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METHODS OF QUARRYING, CUTTING, AND POLISHING GRANITE.

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The following account of methods of quarrying, cutting, and polishing granite in the United States is taken from the Eleventh Census report, for which it was prepared from field notes taken, under the writer's direction, by Mr. Walter B. Smith:

METHODS OF QUARRYING GRANITE.

Structure of Granite in Place.

The successful and economical working of granite quarries depends upon an intelligent application of a knowledge of the structure of the rock and its natural divisions in the mass, as well as upon improved methods, tools, and machinery for quarrying. The topographical location of the quarry and its relation to facilities for transportation are important factors that affect the productiveness and greatly modify the actual cost of operations in a given place.

In regions of great dynamic movement, such as most granite localities possess, very large rock masses without seams or fissures do not occur; but these fractures, extending as they do in certain definite directions to each other in the mass, form systems of inchoate joints, which divide it into roughly rectangular and rhombic forms, thus rendering valuable assistance to the quarryman. It is probable that the fissures were caused by pressure operating in certain directions during the origin or uplifting of the rock, and it is even possible for it to have been sufficient to change the molecular arrangement of the component minerals. Even those granites which are apparently normal, and which reveal no traces of stratification or parallel arrangement of mica or hornblende, are found by quarrymen and stonecutters to split more easily and with a smoother surface in one or more directions than in others. An unequal pressure operating on the mass would have caused certain directions or lines of weakness and account for this, or it may have produced the apparent rearrangement of the feldspar crystals, as found in a few of the granites.

In northern New England particularly most of the fissures, as revealed by quarry openings, are slightly curved, parallel partings conforming in general to the direction of the slope upon which the quarry may be located. They produce a sheeted arrangement of the rock, which bends in ridges or curves in hilltops like anticlinal or quaquaversal folds of sedimentary strata. In addition to these divisional planes there occur one or more systems of vertical joints, the joints of each system running approximately parallel to each other, though the systems cross at varying angles.

It is interesting to note that the direction of easiest cleavage, called by quarrymen the "rift," is parallel to the most numerous natural fractures, and that at right angles to this another direction of cleavage, called the "grain," is parallel to the system having the next greatest number of joints. When the rift of the rock in place is horizontal, or more nearly horizontal than perpendicular, it is customarily called the "lift." The grain, although important, is not generally an eminent feature, and its direction may remain unknown even for a long time after the quarry is opened. These systems of fracture, and the unequal ease of splitting in different directions, are points generally well understood and advantageously used by experienced granite workers.

Opening the Quarry.

Granite quarries are nearly always started in natural outcroppings of the ledge, but as they are entirely open workings, and necessarily cover large areas, considerable development work is needed at first and from time to time, as the quarry is enlarged, in stripping or clearing away the timber and soil and in removing the weathered portions or cap rock. It sometimes happens, especially in the northeastern region, that a ledge is found showing sound granite at the top, ready for quarrying, having been ground smooth by glacier movement and left bare of soil; but usually long exposed outcroppings have a softer outer portion, called "sap," resulting chiefly from the partial decomposition of the feldspar. This also occurs to a large extent along the seams and fissures, and where the rock contains iron the sap is stained by its oxidation to a brownish or reddish color. The sap may be merely a thin coating, scarcely discernible, or it may be that the rock is rendered unsound for 30 feet or more in depth, as is the case with a certain coarse-grained granite occurring in the Rocky Mountains. The observation of such points in the field will serve as indications of the probable durability of the stone and the stability of its color.

Blasting.

