National Geographic : 1897 Jul
202 MINERAL PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES since 1889. The most remarkable increase, however, is that of aluminum, the production of which has increased from 18,000 pounds, worth $59,000, in 1887, to 1,300,000 pounds, valued at $520,000, in 1896, the value per pound having fallen, as will be perceived, from $3.28 to 40 cents within the period named. To return to a comparison of the statistics of 1896 and 1895, an increase in the production of bituminous coal from 135, 118,193 to 137,640,276 short tons has been accompanied by a sufficient decline in prices to reduce the total value of the output from $115,749,771 to $114,891,515. On the other hand, a con siderably smaller production of Pennsylvania anthracite has represented almost as great a value in the market as the output of the previous year. The production of building stone has been the smallest in point of value (quantities not being reported) since 1888, but the estimated production of brick clay is still represented by the same round figures, $9,000,000, that have done duty for the last half-dozen years. There appears to have been a considerable increase (nearly 4,000,000 gallons, or over 18 per cent) in the sale of mineral waters. It would be interesting to know how far this remarkable increase is due to the use of non-medicinal mineral waters for table pur poses, and how far it is to be attributed to the apparently largely increased use of lithia water as a remedy for certain bodily ail ments that seem to be peculiarly characteristic of our time. Of the remaining principal products reported upon, petroleum reaches, in 60,960,361 barrels, the highest figures its production has ever attained; salt shows a slight increase in production, with a considerable decrease in value, and the production of borax-no less than 13,508,000 pounds-is the largest on record, with the single exception of that of 1894. J. H.