Page images
PDF
EPUB

one of Haskell's patent water-lined cupola furnaces, to test the working qualities of tlie ore. This furnace was to have been completed in August.

The parties interested in the enterprise, being men of limited capital, are not prepared to conduct operations on a scale to insure success. It would be to the benefit of the State if capitalists would take hold of the business.

Bodies of ore of a similar character exist near Gold lake, Sierra county, in the vicinity of the line of the Central Pacific railroad.

A deposit of fine magnetic iron ore was discovered in the summer of 1867 on Grouse ridge, 14 miles from Washington, Nevada county. This ore is energetically magnetic-—so much so as to lift knives or nails—and is said to contain sufficient gold to pay for extracting that metal from it.

In the summer of 18^67 a body of magnetic iron was discovered near Chapparal Hill, Butte county, near the Grizzly, a tributary of the Butte creek, about 46 miles from Oroville, on the Susanville road. The ore is found in a locality where the slate and granite formations unite. Some portions of it are so magnetic that fragments broken off can be lifted by the larger pieces. It was this peculiarity that led to its discovery. An analysis made by Kellogg, Hueston & Co., of San Francisco, yielded 65 per cent, of metal. The deposit is in the form of a stratum or bed of unknown thickness and extent. In July a shaft* had been cut to the depth of 20 feet without passing through it. It had been traced 300 feet in length by nearly a quarter of a mile in width. Being located on a densely timbered hill, covered with broken slate, it was not convenient to trace it to its full extent. There is abundance of wood, water, and limestone in the vicinity.

Bodies of similar ores are found in the Santa Iiiez valley, in the San Rafael district, Santa Barbara count}?-, about 450 miles from Sacramento.

Magnetic iron ore or magnetite is one of the most extensively distributed and valuable of that metal found on this coast. It contains a larger per centum of metal than any of the other ores; when pure, it generally contains from 60 to 70 per cent. It is changed in many places into specular ore by the addition of oxygen, which it absorbs from the atmosphere.

Hematite Ores Of Iron.—There are large bodies of simonite, identical in composition with the ores found at Oswego, Oregon, on the banks of Spring creek, a few miles west of Shasta City—-at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet above the sea-—among the granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada, about 180 miles from Sacramento.

A deposit of red hematite was discovered in March last on the ranch belonging to the Sisters of Charity, about 16 miles from the city of Los Angeles. The ore presents itself on the surface for nearly a mile in a stratum averaging 15 feet thick, enclosed in hard metamorphosed clay slate.

Chromic Iron Ores.—This class of ores, so rare and valuable in the Atlantic States, is abundant on this coast, being found in the Coast range, the foot hills, and among the Sierra Nevadas, wherever there is serpentine in the country. Among the most important deposits of it are the scattered and broken masses which cover the ground for miles in the vicinity of the New Idria Quicksilvei mine, in Santa Clara county. There is another body of it cresting the ridge s which forms the boundary line between Monterey and Fresno counties. In Tuolumne county, near the Crimea House, are deposits which are found between the strata of talcose slate, lying in a vertical position, the weathered portion? of which steind out from the surrounding hills like tombstones in a graveyard.

In Del Norte county to the north of the copper mines on the "Low Divide," there is a peculiar deposit of chromic iron disseminated through the serpentine, which constitutes the greater portion of the country thereabouts. This ore weathers into round grains like shot, from the size of a pin-head to a four-pounder, and is appropriately called iron-shot by the miners in the \ricitriity? who find abundance oHtm tile sluices when washing up.''

There is another body of chromic iron in Del Norte county, of different appearance, on Smith's river, about 20 miles from Orescent City. This ore is compact, and as black as jet.

In San Bernardino county there are extensive deposits of this ore along the coast, some of which contain fine specimens of vauquelinito chromate of lead and copper.

"On the south side of SanlDiego gulch, Calaveras county, on the crest of the highest hill, opposite the Noble Copper mine, there is an isolated mass of this ore that will weigh thousands of tons, which surmounts a rather singular formation. A tunnel run in the hill beneath, in search of copper, cut through several wide strata of serpentine, brucite, talc, and other magnesian minerals. Chromic iron, or chromate of iron, is of considerable importance in the arts, but not as a source for obtaining the metal. Though abundant on this coast, it is very rare in the Atlantic States and Europe. England contains scarcely any; that country imports about 5,000 tons annually, for the purpose of manufacturing the various compounds of chromium, used in calico printing, painting porcelain, making pigments, chromic acid, &.c. A large quantity was formerly shipped to England from the Barehills, near Baltimore, Maryland, where the most valuable deposit on the Atlantic side exsits. With cheap transportation and labor this ore would pay to export.

