This Week in Colorado History September 27 – October 3: Mills and Messages

Revolutionary Mining Technology
Technology is not the exclusive domain of the 21st century, as the article “Clear Creek County: Silver Plume Concentration Works” illustrates.  This week in 1877, The Colorado Miner spotlighted the Silver Plume Concentration Works, a mill run by a man known as E. Eddy, Esq.  This then-revolutionary mill was able to process 25 tons of rock per day while employing only 5 workers.  The rocks, containing only very small amounts of the desired minerals, were first thoroughly crushed, and then sifted down to the slime tables.  Eventually, the rock was removed and the desired mineral emerged.
The original article concluded the discussion of the mills with, “The machinery of the mill combines simplicity with perfection in a remarkable degree; and the entire separation of the different minerals, the clean work done, and the present reputation of the mill and its management, coupled with the valuable dump-piles which dot our mountain slopes…will secure it a steady and permanent business; and we feel reasonably certain that any mineral which cannot be successfully treated at the Silver Plume Concentration Works may be considered worthless”  

In other news…
Speaking in the opera house is a good way to promote a political campaign, but the citizens of Georgetown found a more exciting one in September of 1877.  The town woke one morning shortly before Election Day to discover the message, “Women’s Suffrage Approved” affixed to the door of the home of “a noted bachelor.” Whether this particular campaign met with any success is unknown. It would be 43 more year before the message was true nationally.

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