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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/771

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penses of the mine, which worked 110,000 tons of ore during those two years, were nearly $(3,000,000. It is believed that twice as much could easily have been paid in dividends, but, as the president of the company said, "every shareholder was crazy and wanted it snaked out at once at any cost." Gould and Curry, July 1, 1863, was selling at $6,300 per foot (the old way of measuring values); in July, 1864, it was worth only $900. Belcher was one of the dividend mines of the Comstock, having paid $16,000,000 up to 1880. It had 104,000 shares after 1869. In that year prices ranged from $12 to $35; in 1870, sank from $36 to $1; in January, 1871, rose to $6, and in December to $450; in January,

PSM V49 D771 Alta mine mill and dump on gold hill.jpg
Alta Mine, Mill, and Dump, Gold Hill.

1872, sank to $6, and in April rose to $1,525, fluctuating all that summer down to $1.50, up to $95, and back and forth after this fashion for years. Once it rose in a month from 25 cents to $113 a share. Out of 103 Washoe mines listed, only six ever paid more money in dividends than they levied in assessments. These six were Consolidated Virginia, California, Belcher, Crown Point, Gould and Carry, and Kentuck. Some of the assessments levied upon mines that never paid a cent to the stockholders remain unparalleled in mining history. Ten mines sank nearly $17,000,000 before 1880. Assessments on Bullion were $3,352,000; on Overman, $3,162,800. Alta, Baltimore, Caledonia, Mexico, Imperial—these and other non-producers are still remembered with sorrow by thousands of investors.