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5 so from the beginning of colorados history

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Unformatted text preview: s one. During that time, Boulder was representative of the broader patterns in the state, as Professor Ewler, editor of the San Francisco Mining and Scientific Press, remarked in 1882, "Gold placer mining was commenced in this county [Boulder]... some twenty- two years ago [in 1860]... and soon... led to quartz mining, by the miners following up the river diggings to rich quartz lodes."4 Ewler goes on to describe the intersection of technology and institutions even so far back as to predate statehood. The miners, he pointed out, were unable to extract gold not already exposed "until smelting processes were introduced by Mr. Hill (now U.S. Senator Hill) and Prof. Pierce, both now of the Argo Smelting Works."5 So from the beginning of Colorado's history, technology and social institutions – in this case smelting, the United States Senate, academia and corporations – were deeply intertwined in their efforts to exploit natural resources for monetary gain. Lest Senator Hill feel left out, the Boulder County Courier reported two years after statehood in 1878 that another sitting senator, Senator Chaffee, had purchased a 3 one- half interest in the Little Pittsburg mine in Leadville, one of the most productive iron ore mines at the time.6 Bringing in the judiciary, the Plaindealer of Ouray reported some twenty years later in 1901 that "Ex- Senator Frank Carney and other prominent parties in Ouray, with Judge F.J. Hulaniski" were the "principle parties interested" in the purchase of The Bonanza Mining and Milling operations in that county.7 What becomes clear from these and other examples like them is that both institutions – whether federal law, academia or corporate entities – and technology – whether smelters or the associated fuel works – were influential in determining Westerner's impact on a nascent Colorado. And, to dispel any ambiguity, smelters (Figure 1) and the beehive ovens (Figure 2) used to turn coal into the coke smelters used for fuel, certainly impacted the environment.8,9 Figure 1. Ore Smelters, as pictured above, grew more efficient over time but eventually gave way to chemical 4 leaching, which was more efficient still. In the words of chemist Dr. Lyon Playfair, "Chemistry, like a prudent housewife, economizes every scrap." Figure 2. Beehive Coking Ovens, like these...
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