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Anyone know what this is....assayer equipment ?


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A friend of mine bought a a bunch of stuff at a estate sale of a man who was at one time a assayer in California. It's dated 1915 and Royal Manufacturing....we can't seem to figure out what it is or was used for. Anyone have any ideas....?


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It's a doodlebug - doodlebug is an old mining term for any custom made contraption.

It looks like a grind amalgamator for a small stamp mill. The purpose being to regrind the stamp product to size and to introduce mercury to the output. I'm guessing the homemade separators are for dust and tailings control. The amalgamator could be run wet or dry in most cases. It's pretty small so it could have been a one off for bulk assay work.

Here's a modern example of a grind amalgamator.


Here's an old one:


Edited by clay
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Can you get us more photos, from other side & of whole thing + one of feed end..?

What says Royal Mfg..? -- the piece at the bottom that looks like a blower..?

Looks like a home made combo mill / forced air / gravity separator to me..


Edit -- Oh, looks like Clay's got it, or durn close..

Edited by Swampstomper Al
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Looks like the pulverizer feed is run by the white engine, that feeds down to a blower, that blows it up the tube where gravity lets the heavies fall down the other tube and lights blown out the other end..... :th: maybe???? hahahaha what a hoot, I think Dr Seuss has it right as convolution is not the solution. GOOGLE got nothing close either?? The hunt is on, patent #s, good idea-John

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Ya know, I always wanted to be a 'Star Bellied Sneetch', they were the best 'Sneetches on the Beaches'. But lo only my belly now looks like theirs, no star but it does have scars.

Looks like that contraption is powered by a Johnson outboard motor with a long shaft running down to the hopper on the bottom (Might be a blower). The object in front of the motor looks like a headlight frame that is welded on a support and might be used as a funnel. We could use more pictures????

A way up the San Domingo Wash there is a old mine works that has a lot of Rube Goldberg gismos in it that resembles this one. Some of these old timers were real genius in there modifications of working apparatus.

Old Tom

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