet 3 inches in thickness, being of uniform 
quality and solid throughout. As this tunnel was advanced samples 
of the coal were taken for assay, one of which was made by the State 
Mineralogist. These assays snowed it to contain, of fixed carbon, 
from 35.35 to 46.82; volatile matter, 30.40 to 40.27; water, 10 to 23; 
ash, 5.36 to 11.25; this being very similar to the Mount Diablo and 
Coos Bay coal. Several hundred tons of it sold at the mouth of the 
tunnel, to consumers in the neighborhood, is said to have given 
general satisfaction. As it can be broken out readily and without 
the use of powder, one man extracting several tons per day, it is sold 
at low prices. Thus far the cost of mining this coal has been $1 50 
per ton; but with better facilities for performing the work, it can 
probably be delivered at the mouth of the tunnel for a third of that 
sum. Should this find turn out as well as expected, it will prove of 
great advantage to that section of the State, which, scantily supplied 
with wood, has still large fuel requirements, which have heretofore 
been met in good part by coal brought from British Columbia and 
Puget Sound. • An ample supply of good coal from local sources 
would be to Southern California a matter of great economic impor- 

A vein of coal 6 inches thick was discovered last year at a point 
about 25 miles from the town of Bodie, Mono County. Tested in the 
miners' stoves, this coal is represented to have burned freely with a 
steady flame, throwing out much heat. The deposit occurs in a sand- 
stone formation, and though not yet opened up to any extent, is spoken 
of hopefully by parties who have seen it. The country in the vicinity 
abounds with mines, and being but sparsely wooded, the discovery 
of a tolerably good coal, even in moderate quantities, would help its 
prospects very much. 

The finding of encouraging coal signs about four miles from Fulton 
Wells, Los Angeles County, was announced not long since. Though 
not yet developed, this find is said to be one of much promise; the 


vein discovered being several feet thick, and consisting of a bitumi- 
nous coal, that burns freely in an open grate. Indications denote for 
this bed a considerable extent, a similar outcrop appearing across 
the range south of Spadra, seven miles distant. This would carry it 
through the rolling Puente hills, affording excellent facilities for 
opening up the bed, and giving a railroad near to and on each side 
of it. The work of further exploring this deposit will be awaited 
with interest. 

Coal signs, and in somes cases deposits of considerable extent, have 
been met with at many other places in California; but only on a few 
of these has much exploratory work been done. In good time they 
will all be examined with more care, resulting, no doubt, in greatly 
enlarging our stock of the fossil fuels. 

According to Mr. Goodyear, already quoted, a bed of coal, from 14 
to 15 feet in thickness, has been exposed on the Middle Fork of Eel 
River, eight miles south of the village of Round Valley, in Mendo- 
cino County. While this coal occurs here in such quantity, and is of 
good quality, Mr. Goodyear expresses the opinion that very little of 
it will ever be likely to reach the San Francisco market, for the reason 
that the rocks in the neighborhood have been so much disturbed, 
that the bed will probably prove to be much crushed and broken up 
by faults; while the locality, being in the heart of the Coast Range, 
could be reached only by a railroad for a long distance over a rough 
country. In addition to the above, veins of coal, generally of suf- 
ficient thickness to suggest for them some value, have been observed 
at the following localities in this State, viz.: In the hills south of 
Vallecitos, 6 miles westerly from the New Idria quicksilver mines, 
Fresno County; on Los Gatos Creek, easterly flank of the Coast Range, 
same county ; in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, eastern part of 
Shasta County, where the coal outcrops over a considerable area; at 
American Canon, in the southwestern part of Solano County, along 
the face of a steep bluff; the coal signs here not, however, being in 
place; in the range of hills east of Santa Rosa Valley, Sonoma County; 
and at many places in the Coast Range besides those mentioned; the 
most encouraging indications being met with in Santa Cruz, Monterey, 
Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties, coal signs having been reported 
one time and another in almost every county in the State. A table of 
approximate analyses of California lignites is given on page 14 of this 


A coal-bearing territory of considerable extent skirts the easterly 
shores of Coos Bay, in the southwestern part of Oregon. A great 
deal of money was expended some ten or twelve years ago in opening 
up these mines, and in constructing railroads, wharves, and coal 
bunkers, for transporting their product to and receiving it at tide 
water, and in providing vessels for carrying it thence to San Fran- 
cisco, where for several years the receipts of coal from that quarter 
were quite heavy. Latterly, however, and for reasons not generally 
understood by the public,. they have been comparatively light. Again 
they appear to be on the eve of being increased, certain movements 
recently made, by the owners and others interested in these coal 
fields, indicating a purpose on their part to work them once more on 
a large scale. The Newport, formerly one of the active companies at 


Coos Bay, and still large owners there, have contracted with the 
Union Iron Works, of San Francisco, for the construction of a large 
steel steamer, to run between that port and their coal mines. Another 
steamship, lately launched at Marshfield, on Coos Bay, has been 
brought to San Francisco to receive her machinery, built at the Ful- 
ton Iron Works. Being named the Coos Bay, this vessel is presum- 
ably intended for the trade between this city and that point. It 
would look as if these mines ought to be more largely worked than 
they have been of late, as they have been pretty well opened up, 
supplied with extensive plant, and lie convenient to navigable waters. 


In this Territory occur the most extensive and, at present, largely 
productive coal fields on the Pacific Coast. The output here will prob- 
ably be greater this year than it was last, although the Seattle mines 
show for the first six months of the year a decline that is not made 
up by some slight increase at Carbon Hill. It is anticipated, how- 
ever, that the output at both these places will be larger for the last 
half of the year than it was during the first half. Owing to a fire that 
occurred in the Bellingham Bay mines several years ago, destroying 
the plant and underground works, they have not been worked since, 
though known to contain a large body of good coal. These mines 
are situated in the extreme northern part of the Territory, close to 
the British Columbia line, and on the westerly verge of an extended 
coal field. 

The Seattle coal is a lignite from the Newcastle and the Renton 
mines, the former located twenty and the latter thirteen miles easterly 
from the town of Seattle on Puget Sound ; this coal taking the name 
of the town for the reason that it is shipped at that port. Both of 
these mines are connected with Seattle by rail, a wharf having capac- 
ity to put 2,000 tons of coal per day on shipboard having been built 
at that place. The owners of these mines have provided a large fleet 
of steam and sail vessels for carrying their product to San Francisco 
where they have capacious depots for receiving and storing coal. 

The Carbon Hill mines are situated on Carbon River, 32? miles 
northeast of Tacoma, on Puget Sound, where this coal is snipped and 
therefore often called Tacoma coal. These mines belong to the Pacific 
Improvement Company, who have a line of powerful steam colliers 
for transporting their product to San Francisco Bay, where extensive 
bunkers have been built, and whence it is distributed as required by 
the locomotives and steamers of the Central Pacific and the Southern 
Pacific Railroads, which consume the most of it, There are three 
veins being worked at Carbon Hill, one having a thickness of 17i 
feet, one of 6, and one of 4tr feet. They are worked through a tunnel 
above the level of which there is estimated to be a very large quantity 
of coal. This has been pronounced by experts a good bituminous coal, 
hard and clean and superior to any found elsewhere on the coast, 
though not equal in heating capacity to the best Pittsburg. It is also 
claimed that this coal can be coked to advantage. About 250 men are 
employed at these mines on wages varying from $2 75 to $3 per day, 
boarding themselves. Some work by the piece, receiving from $2 to 
$3 per cubic yard broken out. At the Seattle mines about an equal 
number of men are employed and on similar terms, the prices paid 


workmen in the California coal mines being a little less than in those 
of Washington Territory. 


In Arizona, Utah, British Columbia, and Alaska, coal is known to 
exist, the quantity in some of these countries being large. The Brit- 
ish Columbia mines, which are quite extensive, contribute largely 
towards supplying the wants of California, the best coal yet obtained 
on the coast coming from these mines. Judging from the small lots 
from that country that have come to hand, Alaska also affords some 
excellent coal. 

Several years ago the Central Pacific Railroad Company, who own 
extensive deposits of coal in Wyoming Territory, having opened them 
up at much expense, made a determined and somewhat costly effort 
to employ the product of these mines for their own use, and also 
introduce it on the San Francisco market. Though an excellent coal 
for many purposes, railroad transportation for more than a thousand 
miles proved too expensive to warrant a continuance of the effort. 
As a result, there has been received at San Francisco during the past 
twelve years or more very little of the so called Rocky Mountain coal, 
though the above company have all the while used some of it on the 
eastern portion of their road, and will continue to do so, increasing, 
very likely, the quantity consumed in the future. 

.According to late reports, an extensive coal field has been discov- 
ered in the northeastern part of Arizona. Samples brought from that 
quarter show this to be a good quality of coal, and the find will be of 
great importance should the deposits prove to be large and perma- 


The following is the substance of a paper prepared by Melville 
Attwood, describing simple and effective means devised by him for 
determining the different varieties of coal, this paper having been 
read by the author before the California Academy of Sciences, June 
2, 1884. The method of procedure in making these tests, as described 
by Mr. Attwood, is as follows: Having procured a streak plate of hard 
porcelain, work a smooth even surface upon it with a fine emery file, 
using water with a little washing ammonia in it. This done, paste 
letters on the margin of the plate to designate the different samples 
of coal to be tested. Select a piece of coal free from decomposition, 
earthy or other extraneous matter, and, rubbing it gently on the plate, 
compare the streak made with the known varieties, the plate being 
so moved that the rays of light will fall on the streak from different 
directions. To facilitate the process of rubbing, it may be performed 
through small slots cut in a piece of cardboard laid on the plate. 
By the above means the character of a coal can, in Mr. Attwood's 
opinion, be determined with considerable accuracy, the better varie- 
ties giving a blackish, while the inferior give a brownish streak. The 
former contain but a small amount of combined water, while the 
latter contain it in excess. 

Remarking further on the examination of different kinds of coal, 
Mr. Attwood quotes from Crooke's Metallurgy to the effect that the 
nature of this fuel can often be judged of by its external appearance; 
a full black color, lively luster, and great hardness, indicating the 


presence of much oxygen, while a pitch-like luster shows a small, and 
a glassy luster a somewhat larger amount of carbon. A black color, 
strong luster, slight coherence, and little tenacity, denote a large 
amount of carbon with more hydrogen than oxygen. A brownish 
black color, dull appearance, strong coherence, and a certain hard- 
ness, show little carbon with more oxygen than hydrogen. The entire 
paper will be published in the proceedings of the society. 

The wasteful consumption of coal in open grates and under boilers, 
is the subject of an article in one of the scientific journals, in which 
Mr. Weldon, a well known English chemist, is quoted as saying that 
it is difficult to insure the complete combustion of coal, even in making 
a chemical analysis, and in the open grate it is impossible. By dry 
distillation, he says, a ton of coal can be made to yield twenty pounds 
of ammonium sulphate, worth eighty cents, and the soot that lodges 
in the chimneys and defiles furniture and buildings, would yield 
coal tar. As a remedy for all the waste and the difficulties involved, 
Mr. Weldon asserts that coal should be distilled in close vessels, and 
all the products of distillation be collected. This being done, the gas 
would serve to distill fresh coal, and to work gas engines to generate 
electricity for light, the ammonia would be a superior fertilizer for 
land, the tar would be manufactured into dyes, the residuum of coke 
being employed for heating purposes, etc. 

The approximate analysis of coal which serves all practical pur- 
poses, is made as follows: 

A portion of 100 parts is pulverized and dried at a water bath heat, 
until it ceases to lose weight, the loss equals the percentage of water. 

A second portion of 100 parts is pulverized and heated to redness 
in a shallow vessel exposed to the air, until a perfect ash only remains— 
the residue equals the percentage of ash. 

A third portion, also 100 parts, in' small lumps, is heated to redness 
in a closed vessel (a platinum crucible, with cover, is the best), until 
no more inflammable gases escape. The crucible must be cooled with- 
out removing the cover. This operation divides the coal into two 
portions, fixed and volatile; one can be weighed, and the other can- 
not. Subtract the weight of the coke from 100, and the loss will 
equal the volatile portion, including water. Example: Suppose the 
water to be 10 per cent; ash, 5 per cent; coke, 47 per cent. Subtract 
the coke (47) from 100, and the difference (53) is the volatile portion; 
from the coke subtract the ash, and from the volatile portion the 
water. The results, in percentage, will be as follows: 

Fixed carbon 42 

Volatile combustible matter _____ ao 

Ash _:::::: ::::::::::::::::::: :::::::" i 

Water ■.« 


The gas may be conveyed into an inverted bell-glass in a pneu- 
matic trough, and measured, if so desired. 

m Ionite is a hydro-carbon mineral, first described by Samuel Purnell, 
in the Mining and Scientific Press of March 24, 1877. It was first 
found m lone Valley, Amador County, whence the name. The fol- 
lowing are extracts from Mr. Purnell's description: When first found 
it contains 50 per cent of water, but when air dried it floats on water, 

the specific gravity being about .9— melts to a pitch-like mass which 
18 _7 


burns easily with a dense black smoke, having a resinous aromatic 
odor and with a yellow flame. 

Ionite contains 13 per cent of impurity, principally silica and 
alumina. Streak reddish yellow, fracture irregular, luster none, when 
pulverized water suspends a portion of the clay in the mineral. It 
is partly soluble in cold alcohol, more so in boiling alcohol, giving a 
brown solution. On addition of water no precipitate is deposited, 
but the solution becomes permanently of a milky color. Very solu- 
ble m ether, forming a brownish black solution ; on adding water a 
brown tarry substance is obtained, very inflammable, and which, while 
burning, gives off the odor of burning sealing wax, wholly soluble 
in chloroform, except the clay or ash, forming a brownish black solu- 
tion; poured into water a brown oil falls to the bottom, partly soluble 
in cold, more so in boiling oil of turpentine, forming a wine-red solu- 
tion; on concentration of the solution crystals of paraffine are sepa- 
rated, almost wholly insoluble in cold or boiling petroleum naphtha; 
subjected to dry distillation a brown tarry oil passes over mixed with 
green colored water. 

Ionite is found in considerable abundance at the original locality, 
and I have found it in lignite beds in San Benito County. It will be 
more carefully studied in the future and will perhaps be found valu- 
able otherwise than as a fuel. 


Springs of mineral water are quite abundant in California. The 
State Mining Bureau has information concerning fifty-eight springs, 
all of which have more or less notoriety. Nothing reliable can be 
given concerning them beyond what was published by Dr. F. W. 

Allusion has been made elsewhere in this report to certain min- 
erals which exist in mineral waters, and to the importance of careful 
analyses and the publication of an official guide-book. This the 
Mining Bureau will endeavor to accomplish, if it has the needed 
support and means to establish the required laboratory. Samples of 
water from the greater lakes of the State have been obtained and 
placed in the State Museum preparatory to analysis. 

Mispickel — see Arsenopyrite. 

100. MOLYBDENITE. Etym. Lead (Greek). Sulphide of Molyb- 


This is a soft, black, lustrous, foliated mineral, resembling graphite, 
for which it is frequently mistaken. It has no special value. It is 
rather common in California, in the granites of the Sierra Nevada, 
and associated with gold in the quartz veins, and frequently with 
copper and silver ores. According to Dana, it is found with molyb- 
dite and gold in the Excelsior mine, Nevada County. The State 
Museum contains several specimens. No. 4126 is from Speckerman's 
mine, six miles above Fresno Flat, Fresno County; No. 3748 from the 
Beveridge mine, Inyo County (this is foliated and was mistaken for 
graphite); No. 4102 from the White Mountains, Inyo County; No. 
4365 from near Independence, Inyo County; No. 4454 from South 
Fork of King's River, fifty-five miles northeast of Visalia. It has 
also been met with in the Cosumnes copper mine, El Dorado County. 


101. MOLYBDITE. Molybdic Acid, Molybdic Ochre. 

According to Dana, this mineral is found in the Excelsior mine, 
Nevada County, with molybdenite and gold. 

Mountain Blue — see Azurite. 

Mountain Butter — see Lenzinite. 

Mountain Cork — see Amphibole. 

Mountain Leather — see Amphibole. 

Mundic — see Pyrite. 

Muscovite — see Mica. 

Natron — see Trona. 

102. NICKEL. See also Millerite and Zaratite. 

Nickel is rather a rare metal, and is generally found associated 
with iron and cobalt; the same association occurs in meteorites. It 
is never found in the metallic state (except in meteorites), being 
always combined with other elements, as arsenic, sulphur, oxygen, 
silicon, copper, antimony, carbon, etc., as well as with iron and cobalt. 

It is a silver- white, malleable, and ductile metal; sp. gr. 8.28 when 
cast, and 8.666 when forged. 

It possesses the power of attracting the magnet, like iron; it is less 
fusible than iron, and does not easily oxidize, for which reason it is 
extensively used for plating iron and other metals likely to tarnish 
by exposure to air and moisture. It is also used in alloys, the most 
useful being German silver, composed of copper 100 parts, zinc 60 
parts, and nickel 40 parts, fused together. It is also used for coin; 
the United States five-cent nickel coin being: copper, 75 per cent; 
nickel, 25 per cent; weight, 77.16 grains. The three-cent nickel coin 
has the same composition, weight 30 grains. 

Nickel was first discovered in 1751 by Cronstedt, in a mineral called 
by the miners "Copper nickel" (Kupfernickel), or false copper, be- 
cause although it had the appearance of being copper ore, it did not 
contain that metal. Kupfernickel is now called Niccolite, and is com- 
posed of nickel and arsenic. The test for nickel, even by an expert 
chemist, is attended with difficulties, and there is no simple, easy, 
characteristic test by which the prospector can identify it. The prin- 
cipal ores of nickel are niccolite; pale copper color, streak brownish 
red, brittle. When heated on charcoal, it gives off fumes of arsenic, 
recognized by the smell of garlic. Millerite; brass-yellow resem- 
bling chalcopyrite, gives a reaction of sulphur, but no copper. Gen- 
thite, or Garnierite; apple green in color. Silicates and arseniates 
of nickel have been found in Oregon and Nevada, and are likely to 
be found in California. Millerite and Zaratite are the only nickel 
minerals as yet discovered in the State, and these only in very small 
quantities. Dr. Trask in his first "Report on the Geology of the 
Coast Mountains, and part of the Sierra Nevada, 1854," refers to 
nickel ores, " in the coast mountains from Contra Costa to the utmost 
limit reached in that range, associated with chromic iron in primitive 
rocks. The mineral is more abundant in the serpentine rocks south 


of Tularcitos, and near San An tonio, Monterey County. This mineral, 
Zaratite, or Emerald Nickel," will be described under the proper 

Nitrate of Soda — see Soda, Niter. 

