National Geographic : 1929 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph from Visual Education Service TURNING DIRTY ORE INTO HEAVY INGOTS OF ALMOST PURE COPPER In this battery of furnaces, copper gets its last refining treatment. Ore is first melted in furnaces at the left, run off in little ditches, then put in buckets and lifted by machinery to the smaller furnaces on the right, one of which is seen pouring off a bright, white-hot stream of pure molten copper. Slag floats on top. From here the fluid copper is conveyed to a machine which casts it into ingots, for loading and shipping. The interior of a smelting room at Miami, Arizona. "How did you get your start ?" I asked a leading miner. "Did you make a rich strike ?" "No. Fresh from Cornwall, I hit Tomb stone, broke. But I was lucky. I earned $20 the first night, wrestling with a Greek in the old Bird Cage Theater. They ran me in at the last minute, because the Greek's regular opponent was sick. I knew nothing but rough-and-tumble 'Cou sin Jack' style of wrestling; but somehow I flopped my Greek. Later I worked for mining men who mixed science with horse sense, and they let me ride." "A single mine, slighted at first by ex perts, made many of us millionaires." Fears that when mines were worked out Arizona might decline in wealth and popu lation have been allayed since the World War. There are two reasons: First, the increase of farm settlers under new irriga tion projects; second, discovery of ways to mine and smelt copper at lower cost. Where low-grade copper ore occurs in great masses near the top of the ground, as at Bisbee, miners simply blast and use steam shovels. More than I,ooo,oOO tons of rock have been broken by one "shot."