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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/469

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based on data collected by him at a point in the alluvium in India where the natives had for ages gathered the mineral. Those by Count Bournon were the results of his studies of the mineral at Paris, from specimens brought him from several points, especially in India and Ceylon. At a later date, we have interesting information from Sir Alexander Burnes as to the celebrated ruby locality of ancient Bactria; and from Sir James Tennent and Sir Samuel Baker, as to the famed sapphire districts of Ceylon, which were carefully examined by them during a protracted residence there. A most interesting account of these localities was also published in the Ceylon Observer for June, 1855, by Mr. William Stewart, of Colombo. In the American Journal of Science for the years 1850, 1851, and 1866, are three papers on granular corundum, or emery, by Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, of Kentucky; the first two descriptive of the emeries of Asia Minor, and localities on the islands of the Ægean Sea; the third, on the mine in Western Massachusetts, known as the Chester mine. These papers are of the first importance in all questions concerning the commercial emeries of our own or foreign countries, and cover the ground of investigation to the date of the North Carolina discovery, and the communications thereon, enumerated in the opening paragraph of this article.

Up to the date of 1871, corundum, or its gems, had never been found in situ. Both were looked for in mountain-torrents, or beds of gravel at their base. Emery had for many years been mined in the islands of the Ægean Sea, but had not been scientifically studied in position, until the researches of Dr. Smith, alluded to; since which date, however, it has been found in place at various points in our own and other lands. About the year 1800 it became known that corundum existed, in small quantities, all along the mountain-line of seacoast, from Maine to Georgia; and, twenty-five years since, it was found in bowlders, in considerable quantities, in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Near the same time a large fragment of massive sapphire was picked up in Western North Carolina, and elicited much attention from mineralogists; but, careful further search in the locality for it being fruitless, there has been since but little effort to find it at any point in the Appalachian range. Whatever effort was made, however, settled the point that corundum existed, in considerable quantity and different degrees of purity, at twenty-five or more localities scattered from New York to Northern Alabama.

In the spring of 1871 Colonel C. W. Jenks, of St. Louis, being in want of an abrasive more powerful than Naxos emery, started out into the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina in search of corundum, in sufficient quantity to mine profitably. From many localities where the mineral showed itself, he selected one near the head-waters of the Tennessee, in Southwestern North Carolina, nine miles east from Franklin, the county-seat of Macon, and commenced his work. A