Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/192

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justification for their ideas. Many a person who sought to increase his fortune by mining, kept the matter a secret, so as not to injure his standing with his more conservative business associates. Since then, however, people have realized that there is good as well as bad in gold mining, as in every other business, and the credit of the industry has improved greatly, so that more and more interest is being taken in it.

Production of Gold ix the United States[1]

The production of gold in the United States up to 1834 has been estimated at $14,000,000,[2] all of it from the southern states. In 1834 the annual production was about $1,000,000, and in 1853 the discoveries in California had increased it to about $65,000,000. Later, the exhaustion of some of the California mines caused the production of the United States to fall off, until, with various fluctuations, it sank to $31,801,000 in 1885. Since then the renewed interest in gold mining has increased the production. In 1895 it had risen to $46,610,000, and in 1905 it was $88,180,700, while in 1909 it reached $99,673,400, an annual production not known to have been exceeded to that time by any country except the Transvaal.

The total production of the United States in gold, since that metal was first mined in this country, in the early part of the last century, up to the end of 1909, has been $3,165,304,400.[3] When it is remembered that most of this immense sum has been produced since 1848, some idea can be had of its vast effect on the political and economic conditions, not only of the United States but of the world.

Future of Gold Mining in the United States

It is difficult to make accurate predictions about the future of any mining industry except from the mines already known, and even then such predictions are liable to grave error. The difficulty, however, becomes still greater when we discuss the possibility of the discovery of new mines, and this is especially true in the United States, where there are wide regions in which new mines might be found, but where no one can yet say that they do exist.

A striking feature of past experience is the fact that many of the greatest gold discoveries in the United States were made in regions that were already well known, and in some cases had been passed over

  1. Space does not permit giving here detailed figures of the production of gold in different parts of the United States, and only enough statistics are given to make the present paper intelligible. Fuller statistics are easily obtained in the Reports of the Director of the Mint, the "Mineral Resources of the United States" and the "Mineral Industry."
  2. Annual Report, Director of the Mint, 1910.
  3. Annual Report, Director of the Mint, 1910.