Obsidian — see Orthoclase. 

Ochre — see Limonite. 

Onyx Marble — see Aragonite. 

103. OPAL. Etym. Opalus (Latin). Hyalite, Wood Opal. 

Opal has the same chemical composition as quartz. Silica is de- 
morphous, opal assuming one form and quartz the other. Opal is 
softer and of less specific gravity, and is never found crystallized. 
It is generally soluble in a hot solution of caustic potash, and usually 
contains water. The precious opal is very valuable, but is rare; it has 
never been found in California. In May, 1883, when the mineral 
collections of Honduras were exhibited in the State Museum, mag- 
nificent opals were included, some of which were the largest and 
finest ever known. Common opal has been found in several locali- 
ties in the State. 

A white, milky variety of opal is found in- Calaveras County, at Mokelumne Hill, or on the 
hill near that place known as Stockton Hill, on the west side of Chile Gulch. A shaft has 
been sunk there three hundred and forty-five feet, and the opals are found in a thin stratum of 
red gravel. They vary in size from a kernel of corn to the size of walnuts. Many of them 
contain dendritic infiltrations of manganese oxide, looking like moss. About a bushel of these 
stones are raised in one day, and are said to have a market value. A white, milky variety 
similar to the above, and without "fire," is found with magnesite in the Mount Diablo range, 
thirty miles south of the mountain. Also in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, at the Four 
Creeks (Blake). 

This locality is represented in the State Museum by No. 4395. They 
are also found near Murphy's, Calaveras County (Dana), and in Plu- 
mas County (Edman). Hyalite is found at Volcano, Amador County 
(Dana). Associated with semi-opal in the Mount Diablo Range, 
about 30 miles south of Mount Diablo (Blake). Also, 9 miles north- 
east of Georgetown, El Dorado County. No. 1347 in the State Museum 
is from Kelseyville, Lake County; and No. 1514 is found plentifully 
in cavities in basaltic lava, Township 10 north, and Ranges 5 and 6 
east, Lake County. Hyalite resembles glass, and is generally found 
in irregular fragments. Opalized wood is wood petrified and changed 
to opal. It is not uncommon in the hydraulic gold mines, in mag- 
nificent specimens. 

Opalized Wood — see Opal. 

104. ORTHOCLASE— see also Feldspar- Common Feldspar, Pot- 

ash Feldspar. 

This mineral derives its name from the Greek, meaning "straight 
break," because it cleaves at right angles. It is a silicate of alumina 
and potash. 


Silica . _.__ 64>6 

Alumina 13,5 

Potash \qq 


Many rocks contain orthoclase as one of their constituents. Granite 
and gneiss are composed of orthoclase, mica, and quartz. Granulyte, 
Pyroxenite, Orthoclase felsite, some varieties of Porphyry, Phonolyte, 
Trachyte, Obsidian, Halleflinta, and Pitchstone, contain orthoclase! 

Orthoclase readily decomposes and forms soils. It is used as a 
source of potash; and with kaolin and quartz, in the manufacture of 
porcelain and pottery. Obsidian, a variety of orthoclase in an impure 
state, is a lava cooled quickly. The obsidians vary in composition ; 
to all appearance they seem homogeneous, like glass, but if examined 
microscopically they are found to be full of minute and sometimes 
very beautiful crystals. Obsidian was known to the ancients, and 
was used for stone implements in the most remote ages, long before 
the commencement of history. It has the property of breaking 
evenly into fragments with sharp edges. The Aztecs used knives of 
obsidian in their human sacrifices. The word obsidian (obsidianus 
lapis) is said to be derived from Obsius, a Roman who first brought 
it from Ethiopia. According to Pliny, it was called also Liparam, 
from the island of Lipari, which produced it. It was used by the 
Romans for mirrors placed in walls. The inhabitants of Quito, not 
many years ago, made the same use of it. 

When first discovered, years ago, at Clear Lake, in Lake County, a 
company was formed to make bottles and other glassware from it, but 
the enterprise was of course a failure. Orthoclase is found in numer- 
ous localities in California. "In San Diego County, in granitic veins 
along the road between Santa Isabel and San Pasquale, associated 
with tourmalines and garnet; in Fresno County, at Fort Miller in 
coarse-grained granite, under the edge of the lava plateau" (Blake); 
at Meadow Valley, Plumas County (Edman). Nos. 438 and 445, in 
the State Museum, are from the Yosemite Valley, Mariposa County, 
occurring in veins in granite with molybdenite; said to exist in veins 
several feet thick at Tehachipi Pass, Kern County. Obsidian is 
found near Lower Lake, Lake County; very fine specimens— black, 
gray, red, and variegated. No. 4908, State Museum, is from McBride's 
ranch, Mono County, and No. 4674 from near the south end of Goose 
Lake, Modoc County. It is also found near Mono Lake, Mono 
County; three miles north of Napa, Napa County; and in Inyo 
County, with basaltic lava. Some varieties of obsidian cut beauti- 
fully, and might be used for ornamental purposes, for paper weights 
vases, bases of clocks, and similar purposes. 

Osmium— see Iridium, with which it is invariably alloyed or asso- 

Pandermite — see Priceite. 

Partzite— see Stibiconite. 

Pearl Spar — see Dolomite. 

105. PECTOLITE. A single specimen was found in a bowlder or 
fragment at the foot of the White Mountains, near Montgom- 
ery, Mono County. Doubtful (Aaron). 




The term petroleum, derived from the Latin words petra, a rock, 
and oleum, oil, is applied to mineral oils, of whatever nature they 
may be, from the tar-like substance changed by inspissation into 
asphaltum, to the water-white liquid resulting from the distillation 
of the crude oils. The more liquid varieties are called naphtha; the 
more viscid and dark colored, mineral tar or maltha. 

In this paper, asphaltum, bitumen, idrialite, and aragotite, as well 
as petroleum, will all be considered, as they possess many properties 
in common, and have probably a common origin. Petroleum is 
known under the several names: rock oil, mineral tar, maltha, 
naphtha, Seneca oil, Genesee oil, paraffine, coal oil, benzine, kerosene, 
benzol, british oil, gasoline, rhigoline, Barbadoes tar, etc. Asphaltum 
is also variously called bitumen, jews' pitch, mineral pitch, brea, etc. 


While the existence of petroleum has been known from the earliest 
historic times, its extensive use for economic purposes, and its appli- 
cation in the arts, are of comparatively modern date. Pliny, book 2, 
chap. 108-9-10, makes mention of maltha and naphtha, like petro- 
leum, liquid forms of asphalt or bitumen. Plutarch describes a lake 
of inflamed naphtha, located near Ecbatana, the modern Hamadau, a 
city of central Persia. It is highly probable that the fires kept per- 
petually burning in pagan shrines consisted of natural gas jets, or 
were fed with petroleum. 

The following is quoted from Herodotus (Melpomene, 195): 

They add that in it (the Island of Cyraunis) is a lake from the mud of which the virgins of 
the country draw up gold dust by means of feathers. Whether this is true, I know not, but I 
write what is related. It may be, however; for I have myself seen pitch drawn out of a lake 
and from water in Zacynthus (now Zante), and there are several lakes there. The length of 
them is seventy feet each way, and two orgyaj in depth. Into this they let down a pole with a 
myrtle branch fastened to the end, and then draw up pitch adhering to the myrtle. It has the 
smell of asphalt, but is in other respects better than the pitch of Pieria. They pour it into a 
cistern dug near the lake, and when they have collected a sufficient quantity, they turn it off 
from the cistern into jars. 

As the foregoing was written more than two thousand years ago, 
and these springs near Zante still continue productive, the permanent 
nature of this class of deposits is, at least in the present instance, 
pretty well established. 

Strabo, book 16, chap. 1-15, says that asphaltus is found in great 
abundance in Babylonia, and quotes Eratosthenes as follows: 

The liquid asphaltus, which is called naphtha, is found in Susiana; the dry kind, which can 
be made solid, in Babylonia. There is a spring of it near the Euphrates. When this river over- 
flows at the time of the melting of the snows, the- spring also of asphaltus is filled and over- 
flows into the river, where large clods are consolidated, fit for buildings constructed of baked 
bricks. Others say that the liquid kind also is found in Babylonia. With respect to the solid 
kind, I have described its great utility in the construction of buildings. They say that boats 
(of reeds) are woven (Herod, i, 194), which, when besmeared with asphaltum, are firmly com- 
pacted. The liquid kind, called naphtha, is of a singular nature-. When it is brought near 
the fire, the fire catches it: and if a body smeared over with it is brought near the fire, it burns 
witli a flame which it is impossible to extinguish, except with a large quantity of water: with 
a small quantity, it burns more violently: but ir may be smothered ami extinguished by mud. 


vinegar, alum, and glue. It is said that Alexander, as an experiment, ordered naphtha to be 
poured over a boy in a bath, and a lamp to be brought near his body. The boy became envel- 
oped in flames, and would have perished if the bystanders had not mastered the fire by pouring 
upon him a great quantity of water, and thus saved his life. 

Poseidomus says that there are springs of naphtha in Babylonia, some of which produce 
black, others white naphtha: the second of these, I mean the white naphtha, which attracts 
flame, is liquid sulphur: the first, or black naphtha, is liquid asphaltus, and is burnt in lamps 
instead of oil. 


Many of the petroleum springs known to the ancients have been 
extensively worked in recent times. From those near Baku, a Rus- 
sian port on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, considerable quantities 
of naphtha are annually exported. Here great quantities of inflam- 
mable gas also issue from the ground. This locality was in former 
days visited by thousands of Guebers, or fire worshipers, who built 
temples on the spot in which to conduct their religious ceremonies. 
They are still frequented by the devotees of this faith, many of whom 
spend here the remnant of their days engaged in acts of devotion. 
James Parkerson, author of " Organic Remains of a Former World," 
published in the early part of the present century, shows by quota- 
tions from "Abbe Forti's Travels," in Dalmatia, and the works of Cap- 
tain Cox, that no less than 26,000,000 gallons of petroleum were, even 
at that early period, shipped annually from this port. This oil is 
exported largely to Persia, in portions of which it is the only mate- 
rial used for producing artificial light. These Baku deposits occur 
over a tract 25 miles long by half a mile in width. The oil here is 
gathered in wells sunk from 16 to 20 feet in the porous sandstone. That 
obtained near the center of the tract is quite clear, but the material 
grows thicker and darker as the edge of the deposit is approached, 
until it finally hardens into asphaltum. 

From the Rangoon district, in India, a large portion of that country 
and the whole of the Burman Empire are supplied with rock oil, 
which occurs here, and is collected in much the same manner as 
above described. As at Baku, these Rangoon wells have been yielding 
since the earliest times. 


Although the attention of the Royal Society of London was as early 
as 1739, called to the fact that in making gas from coal, a black oil 
was left as a by-product, no practical results came of it, and it was 
left for the French to first distil coal oil from bituminous shales. In 
1847, Dr. Abraham Gesner obtained from Trinidad, asphaltum oil 
and naphtha. This oil he burned in lamps during a lecture given 
by him in Halifax. He had the year before commenced making oil 
from Prince Edward Island coal. The first patent for distilling oil 
from coal was, however, granted to the Earl of Dundonald, in 1781. 
In 1850, James Young, a chemist, of Manchester, England, patented 
a process for obtaining paraffine oil from coal, and four years later 
began manufacturing it largely. 

In 1854, Dr. Gesner procured a patent for making kerosene oil, an 
article so named from the two Greek words Keros, wax, and Elain, oil. 
Camphene being at the time a well known burning fluid, this word 
was added to Keros, and from the new term the word Kerosene was 
formed. The first mineral oil manufactured in the United States was 


made by Dr. Gesner, in 1854, at the works of the New York Kerosene 
Oil Company, on Long Island. 

The production of coal oil was at one time quite large in the United 
States, there having been no less than fifty-six works engaged in its 
manufacture. The following was the method pursued in making it: 
A quantity of the crude oil, having been distilled off roughly, was 
submitted to fractional distillation, after which the product was 
treated by sulphuric acid, whereby the dark maltha was thrown 
down, the acid was then neutralized by excess of caustic soda, and the 
clean portion thoroughly washed with water, to remove both the acid 
and alkali. The fluids were then either sold as they were or again 
distilled, this depending on the quality required. The production of 
coal oil, though discontinued in the United States, is still carried on 
in some other countries, there being no less than sixteen companies 
engaged in the distillation of coal oil from shale in Scotland. Where 
practicable, the business is deserving of encouragement, both as a 
means of utilizing what in many localities is a cheap and abundant 
material, and of economizing our petroleum resources, which we are 
exhausting at a rapid and in some instances reckless rate. 

A ton of Virginia cannel coal yields products as follows: 

Kerosene 25 gallons. 

Lubricating oil 10 gallons. 

Naphtha 10 gallons. 

Paraffine 10 pounds. 

Ammonia 10 pounds. 

Carbolic acid 10 pounds. 

And usually from 1,000 to 1,200 pounds of coke. 

The time will very likely come when coal, petroleum, asphaltum, 
and the bituminous shales will be retorted into gas and coke; the 
former to be employed for both heating and illuminating purposes 
and driving gas engines, and the latter as a clean and economic fuel, 
being used, perhaps, under the very retorts by which it is produced. 


The Indians inhabiting portions of southern New York and cen- 
tral Pennsylvania had a knowledge of the petroleum springs that 
exist in that region, and were in the habit of using the crude oil as a 
liniment long before the country was settled by the whites. At a later 
day the Indians, collecting this substance, sold it to the settlers, under 
the name of Seneca or Genesee oil. 

As early as 1847 James Young, the Manchester chemist before 
mentioned, experimenting on a shaly coal taken from a mine in 
Derbyshire, succeeded in obtaining therefrom an excellent lubricat- 
ing oil. The success of this experiment laid the foundation of the 
business of refining and preparing the crude mineral oils, which has 
since grown to such vast proportions in this country. 

In 1857 Bowditch & Drake, of New Haven, Connecticut, com- 
menced the business of searching for oil, which they proposed to 
refine and sell. 

In 1858-9 Col. E. L. Drake commenced boring in the bed of Oil 
Creek, Pennsylvania, where, on the twenty-sixth of August, 1859, he 
struck oil at a depth of 71 feet. This oil rose in the pipe to near the 


surface, and by pumping 400 gallons per day were obtained, which 
quantity was finally increased to 1,000 gallons. Encouraged by this 
success, many other parties at once commenced boring, and so rapidly 
were these efforts multiplied, that there had within a year been sunk 
in this section of the State no less than 2,000 wells, 74 of Avhich yielded 
daily enough oil to fill 1,165 barrels, of the capacity of 40 gallons 
each— 46,600 gallons. 

Following the grand results so reached in Pennsylvania, the busi- 
ness of boring for or otherwise searching after coaj oil was actively en- 
gaged in throughout many parts of the world ; deposits already known 
to be productive having in many cases been more fully utilized, while 
new ones were diligently sought after. While these efforts were in 
most cases attended with disappointment or only a partial success, 
they have, nevertheless, led to many important discoveries and a great 
expansion of the known oil-bearing territory of the world. 


It must be admitted that the origin of petroleum and the mineral 
hydro-carbons is unknown. New theories are continually being pub- 
lished bearing on this subject. For many years it would have been 
a geological heresy to deny that beds of coal were formed during the 
carboniferous age from vast accumulations of trunks of tropical trees, 
and other vegetable matter. When enormous petroleum deposits in 
the United States and other countries were discovered, this came to 
be doubted, and it began to be suspected that both coal and petroleum 
had a common origin. The opinion obtained that petroleum was first 
formed, and afterwards changed into coal, asphaltum, and other bitu- 
minous substances, while some believed that petroleum resulted from 
coal. Oil had already been distilled from coal and called coal oil. 
Opinion was divided, some thinking that petroleum was the result of 
some change from coal, as obtained from artificial distillation, while 
others held that petroleum might have been the original form and that 
coal was secondary. Among the numerous theories advanced on this 
subject the most important ones only will be mentioned. The gener- 
ally admitted theory of the origin of coal has been mentioned. Prof. 
T. Sterry Hunt thinks petroleum was derived from limestones, rich in 
marine corals. In the Report of Geological Survev of Canada, from 
commencement to 1863, folio 521, it will be found stated that in the 
birdseye formation at the Riviere a la Rose, Montmorenci, petroleum 
exudes in drops from fossil corals. J. P. Lesley and others have 
thought that petroleum has been derived from the decomposition of 
great accumulations of seaweed at the bottom of ancient seas, cov- 
ered with sediments so heavy that the pressure caused by their weight 
was an important factor in the change. An examination of the sed- 
imentary rocks exposed in Pico Canon and at Los Angeles would lead 
to the opinion that some similar cause produced petroleum in Cali- 
fornia. Professor Whitney has suggested that the infusoria and 
diatomacea, the remains of which are so abundant in the State, may 
have produced the petroleum. Professor J. S. Newberry refers the 
petroleum and carbonaceous matter in the shales of Pennsylvania to 
the cellular tissue, which was abundant in the waters in which the 
sediments were formed. 

Those who have frequently crossed the Gulf Stream and observed 
the vast quantities of floating seaweed, would be free to admit that 


not only possibly but probably the sedimentary beds now forming in 
the gulf, near the mouths of the Mississippi, might, when elevated 
above the sea level, at some future period, contain petroleum, and 
resemble the sedimentary rocks of the California seacoast before men- 

Another theory bearing on the organic origin of the bitumens is, 
that the bodies of mollusks, the shells of which are found fossil in the 
sedimentary rocks, contributed to the bituminous deposits of the pres- 
ent day. 

]t was, to be sure, a bold man who first proposed the theory that the 
elements carbon and hydrogen combining in the early life of the 
world, produced, directly or indirectly, petroleum and mineral coal. 
But geologists now dare to discuss these theories, and are willing to 
admit that the truth is not yet known. 

Daubre and Bertholot have expressed the opinion that carbon and 
hydrogen may have united without the intervention of animal life 
at some period of the earth's history when conditions differing from 
those of the present time made this possible. Mr. A. Jaquith, in a very 
interesting paper in the Overland Monthly, December, 1874, vol. 13, 
folio 503, has expressed this opinion, or rather suggested this theory, 
and others have advanced the same idea, based upon observations 
made by them. 

