Types of Pans through History....

kuger

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Been meaning to do this for some time......Early Gold Rush the Wooden Batea was used.The "Yankee",miners didnt know how to pan,or mine....the Mexican,and Chilean's did,both countries having gold and people that mined it for hundreds of years with the Batea...and taught the Yanks how to pan.Then came the Five Piece solder seamed pan which was the pan until the late 1860's,then came the sloped edge pan we so commonly see still used today(Many do not realize this style didnt come about until as late as it did.Pictured also is my classifier pan used in cleaning and classifieing hard rock samples as well as Placer P1000833.JPG
 
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kuger

kuger

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kuger

kuger

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...well....consider this historian has done the studying of the first 30 years already done and I just shared it with you.I have spent countless hours on the subject and have read hundreds of period journals.....there is NO mystery,and I can tell you I have never ever once heard any of these often very detailed journalist ever mention using their frying pan to pan with..that is something I would think they would mention?Nor have I ever read of the early '49-55 miners ever mention the use of mercury...that was later when Hydraulic mining became popular,but even then I can not recall ever reading of them using there cooking vessel to burn mercury off.I can not now but I will post a few pics to support my claims
 

gold tramp

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did you find the classifier pan?
Mexicans invented the arrastra and showed us how to use. nice splay of pans.
 

caprock

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Kuger,
That 5 piece pan is very cool. Ever find rusty remains of them at old placer sites ?
Is the batea a period piece ?
Thanks for the pics !
 
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kuger

kuger

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Kuger,
That 5 piece pan is very cool. Ever find rusty remains of them at old placer sites ?
Is the batea a period piece ?
Thanks for the pics !

Thanks!!We do find remnants,and I know of several near perfect pristine specimens...I havent been so fortunate as of yet to find a complete.The Batea isnt period,it was made by my great Uncle who was Chilean...he made it for my Father when he was very young,and made him learn to pan with it first.

GoldTramp,Thank You!The classifier was actually given to me by good friend and mentor Dave Wiseman on here...you can tell its been a while since I put it to use


Pippin,I will have to peruse that info later Thanks!!

1099B.jpg miner1.jpg 08.12.12.01_525.jpg me2.jpg
 
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caprock

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Wow ! I recognize the miner on the far right. He's in a 1975 issue of Chispa from Tuolumne County Hist. society. That's A.Meentzen ( if you don't already know), from Germany who mined & homesteaded near Bald Mtn. Never seen that particular dag reproduced anywhere else. Nice buckle and belt though!! Keep the great stuff coming !
 
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kuger

kuger

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Wow ! I recognize the miner on the far right. He's in a 1975 issue of Chispa from Tuolumne County Hist. society. That's A.Meentzen ( if you don't already know), from Germany who mined & homesteaded near Bald Mtn. Never seen that particular dag reproduced anywhere else. Nice buckle and belt though!! Keep the great stuff coming !

:laughing7:BRAVO!!Very astute you are!!That is exactly right,and is the only place it is published.He is the great Grand Father of the the Very Prominent Sanguinetti Family.He actually made his fortune twice after having the first stolen from him by his partner.He married the Love of his Life(I believe her name was Rose(?))
 

fowledup

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Thanks for the history lesson and a great post! I know there's alot of us that love the history of mining as much as we love mining. I don't think I've ever seen a 5 piece pan before or if I did I didn't recognize it for its significance. Definitely going to be on the lookout for one. Thanks again and keep the lessons coming!
 

caprock

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Absolutely, Jim Miller's For the Love of History is a Must Read for anyone truly interested in the California Gold Rush.
I am a long- time follower of the blog, and can't recommend it highly enough.
 

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Leave it to Kuger to get in some target practice and make a screen at the same
time . 8-)
 

CC Hunter

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...well....consider this historian has done the studying of the first 30 years already done and I just shared it with you.I have spent countless hours on the subject and have read hundreds of period journals.....there is NO mystery,and I can tell you I have never ever once heard any of these often very detailed journalist ever mention using their frying pan to pan with..that is something I would think they would mention?Nor have I ever read of the early '49-55 miners ever mention the use of mercury...that was later when Hydraulic mining became popular,but even then I can not recall ever reading of them using there cooking vessel to burn mercury off.I can not now but I will post a few pics to support my claims


Mercury was in widespread use well before 1855, and is actually mentioned in many accounts, journals, and other sources. :read2:

There are even daguerreotype images of quicksilver machines in use during the early years. The New Almaden Quicksilver Mines were in fact in operation long before James Marshall spotted his first glimmer of yellow in the freshly cleared tailrace for Johann Sutter's lumber mill in January 1848. Rapid demand for quicksilver by 1850, had even begun to outpace the production capacity at California's New Almaden mines.


Note the following article printed in the Sacramento Transcript, of August 30, 1850,
a reprint of the published article from the Daily Globe and the Daily Alta California of August 28, 1850:

Amalgamation of Gold by Mercury.


Many are separating the minute and finer gold which occurs in the gravel, silt, and clay, in California and elsewhere, by quicksilver, which forms an amalgam, usually of one part gold and eight parts mercury. This amalgam is subsequently tied in fine stout cloth or dressed skins, and pressed and kneaded thoroughly, to separate and obtain all the mercury possible, previously to the heating and volatilizing tho mercury from the gold entirely. Much caution is requisite in heating the gold amalgam, for it is very volatile, and if heated as described, in an open crucible, ladle, or " iron spoon," the mercury escapes in fumes and minute globules, and charges the atmosphere, which is inhaled by the operator and those in the immediate vicinity, inducing prompt and severe sore mouth, spongy gums, tremblings, ulcerations, 'and swelling of limbs, paralysis and death. There is much reason to suspect that some of the California "miners' scurvy" may be veritable niercurialization, by inhalation. The amalgam after pressing, should be securely enclosed in an iron retort, with a long neck, which should have a linen cloth, forming a pouch or bag, and thoroughly moistened, secured to its mouth by a string, before plunging the end in water. This moistened cloth muzzle secures the complete condensation of the volatilized mercury, which the water, without it, would not, as it is escaping from the neck of retort. The positive unhealthiness of mercury distillation, in all cases, justifies the foregoing exactness and specific instructions, and prompts to this publication.

H. H.




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Quicksilver Machines

George Payson in the first-hand account of his journey to the mines, Golden Dreams and Leaden Realities, published in 1853, tells of a "Virginia Rocker" brought all the way from the East, as well as other gold recovery machines, utilizing quicksilver as well.

We may note from the following article, reference to the use of quicksilver (mercury), in the Carolina and Georgia gold mines, occurring before California's great rush in 49'.

From the Sacramento Transcript, May 9, 1850:


Machinery.
In this age of the world the chance of success is small to any one who depends entirely upon main strength. Every day witnesses some improvement, by which those early to take advantage of it steal a march on all competitors. Modern genius is doing wonders in every department of life. The world is becoming civilized, if we may use the expression, by steam; and electricity is bringing hitherto distant lands into close proximity, and binding them together in nervous sympathy. The great saving in labor which has been brought about by modern improvements,and the introduction of machinery, has already had, and must continue to have an important influence upon the affairs of the world. And every new invention, which economises in this respect, should be considered a blessing to society.
An important field for inventive genius, is opened in California. There are millions of acres of land on our mountain slopes, every auriferous foot of which is destined, by means of water applied in an artificial manner, to be separated into its constituent elements — earth and the precious metal. How to wash a large quantity of earth in a short time, with the least possible amount of work, becomes a matter of great importance ; for in proportion to the expense of this process will be, in a great measure, the profits of mining. Hence, all must be aware of the advantage to be gained by the use of machinery in our mines. Already have many practical men turned their attention to this subject, and perhaps no experienced miner can be found who cannot call to mind several useful machines for obtaining gold, invented and manufactured in California. And if we review the history of mining in California for the past two years, we find in that time there have been very important changes in the modes of extracting the gold. For the first few months after the discoveries at Sutter's Mill, we read that the gold in this section was obtained by simply washing the earth in tin pans. At that time, it was also published in the States, that a long trough, dug in the trunk of a tree,was an improvement upon the tin pan process, as six men could keep it in motion and pour on water, by which means more washing could be done, than if the whole six had each a pan.
Last year the common rocker came into almost universal use. In the course of the season, however,
quicksilver machines began to be talked of, and several lots of the kind used in Carolina and Georgia arrived here, and brought enormous prices. These machines weighed from three to four hundred pounds, and many who paid one thousand dollars to procure one, were subjected to an expense of one or two hundred dollars in getting it to the diggings. When there, if the proprietors were not fortunate enough to stop in a favorable location for mining, the expense and labor of constantly moving these unwieldy machines generally discouraged their use.
Recently, quicksilver has come more generally into use, and the advantage thus gained is beginning to be appreciated. Where miners have decided to remain long in a single place, they can well afford the expense necessary to commence operations on scientific principles. Light machines have been manufactured to be used in connection with quicksilver, which do away with the principal objections against the heavy rockers of Georgia origin. So. great is the demand for mining implements,, that their manufacture is attracting the attention of mechanics, and already may be found in every town of any note establishments devoted' exclusively to this business.
An extensive concern of this kind may be found in this city, on M street, near the Pacific Theatre. Messrs. Woodcock & Burnett, the proprietors, came to this country last year, and spent a part of the season in the mines. Being ingenious mechanics, they found, after a little experience, that a vast amount of labor could be saved by having proper tools to work with. They came to this city and established themselves in their present location, and commenced making such machines as were called for. Meanwhile, Mr. W. built a machine on a plan of his own, which has since been used a good deal, and it certainly has the appearance of being an important improvement. It is called "Woodcock's Double Action Machine." It is about five feet long, with a coarse riddle over the whole length of the top, and a fine riddle extends about three feet underneath the coarse one ; the latter carrying off the principal part of the sediment that falls through the one above, while the fine gold or dust falls through it into quicksilver. It is so constructed, that the coarse gold lodges before it reaches the quicksilver. The whole apparatus weighs only seventy-five pounds, and it can be divided into two parts of about equal weight; thus it can be moved from place to place, without difficulty. From four to six men are required to work this machine to advantage.
Messrs. W. &, B. also manufacture the Burke Rocker, long in use in the gold mines of Georgia. They have reduced its weight from three or four hundred, to seventy-five pounds, while the machine still retains all its original qualities. The common rocker is constructed by these gentleman in an improved manner, as by a trifling alteration in the construction of the upper part, quicksilver can be used, it is said, advantageously. These machines only weigh from fifteen to twenty-five pounds, and, whenever the miner wishes to move, ten minutes time is all that is necessary to make preparations for a journey. Hence these machines are extensively used, and will continue to be, till people become less restless, and commence operations on a more permanent basis than has heretofore been the case.