Titanic Iron Ore is generally found on this coast in the form of fine grains, forming the greater portion of the "black sand," so difficult to separate from the fine gold obtained from the alluvial washings.. All volcanic rocks contain titanic iron in the form of grains. As these rocks disintegrate the grains are set free. There are several varieties of titaniferous iron in the grains, most of which are magnetic. It has been found in a number of thin seams in trap, in El Dorado county, near Diamond Springs.

Some excitement was created in San Francisco, about a year since, by the discovery of titanic iron in the sand on the beach within the harbor. Small quantities of it were collected, and some of it smelted, under the impression that it would make pig-iron, and that there was a "lead" of it in the vicinity. The above explanation of its source shows how unreasonable such conclusions were.

Mixed Ores Of Iron.—There is a body of iron ore on Pratt's Hill, near lone, Amador county, on the border of the Sacramento valley, which does not belong to any of the varieties above described. It is of an earthy nature, and evidently of sedimentary origin, forming a stratum nearly 20 feet thick, extending -fo* a mile near the top of a lode bluff, which projects into the valley. It contains a large per centum of iron. In several localities along the margin of the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys there are deposits of iron ores in the form of ochres. It is not necessary to give details, as there are such abundant sources for obtaining better ores; they will be described under the head of "clays," &c.

Iron Ores In Nevada.—The surveyors employed by the Central Pacific Kailroad Company report the discovery of extensive beds-of magnetic iron ore within a short distance of the line of that road, near Crystal Springs. Also at Neilsburg, within a mile of the road, and at Long Valley. There are many other districts in Nevada which contain iron ore. There is a series of regular veins of specular ore, from 8 to 20 feet thick, near the east fork of Walker's river, in Esmeralda county.

Iron Ores In Utah.—This Territory abounds in iron ores. There are several deposits of carbonate of iron within 20 miles of Salt Lake City.

Iron Ores In Arizona.—The abundance of nearly all kinds of iron ores in this Territory is quite remarkable. Whole ranges of mountains along the Colorado are in great part composed of them. The copper mines at Williams fork are surrounded with beds of iron ores. In the Mineral Hill and Planet mines the ores are pure oxides of iron and copper. Several of the tunnels run in working these mines have been cut through solid beds of iron ore. The wall rock enclosing nearly all the copper lodes are of the same mineral.

Concluding Remarks On Ores.—The above examples, selected from a great number of a similar character, are sufficient to show the abundance of the ores of ■iron on the Pacific coast, particularly in California, and the advantage that State possesses in having furnace materials and limestone convenient to the mines.

It will be observed by reference to the analyses that the "lay," or per centum of metal in the ores found on this coast, ranges from 46 to 80, or an average of .upwards of 50. This, however, is applicable only to the higher grades. According to the government returns, published in England, the ores obtained from the mines in Wales do not exceed 33 per cent., and those from the mines in Staffordshire, the great iron district of England, do not exceed 30 per cent. Most of the ores found in that country require roasting as a preliminary process, owing to their containing deleterious elements. The ores on this coast, being nearly all oxide, can be smelted at one operation, and will produce a very pure metal.

The Consumption Of Iron In California.—The consumption of iron in this State is large, and constantly increasing. The imports of crude metal, given in the accompanying table, constitute but a portion of the total quantity used, as much of it is obtained by remelting worn-out or useless machinery, and other articles, of which there are many thousands of tons in the State.

San Francisco is the centre of this trade. In addition to supplying California, as the following table will show, iron and machinery are exported to Nevada, and the adjoining Territories, the Sandwich Islands, Mexico, British Columbia, and other countries.

The following list of foundries and machine shops in San Francisco will convey an idea of the proportions of this business there. There are also 23 other foundries in California, and six in Nevada. The establishments at Sacramento, Nevada City, Marysville, Stockton, Sonora, and one or two others, are able to make almost any description of machinery.

Iron Foundries In San Francisco.—The Vulcan covers the block embraced |>y 137 feet on Fremont street, and running 275 feet to Beal street, and extending thence to Mission street. On this block there are brick and frame buildings7 suitable for an extensive business. Every description of machinery, from a coffeeroaster to a locomotive, including boilers, arid everything complete, is made here. Many improvements in the manufacture of engines and boilers have been introduced in this establishment. Most of the machinery used at the Mission woollen mills was made here, as was also the machinery for the mints at Mexico &nd British Columbia. The most powerful engines in use on the Comstock lode, Nevada, were also made here. A few months since a quartz mill was made here and shipped to Nicaragua, and a pumping engine for use on a mine at farquiqua, Bolivia. The capacity of the furnaces at this foundry is sufficient to melt 35 tons of metal. Nearly 100 men are employed on the premises.