The following is an extract from a newspaper giving the substance 
of an article published in the Revue Scientifique in 1877, three years 
after the publication of Mr. Jaquith's paper: 


At a recent meeting of the Chemical Society of St. Petersburg, Professor Mendelijeff sought 
to combat some of the old notions on the origin of petroleum, and to_ substitute a new theory 
on the subject. It has been maintained by many geologists that the decomposition of mineral 
matter in the lower strata of the earth was the source of petroleum. 

Mendelijeff believes that the true source is to be found much lower down. The sandstone 
in which it is found was not its original source, as is shown from the fact that no carbonized 
animal remains are found in it. There ought also to be other products of aniinal decomposi- 
tion, if that was the starting point: we must search lower down, even below the silurian, as 
the mineral oil in the Caucasus is found in the tertiary, and in Pennsylvania in the devonian 
and Silurian. As, however, in the rocks below the silurian there was very little organic life. 
the formation of such a great quantity of petroleum could scarcely be traced to such a limited 
source. Mendelijeff therefore proposes a substitute for the organic theory. He goes back to 
the nebular hypothesis of Laplace, and applies Dalton's law of the original gaseous condition 
of the material of the earth, and, taking into consideration the density of the earth and the 
vapor density of the elements, he arrives at the conclusion that the interior contains many 
metals, and that chief among them is iron; finally, he assumes the presence of carburetic com- 
pounds of the metals, and comes to the following conclusions: Through some of the fissures in 
the crust of the earth, occasioned by the upheaval and depression of the surface, water perco- 
lated to the carbu retted metals, and acted upon them at high temperature and elevated pres- 
sure, thus forming metallic oxides and saturated hydro-carbons: the latter rose in the. form of 
vapor to the upper strata, where they condensed to liquids in porous sandstones and other rocks 
having a tendency to absorb liquids! The internal heat of the earth occasioned the reduction 
of carburetted metals, and this gave rise to hydro-carbons. Other chemists than Mendelijeff 
have shown, experimentally, that something very like petroleum can be produced artificially 
by imitating in the laboratory the process above described. 

The geological age of rocks seems to have no bearing on the origin 
of petroleum. It is found in the tertiary in California and elsewhere, 
silurian in Canada, and lias in England. 


The only satisfactory way to prospect for oil is to sink holes in the 
ground; the superficial method of making open cuts or tunnels in 


California has never resulted in producing it in sufficient quantity, 
or of the desired quality. All the early failures were owing to this 
mistake, but they have led the way to an understanding of the na- 
ture of the deposits, and made it worth while to invest capital in the 
drilling of proper wells, and the experience made during the early 
developments, or rather experiments, while disastrous to individuals, 
has been a benefit to the State. The improved tools now used for 
sinking oil wells are so nearly perfect that improvement to any great 
extent seems impossible. The 65 foot derrick, the improved engine, 
the iron casing to prevent the surface water from entering, the mag- 
nificent tools weighing 2,000 pounds, or thereabout, the ingenious 
appliances for driving the casing, or drawing it out, if required, the 
sound pump, the seed bag, the dynamite blast, the system of tanks, 
and the device of pumping through pipes from the wells to any distant 
point, instead of hauling as formerly practiced, are the outgrowth of 
the experience made in the Pennsylvania oil fields. By the improved 
method of drilling, 70 feet in depth per day can be averaged, and 
prospectors can afford to sink a number of wells, if even one only 
produces oil. The old method first practiced in California, was known 
as the spring-pole system. The spring-pole acted like the old fashioned 
well-sweep, the derrick was 25 to 30 feet high, and the operation was 
conducted by two men. The depth attainable was from 300 to 400 feet. 
What is known as a spring-pole well is one sunk by this method; the 
diameter of the bore was generally two to two and one half inches, 
the modern well is eight inches at the surface, but diminishing with 
the depth. The favorable indications met with in sinking oil wells 
are the escape of gas, flow of salt water, and the appearance of oil in 
thin iridescent skims on the surface of the water pumped from the well. 
The borings are sometimes tested by being placed in a small retort, 
which, if put on the fire and strongly heated, a gas escapes from the 
end of the pipe, which may be ignited, or a drop of oil appears. This 
experiment is sometimes made in a common tobacco pipe. 


Petroleum seems to be a natural mechanical mixture of many 
hydro-carbons, each having a specific gravity, boiling point, and vapor 
density; proportion of the elements, from C 2 H 6 in gaseous form to 
C 30 H 6 2l having a specific gravity of .890. These hydro-carbons are 
separated by fractional distillation, as follows: The crude oil is placed 
in a suitable retort, provided with an ample cooling apparatus (on 
a large scale this is described under Refinery). The whole volatile 
portion is driven over into the receiver. There is generally a residue 
left in the retort; the percentage is calculated, the retort cleaned, and 
the fluid returned to it. A gentle heat is then applied, and a certain 
portion— say a tenth of the whole— is distilled over; the distillate is 
poured off, or the receiver changed, the heat slightly raised, and a 
second tenth distilled off. This is continued until ten portions, each 
distilled at a higher temperature, have been obtained; or a thermo- 
meter is placed in the retort, and all the portion which comes off at a 
certain heat kept separate from that obtained at a different temper- 
ature. The works on chemistry give tables of the temperature at 
which each of the many hydro-carbons volatilize. By care in manip- 
ulation any one of the group may be obtained. Asphaltum and the 
bitumens contain oxygen. The hydro-carbons are grouped by Dana 


as follows: Simple hydro-carbons, oxygenated hydro-carbons, acid 
hydro-carbons, hydro-carbon compounds; which latter include asphal- 
tum, and mineral coal, and unclassified species. The chemistry of 
the hydro-carbons is extremely complex, and it would be out of place 
to elaborate upon it here. A list of books of reference is given, to 
which the reader is referred. 

Burning oils are tested by the following method: !No petroleum or 
coal oil is safe to use that can be lighted with a match. To make this 
test, pour out a very small quantity, say a tablespoonful, into a saucer; 
remove the can to a safe distance, and then, with a lighted match, 
attempt to light the oil in the saucer. If the oil is safe, it will quench 
the flame like water. If the test is repeated for a number of times, 
the oil will become hot and will ignite. If it does not ignite the first 
time, it may be considered comparatively safe. If it should ignite, it 
is dangerous and should never be used for illuminating purposes. 

When coal oils are gradually heated, a point of temperature will be 
reached when they will give off vapor; at this time, if a lighted match 
is applied to the surface, a slight flash will occur, but the oil itself will 
not inflame. If the heat is increased sufficiently, the oil will burn on 
applying the match. A thermometer, the bulb of which is immersed 
in the oil, will indicate the temperature at which the oil will flash or 
burn. This is what is known as the fire test. If an oil is too heavy, 
it will not burn well in lamps; if too light it is dangerous to use. 
An oil is considered safe that flashes at 100° Fahrenheit or higher, and 
burns from 110° to 150°. The report of Professor Chandler on this 
important subject, with drawings of the apparatus used in testing oils, 
may be found in the American Chemist, for August, 1872. 

Petroleum and asphaltum are extensively used as fuel, and this 
application is daily becoming more general. Many improvements 
have been made in coal oil domestic cooking stoves. 

Mr. J. D. Bodwell, of San Francisco, has applied it to heating large 
French ranges. A tank of crude petroleum, said to be mixed with water, 
is placed at some distance, which is connected with the range by a 
quarter-inch iron pipe, furnished with globe valve for shutting off 
and on. The fluid escapes into the fire chamber in a small jet, which 
impinges on loose fire-brick. I have seen the apparatus in operation 
in Eddy Street, and it worked well and was effective. The Electric 
Light Company, of Los Angeles, uses four to five carloads of crude 
Pico Canon petroleum per month for fuel. Their apparatus is the 
same as that described under the head of "Refineries." Petroleum 
is used for burning lime at Colton, and experiments have been made, 
with partial success, in burning brick. The following is from a Cali- 
fornia newspaper, published January, 1879, alluding to the oil well at 
Little Sespe, Los Angeles County: 

With this mineral oil in such abundance, it would probably soon supersede coal and wood as 
a steam generating fuel, Captain Roberts, Superintendent of the Los Angeles company, using it 
successfully in the furnaces at the well. Four barrels of crude oil go as far as two and a half 
or. is of good live oak wood. This oil the company can. and. in fact, proposes to furnish in 
any quantity at one dollar per barrel. The gas companies of the larger cities will also, it is 
thought, substitute petroleum for coal, as there is more gas in a barrel of this substance than in 
a ton of coal. Schooners can be so constructed as to carry oil in tanks, which may be filled 
from pipes on the wharf, or it can be carried cheaply as ballast. After the burning fluid comes 
the lubricating oil, which is graded from the finest used on sewing machines, etc., down to car 


axles aijd wagons. It is in use on the Central Pacific road, and the "Star Oil Company" is 
supplying some large establishments in San Francisco. The refuse is used for fuel. 

Brea (crude asphaltum) is used in California with considerable suc- 
cess, notably by Lankersheim & Co., at the Los Angeles flour mills, 
in wide grate bars with wood. Mr. Joseph D. Lynch, editor of the 
Los Angeles Herald, has used brea with wood in stoves to his satis- 
faction. The following is from an eastern paper: 


It is well known that for some years the boilers of the Russian vessels in the Caspian Sea 
have been constructed for the consumption of naphtha refuse. Since the opening of the Baku, 
Tiflis and Batoum Railway the transport of this material to the coast of the Black Sea has been 
greatly facilitated and reduced in cost. It has, therefore, been decided to use it as fuel for the 
Black Sea fleet, and great advantages, both in effectiveness and cheapness, are expected to be 
secured. It is stated that the refuse can be delivered at Batoum at a cost of one shilling and 
seven pence per hundred weight, and as its heating power, compared with that of the best steam 
coal, is as three to one, the advantage of its employment is obvious. During the present season 
trials of this fuel will be made on several torpedo boats, for which class of vessels it is consid- 
ered especially suitable. The necessary alterations in the furnaces, etc., will be made by Messrs. 
Nobel & Co., who have large petroleum refineries in Baku, and have already altered several of 
their own steamers with a similar object. 

The Standard Hydro-Carbon Fuel Company of Boston claim to melt 
iron and copper, and reduce gold, silver, and zinc ores by their pro- 
cess. I have myself seen in San Francisco ores perfectly roasted ]py 
simply dropping through a cylinder heated by petroleum blown in 
with a jet of steam. 

As- a paint— Id. 1867 a barn was painted with crude petroleum 
mixed with Ohio so called fire proof paint. After six years it was 
found to be well preserved. 

In fireworks and war.— The Greek fire of the ancients is supposed 
to have been largely naphtha or crude petroleum with niter and 
sulphur. During the Commune in Paris in 1872, petroleum was 
largely used, both offensively and for defense. Its uses as an agent 
in war will probably be increased, as it becomes more abundant and 

As a lubricator, the heavy mineral oils are extensively used. 


Asphaltum was first found on the shores of the Dead Sea, which, 
for this reason, was called Lake Asphaltus. It was employed by the 
ancients for various purposes, having been used in the construction 
of buildings and the walls of cities, and by the Egyptians in em- 
balming the dead. It is recorded that Noah covered the inner and 
the outer surfaces of the ark with pitch— bitumen, or asphaltum, no 
doubt. Herodotus relates that in laying up the bricks of which Baby- 
lon was built, hot asphaltum was used as a cement. The material 
was brought from the city of Is, located on a small river of the same 
name, a tributary of the Euphrates. This river, it is stated, brings 
down lumps of asphaltum floating on the water, this being the source 
whence the builders of Babylon obtained their supply. Strabo, Book 
XVI, Chapter 2-42, in speaking of Lake Sirbonis (the Dead Sea), 
says that asphaltus rises to the surface in bubbles, which emit an 
insensible, sooty vapor, that tarnishes silver, copper, and even gold. 
This substance is liquified by heat, but on cooling becomes so hard 
that considerable force is required to break it to pieces. In gathering 


it, parties go out on the water on rafts. In another place, the -same 
author remarks that this material is abundant in Babylonia. Eratos- 
thenes, speaking on the same subject, says the liquid asphaltus, called 
naphtha, is found in Susiana, and the dry kind, which can be made 
solid, in Babylonia, the latter being of great utility in building. 
Diodorus also makes mention of the Asphaltus Lake, on the surface 
of which he says the asphaltum rises at certain seasons of the year 
in masses, some of which cover an area as much as three acres in 
extent. In gathering it, the workmen went out on rafts built of reeds; 
just as the California Indians were in the habit of crossing rivers on 
similar structures made of tules. 

Not in many countries, comparatively speaking, has asphaltum 
been found in large quantity, California being one of the few, and the 
only portion of the United States, in which it so occurs. Among 
foreign localities, a very remarkable deposit of this mineral exists 
in the Island of Trinidad, one of the British West Indies, and which 
is described as follows by U. S. Consul Towler, who recently visited 
it: To call this deposit a lake, as is usually done, is, according to the 
above authority, a misnomer, as it consists merely of a concrete, 
slightly flexible mass of pitch, spread out over a plain, some portions 
of it being covered with bushes and others with pools of water, and 
over which, but for these obstructions, a person can walk without 
difficulty. The deposit is distant one and a half miles from the sea- 
shore, above which it is elevated about 140 feet. The asphaltum is 
broken out with picks and carted to the port of La Brea, where it is 
shipped to foreign countries. Only a foot or two of the surface is 
removed, the pitch below this becoming soft and plastic. The exca- 
vations made fill again in a short time with the fluid material from 
below, the new deposits hardening very soon into asphaltum. How 
long this reproducing process can be continued is uncertain, though 
it will no doubt, with lapse of time, grow more feeble, and, perhaps, 
ultimately be arrested altogether. Nevertheless, the visible supply 
here is large and will last a long time, the surface to a depth of one 
foot being estimated to contain 116,678 tons of asphaltum. 

There exist several heavy deposits of asphaltum in California, this 
mineral, both natural and manufactured, being well represented in 
the State Museum. The earliest official mention of its existence is 
made by Dr. J. B. Trask, who, in his report of 1854, folio 59, speaking 
of the occurrence of asphaltum and mineral oil in the State, suggests 
their use in the manufacture of gas. 

An analysis made of a sample of this mineral (5608), from the 
claim of Mr. A. Walrath, located near Santa Cruz, resulted as follows: 

Asphalt 19.80 

Sand 80.20 


Another sample, obtained from Santa Barbara County, gave: 

Bitumen, volatile portion _ 35.0 

Bitumen, fixed 7.2 

Quartz sand 


The sand is angular, and consists nearly all of transparent quartz. 
The bitumen is soluble in turpentine. The above results denote very 
nearly the general character of California asphaltum. 



The following comprise the more notable localities of asphaltum 
and maltha in this State: Santa Ynez and Kayamos Valleys; near 
Mission San Buenaventura; at the Goleta Landing, seven miles west 
from the town of Santa Barbara; on the Laguna Todos Santos and Los 
Alamos ranchos; in the vicinity of Dos Pueblos, and near Carpen- 
teria, in Santa Barbara County; at the oil wells near Sulphur Moun- 
tain, Ventura County; Rancho La Brea, Los Angeles County; on the 
Corral de Piedra, San Luis Obispo County; about Buena Vista Lake, 
Kern County, and on Sargent's ranch, Santa Clara County. 


Situated three miles southeast of the town, though not spread over 
so large an area as some others, shows the heaviest surface accumula- 
tion of any deposit in the State. This bed, already large, is con- 
stantly being added to, the more volatile portions of the maltha and 
petroleum, which issue from innumerable fissures in the mass, escap- 
ing and leaving the heavier behind. This residuum hardens grad- 
ually, at first to the consistence of tar or putty, becoming finally 
so solid that picks and crowbars are required for breaking it out. 
The softer portions of this material, flowing off and gathering up the 
sand and gravel with which they come in contact, have been con- 
verted into a vast bed of concrete, some parts of which extend far 
out into the sea. The mineral oil at this locality exists under such 
varying conditions of fluidity and hardness, that it is possible to 
obtain here some pure petroleum, together with large quantities of 
asphaltum and maltha. Formerly a good deal of asphaltum was 
shipped from this deposit to San Francisco. 


So named from the Spanish word "brea" signifying pitch, lies about 
six miles west from the city of Los Angeles, being in Township 1 
south, Range 14 west, San Bernardino meridian. The deposits here, 
which cover a large area, consist mainly of bitumen and maltha, the 
latter occurring in the form of pools or wells. As at Carpenteria, the 
tar-like substance here flowing from numerous apertures becomes 
mixed up with such quantities of matter, both mineral and vegeta- 
ble, that the whole mass has to be melted and the impurities separated 
from the asphalt to fit the latter for market. To effect this, the ma- 
terial is thrown into iron kettles and enough heat appplied to melt 
it, when the impurities floating on the surface are skimmed off, addi- 
tional material being thrown in till the kettle is nearly filled with 
comparatively pure asphaltum, when the charge is poured out into 
trenches dug in the earth. On cooling, these pigs are broken up into 
smaller pieces, producing a commercial article of asphaltum. From 
this locality the Catholic fathers obtained asphaltum for roofing the 
missions and other buildings put up at Los Angeles, San Gabriel, 
and elsewhere in the vicinity. 



The solid asphaltum covers many acres to a depth varying from five 
to twenty feet. This bed, like that at Carpenteria, is undergoing con- 
stant enlargement, this process of growth being, in fact, characteristic 
of this class of mineral deposits in California, as it is probably of those 
in all other countries where they occur. Here, too, the petroleum, 
much of it quite pure, oozes from the fissures and vents seen all over 
the field. Flowing off, this more liquid portion becomes gradually 
thicker and thicker, until it is at last converted into tar, owing to 
the presence of which the locality has been rendered dangerous to 
animals, both wild and domestic, many of which, having become 
mired, have perished in the viscid mass. Even birds, alighting upon 
and getting their feet entangled in this stuff, have been unable to 
extricate themselves, as their bones and other remains amply attest. 
This tarry outflow, with its danger to animals, is another feature com- 
mon to these brea beds of California. The owners of stock in the 
neighborhood of these tar pools are in the habit of burning them out, 
as a means of diminishing the peril to which their cattle would other- 
wise be exposed. It only needs to start a fire, when the flames, sweep- 
ing over these pools, consume the more fluid portion of their contents, 
leaving a comparatively solid mass behind. As is the case generally 
throughout the oil regions of this State, the geological formation here 
consists of clay shales, alternating with sandstone, and is highly 

on sargent's ranch. 

