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Ophir Mine Photo ca. 1870
  Souvenir Mining Spoon Ophir Mine Virginia City Nev.JPG - SOUVENIR MINING SPOON OPHIR MINE VIRGINIA CITY NEVADA- Sterling silver souvenir spoon, commemorating the Ophir Mine, Virginia City, Nevada, handle in a very nice pattern, gold finished bowl with hand engraved scene of mining building complex with smoke stacks and railroad tracks in the front, marked OPHIR MINE, VIRGINIA NEV., measures 5 5/8 in. long, back marked STERLING PAT. 1898 and maker’s mark of Towle Manufacturing Co. [The Comstock Lode is a lode of silver ore located under the eastern slope of Mt. Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range in Nevada. It was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States.  After its discovery in 1859, mining camps soon thrived in the vicinity, which became bustling centers of fabulous wealth, including Virginia City and Gold Hill. In 1857, the Grosh brothers, Ethan and Hosea, discovered a vein of ore on the slope of Mt. Davidson, but died before they could develop their mine.  They left a trunk with ore samples and documentation with another local prospector, Henry Comstock.  In 1859, Peter O’Riley and Pat McLaughlin discovered silver while prospecting for gold in the same area.  Assays confirmed the richness of the find.  Comstock, remembering the contents of the abandoned trunk, used an accusation claim jumping to gain a partnership with O’Riley and McLaughlin and three others.  Their discovery would become the fabulous Ophir Mine, the first of several mines developed along a north-to-south corridor from above Virginia City to below Gold Hill that would define the Comstock Lode. Like many prospectors in those days, the original partners sold their shares early and did not benefit from the riches yet to be mined.  As was common with the Comstock mines, the rock in the Ophir Mine was soft and easily collapsed into the working stopes. Unlike most silver ore deposits, which occur in long thin veins, those of the Comstock Lode occurred in discrete masses often hundreds of feet thick. The ore was so soft it could be removed by shovel. Although this allowed the ore to be easily excavated, the weakness of the surrounding material resulted in frequent and deadly cave-ins. The excavations were carried to depths of more than 3,200 feet.  The cave-in problem was solved in 1860 by the method of square set timbering invented by Philip Deidesheimer, a German mining engineer, who had been appointed superintendent of the Ophir Mine.  Using Deidesheimer’s invention, as ore was removed it was replaced by timbers set as a cube six feet on a side. Thus, the ore body would be progressively replaced with a timber lattice. Often these voids would be re-filled with waste rock from other diggings after ore removal was complete. By this method of building up squares of framed timbers, an ore vein of any width could be safely worked to any height or depth. Deidesheimer refused to patent his invention and eventually was bankrupted by speculation in mining stocks in 1878.  Production in the Comstock Lode mines peaked in 1877 but mining continued into the later-1900’s.  About 192 million ounces of silver and about 8.3 million ounces of gold were produced from the Comstock Lode from 1859-1986.  Eighty percent of this production was prior to 1880.  At the time of production the precious metal value totaled $412 million.  At 2009 prices, the total value was about $11 billion with $3 billion in silver and $8 billion in gold.  Huge individual fortunes were made through the Comstock Lode.  Four Irishmen, John W. Mackay, James G. Fair, James C. Flood and William S. O’Brien, formed a business partnership, the Consolidated Virginia Mining Company, in Virginia City which dealt in silver stocks and operation of mines on the Comstock Lode. These four men became known as the Silver Kings of the Comstock.  In addition, George Hearst, a future US Senator from California, became a partner in the largest private mining firm in the US which owned and operated the Ophir Mine as well as other gold and silver mining interests that established his fortune.  William C. Ralston, founder of the Bank of California, and his partner William Sharon, Nevada agent for the Bank of California, both made enormous profits from the Comstock Lode.  William M. Stewart, who abandoned mining to become a wealthy attorney in Virginia City, Nevada, participated in mining litigation and the development of mining on the Comstock Lode. As Nevada became a state in 1864, Stewart assisted in developing its constitution, and became the first United States Senator from Nevada.]  
Souvenir Mining Spoon Bowl Ophir Mine Virginia City Nev
Souvenir Mining Spoon Reverse Ophir Mine Virginia City Nev
Souvenir Mining Spoon Bowl Reverse Ophir Mine Virginia City Nev
Big Indian Mine Helena, Montana ca 1904
Big Indian Mine Helena MT

Souvenir Mining Spoon Ophir Mine Virginia City Nev | SOUVENIR MINING SPOON OPHIR MINE VIRGINIA CITY NEVADA- Sterling silver souvenir spoon, commemorating the Ophir Mine, Virginia City, Nevada, handle in a very nice pattern, gold finished bowl with hand engraved scene of mining building complex with smoke stacks and railroad tracks in the front, marked OPHIR MINE, VIRGINIA NEV., measures 5 5/8 in. long, back marked STERLING PAT. 1898 and maker’s mark of Towle Manufacturing Co. [The Comstock Lode is a lode of silver ore located under the eastern slope of Mt. Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range in Nevada. It was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States. After its discovery in 1859, mining camps soon thrived in the vicinity, which became bustling centers of fabulous wealth, including Virginia City and Gold Hill. In 1857, the Grosh brothers, Ethan and Hosea, discovered a vein of ore on the slope of Mt. Davidson, but died before they could develop their mine. They left a trunk with ore samples and documentation with another local prospector, Henry Comstock. In 1859, Peter O’Riley and Pat McLaughlin discovered silver while prospecting for gold in the same area. Assays confirmed the richness of the find. Comstock, remembering the contents of the abandoned trunk, used an accusation claim jumping to gain a partnership with O’Riley and McLaughlin and three others. Their discovery would become the fabulous Ophir Mine, the first of several mines developed along a north-to-south corridor from above Virginia City to below Gold Hill that would define the Comstock Lode. Like many prospectors in those days, the original partners sold their shares early and did not benefit from the riches yet to be mined. As was common with the Comstock mines, the rock in the Ophir Mine was soft and easily collapsed into the working stopes. Unlike most silver ore deposits, which occur in long thin veins, those of the Comstock Lode occurred in discrete masses often hundreds of feet thick. The ore was so soft it could be removed by shovel. Although this allowed the ore to be easily excavated, the weakness of the surrounding material resulted in frequent and deadly cave-ins. The excavations were carried to depths of more than 3,200 feet. The cave-in problem was solved in 1860 by the method of square set timbering invented by Philip Deidesheimer, a German mining engineer, who had been appointed superintendent of the Ophir Mine. Using Deidesheimer’s invention, as ore was removed it was replaced by timbers set as a cube six feet on a side. Thus, the ore body would be progressively replaced with a timber lattice. Often these voids would be re-filled with waste rock from other diggings after ore removal was complete. By this method of building up squares of framed timbers, an ore vein of any width could be safely worked to any height or depth. Deidesheimer refused to patent his invention and eventually was bankrupted by speculation in mining stocks in 1878. Production in the Comstock Lode mines peaked in 1877 but mining continued into the later-1900’s. About 192 million ounces of silver and about 8.3 million ounces of gold were produced from the Comstock Lode from 1859-1986. Eighty percent of this production was prior to 1880. At the time of production the precious metal value totaled $412 million. At 2009 prices, the total value was about $11 billion with $3 billion in silver and $8 billion in gold. Huge individual fortunes were made through the Comstock Lode. Four Irishmen, John W. Mackay, James G. Fair, James C. Flood and William S. O’Brien, formed a business partnership, the Consolidated Virginia Mining Company, in Virginia City which dealt in silver stocks and operation of mines on the Comstock Lode. These four men became known as the Silver Kings of the Comstock. In addition, George Hearst, a future US Senator from California, became a partner in the largest private mining firm in the US which owned and operated the Ophir Mine as well as other gold and silver mining interests that established his fortune. William C. Ralston, founder of the Bank of California, and his partner William Sharon, Nevada agent for the Bank of California, both made enormous profits from the Comstock Lode. William M. Stewart, who abandoned mining to become a wealthy attorney in Virginia City, Nevada, participated in mining litigation and the development of mining on the Comstock Lode. As Nevada became a state in 1864, Stewart assisted in developing its constitution, and became the first United States Senator from Nevada.] Download Original Image
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