Owing to great diversity in the structure of the rocks classed here as granite, the operations of quarrying necessarily vary considerably even in different openings of the same region. The object desired is, however, the same in all, namely, the removal of large rectangular blocks with the least outlay of time and labor compatible with keeping the quarry in good working shape and avoiding waste. Ordinarily, to break the rock into sizes which can be handled, blasting is necessary. In doing this the object is to direct the force of the powder so that it may break the rock in the desired direction without shattering either the piece removed or the standing rock, but it can be successful only when it is detached at the ends and the bottom and has a chance to move out in front. As the rift in the rock in the majority of quarries approaches the horizontal the first breaks are obviously made either with or across the grain. The method most generally used for doing this is called "lewising," from the shape of the blast hole. A lewis hole is made by drilling close together holes about an inch and a half in diameter and in breaking down the partition between them by means of a flat steel bar, called a "set." This wide hole determines the direction of the required fracture. A "complex" lewis hole is the combination of three ordinary drill holes; a "compound" one, of four; but the latter is seldom used, for if a very long break is to be made a series of lewis holes is drilled at considerable distances apart, and after being charged are fired simultaneously by means of an electric battery.

Another process occasionally used in a few quarries is as follows: A single round hole having been drilled, the explosive is put in, and on top of it an inverted iron wedge, placed between two half-rounds, is carefully lowered; then the tamping is proceeded with in the usual way. When the powder is exploded, the wedge, which is driven forcibly up between the half-rounds, breaks the rock in a direction corresponding to its thin end. One of the worst results of this procedure is that considerable rock near the top of the hole is apt to be huffed or flaked up.

Within a few years past, the Knox system of blasting rock has been introduced and successfully used with general satisfaction in many of the larger quarries. The results obtained are those which were sought for by lewising, but the process is safer, quicker, takes less powder, and, as it never shatters the rock, not only gives good, sound blocks as the product of the blast, but also leaves the standing rock with a perfectly sound, clean face for future operations. A round hole is first drilled to the required depth, and into this is driven a reamer, which produces V-shaped grooves at opposite sides to the entire depth of the hole. The charge is then inserted, and the tamping is done in the usual manner, except that instead of driving the tamping down upon the top of the charge an air space or cushion is reserved between the charge of powder and the tamping and as far above the charge as possible. The explosive has therefore the greatest possible chance for expansion before actually breaking the rock, the tamping being put down only to a sufficient depth to insure firmness of position. The result of this method is that the force of the explosive is directed in the line of the grooves, and no shattering of the rock occurs if it be solid, such as is common in ordinary blasting operations, and, as a consequence, quarrymen are enabled to get out stone of rectangular shape without waste or loss of valuable rock.

Very large blasts or mines are sometimes fired in quarrying granite. A shaft is sunk to the required depth, and from it drifts are run in various directions. These chambers, or drifts, are then charged with explosives and fired. In 1887, at Granite Bend, Missouri, stone enough was broken with one blast to supply the demands of a firm for fifty years. The shaft, which was 85 feet deep, had chambers running in several directions from the bottom, and was charged with 32,700 pounds of black powder.

The explosive used for the breaking out dimension stone is black blasting powder, as its action is somewhat slower than that of the various forms of nitroglycerin, and there is consequently less danger of shattering the rock or of weakening it by starting incipient fractures, that may not be detected until it is in place in a building; but for breaking up poor stone, or for getting out rock regardless of size or form, giant powder is frequently employed.

In a quarry having rather thin sheets and numerous vertical joints very good splits may be made with wedges driven between half-rounds (plug and feather) into small holes drilled a few inches apart along a prescribed line, every few feet a deeper hole of a somewhat larger dimension being drilled to guide the fracture; but this process is chiefly used for subdividing the blocks after they have been loosened by powder and for initial splits in quarries where the drift is vertical.

Drills driven either by steam or compressed air are in use for making blast holes in all the principal quarries. The drill is connected with the piston, which is supported by a portable iron tripod, carrying the necessary appliances for regulating its movements. A flexible pipe conveys the motive power in the form of compressed air or steam.

In smaller quarries these holes are drilled by the "jumper" drill, a long, flat-edged steel bar, which a man holds and turns as it rebounds slightly after each of the swinging blows dealt it by heavy sledges.

