Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/619

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
601
ANCIENT COPPER-MINES OF ISLE ROYALE.

in the bracing air of a highland region, the efficacy of the grape-cure surpasses all the miracles of the king's touch. It will cure children, "too scrofulous to look out of their eyes," cheaper and quicker than any nostrums, and has the still greater advantage of eliminating instead of suppressing the virus.

Those who deny the pharmaceutic efficacy of the homœopathic sugar-pellets can not deny that, in this case, homœopathy has proved the possibility of curing diseases without any drugs at all—merely by a change of diet and regimen. Frugality, abstinence, bathing, ventilation, cold water, and exercise in the open air, have already superseded half the materia of the old medical dogmatists, and personal experience has convinced me that the following diseases of children are amenable to a strictly hygienic treatment.

 

ANCIENT COPPER-MINES OF ISLE ROYALE.
By Professor N. H. WINCHELL.

THESE mines are rude, irregularly disposed, shallow pits in the general surface, which, on being cleared of rubbish, are found rarely to exceed the depth of ten feet, but in some instances reach the depth of twenty. They seem to have been located by the accidental outcropping of native copper, over large areas the rock being entirely bare. In other cases, the mining seems to have been systematically prosecuted along the strike of a known copper-bearing belt of rock. In this case it is a rock of marked lithological characters, being of a red color, and, when once its trend was established by a series of pits, it was followed under the drift-materials, that were thrown off into heaps, in which are found, mingled with charred wood and other relics, a great many stone hammers. In one instance, a cross-drift ran under a rude archway from one red belt to another, through a thin partition of darker rock; but, in general, no planning for easy excavation or skillful and prolonged effort in the operations of the miners can be discovered. So far as can be ascertained, they resorted to the very simplest and most laborious methods of excavation in the rock, using their stone hammers, wielded in the hands alone, sometimes aided perhaps by the application of heat, and by repeated blows battered and broke away the rock surrounding the copper masses. When once a mass was detached or sufficiently uncovered, it was parted into smaller pieces by the same means. Some of the masses found, being too large for removal from the pits, show the marks of long-continued pounding, and about them in the pits are a great many small, thin chips of metallic copper, of irregular shapes, with concavo-convex surfaces, exactly such as would be produced by battering a small nugget of