This place is situated a few miles south of the town of Gilroy, in 
Santa Clara County. The deposits here are located on Tar Creek, 
along which they extend at intervals for a considerable distance. 
They occur in much the same manner as those already described, the 
petroleum oozing from the sandstone and flowing off, becoming 
inspissated into maltha and asphaltum, large quantities of which 
have accumulated at different points- along the creek. At the first 
considerable deposits met with going up the creek works have been 
put up for purifying the brea by fusion and straining, the apparatus 
and process employed not differing much from those in use at La 
Brea, Los Angeles County. The liquid asphaltum here exudes from 
the hillside in a thin tarry stream, which has so little motion that it is 
scarcely perceptible when the weather is cool, but which increases with 
the temperature of the atmosphere, and, spreading out, it becomes 
mixed with the black loam that here composes the surface soil, ren- 
dering this portion of the material very impure. Much of the 
asphalt at this place presents a vitreous appearance, like the best 
quality from Trinidad. Some of the pools formed here are as much 
as ten feet in diameter, and of unknown depth. In cool weather it 
is possible to walk over almost every part of these beds, but on warm 
days, the surface being slightly softened, this is impracticable. When 
dug up and thrown into heaps, the hard asphaltum, at ordinary 
temperatures of the atmosphere, gradually softens and spreads out 
into a thin sheet. Experimenting with a large slab of hard asphaltum 
in the State Museum, it was placed on four corks, and left so sup- 
ported for a short time, when the lump sank to the table, imbedding 
the corks wholly in it. 


In digging anywhere beneath the deposits on the Sargent Ranch the 
earth is found to be permeated with asphaltum, which can be recov- 
ered by the usual method of heating in kettles. Even in the bed of the 
creek masses of the mineral are met with, much of it so hard as to 
be quite brittle. Mixed with this asphalt are found samples of a 
mineral resembling ionite. From the lower plateau, where the puri- 
fying works are located, some twenty or thirty tons of asphaltum 
have, one time and another, been taken. 

Half a mile further up Tar Creek, other large beds of asphaltum 
are encountered, having their origin in a line of springs located on 
the bank of the stream, and about thirty feet above its bed. A few 
rods above these deposits, many bowlders containing fossils were ob- 
served, and some of which were secured, mention thereof being made 
elsewhere. There is noticeable here a conglomerate and a sandstone 
cropping, the latter so friable that it can be crushed between the fin- 
gers, but neither appear to contain any fossils. From these deposits, 
seventy-five carloads of asphaltum have been sent to San Francisco. 

Proceeding one and one half miles further up the creek, a third 
and much the largest bed of asphaltum in this series is met with, the 
deposits at this place covering several acres. The land here, as at 
the points below, spreads out into a sort of plateau. On the sidehill, 
above the deposits, are located the supplying springs, many in number. 
The oil here flows out in sluggish streams, portions of it mixing with 
the black soil, rendering it very impure, and the whole condensing, 
first into maltha, hardens at last into asphaltum. In some places, 
large tarry pools have been formed, in others little mounds of brea, 
resembling the tufa deposits of mineral springs. From the surface 
of these pools, gas escapes in bubbles similar to those observed at 
the Mud Lakes on the Colorado desert. Here, too, are to be seen the 
remains of birds and small animals that, getting entangled, have per- 
ished in the treacherous tar. From this locality two hundred car- 
loads of asphaltum have been shipped to market. About twenty 
years ago, a refinery was put up on Sargent's Ranch, at which a good 
illuminating and a very superior lubricating oil were produced in 
considerable quantity from petroleum gathered along Tar Creek. 


This mineral, a hydro-carbon, was found by F. E. Durand, in the 
New Almaden quicksilver mine, and, so far as known, is peculiar to 
the quicksilver mines of this State. This new mineral, which is of a 
pure yellow color, was described by Mr. Durand, in a paper read by 
him before the California Academy of Natural Sciences, April 1, 1882, 
and possesses the following properties: In a glass closed tube it sub- 
limes and gives off a voluminous sublimate of fine golden yellow 
needle crystals. Heated quickly it carbonizes and gives residue of 
carbon, with empyreumatic odor, not attacked by acid. Found in 
the New Almaden quicksilver mine, Santa Clara County, in dolo- 
mite, and with cinnabar in the Redington quicksilver mine, Lake 
County, and in the California quicksilver mine, Yolo County, all in 
this State. A sample of this mineral from the California mine, in 
Yolo County, is represented in the State Museum by No. 338, but it 
is too small for analysis. " Idriatite," a similar mineral, is found in 
the quicksilver mines of Tdria, Austria. 



While we do not employ asphaltum in laying up the walls of either 
houses or cities, as did the ancients, it is still used at the present day 
for many purposes — in California, as elsewhere throughout the world, 
mainly for the construction of street pavements, sidewalks, roofing, 
cellar floors, for coating water pipes, etc. The quantity consumed in 
this State amounts to about three thousand five hundred tons per 
year, the annual receipts at San Francisco reaching two thousand 
five hundred tons, the most of it coming from Santa Barbara County. 
About five hundred tons of the above amount are obtained from Cor- 
ral de Piedra, and smaller quantities from various other deposits in 
the State. At one time the supply for nearly the whole State was 
procured from the Carpenteria bed; latterly, however, but little has 
been shipped from that locality. The Santa Barbara product being 
preferred by consumers, commands from twenty to thirty per cent 
more than any other offered on the market. The present wholesale 
price of asphaltum in San Francisco is $13 per ton for the best, $9 to 
$11 for a poorer article. The above are somewhat below the usual 
rates, which in times past have generally ranged from $12 to S16 per 
ton, having occasionally been as high as $30. The cost of extraction 
varies from $2 to S3 per ton, according to the hardness of the material, 
which is sometimes so solid that it has to be blasted out with powder. 


Although asphaltum for sidewalks is being constantly superseded 
in San Francisco by artificial stone, its consumption is steadily on the 
increase, owing to the many new uses to which it is being applied. 
In many of the large cities of Europe this mineral appears to be 
growing in favor, not only for sidewalks, but also for street pave- 
ments, this being especially the case in London, Paris, and Berlin. 
In the latter, large sections of old pavements were not long since 
taken up, and a pavement composed chiefly of asphaltum put down 
in their place, Asphaltum pavements laid by a San Francisco firm 
on some of the greatest thoroughfares of London are said to have 
given entire satisfaction. After many and long trials made with 
wood, cobbles, granite, basalt, and macadamizing with gravel and 
jasper, the citizens of San Francisco are looking for a pavement that 
will last moderately well and yet be free from the objections that lie 
against the use of the above materials for paving their streets. 

The following is the formula generally employed in preparing the 
material used in the construction of asphaltum sidewalks and pave- 
ments in San Francisco : 500 pounds asphaltum, 1 ton gravel, 15 gal- 
lons coal tar. 

The asphaltum having been melted in a large vat, the gravel and 
coal tar are added, after which the mixture is ladled out and poured 
over a layer of soft bricks, or a flooring of redwood boards cut into 
short sections, and set on end in a bed of sand. As soon as the mass 
is poured out, it is leveled down and smoothed by passing over it hot 
flat irons with long wooden handles. In some instances, coarse gravel 
or small fragments of quartz are introduced into the mixture before 
being laid on the sidewalk, these being intended to receive the prin- 
cipal wear, and thus preserve the asphaltum. 


Robert Skinner, of San Francisco, has invented a process for manu- 
facturing an asphalt pavement-block by compression, and which is 
briefly described as follows: Calcareous material after being crushed 
is heated and brought in contact with hot asphaltum. This mate- 
rial is then forced into molds under a pressure of not less than 50 
tons, after which, having been cooled in water, it becomes homoge- 
neous. A block manufactured by this method (3606), can be seen in 
the State Museum. 


A concrete has lately been used in Europe for constructing the 
foundations for heavy machinery, for which it has been found to 
answer an excellent purpose. This style of foundation is prepared 
in the following manner: A box of the proper size having been made, 
a layer of hot gritted asphalt is poured in and covered with a stratum 
of perfectly dry bluestone and rubble; then another laver of the hot 
asphalt followed by a layer of the bluestone and rubble", till the struc- 
ture is brought to the required height. 


In 1870-71, asphaltum pipe was manufactured by J. L. Murphy, at 
his works on King Street, San Francisco, by coiling burlap, after 
being passed through a trough filled with melted asphaltum, on a 
wooden mandrel covered with paper to facilitate its removal. Any 
desired thickness and strength could be given to the pipe by regu- 
lating the length of the cloth in proportion to the size of the pipe 
required. When used for the water supply of towns, it was made to 
resist an internal pressure of 500 pounds to the square inch. When 
taken off the mandrel the pipes were glazed inside, by stopping up 
one end, pouring in some melted asphaltum and then rolling them 
rapidly on a table, the superfluous material flowing out at the open 
end. The table was covered with coke dust, a portion of which 
adhered to the outside of the pipe, forming a smooth, dry, and hard 
coating. This pipe was light, durable, and cheap, costing, inclusive 
of couplings, a sum per foot equal the diameter of the pipe multiplied 
by ten cents. Thus, two-inch pipe costs twentv cents per foot; four- 
inch pipe, forty cents per foot, etc. 

_ The following article, on the uses, properties, and different quali- 
ties of asphaltum, and the best methods of preparing it, is here given 
for the reason that it embodies the views of a well known resident 
of San Francisco, who has had much practical experience on this 


This is one of the most abundant and valuable native products of California. Except in a 
very few instances, its properties and uses are but imperfectly understood and insufficiently 
appreciated. When used at all, it is commonly prepared so badly that when applied it soon 
decays, and fails to answer the purpose intended; whereas, if properlv prepared, it is one of 
the most enduring of substances. I have seen places on the coast, in Santa Barbara County, 
where the liquid asphaltum, or "maltha," oozing from the banks, has attached itself to the 
rocks between high and low tide, exposed to the sun, wind, and waves; sometimes dry, some- 
times wet; subjecting it to the severest test imaginable; and yet the rook was worn away about 
it, while the spots covered with asphaltum were perfectly sound and smooth. 


In this city, when asphaltum is used for roofing, sidewalks, etc., it is usually prepared very 
badly, and so as to nearly destroy its best properties. For instance, it is boiled and stirred till 
most of its virtue is expelled, and it becomes nearly as dry and crumbly as coke ; then some- 
thing is poured in to soften it again — "to temper it," as they say — this something being coal 
tar, which vitiates the asphaltum, poisons it, and destroys all its virtue. Coal tar has no chem- 
ical affinity for this mineral, no property in common with it. They are, in fact, about as 
incongruous as two substances well can be. They will mix mechanically while hot, but they 
will not stay mixed. The coal tar evaporates in the sun and air, and washes away in the rain, 
leaving the asphaltum not solid, but honeycombed and porous, disintegrated and crumbly. 
The coal tar seems to have destroyed the native tenacity of the asphaltum, which soon perishes 
after this stuff has been eliminated from it. 

Let any one interested in this subject observe, as he passes along our streets, after a heavy 
rain, and he will see, where the streets or sidewalks are laid in asphaltum, little pools of water 
with an -iridescent surface; these colors come from the coal tar, washed by the rains from the 
mixture of that substance in the asphaltum sidewalks. A little further attention will reveal 
the fact that this piece of eoal-tar-asphaltum sidewalk, which looked so smooth and pretty 
when first laid, is already growing rough on the surface, the gravel in it becoming loose, as the 
fabric begins to decay. 

The best asphaltum is that which is pure and soft, and most free from sand, dirt, and dry, 
hard stuff, like coke. It is sometimes found as pure as if it had been carefully refined, as clear 
and bright as a black glass. The specimens from our California mines are more or less mixed 
with coarser substances. Sometimes the mass of it appears dry and coke like, as if it had already 
been cooked too much. This sort sometimes has veins of the stuff running through it, still 
plastic and fresh: this is the best part of it, and good so far as that goes. When it is dry and 
crumbly, be sure that the best of it has by some means been wasted. 

To prepare asphaltum properly for pavements, for instance, it should be cooked for some hours 
over a slow fire, stirring it the while. Probably superheated steam, or a steam jacket, next the 
boiler, would be effective, without the danger of burning it, as when the fire comes in direct 
contact with the vessel containing the mineral. 

After cooking gently for awhile, mix with it the residuum of petroleum, from which kero- 
sene has been made. This substance is homogeneous with asphaltum, and the product of the 
mixture, properly cooked, is a most tenacious substance, which will draw out to a thread, almost 
imperishable. Its proper temper may be tested by dropping a little of the hot stuff from the 
kettle into cold water. If it will then pull out like warm taffy into a string, it is in perfect 
condition for use. 

Such a compound, well mixed, while hot, with finely crushed rock, dried and heated, and 
thoroughly tamped or rolled while the mass is still hot, makes a good sidewalk and pavement : 
smooth, and capable of enduring a great amount of wear with the least apparent waste, decay, 
or signs of abrasion. 

A specimen of such pavement may be seen in front of the engine house of the California 
Street cable cars, corner of Larkin and California Streets, which, after about six years use, looks 
as sound as when first laid. Another piece of pavement, consisting of wooden blocks covered 
with a mixture of asphaltum and crushed rock, can be seen on Sacramento Street west of Mont- 
gomery. It has been there more than five years, and is still in perfect condition, no repairs 
having been required. It remains smooth, is noiseless, clean, and in the long run the cheapest 
of all pavements. 

It would furnish the economist a useful field of inquiry to ascertain the relative cost and 
benefits of the ordinary cobble, granite, or basalt pavement with a pavement constructed of 
crushed rock and asphaltum. In a great populous growing city like San Francisco the disad- 
vantages of a rough stone pavement consist in its being noisy, dirty, and in its cruelty to horses, 
which not only suffer more but are worn out twice as soon as where traveling on a smooth 
slightly yielding pavement. Then there is the loss of time, greater wear of vehicles, and 
increased" discomforts to be considered, the whole aggregating a very important item in the 
account. A smooth pavement is just the reverse of all this, and when the advantages of such a 
pavement are considered we should find in a great city like this, after paying all the cost of con- 
struction and repairs, that there would be, at the end of every year, probably more than a 
million dollars to the credit of the smooth pavement, to say nothing of additional comfort, 
cleanliness, and quiet. 

Asphaltum, well prepared, makes a durable coating for iron water pipes, inside and out, and 
when it comes to be better understood its uses will doubtless extend to a variety of things not 
now thought of. As it has served to protect the rocks on the beach of Santa Barbara, why 
would it not protect the granite stone work at Fort Point, which seems to be wearing away in 
the sea wash so rapidly ? 

From an extensive deposit of asphaltum located about eight miles from Santa Cruz, material 
has lately been taken for paving the streets of that town. "The mineral, which in its natural 
state is here found mixed with sand, is heated until it becomes plastic, a little water having 
first been added. In this condition it is spread out over a stratum of broken rock, stamped 
down, and rolled while still hot. Thus far it has answered every expectation, and promises to 
prove a durable, as it certainly is a smooth, clean, and noiseless pavement. 


The following is an analysis of a sample of maltha from the tar wells of Santa Barbara, 
made by J. M. Robertson : 

Indorsed: Liquid mineral tar from Biggs' ranch, Carpenteria, Santa Barbara, Cal. 


302 Montgomery Street. 
San Francisco, July 1, 18S4. 

Nitrogen 2.25 

Carbon 70.00 

Hydrogen 10.00 

Oxygen 8.50 

Ash -9.00 

Insoluble matter, whitish -25 

Centesimally 100.00 

Wholly soluble in ether. Partly soluble in alcohol. 

J. M. ROBERTSON, Chemist. 
San Francisco, August 20, 1875. 

The following lists comprise the countries and localities in which 
petroleum has been found in greater or less quantities: 


Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New 
York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West 
Virginia, Wyoming. 


So far as surface indications go, petroleum has a wide range in Cal- 
ifornia, springs and pools of the fluid being encountered in nearly 
all the coast and also in some of the inland counties of the State. In 
the more southerly tier of counties it generally occurs in connection 
with extensive beds of asphaltum or brea, this being also the region 
of the more productive oil wells. To the extent above denoted petro- 
leum has been found in the following counties in this State, viz. : 
Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, 
Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa 
Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Tulare, and Ventura. 


Argentine Republic, Burmah (Rangoon), Canada, Cuba, Germany, 
France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Persia, Russia (Baku), Spain, 
Switzerland, Trinidad, United States of Colombia, and Venezuela. 


Petroleum has been known to exist in California since the earliest 
settlement of the country. The black "maltha" oozing from the 
earth and standing in pools, or flowing from springs on the hillsides, 
was evidence of the fact; still no attempt was made toward utilizing 
this valuable material in a large way until 1857. About this date, as 
near as I can gather, Mr. Charles Morrell, a druggist in San Francisco, 
made the first attempt to produce coal oil from California crude 
materials. He commenced operations in Santa Barbara County, near 
the line of Ventura County, in the vicinity of Carpenteria. The 


bluff on the seashore is about fifty feet above tide level, and from eight 
to ten feet below the surface there occurs a stratum of coarse sand, 
of a yellow color, two feet thick and lying horizontally, or nearly so, 
that is saturated with maltha, mineral tar, or liquid asphaltum. 
Mr. Morrell erected quite extensive works, well supplied with cast- 
iron retorts, furnaces, etc., in which the crude material was refined 
by distillation, and oil produced; but for some reason not now known, 
the enterprise was a failure. 

In 1856 a San Francisco company commenced working at the 
Brea ranch, near Los Angeles, and tried to obtain refined oil ; the 
particulars of their operations are not now obtainable. 

Andreas Pico knew the locality now called Pico Canon, Los Ange- 
les County, for some years before Mr. Morrell established his refinery, 
and had made oil for the San Fernando Mission in a small way, in a 
copper still and worm. He was probably the pioneer coal oil manu- 
facturer of the State. 

In 1857, W. W. Jenkins, W. C. Wiley, and Sanford Lyon, visited 
Pico Canon to look for mineral and oil. Francisco Lopez, former 
steward of the San Buenaventura Mission, and superintendent of the 
gold placers, had informed them that there was oil, which they found 
oozing from the ground in what are now called Pico, Hooper, Sespe, 
Casteca or Pine, and Piru Canons. No further attempts to produce 
coal oil appear to have been made until 1864; when the Buena Vista 
Petroleum Company was incorporated, in February, but active oper- 
ations were not begun by them until the following year, when they 
commenced work in Tulare County under the title of the Buena 
Vista and the First National Petroleum Companies. 