The Fulton is located on First street, and employs about 50 moulders, doing an extensive business in architectural casting; machinery of all kinds is also made.

The Fima is a similar establishment to the Vulcan, but on a somewhat smaller gcale. It has facilities for melting six tons of metal. It is located on Fremont street.

The Franklin is also located on Fremont street. The engine used for printing the Evening Bulletin was made at this establishment. It has conveniences for melting 10 tons of metal, and employs 25 men.

The Golden State is located on First street, and is of about the same capacity as the Franklin.

The Pacific is an establishment reaching from First to Fre'mont street. It was commencecl in 1850. The buildings, chiefly constructed of brick, cover two 50vara lots. The machinery for the new rolling mills was made here, the fly-wheel for which weighs 25 tons. It can melt 20 tons, and employs about 75 men.

The Miners7 is also on First street, and extends through to Fremont. It employs about 250 men, and can turn out a 20-stamp mill, boiler and all complete, in 30 days. The iron castings for the State capitol, at Sacramento, were made here.

The 8cm Francisco is located at the corner of Fremont and Mission streets, where it covers a fifty-vara lot. All descriptions of machinery are made here. It can melt 15 tons of metal, and employs about 40 men.

The City Iron Works are located on Fremont street. Employ about 20 hands. Considerable machinery for the Sandwich Island sugar-mills has been made here.

The California Foundry is also on Fremont street. This establishment does an extensive business in architectural castings, which it makes a specialty. The fronts of several of the most elegant buildings in the city were cast here. It has facilities for melting six tons of metal, and employs about 20 hands.

The Union Foundry, corner First and Mission streets, is the oldest and largest establishment of the kind on this coast. It was commenced in 1849. The buildings include a three-story brick, having a frontage of 187 feet on First street, extending 275 feet, and fronting 120 feet on Mission, the whole covering nearly 50,000 feet; 300 men are employed here. The machinery for the United States steamer Saginaw was made at this foundry. The first locomotive made on this coast was cast and finished here.

The Atlas Iron Works are located on Fremont street. They are chiefly, engaged in casting for agricultural purposes. Can melt seven tons of metal, and employs about 30 men.

The Jackson Foundry is located on Jackson street. Its operations are confined to casting stoves, ornamental railing, and other light and fancy goods. The ranges used in nearly all the first-class hotels in the city were made here. It gives employment to about 30 men.

The Empire Foundry is on Mission street, near Beale. All descriptions of machinery and castings are made here. It employs 30 men.

It is within limits to estimate the consumption of iron in California and the States * and Territories dependent on it for supplies, at 30,000 tons annually. The business gives employment to nearly 3,000 men. There are 30 machine-shops in San Francisco, in addition to those connected with the above-named foundries.

The largest iron vessel ever cast in the United States was made at the Union Foundry in 1861. It was a shallow pan, capable of holding 1,316 gallons, a&d weighed 8,114 pounds. It was for use in one of the local soap factories.

A rolling-mill and steam forging establishment has recently been completed at San Francisco, with machinery and apparatus' for making every description of bar and rod iron, from one-fourth of an inch diameter, and one-eighth of an inch thick, to 12 inches wide, of any^ shape required by manufacturers, including all sizes and patterns of railroad iron. This t establishment furnishes a market for all the scrap iron that can be obtained. It is proposed to erect puddling furnaces for converting cast into malleable iron, as the supply of materials is not equal to the demand.

The above facts are sufficient to show that there exist on the Pacific coast a fair demand for iron and some facilities for its manufacture.

Imports of xron (chiefly railroad) into San Francisco during 1866, and first six months of 1867.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

Exports of iron and machinery from San Francisco during 1866, and first six

months of 1867.

[table]

Coal.—The importance of coal as an element of national and local prosperity is so generally recognized, that it is unnecessary to make any remarks touching the advantages of an-abundant supply. But the relative value of the several varieties of coal for domestic and manufacturing purposes not being so generally understood, may render some explanations on this point appropriate.

The varieties of coal to which England owes its prosperity, and which are so abundant in Pennsylvania and other Atlantic States, do not exist, or at all events have not been found, on the Pacific coast. ' But there are extensive beds of other varieties, which differ as much in their composition and heating qualities as the coals of other countries differ from each other. In the northern parts of the coast the coal is as superior to that found at Mount Diablo and further south as the Welch coal is to the Scotch, or the Pennsylvania anthracite to that found in Ireland.

Modern geologists have abandoned the idea that coal, to be of good quality, must be found in one particular formation. Experience, the most reliable guide,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »