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About this collection

Mining booms throught the West spurred much of the growth of communities and the connecting railroads. Initial mining rushes were based on the discovery of gold, but the development of silver and lead mines took greater technology and required large influxes of capital to develop the mines, build the smelting facilities and extend the railway lines. The photographs in this collection reflect the small-scale miners as well as the workers for the giant mining corporations. Included are photographs from the mining strikes in Idaho in 1899. Miners in British Columbia and Alaska round out the collection with many small-scale gold miners.

 
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