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31 10 with the technological importance of water

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Unformatted text preview: engaged in some kind of extractive industry; "The work at the Pine Shade mine and mill at the head of Long Gulch presents a busy scene; men and teams coming and going, men busy with axes, hammers, picks and shovels… acres of ground covered with lumber, timbers, machinery, upturned earth and moving humanity, giving the appearance in the distance, of huge ant hills."26 The comparison to arthropods is hardly unwarranted, as the piles of rock and tailings which persist even today in the abandoned mine regions conjure images of a vast civilization of earth movers, organizing themselves 8 around resources and utilizing various technologies in the service of economic institutions distribution. The Pine Shade mine itself offers a ready example of such a technological undertaking. A two story boarding house of 1,200 square feet was built to house the miners. There was a shaft house which held a forty- horsepower double friction hoist, an 8,000 square foot mill and an engine room of nearly 1,000 square feet. The mill was situated just below the shaft house, or the opening of the mine, so that "the ore from the shaft will move automatically from the skip to the crusher floor and thence to the stamps," of which there were thirty. Figure 4. Stamping Mill, Evergreen Mine in Gilpin County. 9 To avoid the costs of transporting and smelting the crushed ore, the superintendent, with the backing of Eastern capital, was in the process of adding a leaching facility to clear the ore of pyrites and produce "marketable gold within 200 feet of the top of the shaft."27 The array of facilities and machinery described by Mr. Irvine in 1894, a representative photograph of which can be found (above) in Figure 4, all require extensive inputs of labor, capital and of course natural resources; the most important of which were timber and water.28,29 Yet it was water, not timber, that would largely determine the success or failure of a mining enterprise; timber could be imported and purchased for a price. But water, in so far as it was useful for doing physical work and could not, at least at the time, be imported from hundreds of miles away, was invaluable. Thus, the contemporary technologies available for water diversion influenced how and where mineral resources would be exploited. This is made cl...
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