April 8, 1865, Professor Siliiman published a letter to the Hon. D. 
H. Harris, entitled, " California Oil not Asphaltum." This letter was 
afterwards printed in the Mining and Scientific Press. Siliiman quoted 
Professor Brewer, to the effect that the oil at Humboldt was light 
enough to burn quite well in a chimney lamp without refining. Also, 
that one spring on Azuza (now Sespe) Mountain, behind San Buena- 
ventura, furnished an oil so thin that Brewer had seen it in use in a 
common lamp without rectification. Professor Siliiman wrote that 
he had obtained ninety-six per cent of good oil from a sample of it. 
The publication of this letter had great influence in stimulating the 
search for and study of California oils. None of the wells had at this 
time reached any considerable depth, but there was great activity in 
prospecting for oil. 

About this time, J. C. Cherry came to California, having in con- 
templation the erection of an oil refinery. He visited and made a 
favorable report on the property of the Point Arenas Oil Company. 

The San Fernando Petroleum and Mining District was located in 
June. 1865, with Mr. C. Learning, Recorder, who still holds that office, 
and the San Fernando Petroleum and Mining Company incorporated. 

During 1865 operations were commenced on Mattole Creek, Hum- 
boldt County, by the North Fork Oil Company, and on August third, 
at the Mattole well, a burst of oil and gas rose several feet above 
the opening. This action lasted for a few minutes only, but left the 
well full of oil. The next day it was pumped out, and the same action 
was repeated, as was the case on the fifth and sixth days. Thirty 
barrels of oil were shipped to San Francisco. " Six twenty-gallon 
casks of crude oil," by another statement, was the first shipment of 
oil received from the north. 


The Bolinas Petroleum Company began operations at Bolinas Bay. 
The works were situated in the Arroyo Honda, on the Bolinas grant. 

The San Pablo Petroleum Company, located one mile from San 
Pablo, Contra Costa County. 

At the Adams well, Mount Diablo, San Joaquin County, active 
operations were commenced. The Adams was the pioneer in that 

Near Lexington, Santa Clara County, some Portuguese sunk an 
open shaft 135 feet deep; no results were obtained beyond indications; 
the prospect was for coal. 

In Moody Gulch, Santa Clara County, the McLeran(?) well was sunk 
to a depth of 500 feet, and about one barrel of oil obtained per day. 
Moody Gulch was named from Moody's sawmill that once stood there. 

Oil was discovered on Bell's ranch, 15 miles below Halfmoon Bay, 
San Mateo County, and at Purissima Creek. 

The Pennsylvania Petroleum Company commenced operations 
near the seacoast, six miles south of Santa Cruz. 

The Philadelphia and California Petroleum and Santa Barbara 
and California Petroleum Companies were incorporated. 

Rowe and Fleeson sunk a well one mile below Simmons Spring, 
Sulphur Creek, Colusa County. 

The Antelope Valley and the Pioneer Oil Company, Colusa County, 
commenced operations for the second time. 

The Los Angeles Petroleum Oil Company began sinking a well by 
steam power, and on April twenty-eighth were clown 1 30 feet. 

The Paragon Petroleum Company commenced operations, and the 
Humboldt Oil Company was incorporated. 

In May forty cases of crude oil were sent to San Francisco from the 
San Joaquin and Pacific Oil Companies of Tulare County, which was 
shipped east on the steamer of the eighteenth. 

In this year there was published a tabular statement, naming the 
oil companies to the number of sixty-five. Nominal capital, $45,- 

In 1866 Mr. Charles Stott began work on Santa Paula Creek, Ven- 
tura County, at the base of Sulphur Mountain, and erected a refinery 
on a small scale. He made several thousand gallons of illuminating 
oil, and then gave up the enterprise because it did not pay. October 
twenty-second, the San Francisco Alta published an article on petro- 
leum and refineries, giving Charles Stott credit for refining the first 
oil in this State. 

In this year there were two refineries established in San Francisco, 
one owned by Hayward & Coleman, the other by Stanford Bros. 
Neither of these establishments achieved any considerable success, 
and were eventually abandoned. 

Mr. Polhemus, also, had a refinery at Los Angeles. A portion 

of the crude oil which he refined was obtained from wells near the 
town of Los Angeles, and some was hauled by teams from Pico Canon. 

Mr. Hughes bored for oil in Pico Canon, and struck a flowing well 
at 140 feet, but the tools became fast in the well and could not be 

A well was sunk on the Potrero, in San Francisco, but the result 
was not satisfactory. There was considerable excitement about oil 
during this year. 

The "Pioneer Petroleum and Refining Company," of San Fran- 


cisco, was incorporated. Charles Stott, David Hunter, and H. P. 
Wakelee, Trustees. 

In 1867 Lyon and Jenkins returned to the claims they had exam- 
ined ten years before. Jenkins went to Sespe and Piru ; Lyon 
remained at Pico. Lyon's Station was named from him; he died 
in 1883. 

The "Fargo" well, sunk at Moody Gulch to a depth of 400 feet, 
yielded one barrel per day; and from a well at Griswold's place, two 
miles from Lexington, 500 feet deep, some oil and salt water were 

In a well sunk in Colusa County the water in the well was seen to 
rise like a tide at 3 p. m. and at 6 a. m. At Antelope Valley, 18 miles 
north of Oil Center, in the same county, there is a salt pond, and salt 
water is found in the oil wells. At this time eight oil wells had been 
sunk in Colusa County. 

On January twenty-eighth, twelve barrels of crude oil were shipped 
from Pico Canon, Los Angeles County. 

The following account of the operations of the Buena Vista Petro- 
leum Company — whose oil claims, comprising some twelve to sixteen 
hundred acres, are situated in Kern County, west side of Tulare 
Valley — is of interest. The exact location is Township 30 south, 
Range 22 east, Sections 19, 20, and 29, and in Township 30 south, 
Range 21 east, Sections 12 and 13. Previous to 1866, Mr. Stephen 
Bond and Mr. E. Benoist commenced a well on the flat below the tar 
springs on the company's claims. At a depth of sixteen to eighteen 
feet, in raising the auger they turned it the wrong way and unscrewed 
and lost the bit, which accident stopped the work. 

In 1866 the Buena Vista Company set a still with a daily capacity of 
300 gallons near a large spring of good water, three miles from the oil 
springs. The company attempted to sink a well for water in a more 
convenient location but did not succeed in obtaining it. For thirty 
feet or more the formation was alternate layers of shale, sand, and 
asphaltum; below thirty feet was a three-foot stratum of asphaltum 
very difficult to penetrate, but no water. Two adobe buildings were 
erected, one for the refinery, the other for the workmen. The oil belt 
lies along a low range of hills for several miles north and south, on 
which sulphur springs are quite numerous. Most of the oil croppings 
are from 200 to 500 feet above the level of the valley. At the Buena 
Vista springs the oil has flowed out and covered several acres in the 
form of glossy black asphaltum. There are numerous bubbling tar 
springs on the flat, from which liquid asphalt or oil flows and gases 
emanate. Sometimes the imprisoned gases form a globular bubble 
in the thick oil a foot or more in diameter, which eventually bursts 
and the tarry liquid subsides again to its level. The asphalt stream 
extends half a mile or more over the sandstone and to the valley 
below. The crude oil for the refinery was taken from pits or shafts 
sunk from 16 to 18 feet deep. There were also several shallow pits or 
wells which soon filled with oil and water. At the bottom of the 
shafts a quicksand of oil, water, and sand was met with which could 
not be overcome by curbing, or otherwise controlled. An open cut 
was then made into the hill, but a solid formation of sandstone and 
thick beds of asphaltum were met with. The cut was 7 to 8 feet deep 
and 4 wide, from which some tarry asphaltum was obtained and dis- 
tilled. At one time, from the shafts and cut, it was believed that from 
5 to 8 barrels a day could be collected. Oil procured from the surface 


marked 10 to 12 degrees Beaume, at a depth of 10 feet in the shafts it 
marked 12 to 14 degrees, and at 20 to 30 feet in depth an oil was found 
as light as 21 degrees. 

Three thousand to four thousand gallons of refined oil were pro- 
duced. In the distillation the following results were obtained: First 
run five to seven per cent from forty- seven to forty-three degrees, 
forty per cent from forty to thirty degrees, thirty-five to forty per cent 
from twenty to sixteen degrees. The residue left in the still was soft 
asphaltum, which could be removed without difficulty. They gen- 
erally ran off from eighty-five to ninety per cent from the charged 
still, when the residue would continue to run off from the tap while hot. 
Many difficulties met with by the company caused the work to be 
abandoned. Freight was high, $60 to $70 per ton to San Luis Obispo, 
and from $15 to $20 more to San Francisco. The nearest fuel or tim- 
ber were the forests of the Santa Meta Mountains, lying thirty miles 
south. From the time the company discontinued work nothing has 
been done at this locality. Many bones of animals, thought to be 
fossil, were found in the vicinity. In this year Professor Silliman 
wrote his celebrated paper on California petroleum, which has called 
forth so much comment. It was published in Silliman's Journal, 
previous to its being read before the California Academy of Sciences, 
April 1, 1867, for which reason it was not published in the proceed- 
ings of that society. The following are extracts from a condensation 
of the paper, which appeared in the Mining and Scientific Press, April 
6, 1867. The experiments were made on a sample of oil from Mattole 
Creek, Humboldt County, a thick viscid maltha, having a density of 
.980=31° B. By fractional distillation he obtained a series of light 
and heavy oils, ranging from .700 to .918 specific gravity. No par- 
affine was obtained by freezing with a mixture of ice and salt, from 
which he drew the conclusion that there was none of that substance 
in the California oils. The light oils obtained were 12.96, 14.56, and 
18.96 per cent of the crude oil. It was his opinion that the oil of 
California could not compete with the oils of Pennsylvania at the 
prices then ruling, but he believed that our heavy oils would be 
extensively utilized as a fuel, in which prediction he has been sus- 
tained by history, has been shown. 

Among the specimens from California, sent to the Paris Exposition 
of 1867, were petroleum from Mattole, Humboldt County; Joel's Flat, 
Noble Springs, Santa Barbara County; Wiley's Spring, San Fernando 
Mountain (Pico Canon), Hughes' Spring, and Pico Spring, Los Ange- 
les County; Hayward & Coleman's claim, Sulphur Mountain, Ven- 
tura County; Stanford Brothers' claim, same locality; from Canada 
Larga, Santa Barbara County; from Santa Cruz County; Bear Creek, 
Colusa County, and Charles Stott's claim, Santa Barbara County. 

Experiments were made at Corral Hollow, San Joaquin County, to 
distil coal oil from shale, which did not prove a success. 

In 1868 Mr. Davis leased the Wiley Springs in the San Fer- 
nando Mountain. He collected all the oil he could and sent it to the 
Metropolitan Gas Works in San Francisco for about a year. Metro- 
politan Gas Company's office was at that time at 810 Montgomery 
Street, San Francisco. 

In 1869, the first work was done at Pico Canon, by Mr. Hughes, 
who put down a spring-pole well called the Pico Well. A similar 
well was sunk about the same time at Wiley Springs. Wiley Canon 
is three miles northeast from Pico Canon. 


In 1871, petroleum was discovered on the Augmentation Ranch, 
Soquel, Santa Cruz County. Oil was also found in Livermore Valley, 
Alameda County. 

In 1872, Charles Stott again worked the Sulphur Mountain prop- 
erty in Ventura County; this time with better success. 

In 1873, the Star Oif Company, of Los Angeles, built their first still 
in San Francisco, and shipped it to Los Angeles County. The works 
were established at Lyons Station, under the superintendence of Cap- 
tain William B. Smith, reiiner. This was one mile from the present 
Newhall Station, and was the foundation of the present refinery at 
Pico. Wood was used as fuel. There were many different ideas as 
to the nature of the oil and the mode of purification. No satisfactory 
results were obtained at this time, and in 1876 the works were sold to 
Scott & Baker, who also failed to make them pay. Mr. Shoemaker 
succeeded them, but did not produce oil in sufficient quantity to be 
profitable. Mr. J. A. Scott then took the refinery, and met with fair 

In 1874 Messrs. Temple, Moore, and Pico, worked in Pico Canon. 
The oil they obtained was sent to the refinery at Lyons Station, which 
was subsequently removed to Pico. At this time there was consider- 
able activity in the production of petroleum at Sulphur Mountain, 
Ventura County, so named from the numerous sulphur springs. 
Hayward's claim produced ten barrels daily of 32 gravity oil. Stan- 
ford's, six barrels daily; Santa Paula Oil Company, ten barrels daily; 
San Fernando Company, near Canulos, about ten barrels daily. All 
the oil was obtained from natural flows. Two hundred barrels per 
month was used by the Central Pacific Railroad for lubricating pur- 
poses, but beyond this there was no demand for the crude material. 
At this time there were also some new oil springs discovered at Sespe. 

During the year 1876 the Star Oil Company was engaged in sinking 
wells in Pico Canon. The yield of the district amounted to forty bar- 
rels per day. 

In 1877, the California Star Oil Company, of Los Angeles County, 
under the management of J. A. Scott, produced twenty barrels of 
refined oil daily at the Pico refinery. The Ventura wells were then 
producing eighty barrels daily, and those of Pico Canon from forty to 
fifty barrels. Work of development by steam machinery commenced 
at this locality. 

In 1878, Chas. N. Felton and P. C. McPherson commenced work in 
Moody Gulch on the old Boyer well. At 700 feet a rush of oil and 
gas occurred which rose 100 feet above the mouth of the well and 100 
barrels of oil were supposed to have been lost. For some time after 60 
barrels of oil per day were pumped from this well, which had a gravity 
of from 46 to 47 degrees Beaume. The oil was sent to the Pico refin- 
ery, near Newhall, Los Angeles County. In September of this year, 
in a communication to the Mining and Scientific Press, Mr. Edward 
Madden, an oil expert, stated that the oil of Ventura County was 
inferior to that of Pennsylvania as an illuminator, but superior as a 

In the same paper he gives the production 'of the Star Oil Works 
at 150 barrels per day, and the yearly consumption of California at 
3,500,000 gallons, valued at $1,000,000. His opinion, based on surface 
indications, was that the southern portion of Los Angeles County was 
full of oil. 

October, 1879, the San Jose Mercury contained an account of the 


successful prospecting for oil in Moody Gulch, Santa Clara County, 
Santa Cruz Mountains. Dall Brothers, employed by the Santa Clara 
Petroleum Company, at a depth of 600 feet struck a vein of oil which 
spouted 100 feet above the top of the well. Having no tanks, etc., 100 
barrels or more of oil ran to waste. After a time the flow subsided but 
recurred again at intervals. This strike created a great excitement. 

At this time, there were rive wells at Pico from 200 to 600 feet deep; 
eight wells in Ventura County on ex-mission lands, from 100 to 200 
feet deep, all yielding oil by pumping, in all, 20 barrels per day; 
and one well at Sespe 1,500 feet deep, yielding 100 barrels per day. 
September tenth, Pacific Coast Oil Company of San Francisco was 

In 1881, A. C. Dietz & Company established the Berkeley Lubricat- 
ing Oil Works, for the manufacture of lubricating oils from California 
material brought from Ventura County. They turned out 100 barrels 
per day. In February, there were seven new wells being drilled in 
the State, and the product during the past year had doubled. The oil 
business in California was at this time of greater magnitude than was 
generally supposed. Citizens of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Bar- 
bara Counties, signed a petition asking the U. S. Government to instruct 
Clarence King, Geologist, to make surveys of the oil districts; and to 
note the progress of development since 1865. They represented that 
a belt of oil shale extended for eighty miles in length, from the San 
Fernando district in Los Angeles, through the Sespe, Santa Paula, 
Ojai, and Sulphur mountains in Ventura County, and the Carpenteria 
and Santa Barbara districts, terminating in the Pacific Ocean at 
Goleta, in Santa Barbara County. That, although the indications 
were encouraging, yet the work had been done somewhat blindly, 
and without scientific guidance; much money had for this reason 
been lost, believed to be as much as §1,000,000 with unsatisfactory re- 
sults. Practical oil men, and capitalists, familiar with the subject, were 
of the opinion that the results of their work indicate that large quan- 
tities of petroleum of good quality exist, but that they fear to progress 
without scientific guidance. In consideration of the importance to 
the whole country of the vast interests involved, they felt they had 
a right to ask aid from the General Government, 

This year (1884), Mr. Lyman Stewart, of the firm of Harrison & 
Stewart, informed the State Mineralogist that the Pennsylvania com- 
panv of which he is a member has invested, in Pico Canon and else- 
where in Los Angeles and other counties, $130,000, a large portion of 
which is a loss. Thev sunk six wells in Pico Canon and one at Santa 
Paula, all of which are "dry holes." Mr. Stewart is from Titusville, 
Pennsylvania. He brought out thirty men, all skilled workmen. 
Some of the wells sunk by them were very deep. He said that if he 
could obtain oil in one well, the company would soon make up the 
loss. They are now boring in Pico Canon, near the Pico well. 


The Chandler Oil Mining Companv, of Los Angeles, was incorpo- 
rated February, 1884, George Chaffey, President, C. H. Howland, Sec- 
retary, B. Chandler, Superintendent. The company's wells are at 
Petrolia, Section 5, Township 3 south, Range 9 west. They com- 
menced operations on Puente Ranch, Section 1, Township 3 south, 
Range 10 west, and obtained oil at from 100 to 300 feet, sp. gr =15° to 


30° B. One well produced 150 barrels, which sells for $4 50 to $12 per 
barrel. Mr. Chandler informed me that within two years 5,000 bar- 
rels had been produced at Petrolia, which I visited in May, 1884. 
Two wells were being sunk: Number one was 290 feet deep; number 
two was 240 feet deep. From number one quite a quantity of "black 
tar oil" (maltha) had been pumped. A tank, holding from seven to 
ten barrels, was standing full. Common brea, which contains what 
seems to be ionite, is burned under the steam boiler, and is the only 
fuel used. (The presence of ionite was also observed at Sargent, Santa 
Clara County.) The wells at Petrolia are on small foothill elevations 
above Anaheim, direction or trend of the hills is about east by south. 
A small creek runs down south by west to the plains. On both sides 
brea has run down and formed terraces, as at Sargent, and the "black 
tar" is similar. Of the brea there are several varieties: Cellular, 
like volcanic scoria, and mixed with sand; several grades pure " black 
tar," and some brown and light, like ionite, which it seems to be. At 
Swallow Point the soft sandstones resemble those at Pico Canon. In 
several directions from the oil wells may be seen extensive patches 
of brea, which have flowed from the hillsides. 

Mr. J. W. Snow's well is about a mile from Petrolia. It is 550 feet 
deep, but unfortunately for the owner it is a "dry hole." There are 
large fields of brea contiguous containing much of what is thought 
to be ionite. The sides of the canon in which the well lies are sand- 
stones and conglomerates, with rather thick seams of selenite inter- 
stratified. The stratification is confused and broken so that no sec- 
tion could be found exposed. A shark's tooth described elsewhere 
was found at this point. 

The well was first a square shaft, 44 feet deep, from the bottom of 
which a six-inch well was sunk through soft sandstone. At 250 feet 
and for 150 feet lower probably, sandstone was cut through. The sand 
is like that in the brea. High up the canon sandrocks were found 
seemingly in place, dip 32°, strike N.W. to W.N.W. The tertiary 
fossils found here are described elsewhere. 


At this place, seven miles southeast from the town of Newhall, Los 
Angeles County, the Pacific Coast Oil Company have sunk a number 
of wells, 16 of which are producing more or less oil, some of them 
yielding as much as 75 barrels per day. Besides the wells already 
producing several others are being put down. The borings here reach 
to various depths, many of the wells being down over 1.000 feet. 
Several have been sunk from twelve to sixteen hundred feet, and one 
has reached a depth of 1,900 feet. Many pumps and derricks can be 
seen here in constant operation, the former lifting the crude oil from 
the wells that are already yielding, and the latter working the boring 
apparatus of those being put down. The oil at this locality is found 
on one side of an anticlinal fold or break, as it is called, and after 
being pumped to the surface is collected from the various wells and 
conveyed by a four-inch iron pipe to the large receiving tank, located 
centrally to the group, whence it is carried by a two-inch pipe to the 
company's refinery, near Newhall. Some of these wells, after flowing 
sparingly for a time, again yield more freely, these periods of partial 
intermission occurring without much regularity. 

The characteristic sandstone and conglomerates appear here, sam- 


pies of which were obtained for the State Museum. Brea deposits 
were also noticed on the adjacent hillside. In the vicinity of the 
wells are located the workmen's quarters, shops, and other outbuild- 
ings of the company; the manager of these works is Mr. R. Craig. 

The oil wells, refineries, and plant of the Pacific Coast Oil Com- 
pany, of San Francisco, C. N. Felton, President, D. G. Scofield, Auditor, 
E. Wheaton, Secretary, are the most extensive and successful on the 
Pacific Coast. I addressed a letter to this company, asking certain 
questions, the answers to which I thought would be of interest to the 
people of the State. My questions, with the answers returned by the 
President of the company, are given below: 


Question 1. When was the Pacific Coast Oil Company incorporated? 
Q. 2. When was work commenced in Pico Canon, Los Angeles County ? 
Q. 3. What was the cost of the two refineries? 
Q. 4. How much capital is invested ? 

Q. 5. Is the table of production in Williams' "Mineral Resources" correct (1878 to 1882 in- 
clusive, 197,48-4 barrels)? 

Q. 6. What has been the production since 1882? 

Q. 7. How much was produced before 1878? 

Q. 8. What is the daily average yield at Pico Canon, Los Angeles County ? 

Q. 9. What has been produced in Moody Gulch, Santa Clara County? 

Q. 10. To what extent has California oil decreased importation? 

Q. 11. Is any California oil exported, and where? 

Q. 12. What is the number of producing oil companies in the State? 


Answer 1. September 10, 1879. 

A. 2. Work was commenced in Pico Canon in 1875, by the drilling of three shallow wells 
with spring pole, all of which yielded oil at depths of from ninety to two hundred and fifty 
feet. Actual work of development commenced with steam machinery in 1877. 

A. 3. Refinery at Alameda Point cost $160,117 43; refinery at Newhall cost $25,266 64. 

A. 4. Amount of capital invested, say, $2,500,000. 

A. 5. Cannot say; have not seen table referred to. 

A. 6. 190,540 barrels. 

A. 7. See Journal of Commerce Annual for 1883. 

A. 8. 560 barrels. 

A. 9. About 24,000 barrels. 

A. 10. About 33^ per cent of all kinds. 

A. 11. Exported to British Columbia, Sandwich Islands, Mexico, and Society Islands. 

A. 12. Companies actually producing oil: Pacific Coast Oil Company, San Francisco Petro- 
leum Company, California Star Oil Works Company, Mission Transfer Company, Santa Clara 
Petroleum Company. Numerous companies have been formed, some have drilled shallow 
wells, but the above are all that have successfully produced oil. 


This oil district visited April 21, 1884, is situated in San Mateo 
County, being in Township 6 south, Range 5 west, Section 25. Several 
wells have been sunk here, one named the Balmoral, to a depth of 
586 feet, without obtaining oil. From another, not named, light 
green oil was being pumped from a depth of 550 feet. The following 
phenomena, as furnished me by Mr. H. W. Bodwell, in charge of the 
work, were observed in sinking the Balmoral well: 

From 100 feet to 140 feet showing of oil; best about 130 feet. 

Two hundred and thirty-five feet, abundant salt water. 

Two hundred and fifty-six feet to two hundred and eighty feet, showing of oil and gas. 

Three hundred and eighty-six feet, smells strongly of gas. 

Four hundred and thirty feet to bottom (586 feet), gas quite abundant. 

Four hundred and sixty feet, black soot appeared on water very abundantly. 

Four hundred and seventy feet, showing of oil. 


Crude petroleum is used as a fuel under the boilers here, being 
applied in the usual manner with a jet of steam. 


Visited this locality, which lies about two miles southeasterly from 
Alma, Santa Clara County, April 17, 1884. The deposits here are 
owned by the Santa Clara Petroleum Company, who have sunk two 
wells at the same level, but on opposite sides of the canon, and about 
eighty-five feet apart, the elevation here being 970 feet above sea level. 
Each of these wells has been furnished with a hand windlass, steam 
engine, pump, etc. A tank, connected with the wells, has been put 
up here. From this tank a two-inch iron pipe extends to another 
and larger tank, located some distance down the canon, and from 
which the oil is conveyed by a similar pipe, thence to the railroad, 
about one mile distant. These wells are named Moody Nos. 1 and 2, 
and though idle at the time of my visit, have produced considerable 
oil, judging from what could be seen and learned. The direction of 
the canon changes at this point and continues towards the top of the 
hill, about W.N.W. 

At a height of 1,040 feet another well, with derrick, engine, pump, 
etc., is encountered. But, as below, nothing here was being done, the 
machinery being partially dismantled and the whole place much 
neglected; though here, too, some oil had evidently been produced. 

The next well, No. 7, was met with at an altitude of 1,120 feet. 
Here the engine was working and the water being bailed out, prepar- 
atory to further sinking. Though no oil in quantity had been pro- 
duced here, I examined some brought up with the water, and found 
it to be thin and of a green color and good smell. There are signs of 
this well having at some time been on fire, though I was unable to 
learn much about its present condition or past history. 

Ascending the canon, the last well in this series was reached at a 
height of 1,160 feet, and about 200 feet below the summit of the hill. 
Here, some oil contained in a tank was examined and found to be 
fluid, and of good smell and color, quite unlike the tarry liquid seen 
at the Sargent Ranch. The power here is supplied by a steam engine 
of from eight to ten horse-power. From the main pulley, a belt 
extends to another near the mill. The pump is worked by a crank 
and beam, the machine being controlled by a friction pulley shifted 
by a lever. On the throttle of the engine there is fixed a small pulley, 
and a still smaller one near the pump where the fireman stands. A 
rope transfers the power from the larger to the smaller of these pulleys, 
enabling the fireman to shut off or turn on the steam at will, without 
moving from his station. The engine can also be reversed by the 
motion of a lever which changes the pitman from one eccentric to 
another. At the top of the derrick, standing over the well, there is 
placed a large iron pulley over which a rope passes, and running 
through a block near the floor extends to a winding pulley driven by 
the engine. There is also a heavier and shorter rope, and a hand- 
windlass, used in boring, drilling, etc. The oil is pumped first into 
local tanks, when it is carried by gravity to the collecting tank. Here 
the water having been drawn off, it is passed to the lower tank, and, 
finally, to the railroad. 



The Pacific Coast Oil Company has erected works, for refining crude 
petroleum, at Pico, near the town of Newhall, Los Angeles County, 
and which were visited May 11, 1884, which is referred to in the " His- 
tory of Petroleum in California." The offices of the company are 
located in the town of Newhall. The oil here treated is obtained 
from the wells in Pico Canon, seven miles distant, whence it is con- 
veyed through a two-inch iron pipe to a large iron tank or receiver. 
From this receiver it is again carried by gravity through iron pipes 
to the refinery. From the refinery the product and by-products are 
conducted to storage tanks. From these tanks pipes lead to the side- 
track of the railroad, these pipes being sufficiently elevated to dis- 
charge the oil into box cars, in each end of which there is a boiler 
iron tank of a capacity of 50 barrels— a carload consisting of 100 bar- 
rels of oil. The globe valves are reached from an elevated platform 
placed along the side-track. The stream of oil is guided into the 
manhole opening in the car tank by loose elbows and joints of pipe 
(practically a goose-neck). The manhole plates screw down. _ Elbows 
below are furnished with discharging cock, three inches in diameter, 
to which flexible tubes being attached the tanks are readily emptied 
of their contents. 

Portions of the crude oil from this locality are sent to San Francisco, 
Los Angeles, Colton, Arizona, and elsewhere. It is used at Colton for 
burning lime, and at Los Angeles for fuel in electric light works and 
in burning brick. The refined oil is sold for local use in the southern 
portions of California and in Arizona. It is water white and burns 
freely in the mechanical lamp. Sp. gr. 797=46° B., which is rather 
heavy for a good burning fluid in the ordinary lamps. This New- 
hall refinery was erected before the extensive works at Alameda Point 
were put up. Though not protected by a building such is the mild- 
ness of the climate that no serious inconvenience has been experienced 
from this deficiency. 

About four and a half years since, Mr. A. E. Edwards put up a 
refinery in the valley of the Santa Clara River, Ventura County, at 
which oil from the wells on the Little Sespe was treated. For the 
conveyance of the oil a pipe was laid down along the Little and the 
Big Sespe, connecting the wells with the refinery. The crude oil 
from these wells had a specific gravity of 42°. The refined was water 
white and burned well in lamps, according to an editorial statement 
in the Los Angeles Commercial. These wells lie in Section 6, Town- 
ship 4 north, and Range 20 west, San Bernardino meridian. 

May 5, 1884, I visited the refinery of the Pacific Coast Oil Works at 
Alameda Point, Woodstock Refinery, G. R. Miller, Superintendent. 
The works are contained in an area of 30 acres, in which there is 
ample room to increase the capacity of the works as occasion may 
require, which depends in a great measure on the supply of crude, 
oil that can be obtained in the State. 

The large retort now in use has a capacity of 850 barrels. The 
crude oil is forced in from the receiving tanks by steam pumps. 
The heat is generated under the still by burning jets of refuse petro- 
leum, forced in by a jet of steam. The lighter oils first come over, 
and are conveyed through pipes laid in wooden boxes surrounded by 
water. The condenser is, in effect, a Liebig cooler on a very large scale. 


The pipes extend for several hundred feet to the receiving house, 
from which the oil is conveyed to storage tanks of boiler iron placed 
in convenient localities. 

The first distillation is not continued to dryness, but is discon- 
tinued when the residue is of a certain consistence, suitable for burn- 
ing, when the still is allowed to cool to 300° or thereabout, after which 
the tarry residue is pumped into receiving tanks and used as fuel. 
Near the large retort, there is one of different construction, which is 
continuous in its action. It holds 80 barrels, but the daily capacity 
is 300 barrels. 

There are two stills heated by steam, and used for fractional distil- 
lation of the first distillate. The products pass through the same 
cooler, and are received in the receiving room, and passed to the dif- 
ferent tanks. 

The fractional distillation is managed by means of an appliance, 
called "observation boxes," in which the operation can be seen. At 
the proper time the distillate, when it has attained a certain gravity, 
is diverted into different pipes leading to receiving tanks. The obser- 
vation boxes are of plate glass. 

There are fourteen receiving tanks of various sizes, One being de- 
voted to the storage of oils from Santa Cruz County— others for the 
southern counties. 

In one part of the inclosure are two elevated tanks, in which the 
oils are mixed with chemicals, by which they are refined. In octag- 
onal buildings, with glass set in the roof and sides, there are two 
bleaching tanks, with a capacity of one thousand barrels each, in 
which the refined oils are exposed to the sunlight for a time, which 
is one operation in the process of refining. 

In the boiler-house there are two large boilers, heated by refuse 
petroleum, blown in by a jet of steam and ignited. The consump- 
tion of carbon is so perfect that no smoke is seen to escape from the 

Mr. Miller made some experiments in the direction of burning 
brick by petroleum fuel, with only partial success; but the results of 
the experiments were such that he thinks the next will succeed, and 
that the cost of burning brick will be much abridged. 

The Pacific Coast Oil Company have not succeeded in supplanting 
the eastern market, but have stopped the importation of lubricating 
oils, naphthas, and benzines to the extent of one third. From the 
fuel tanks a portion not required for burning, including " bottoms," 
is at intervals pumped into six stills, heated by open fires, from which 
a heavy lubricating oil is driven over, leaving in the still at pleasure 
either a pure asphalt or a coke. The coke has the appearance of the 
finest coke from the manufacture of coal gas, and the asphaltum is 
free from sand and suitable for many purposes, including the manu- 
facture of varnish for the protection of iron. The lubricating oil is 
kept in a large cylindrical horizontal tank of boiler-iron partly im- 
bedded in the ground. 

The works are situated on the Southern Pacific Coast Railroad, from 
which a branch extends to the warehouses. The near proximity of 
the shores of the bay not only affords an escape for refuse, but gives 
facility for the approach of barges and sea-going vessels. 



My examination of the more important localities at which petro- 
leum occurs in California was necessarily made with such haste that 
it would be premature attempting at this time to write much on the 
subject of their geology. It is to be hoped, however, that leisure and 
opportunity will be found to make more thorough examinations 
thereof in the future. Pico Canon and Tunitas Creek offer special 
facilities for making geological sections, the rocks here lying in such 
positions that they could be readily measured. 

As shown by the fossils collected, the localities visited belong to 
the tertiary age. The sedimentary rocks observed are highly inter- 
esting, and will hereafter be carefully studied. At Pico Canon the 
sand rocks are stratified with much regularity, and are interstratified 
with plates or seams, of gypsum (selenite), as seen also at Temple 
Street cut in the city of Los Angeles. There occur here, also, a black 
shale and a coarse conglomerate, but no fossils were noticed in the 
vicinity of the wells, though some are to be found at a short dis- 
tance. There is evidence that this neighborhood has at some period 
been subjected to violent water action. That this happened at irreg- 
ular intervals is shown by the unequal thickness of the various strata, 
and the material of which they are formed, some being quite thin 
and consisting of the finest river silt, while others are much thicker 
and composed wholly of coarse gravel. They were originally, no 
doubt, deposited on the bottom of a tertiary sea, and very likely at 
the mouth of some great "dead river." They were afterwards folded, 
and at a still later period, broken, as we now find them. In color this 
rock varies from gray to distinct yellow. Specimens were obtained 
and preserved for chemical and microscopic examination and study. 

At the west end of the San Fernando tunnel, two miles south of 
Newhall, a sedimentary sandstone, similar to that noticed at San 
Jose, Los Angeles, and Pico Canon, crops boldly, and can be seen in 
passing 'on the cars, extending for many miles. This sandstone 
abounds with fossils. They also appear plentifully in a cut made by a 
small creek near by, in the bed of which lie exposed bowlders, gravel, 
fine sedimentary silt, and a coarse highly ferruginous conglomerate, 
which latter, in decomposing, has imparted much iron to the water. 
The rocks here have been stained a deep red color. Fossils are notice- 
able also at the south end of the San Fernando tunnel, which has a 
length of 7,678 feet. In this canon a thin seam of lignite has been 
exposed. The surface of the water where, standing in stagnant pools 
long, is covered with a scum of oil. 

This variety of sandstone underlies the city of Los Angeles, where, 
from time to time, petroleum in small quantities has been met with. 
The water obtained in a well being sunk for the soap and chemical 
works of Mr. E. C. Niedt, at the time I was in that city (May, 1884), 
was found to be mixed with oil. The sedimentary rocks, as seen at 
the Temple Street cut, dip 56° S.E. nearly, and strike nearly S.W. At 
another point they incline 58° to the S.S.E. They strike at right 
angles with the dip; the stratification being wonderfully regular, with 
seams of selenite, as at Pico Canon and Petrolia. At Tunitas Creek, 
San Mateo County, near the oil wells, the road cuts through a stratum 
of loose, rounded bowlders, full of fossils — Peden pabloensis. The 
20 27 


creek near Lobitas Station has eroded a fine sedimentary silt forma- 
tion, rich in fossils, and which, extending westward, terminates on 
the seashore in a bluff seventy-five feet high, where again this same 
class of organic remains appears. 

There is at Moody Gulch, Santa Clara County, nothing in the sur- 
face geology to indicate the source of the petroleum found at that 
place. The formation consists mainly of sand, gravel, and fragments 
of a soft yellow sandstone, samples of which were taken for the 
Museum. This sandstone resembles some found on Russian and 
Telegraph Hills, in San Francisco. I was unable to obtain here any 
fossil remains, nor could I learn that any had ever been observed by 
others. On the road below the wells is a cropping of this rock, which 
here has evidently been much disturbed. In the hill, which rises 
some two hundred feet above the upper well, the sandstone is found 
only in broken pieces, though the workmen report a ledge on the 
other side of the summit. There is here, also, so far as my observa- 
tion extended, an absence of fossils. 


The following comprises the fossils observed in the examination 
of the California oil regions: 

At Snow's Well, near Petrolia, Los Angeles County, broken tooth 
of shark, Car char odon sp.; and (5651), Lucina borealis, Lin. Pliocene. 

At Sargent's, Santa Clara County, with asphaltum (5650), Crassa- 
tellacollina, Con. Miocene; (5649), Area microdonta, Con. Miocene; and 
(5647), Tapes stanleyi, Gabb, Pliocene. 

Lobitas Station and Bluff, on the seacoast, San Mateo County 
(5645), Saxidomus gibbosus, Gabb, Pliocene; (5649), Area microdonta, 
Con. Miocene; (5648), Pecten pabloensis, Miocene. 

Oil wells, Tunitas Creek, same county (5648), Pecten pabloensis, 

The fossils found near Newhall, Los Angeles County, have not yet 
been determined, though they belong, without much doubt, to the 


Below is given tabular statement of oils and asphaltum gathered 
and placed in the State Museum : 



.1 " ■- 


56.8 per ct. 
80.2 per ct. 


1 1 , 1 O O O O O 1 
1 I 1 1 1 1 u-5 CM SO OS SO 1 
1 | 1 1 1 1 r- CM T CO "tf ' 

Sec. 5, T. 3 S., R. 9 W._. 
Sec. 5, T. 3 S., R. 9 W... 
Sec. 1,T. 3 S., R. 10 W- 
Sec. 25, T. 6 S., R. 5 W. - 

's, Santa Clara Co.— 
's, Santa Cla/a Co._. 
's, Santa Clara Co.— 
's, Santa Clara Co.— 
's, Santa Clara Co... 

, Los Angeles Co 

, Los Angeles Co 

eo Co 

3 Co 

3 Co 

, Santa Cruz Co 


Tar Creek, near Sargen 
Tar Creek, near Sargent 
Tar Creek, near Sargen 
Tar Creek, near Sargen 
Tar Creek, near Sargen 
Petrolia, near Anaheim 
Petrolia, near Anaheim 
Puente, Los Angeles Co. 
Tunitas Creek, San Mai 
Pico Canon, Los Angele 
Pico Canon, Los Angele 
7 miles from Santa Cru. 







Asphaltum, refined . 
Asphaltum, refined. 

Asphaltum, pure 




Petroleum Green Oil- 
Petroleum Green Oil. 
Petroleum Refined- 
Petroleum, in sand. 






5633 — 











The production of petroleum in California, from 1878 to date, in 
barrels of 42 gallons, is here given, the yield of the first five years 
being taken from Mineral Resources of the United States, Albert Williams, 
Washington, 1883: 


1878 15.227 

1879 19,858 

1880 42,399 

1881 50,000 

1882 70,000 

iSS:::::::::::::=:=:::::-::::::::-:::::::::::::==:::=::::::::::==:; 1M -»° 

Total 3SS.024 

' Cost of oil, 33° to 40° B., to the Los Angeles Electric Light Com- 
pany, is 82 50 per barrel. 

Xewhall light refined oil sells for 6 cents per gallon at refinery. 
At Los Angeles, Puente, and Petrolia, crude oil commands 10 to 25 
cents per gallon. 

We have been heavy importers of petroleum, home requirements 
in this line having always been large, while a great extent of outside 
territory has been supplied from San Francisco. 

Receipts at this port from the Eastern States amounted last year to 
304,785 cases, besides considerable quantities received overland at 
interior towns. 

The distribution from this point has for many years past ranged 
from two to four million gallons per annum, the quantity sent out 
last year having exceeded the latter figure. The annual consumption 
of California, Oregon, and Washington Territory, may be set down at 
4,000,000 gallons, the demand for these countries undergoing rapid 
enlargement. Our exports of petroleum go mostly to British Colum- 
bia, Asia, and Asiatic Russia, with a little to Tahiti, Mexico, South 
America, and other of our neighbors. We shall probably be able in 
the course of a year or two more to supply the product of our Cali- 
fornia wells to not only these countries, including all the islands of 
the Pacific, but to the entire coast, from Cape Horn to Behring's Strait, 
and eastward to the Rocky Mountains, nor can we see any reason why 
we should not in time command the markets of the Orient. 


Everything considered, the prospects of the petroleum business in 
California may be pronounced highly encouraging. Having met 
with some disappointments at first, our people, being then largely 
engaged in mining for the precious metals, dropped the oil business. 
and for a number of years gave it little or no attention. Returning 
to it now, they are embarking in this industry with their usual en- 
ergy — a guarantee that our petroleum deposits will, after the manner 
of our gold and silver mines, be worked to their fullest extent. 

107. PETZITE. Etym. Petz, the chemist who first analyzed it. See, 
also, Tellurium. 

This mineral is a variety of Hessite (which see), being a telluride 
of silver and gold; the latter metal replacing part of the silver. It is 
of too rare occurrence in California to have any practical value aside 
from the gold it contains, and interesting only as being an associate of 

An analysis of a specimen from the Stanislaus mine, Calaveras 
Countv, afforded Kustel : 


Tellurium 35 - 40 

Silver 40.60 

Gold 24.80 


While this analysis shows the mineral to be rich in gold, it is so rare 
that only very small specimens can be obtained, and these but sel- 
dom. It occurs with the other tellurium minerals which constitute 
but a very small portion of the vein matter. 

The following localities are known : Stanislaus and Melones mines 
in Calaveras County; Morgan mine, Tuolumne County. 

108. PHOSGENITE. Etym. Phosgene, Light Producer. Chloro- 

Carbonate of Lead. 

A single specimen has been found in quartz from the Silver Sprout 
mine, western slope of the Sierra Nevada, Inyo County. Straw-col- 
ored, acicular interlaced crystals in cavities (Aaron). Determination 
by C. Ide. 

Phosphate of Lime — see Apatite. 

109. PICOTITE. Etym. Picot de la Peyrouse, French chemist. 

Chrome Spinel. 

Has been found by Dr. M. E. Wadsworth in the basalts of Mount 
Shasta; "Summary of the Progress of Mineralogy in 1882"— H. C. 
Lewis. * 

Picrolite — see Serpentine. 

Platiniridittm — see Platinum and Iridium. 

110. PLATINUM. Etym. Plata, Silver. See, also, Iridium. 

Platinum is one of the elements, a metal first found native in the 
gold sands of the River Pinto, District of Choco, South America, 
where it was named platina, a derivative of plata (silver), which it 
resembles. It was brought to Europe in 1741, at which time it was 
known as " platina del Pinto." The ore (if this is a proper term)_was 
examined by the noted chemists of that day, who soon found it to 
be composed of a number of new minerals, which are now called the 
platinum group. 

Platinum is found generally in placers like gold, usually in grains, 
plates, or irregular lumps, rarely in octohedrons or cubes. H=4— 4, 
5; sp. gr— 16— 19; luster and streak metallic; color and streak, steel 
gray; opaque; sometimes magnetic ; infusible. Analysis finds it gen- 
erally to contain as an alloy or mechanical mixture, gold, copper, 
iron, iridium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, sand, etc. 

For a long time platinum was considered to be infusible, but now, by 
means of the oxyhydrogen blowpipe, it is melted without difficulty 
into bars weighing 75 pounds, or more. At the intense heat required 
in this operation, most of the impurities are volatilized, and thus got 
rid of. Metallic platinum in form suitable for economic use was for- 
merly obtained by forging. To produce pure metallic platinum, the 
metal was dissolved in nitro-muriatic acid, precipitated by chloride 
of ammonium, and heated to redness. The spongy platinum thus 


obtained, was placed in a tube of iron, or brass, and while red hot. 
compressed by driving down the tube an iron plunger. The mass so 
obtained was then heated and hammered on an anvil until it became 
compact and suitable for drawing into wire, or rolling into sheets. An 
elaborate account of this operation may be found in Lire's Chemical 
Dictionary, published in 1820, folio 684. Platinum is used in the arts 
in the form of vessels, crucibles, wire, and foil, in the chemical labora- 
tory for accurate weights and measures, dishes and tanks in which to 
boil or distill acid, or to make pickles, instead of in copper, the former 
method, syphons for drawing off hot or corrosive acids, spatulas, and 
cocks, and with iridium for vents of heavy ordnance, points of light- 
ning rods, etc. The salts of platinum have their uses in chemistry. 

Platinum is rather abundant in California with other metals of the 
group mentioned under the head of Iridium. The miners call it 
"white gold," and generally believe it to be more valuable than that 
metal, declining to save it when informed that it can only be sold for 
two or three dollars per ounce. 

Platinum, with iridium and associated metals, is found in consid- 
erable quantities in Trinity County. At Hay Fork, a large stream 
in that county, all the gold found is more or less mixed with the 
platinum metals; so much so that dealers deduct two dollars per 
ounce from the price paid elsewhere for gold dust. At North Fork 
of Trinity River, platinum is found in less quantities, but in larger 
pieces. One was once offered for sale jn Marysville which weighed 
over two and a half ounces troy. 

Although platinum occurs in the river beds, and on the banks of 
the streams, yet in the so called* "hill claims," about half a mile only 
from the river, no trace of that metal has been found. In lower 
Trinity, near its junction with the Klamath, platinum abounds in 
very fine particles; and it is with this finely divided platinum that 
Professor Wohler discovered diamonds. 

The metal is so abundant that the miners have the utmost diffi- 
culty in separating it from the gold. The particles are so extremely 
fine that they can hardly be distinguished from the black sand which 
accompanies the gold. Heretofore no effort has been made to place 
the platinum in the market, except the sending to San Francisco of 
100 ounces or more, a few years ago. It could, probably, be sent to 
Europe to advantage. In Salmon River it is also found. In fact, it 
is common in the beds of the streams in Sierra, Trinity, Klamath, 
and Del Norte Counties. 

Platinum (1521) is found with iridium, cinnabar, zircons, and gold, 
in Anderson Valley, Navarro River, Mendocino County; at Gopher 
and Badger Hills, Plumas County (Edman). 

(1892) with platiniridium. In a claim three miles from Trinity 
Center, Trinity County; and with gold, zircons, diamonds, and other 
minerals from Cape Blanco to Cape Mendocino, on the ocean beach. 

Mr. A. Hewett found several large pieces of platinum in 1851 on 
Nelson Creek, Plumas County. The largest was the size of a large 

Mr. Block, of San Francisco, said that large pieces have been found 
on North Fork of Trinity River; one piece weighed two ounces. The 
miners in washing gold in long sluices got the gold by the aid of 
quicksilver, and the platinum minerals remained in the riffles. 

Platinum is found rather abundantly in Butte County. Consider- 
able quantities were recovered in the clean-ups at the Spring Valley 



hydraulic mine, Cherokee, and at St. Clair Flat, near Pence, large 
quantities were found in the early days of placer mining. 

If the miners could be persuaded to collect the platinum minerals, 
an industry might be established of considerable importance. There 
is no reason why platinum should not be manufactured in San Fran- 
cisco and the American demand in part or wholly supplied by this 
State. The process of manufacture is simple, the plant required 
inexpensive, and there are skillful chemists in the State fully compe- 
tent to manage it. The control of the platinum trade is in the hands 
of a single English manufacturing firm, which has been the case for 
many years. 

Platinum is largely produced in Russia. The following is an 
official table of the production. (1 poud equals 526.64 troy ounces; 
1 livre, 13.166 troy ounces; 1 zolotnick, 1,364 troy ounces): 

















































111. POLYBASITE. Named from the Greek— Many Bases— it being 

a sulphide of many bases, viz.: antimony, arsenic, copper, 
iron, silver, and zinc. 

It is a rare mineral in California, being found only in small micro- 
scopical crystals in the Morning Star and Monitor mines, Alpine 

112. PRICEITE. Etym. Price, San Francisco chemist. 

In October, 1871, Lieutenant A. W. Chase brought to the Academy 
of Sciences of San Francisco a sample of chalky substance, which he 
thought to be magnesia. A small sample was given to me for exam- 
ination, which I turned over to a pupil, Mr. E. J. Shipman, who spent 
some time over it, and reported it to be borate of lime. Never hav- 
ing seen borate of lime in this form, I requested him to repeat his 
experiments, which he did, and with the same result. I then made 
an examination of the mineral myself, both chemical and microscop- 
ical, which led me to class it with cryptomorphite. The appearance 
under the microscope was so characteristic that I had no doubt as to 
its identity. At the evening meeting, November sixth, Lieutenant 
Chase presented it to the Academy of Sciences. Subsequently two 
samples were analyzed by Thomas Price, of San Francisco, which 
gave the following result : 


2 - 







2.i. (10 




In 1873, Professor Silliman made a study of this mineral, and ob- 
tained the following mean of three analyses: 

Boracic acid . 49.00 

Lime 31.83 

Water 18.29 

Alumina, salt, and oxide of iron .96 


The absence of soda separates this mineral from ulexite and cryp- 
tomorphite, and seems to make it a new species, named as above by 
Professor Silliman. After studying this mineral and examining many 
specimens, I am led to believe that it is changed from ulexite by the 
abstraction of the soda and part of the water. I have a specimen of 
pandermite, which has undoubtedly changed from a ulexite " cotton 


Is a variety of priceite. The following extract from the London 
Journal of the Society of Arts, August 6, 1880, by C. C. Warnford Lock, 
affords all that is known relating to this mineral : 

I have now to deal with a new commercial borate, which, on the score of geographical posi- 
tion, abundance, cheapness of working, and easy manipulation, is certainly destined in a great 
measure to rule the markets of Europe, and particularly of Great Britain. 

The new field lies on the Tchinar-Sau, a small stream feeding the Rhyndacus River, whose 
outlet is in the Sea of Marmora, near the port of Pandemia, on the Asiatic shore. It embraces 
the villages of Sultan-Tchair, Yildiz, and Omerli, and the guard-house of the Demircapon pass. 
The area of the field is computed at over 13,000 acres (20 square miles). Its eastern confines 
nearly abut upon the Rhyndacus, which has been navigated by steamers up to a point called 
Balakeser. A company has been formed for deepening and improving the stream, and a rail- 
way has been projected from Pandemia to Balakeser. The wagon road has hitherto been util- 
ized for transporting the mineral, the distance from Pandemia to the western edge of the field 
being about forty English miles. The port of Pandemia is regularly frequented by local steam- 
ers, and offers every convenience for shipping. 

The field is situated in a basin of tertiary age, surrounded by volcanic rocks, which vary 
from granite on the east to trachyte on the north, and columnar basalt on the west. Several 
basaltic hills and dikes protrude in different portions of the basin, and the presence of hot and 
mineral springs further testifies to the volcanic influences which have been at work, and in 
which, doubtless, originated the boracic mineral. The latter occurs in a stratum at the bottom 
of an enormous bed of gypsum, its greater specific gravity probably impelling it downwards 
while the whole mass was yet in a soft state. Several feet of clay cover the gypsum bed, which 
is here 60 to 70 feet thick, though in places it attains to double that thickness. 

The boraciferous stratum varies in depth; it has been proved for a vertical distance of forty- 
five feet. The mineral exists in closely-packed nodules, of very irregular size and shape, and 
of all weights up to a ton. Vom Rath has named it "Pandermite," from the port of shipment. 

In outward appearance it closply resembles a snow-white, fine-grained marble. Chemically 
speaking, it is a hydrous borate of lime, its composition being expressed by the formula 2CaO, 
3B 2 3 , 3H 2 0; in other words, it consists of boracic acid 55.85 per cent; lime, 29.78 per cent, 
and water 14.36 per cent. Its richness in boracic acid is at once apjiarent, and places it high 
above the other commercial borates. Thus ordinary borax (borate of soda) contains only 36.58 
per cent of the acid; boro-calcite and boronatro-calcite (borates of lime and of lime and soda) 
vary from 8A per cent up to 46 per cent, and average about 40 per cent, boracite and stassfurtite 
(borates of magnesia), containing respectively about 63 per cent and 60} per cent, alone surpass 
it in this respect, and they can hardly be deemed commercial minerals. After very simple 
preparation pandermite can be very directly applied as a flux, and is more economical than 
borax for this purpose, thanks to its larger proportion of boracic acid. 

An outcrop of the mineral was discovered by a foreigner some years since, and the bed was 
secretly worked; small shipments were occasionally made to Europe under the denomination 
of plaster of Paris, thus keeping the matter hidden, and at the same time avoiding the payment 
of dues and duties. The Ottoman Government has since been apprised of these irregularities 
and has taken energetic measures to correct them. More recently it has granted a comprehen- 
sive concession to a party of British residents, who are setting to work to develop the property. 
The. district enjoys the great advantage of being under British protection. 

The workings were at first placed under that section of the Reglement des Mines relating to 
quarries, but have since been transferred to the section regulating mines proper. Steps are 
being taken to open up the deposit in a systematic manner, by first sinking a number of bore- 


ho le,_ as has been done with the Kainit beds at Stassfurt— to ascertain the points of greatest 
development in the basin. The locality possesses a healthy climate, except in the Autumn, 
when there is some ague. . , 

Labor is very cheap and abundant, Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Circassians, [Tatars, and 
Italians bein* obtainable from the neighboring villages. There is a supply of water; oak and 
fir timber may be procured at six to seven miles distant, and scrub for fuel covers the surround- 
ing hills. . 

The actual cost of the mineral, as now worked, is as follows : 

Raising and dressing (exclusive of cost of tools) 10.0 paras per oke 

Transport to Panderma - 9.0 paras per oke 

Custom duty, 1 per cent ad valorem ■? P**" P er <*e 

Management and other charges . 2.o paras per oke 

Total 22.0 paras per oke 

£ s. d. 
At 795^ okes per ton, and 123i piastres per £ sterling (lpiastre=40 paras) this ^ ^ 

ToThis e musUDe7dded^"hrg^Ve7nmen"t' royalty, 5 per cent ad valorem, say— 5 per ton 

Contingencies J JJ J P e ^ ™ 

Freight and insurance .01 5 per ton 

Making a total cost, " c, f., audi." , £4 18 3 per ton 

The present values of the boracic products now in the market vary from £46 to £60 per ton, 
according to quality ; the lowest figure ever reached here has been about £20 a ton, at which 
price the demand would immensely increase. 

Pisani, of Paris, analyzed this mineral and obtained the following 

Boracic acid j* ,'! 

Lime _. 




It will be seen as stated elsewhere that the variety pandermite has 
recently been found in apparent abundance in Death Valley, Inyo 
County, and at Calico, San Bernardino County, and the cryptomor- 
phic variety also at the latter locality. 


Is also a variety of priceite found recently in Death Valley. The 
following analysis was made by Thomas Price, of San Francisco, 
March, 1883, by whom the original priceite was first analyzed : 

Anhydrous boracic acid. 




Alumina and oxide of iron 


"<• ""« «»■- ■«««~ — — — a ~ 

Silica r - -™ 


In the above analysis, the alumina, iron, and silica are probably 
mechanical impurities— 1.25 being added proportionately to the other 
constituents, gives the following percentage: 

Boracic acid . 



. 48.72 


. 22.49 



This gives the approximate formula, 4Bo 3 , 3CaO, 6HO, being the 
same obtained by Silliman for priceite, which no doubt it is in a 
crystalline state. As this mineral possesses certain physical proper- 
ties differing from priceite, a name has been given to it to distinguish 
it from the soft chalky mineral found both in southern Oregon and 
San Bernardino County, California. 

The name colemanite was given by the discoverer of the mineral in 
honor of William T. Coleman, of San Francisco, who has been identi- 
fied with the borax interests of the Pacific Coast from the commence- 


Color and streak white; milky to transparent; hardness 3.5—4; 
specific gravity, 2.39; before the blowpipe, it exfoliates, decrepitates 
violently, and melts imperfectly; after considerable heating it imparts 
a reddish yellow color to the flame, which changes to green. The min- 
eral pulverizes easily, fragments obscurely rhombic. It is wholly 
soluble in hydrochloric acid with heat. From the solution boracic 
acid crystallizes on cooling. The filtrate gives a white precipitate 
with ammonia and oxalate of ammonia, With sulphuric acid, or 
with fluorspar and bisulphate of potash, tinges the blowpipe flame 
green. Luster of the mineral vitreous to adamantine. It shows no 
perfect crystals, but appears like semi-crystalline calcite. 

The above is copied from the third annual report. Since it was 
published, colemanite has been found in magnificent crystals. In 
experiments made in my laboratory, it was found to be wholly soluble 
in dilute hydrochloric acid without effervescence. By a practical test, 
30.4 per cent of anhydrous boracic acid was obtained from the first 
crystallization. The crystals of colemanite are monoclinic, and so 
strongly resemble those of datholite, that Professor G. Vom Rath, of 
the University of Bonn, who was in San Francisco when the first 
crystallized specimens came to hand, expressed surprise at the great 
similarity. He will study the crystallography carefully on his return 
to Germany, and will publish figures. 

113. PROUSTITE. Etym. Proust, French chemist, Light Ruby 

Silver Ore. 

Arsenical sulphide of silver, found sparingly in the Chicago mine, 
Shasta County, with galena, pyrite, and quartz, between walls of 
granite (Aaron). No. 4951, in the State Museum, from the Oro mine, 
Bodie, Mono County, shows it in crystals, with pyrargyrite in quartz. 

114. PSILOMELANE. Etym. Bare and Black (Greek). 

A hard black mineral, supposed to be psilomelane, is found in sev- 
eral localities in the State, with pyrolusite and rhodonite, but no 
analysis has been made to prove it. This mineral differs from pyro- 
lusite in containing baryta and oxide of manganese, and more water. 
It has been found at Spanish Ranch, Plumas County, on Red Rock, 
Bay of San Francisco, and in quartz^ Santa Ana River, Los Angeles 
County. No. 1671, in the State Museum, was mistaken for tin ore. 

Pumice Stone — see Orthoclase. 


115. PYRARGYRITE. Etym. Fire Silver (Greek). Dark Ruby 

Silver, Antimonial Sulphide of Silver. 

This mineral, like proustite, is rare in California. It has been found 
in the Exchequer mine, Alpine County, and with proustite, No.' 2451, 
State Museum, in the Oro mine, Bodie, Mono County. 

116. PYROLUSITE. Etym. Fire-wash (Greek). Binoxide of Man- 


Color and streak, black. H=2 — 5.5. Sp. gr. 4.82. Brittle. Opaque. 
Composition (Mn 2 ). 



B. B. infusible. Non-magnetic. 

May be readily distinguished. If pulverized in an agate mortar 
and wet with hydrochloric acid, chlorine is set free, which can be 
recognized by its suffocating smell, an odor different from that of 
the acid alone. If heated in a closed tube oxygen is given off, and if 
a match is lighted and blown out the live coal at the end of the match 
brightens and scintillates, if held near the mouth of the tube (oxy- 
gen). A small portion of the pulverized mineral imparts to borax 
an amethyst color, if heated B. B. in loop of platinum wire. This 
very important and valuable mineral is found in great abundance in 
California at numerous localities. Its uses may be enumerated as 
follows: In the production of chlorine gas, extensively used in the 
manufacture of chloride of lime (bleaching powder); in extracting 
gold from roasted auriferous pyrites; and as a disinfectant; for the 
production of oxygen gas; and largely in ferro-manganese, essential 
in the manufacture of steel and soft iron by the Bessemer process. 
It will be seen that it contains no chlorine. Still this gas is nearly 
always set free by its use, at the expense of the hydrochloric acid or 
salt (chloride of sodium) employed with it. The second equivalent 
of oxygen in the mineral has but a feeble affinity, and leaves it when 
heated, as in the experiment with the closed tube and match, leaving 
behind oxide of manganese (Mn 0). It also passes to any element 
for which it has a greater affinity, as for example, to the hydrogen of 
the hydrochloric acid in the first experiment, setting the chlorine 
free. When salt is used, sulphuric acid is employed; these reactions 
will be understood by studying the following equations: 

1. Mn 0, strongly heated=Mn 0+0. 

2. Mn 0;+HCl=Mn O+HO+Cl. 

3. Mn 0,+Na Cl+S0 3 =Mn O-f-NaO S0 3 +C1. 

Ferro-manganese is made by heating from 30 to 60 pounds of a 
mixture of pyrolusite, charcoal, and finely divided scrap iron, to a 
white heat, in crucibles. The alloys contain from 66 to 80 per cent 
of manganese. When the projected iron works are built (see Iron), 
pyrolusite will come into demand and be utilized. It has been em- 
ployed for years in the chlorination process before mentioned, and 
some has been shipped to England and the Eastern States. The 
word pyrolusite, meaning fire wash, is given from its being used to 


remove objectionable colors from glass in its manufacture. It is 
called by the French, for the same reason, "savon des verriers" (glass- 
makers' soap). 'The known California localities are: 

Alameda County. No. 4900, State Museum. 

Calaveras County, near Angel's. No. 1170. Railroad Flat, No. 

Contra Costa County. Corral Hollow — abundant. 

Marin County. Near Saucelito, and near Tomales. 

Napa County. St. Helena Mountain. No. 4337. 

Nevada County. Sweetland. 

Plumas County. Argentine and Mumford's Hill (Edman). 

San Bernardino County. With rhodonite, near Colton. 

San Francisco Bay. Red Rock. San Francisco County. Bernal 
Heights, San Francisco. 

Santa Clara County. Halm's ranch, 12 miles south of the Guada- 
lupe quicksilver mine. No. 4965. 

Sonoma Countv. Near Cloverdale. Nos. 3772, .5107, State Museum. 
Santa Rosa. No" 2337. 

Tuolumne County. Knight's ranch, near Columbia, in botryoidal 
and mammillary masses, from the size of a grape to 100 pounds in 
weight, on the surface of the ground. No. 4124. "With rhodonite 
two miles south of Summerville. No. 3657. 

117. PHYRRHOTITE. Etym. Reddish (Greek). Magnetic Pyrites. 

Found in Mariposa County, at the Iona Copper Company's tunnel, 
north side of the Merced River, on the trail from Bear Valley to 
Coulter ville (Blake). 

118. PYRITES. Etym. Fire (Greek). Pyrite, Sulphuret of Iron, 

the "Sulphurets" of the gold miner, Mundic, Martial 
Pyrites. See, also, Marcasite. 

Color, pale brass-yellow, streak greenish, or brownish black. H= 
6 — 6.-5. Strikes fire with steel, whence the name; opaque, fracture 
conchoidal, brittle. Composition (Fe S 2 ). 

Sulphur 53.3 

Iron 46.7 

111 closed tube gives sulphur as a yellow sublimate above the assay, 
and a magnetic residue. If pulverized and thrown on hot coals, or 
red-hot iron, it gives off fumes of sulphurous acid, smelling like a 
burning match. It generally contains gold, and in California is 
seldom wanting in auriferous quartz, except in oxidized ores lying 
above the water line, in which case the crystals of pyrite are changed 
to limonite, often specked with gold. In some mines, nearly all the 
gold is in the sulphurets, and is sometimes obtained after mechanical 
concentrations, by the " chlorination process." The ore is first roasted 
in a reverberatory furnace, always letting the sulphur go to waste. 
It is then dampened with water and placed in a large wooden tub 
with perforated false bottom, upon which coarse cloth is laid. Chlo- 
rine gas is generated (see Pyrolusite), and conducted in a lead pipe to 
the bottom of the tub below the false bottom, until the mass is satu- 


rated with the gas, after which it is closely covered, and allowed to 
stand for several days. It is then leached with cold water, sprinkled 
over the surface by a hose. After some time, a greenish-yellow fluid 
begins to flow from a small aperture at the bottom of the tub, which 
is carefully collected in glass vessels, generally boxed carboys. This 
fluid contains the gold. The sprinkling is continued until the water 
flows off colorless, and 'gives no reaction for gold when treated as 
described below. Solution of proto-sulphate of iron is added to the 
contents of the carboys, with frequent shaking, as long as a black 
precipitate falls. After standing for a time, the liquid and precipitate 
are decanted on paper filters in glass funnels; the worthless liquid 
filters through, leaving the gold precipitate on the paper. The filters 
are dried and rolled up into wads, or balls, and placed in succession 
in a crucible, kept in a high heat in a bullion furnace. Fluxes are 
added from time to time, until the gold is melted, when it is poured 
into an iron ingot mold in the usual manner. This process, so exten- 
sively practiced in the State, has been found to be wasteful and unsat- 
isfactory, and will, no doubt, eventually be replaced by one in which 
the sulphur and iron will be saved, and also more of the gold. This 
subject has been mentioned elsewhere in this report, and is one of 
great importance. Pyrite is one of the most abundant of the minerals 
of the State, and v is represented in the State Museum by many localities. 
The specimens are so numerous that it is hardly worth while to men- 
tion them all here. Auriferous sulphurets often contain barite, bor- 
nite, calcite, cinnabar, chalcosite, chalcopyrite, native copper, enargite, 
fluorite, galena, marcasite, mispickel, molybdenite, quartz, roscoelite, 
silver minerals, siderite, sphalerite, stromeyite, tellurium, and other 
minerals. The gold quartz worked in California contain from one to 
five per cent of sulphurets; when concentrated, they assay from one 
hundred to three hundred dollars per ton, although the gold saved 
in the mill might not have exceeded from six to ten dollars per ton. 
A very interesting table of analyses, from different mines, may be 
found in Dr. Trask's report for 1856, folio 60. The table shows that the 
loss was very great at that time. Pyrite is often mistaken for gold 
by inexperienced prospectors. In 1847, the ship "Brooklyn," of NeM r 
London, Captain Carroll, was whaling in Magdalena Bay, Lower Cali- 
fornia. The crew discovered what they thought to be gold in vast 
quantities. Several ten barrel pipes were filled with pyrites, and the 
men stopped catching whales, and sailed away for New London with 
a supposed fortune for the owners and all on board. Of the numer- 
ous localities of pyrite in the State, the following are worthy of special 
mention, or are represented in the State Museum: 

Alpine County. Morning Star mine, with enargite. 

Amador County. Jackson, No. 653. 

Calaveras County. E Pluribus Unum mine, three miles from Mur- 
phy's (Blake). 

El Dorado County. Brilliant cubes, Mameluke mine, near George- 
town (Blake). Pilot Hill, in large cubes, with garnet-brown spar and 
specular iron (Blake). In crystals with gold (3701), with quartz, both 

Inyo County. Modoc mine (1649). 

Mariposa County. In slates, in large and perfect crystals, near 
Princeton Hill (Blake). 

Mono County.- No. 2128. 

Napa County. With cinnabar, Redington quicksilver mine, No. 


1505, very fine. In cavities in qnartz, cubical crystals, Knox & Osbom 
quicksilver mine, No. 4338. 

Nevada County. Grass Valley, massive, with chalcopyrite, San 
Francisco copper mine, Spenceville, No. 4386. Massive, with gold, 
Meadow Lake District, No. 4357. Taking the form of wood, with 
hematite, Occidental mine, Scott's Flat, No. 1515. With calcite, Mala- 
koff mine, North Bloomfield, No. 3394. In lignite, Malakoff mine, 
North Bloomfield, No. 3111. 

Placer County. Globular, in calcite, near Auburn, No. 3671. Clip- 
per coal mine, No. 4905, near Grizzly Bear House, Forest Hill, in large 
crystals (Blake). True Fissure mine, Devil's Peak Mountain, No. 
2916. With lignite, Spink's coal mine, Lincoln, No. 981. 

Plumas County. Granite Basin, Mumford's Hill, in crystals, with 
dolomite (Edman). 

San Luis Obispo County. In cavities in the Sunderland quicksil- 
ver mine, No. 2348. 

Shasta County. With pyrolusite and gold, Banghart mine, No ; 
1794. With erubescite and chalcopyrite, Copper City. In nodules, 
with sulphide of silver, very rich, Nos. 1710, 1711, 4140. 

Tuolumne County. In fine crystals, Patterson mine, Tuttletown. 

119. PYROPHYLLITE. Etym. Fire Leaf (Greek). 

This mineral, a hydrous silicate having no economic value, but 
which is interesting from a scientific standpoint, is found in beautiful 
radiating tufts of a golden yellow color, at Greaser Gulch, or Indian 
Gulch, Mariposa County. It occurs in large bowlders on the surface 
of the ground, near two prominent buttes. This locality is repre- 
sented by No. 3723 in the State Museum. 

120. PYROXENE. Etym. Stranger to Fire (Greek). 

A silicate of different bases, the varieties of which are known under 
different names, as augite, diopside, sahlite, omphazite, hypersthene, 
diallage, smaragdite, etc. 

This mineral enters largely into the composition of igneous rocks. 
In this form it is probably largely distributed in California. It is 
found in fine dark green crystals near Mud Springs, El Dorado 
County (Blake), and also in fine crystals at the Cosumnes copper 
mine, in the same county. 

121. QUARTZ. 

Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals of the earth's crust, 
being found in the crystalline or primitive rocks, and in all the sedi- 
mentary ones resulting from their disintegration and decomposition. 
It assumes many forms and colors, from opaque quartzite to the 
purest rock crystal, superior to glass for optical purposes; from black 
to snow-white, amethyst, or rose color. The varieties are known by 
many names, among which are agate, amethyst, aventurine, blood 
stone, Brazilian pebble, buhr stone, carnelian, cat's-eye, chrysoprase, 
cairngorm, false topaz, heliotrope, jasper, mocha stone, onyx, prase, 
quartz and quartzite, rock crystal, siderite, sardonyx, etc. 

Quartz is colorless when pure, otherwise blue, green, brown, red, 
yellow, black, and variegated; fracture conchoidal, brittle, crystals 


often inclosing impurities and foreign crystals, as chlorite, cinnabar, 
titanic acid, etc. When massive, often a matrix for gold, silver, 
galena, zinc blende, magnetite, and other minerals. Quartz is the 
principal vein matter of our best mines. Sp. gr. 2.5 to 2.8 H. 7; 
scratches glass easily, but is scratched by topaz. All varieties have 
nearly the" same chemical composition and physical properties; the 
clear colorless crystals of quartz are often mistaken for diamonds. 
The fact that they are softer than topaz will serve to distinguish them 
from that gem. The color of the different varieties is owing to the 
accidental presence of the oxides of different metals. 

The principal constituent of all these varieties is silica, or silex in 
its insoluble form; that is, not soluble in caustic soda solution. Be- 
fore the blowpipe alone they undergo no change, but with soda dis- 
solve with effervescence and form a transparent glass. Insoluble in 
acids. If previously fused with carbonate of potash and soda, they 
become soluble in hydrochloric acid. 

Quartz is a binoxide of silicon (Si 2 ), the elements being com- 
bined as follows: 

Silicon - 46.67 

Oxygen 53.33 


Agate is a variety of chalcedony, generally in layers, sometimes 
clouded. Moss agate is chalcedony with dendritic crystals of oxide 
of manganese and iron imbedded in it, which take the form of vege- 
tation. The ancient " achates " was probably fortification agate. Pyrr- 
hus, who lived 318 years before Christ, is said to have had an agate of 
this kind, on which was represented, by the hand of nature, a picture 
of the Nine Muses as perfect as a work of art. Achates, from which 
agate was named, was an ancient town in Sicily. The moss agate 
was known to the ancients as dendracthates (dendritic agate). 


Is a purple red variety of quartz crystal, formerly supposed to owe 
its color to oxide of manganese, but specimens having been analyzed 
which contained no manganese, the color is now thought to be due to 
some peculiar compound of iron or soda. Rose quartz is a variety of 
amethyst only slightly tinged. 

The amethyst was well known to the ancients and was highly 
prized by them. They gave this gem the name of "aphrodisiace," or 
gem of Venus. By some strange superstition they believed the ame- 
thyst to be a cure for drunkenness, from which the name is derived. 
A good well-cut amethyst of one carat is worth from three to five 
dollars. A large and fine stone of good color has been sold as high 
as five hundred dollars. The best amethysts come from Ceylon, Bra- 
zil, and Siberia. Good specimens are found on the shores of Lake 
Superior, in the quartz formation of the Comstock ledge, and at Grass 
Valley. The true amethyst must not be confounded with the violet 
sapphire, sometimes called oriental amethyst, which is much more 
valuable and of entirely different composition. 

Aventurine is quartz, massive, of a pearly or reddish color, and 
containing thin plates or scales of mica, which give it a peculiar 
glimmering appearance, mud i admired in cut specimens. It is found 


in India, Bohemia, on the shores of the White Sea, and elsewhere. 
The best specimens come from Cape Gata, in Spain. The artificial 
aventurine is far more beautiful than the natural. A formula for 
making it is as follows: Heat together, for a long time, eight parts of 
ground glass, one part of protoxide of copper, and two of oxide of 
iron, and allow the mixture to cool slowly. An artificial production, 
said to come from Japan, is extremely puzzling. In cutting a thin 
section and examining it under the microscope, the spangles are seen 
to be perfect tabular crystals. Mrs. Captain Nathan, of San Fran- 
cisco, has a magnificent specimen of this singular production. 

The finest specimens of natural aventurine known, are two large 
vases cut from this rare mineral, which were presented by the Em- 
peror of Russia to Sir Roderick Murchison. They are now in the 
Museum of Economic Geology, of London. 

Bloodstone and heliotrope are names for the same variety. The 
color is deep green interspersed with spots of red, like drops of blood. 
Good specimens command as high as twenty dollars each. Heliotrope 
takes its name from having been used under water as a mirror to 
observe a solar eclipse. Pliny describes the heliotrope as being 
"prasius" which was "horrid with spots of blood." 

Brazilian pebble is quartz crystal, or massive rock crystal, rolled 
and water- worn ; was first brought from Brazil. It is very valuable for 
making glasses for spectacles, being harder and more durable than 
glass. A good deposit of this mineral would be very valuable. The 
Japanese excel in cutting quartz or crystal. 

There is a locality near Placerville where this valuable mineral is 
found, and which should be examined with a view to supply the 
market. Good clear pieces would find a ready sale in London or 

No. 5931, in the State Museum, is a magnificent specimen of Jap- 
anese rock crystal, in the form of a sphere, two and a half