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Bucket Dredge Pics - 1940's to 1960's


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Hey guys, 

I thought these would be worth sharing. I while back I had a lady email me saying that she had boxes and boxes of mining pictures on 35mm slides, several hundred pics in total. She was going to throw them away because she didn't know what to do with them. Luckily she contacted me and asked if I wanted them. Heck yes I do!

The pics were taken by her late father, Charles Romanowitz who he worked for the Yuba Dredge Company from 1941 through the mid 1960s. He traveled around to various goldfield around the world. I've got to sort through them and transfer them to digital. There are hundred of pictures, as far as I know they haven't been seen by anyone for decades. Most of the pics from California and Alaska, but also some from Korea, Russia, Indonesia, and the Panama Canal. 

For a mining nerd like me these are pure gold. Lots of the pics show the internal workings of the dredges, stuff that you don't see very often. I'll share a few here as if people are interested... 

 

 

 

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Edited by IDdesertman
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Hey guys,  I thought these would be worth sharing. I while back I had a lady email me saying that she had boxes and boxes of mining pictures on 35mm slides, several hundred pics in total. She was

Not a dredge but built by the Yuba Dredge company.  This one is up for auction.  https://gobidtoday.hibid.com/lot/45656906/yuba-ball-tread-tractor-model-10-20 In 1914, the Ball Tread Company

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Thanks for sharing. Great pictures for sure.

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Cool! Yes, keep showing them :ya:

Tom H.

 

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Here are a few more.. all of these so far are labeled "Yuba Mining Co. Dredge #129" Good News Bay, Alaska. Another note on this box says "First designed for clean stream gravels, later extreme clay loads".

From what I could find is would have been a platinum dredging operation. Some seriously remote country! 

Good News Bay, Alaska (link to map)

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Edited by IDdesertman
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Imagine being a day or two before the start of the season, and dropping a crucial bolt or lynchpin overboard, with the nearest replacement in Seattle.  Such hiccups occurred with unfortunate regularity (still do, when doing any sort of work in the bush).  A rudimentary onboard machine shop, and a man to run it, was critical.  There must have been some amazingly creative fellows working on those dredges.

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Thanks for the pictures... We used to have a bucket line dredge here near Callahan. (uncle Ron may remember it?) They dismantled it 40? years ago and I think it went to S. America

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Another pic from Good News Bay, AK. Men inspecting the "working end" of the dredge. 

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Honestly would like to see a coffee table book entitled, "Yuba Dredge Company." With the pics.

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I wonder if the workers slept on that thing while it was working.  With all that yelling, maneuvering, bumping and repositioning going on it was most likely like being on a military ship at sea.  I suppose one gets used to it but it was no walk in the park.  :barnie:

   Old Tom

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1 hour ago, Old Tom said:

I wonder if the workers slept on that thing while it was working.  With all that yelling, maneuvering, bumping and repositioning going on it was most likely like being on a military ship at sea.  I suppose one gets used to it but it was no walk in the park.  :barnie:

   Old Tom

LOL, I bet after a days work on the thing you could sleep anyplace they could hang you on the wall by your shirt collar !

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I have one classifier screen from the dredge that was on the Merced River in Snelling, CA. 3/4 steel with 1/2" holes. Planning to set it on end and get glass marbles to put in the holes for the morning sun to illuminate.

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Here's a few pictures from a dredge in Bear Valley, Idaho. From what I could find, I believe this one operated for just a few years from '56 to '59, and the primary minerals being mined here were Niobium, Tantalum, and Uranium. 

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3 hours ago, IDdesertman said:

Here's a few pictures from a dredge in Bear Valley, Idaho. From what I could find, I believe this one operated for just a few years from '56 to '59, and the primary minerals being mined here were Niobium, Tantalum, and Uranium. 

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I know that most if not all of these big dredges were powered by electricity, but I just assumed that they all had generators onboard, this one seems to had been hardwired.

I wonder if they named these dredges since they floated like ships?

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2 hours ago, Au Seeker said:

I know that most if not all of these big dredges were powered by electricity, but I just assumed that they all had generators onboard, this one seems to had been hardwired.

I wonder if they named these dredges since they floated like ships?

I guess they'd move a few hundred feet, and then plug in at the next power pole, or in some cases plug into a portable power plant onshore?

What amazing contraptions.  I always get the feeling that the blueprints were drawn up on the backs of paper bar napkins after the 11th or 12th tequila of the night. 

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8 hours ago, IDdesertman said:

Here's a few pictures from a dredge in Bear Valley, Idaho. From what I could find, I believe this one operated for just a few years from '56 to '59, and the primary minerals being mined here were Niobium, Tantalum, and Uranium. 

DM123621.jpg

DM123625.jpg

DM123627.jpg

DM123628.jpg

I wonder how you would set up it up to dredge for ores of nobium, uranium and tantalum.

Those ores aren't particularly heavy compared to gold. Seems you'd have modify the process in order to capture those ores as opposed to gold.

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Scroll down to the first several lengthier paragraphs in the below link, and there's information on some of the Bear Valley and Long Valley dredges.  The government apparently helped convert several old gold dredges to recover monazite and rare earth metals.  It was an interesting era of modern mining history.

http://www.akmining.biz/forums/archive/index.php/t-8641765.html?s=d3f0b21da285918b5537d024d8d6b0fe

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