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kuger

kuger

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Mercury was in widespread use well before 1855, and is actually mentioned in many accounts, journals, and other sources. :read2:

There are even daguerreotype images of quicksilver machines in use during the early years. The New Almaden Quicksilver Mines were in fact in operation long before James Marshall spotted his first glimmer of yellow in the freshly cleared tailrace for Johann Sutter's lumber mill in January 1848. Rapid demand for quicksilver by 1850, had even begun to outpace the production capacity at California's New Almaden mines.


Note the following article printed in the Sacramento Transcript, of August 30, 1850,
a reprint of the published article from the Daily Globe and the Daily Alta California of August 28, 1850:

Amalgamation of Gold by Mercury.


Many are separating the minute and finer gold which occurs in the gravel, silt, and clay, in California and elsewhere, by quicksilver, which forms an amalgam, usually of one part gold and eight parts mercury. This amalgam is subsequently tied in fine stout cloth or dressed skins, and pressed and kneaded thoroughly, to separate and obtain all the mercury possible, previously to the heating and volatilizing tho mercury from the gold entirely. Much caution is requisite in heating the gold amalgam, for it is very volatile, and if heated as described, in an open crucible, ladle, or " iron spoon," the mercury escapes in fumes and minute globules, and charges the atmosphere, which is inhaled by the operator and those in the immediate vicinity, inducing prompt and severe sore mouth, spongy gums, tremblings, ulcerations, 'and swelling of limbs, paralysis and death. There is much reason to suspect that some of the California "miners' scurvy" may be veritable niercurialization, by inhalation. The amalgam after pressing, should be securely enclosed in an iron retort, with a long neck, which should have a linen cloth, forming a pouch or bag, and thoroughly moistened, secured to its mouth by a string, before plunging the end in water. This moistened cloth muzzle secures the complete condensation of the volatilized mercury, which the water, without it, would not, as it is escaping from the neck of retort. The positive unhealthiness of mercury distillation, in all cases, justifies the foregoing exactness and specific instructions, and prompts to this publication.

H. H.




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CC<you are absolutly right...I mis-wrote....you know I am full aware of the use of mercury...I meant using it in the same pan they ate in

I have to give thanks to my good friend Mr.CC for the 5 piece pan as well
 
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Thegreek

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I recently acquired this pan from an experienced source. Im a western americana collector but not extensively knowledgeable about pans. I was told this is a 1850's pan, and that its condition is very rare. So is this a 4 panel pan? Any thoughts and perspectives as to this pan's authenticity, age, and rarity would be very welcomed. Thanks.
 

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