National Geographic : 1960 Jan
I'm From New Jersey tains near Dover served ironmasters; more than 200 iron diggings were worked after the first "black stone" was mined in Morris County about 1710. Weeds now choke the en trances of all but a few of the mines. Still, more than a million tons of ore is extracted each year; mines at Mt. Hope and Mine Hill go down more than 2,700 feet-two of the deepest mine shafts in the East. A million tons of iron ore is as nothing to the needs of New Jersey industry. Actu ally, the State's natural resources cannot begin to satisfy Jersey industry's enormous appe tite. Transportation is the great equalizer, the link in the beginning with sources of raw materials and the link in the end with markets the world over. New Jersey relies on its outlets to the sea. Docks jut into the Hudson River at Jersey City, Hoboken, and Weehawken, calling for trade in rivalry with the docks of New York, just a river width away. Innr)AHROME(O NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Wharves as far up the Delaware as Camden likewise lure ocean ships. Heavily laden hulls supply the State's many chemical plants. Three plants, two in Perth Amboy and one in Carteret, provide a third of the Nation's copper refining capacity. The basis of this major New Jersey industry is simple: copper concentrates come in by boat; the refined metal goes out by barge. On a visit to one of the plants, I heard constant talk of "by-products" in the copper concentrates. "By-products?" I asked. "You know," said a spokesman, "gold, sil ver, platinum, iridium. Things like that." Totals generally are closely guarded secrets, but I learned that in 1958 one Middlesex County plant recovered gold and silver worth $36,000,000. By-products, indeed! Salt Marshes Fend Off a City Traffic in Jersey's industrial corridor prob ably is unrivaled. The New Jersey Turnpike alone carries a million vehicles a week! Be tween New Brunswick and Jersey City runs some of the heaviest rail traffic on earth. Fortunately, nature left a great open area for maneuverability-the Jersey Meadows, thirty thousand acres of scarcely conquered swampland within full view of skyscrapers in both New York City and Newark. Once the bottom of a glacial lake, the Mead ows now are flooded daily by changing tides. Sedges seven feet tall wave like a green lake in summertime, turning to crisp, dry stalks in winter. Billboards scream the merits of New York hotels and Broadway plays. Beneath them, muskrat trappers roam. The Meadows are ringed now with industry tied to hundreds of rail sidings. Transpor tation pulls out all the stops at Port Newark, which only 50 years ago was muskrat marshes and garbage dumps. Sea, truck, railroad, and air facilities meet at the port. Similarly, transportation accounts for the industry of Jersey City, Bayonne, Hoboken, Farms Lay a Green-and-gold Carpet; Distant Hills Roll to the Delaware New Jersey cropland yields more cash per acre than that of any other State, a distinc tion made possible by men who farm like scientists and compute like businessmen. This harvester mows unripened Indian corn. Fermented in silo or trench, the ears, leaves, and stems are fed to livestock.