Steam channeling machines, common in large marble and sandstone quarries, are used on granite by a few quarriers chiefly for making end cuts in stone of exceptional structure, but only to a limited extent, since the great hardness of granite renders the process very slow and expensive.

The large blocks loosened by blasting are broken and split into sizes of the required approximately dimensions by the plug and feather method. The holes, which are of small diameter, generally not more than three-fourths of an inch, and a few inches only in depth, are made by a drill and hand hammer. Into each hole is inserted two half-rounds or "feathers," tapering pieces of iron, flat on one side and rounded on the other, between which is placed a steel plug or wedge. The wedges are then driven in with a sledge till the strain is sufficient to split the rock.

Methods of Cutting, Polishing, and Ornamenting Granite.

Only a small percentage of granite in rough blocks as it leaves the quarry proper is available for use in this form. Most of it has to be cut to the desired dimensions and brought to the degree of finish required for the special purposes for which it is to be used. Very large blocks and stone designed for uses not requiring fine finish are often worked in the open air, but most quarries have cutting sheds erected near the openings, in which the blocks are worked into their intended form. These sheds vary from merely a rough covering of boards to extensive buildings.

To produce good results great skill is needed by the stonecutter in the manipulation of his tools, and considerable artistic ability is required for the finer kinds of work. From the rough work of simply splitting a block or rudely spalling an ashlar face to the artistic working of highly embellished and complicated statuary carving, a knowledge of the rift and grain is important, as it indicates where heavy blows may be struck and where lighter ones are required.

Owing to the great obduracy of this stone, and the fact that the different minerals composing it vary greatly in hardness, the chief work of shaping it is still performed by hand, probably by much the same process that was used by Egyptian stonecutters more than three thousand years ago. Improvements and inventions have, however, been made from time to time in hand tools, and extensive machinery is now in use for producing certain forms and kinds of finish.

Recent improvements-The most important improvements of the last decade include the more extended adoption of lathes for turning and polishing columns, urns, etc., and new devices in power machinery for plain polishing. Greater economy and speed are now obtained by the general use of chilled iron globules and crushed steel as abrasive materials and of the pneumatic tool for the ornamentation of surfaces.

Implements for cutting-The implements used by stonecutters to produce common forms an ordinary finish are as follows:

Chisel

Various forms and sizes are employed in cutting border drafts, moldings, letters, and ornamental work.

   

Point

A piece of steel bar drawn out to a pyramidal end; used for "roughing out" surfaces and removing "bunches."

   

Hand drills, wedges, and half-rounds

Used for splitting out blocks.

   

Hand hammer

Used in one hand for driving chisels, points, and drills, which are held and guided by the other.

   

Spalling hammer

A heavy square-corned sledge, used for roughly reducing a block by breaking off large chips or spalls from the edges, thus bringing it closer to its intended form.

   

Pean hammer

Shaped like a double-edged wedge, with a handle running parallel with the edges; used to remove irregularities by striking squarely upon a surface and wedging or bruising off small chips.

   

Bush hammer

Made of rectangular steel plates brought to an edge, bolted together, and attached to a long handle; used in the same manner as the pean hammer, but produces a smoother surface, the degree of smoothness depending upon the number of steel plates in the particular hammer used. These hammers, which are all of the same thickness, are called 4-cut, 5-cut, 6-cut, 8-cut, 10-cut, and 12-cut, according to the number of plates used in their construction.

The size, shape, and finish of a stone depend upon the particular place it is to occupy in a building and the style of architecture. Fronts or walls are laid up in various kinds of ranges, usually designed as coursed range, broken range, broken ashlar, random range, and rubble work. The kind of finish given the face of the stone is called either bush hammered, pean hammered, pointed work, or rock face. These may or may not have a border draft chiseled around their margins. Other kinds of finish are chiseled moldings and carved or polished faces.

The usual process followed by stonecutters in shaping blocks may be generalized as follows: The block, having been split out to about the right size by the plug and feather method, is brought to a plane surface on one side, which is accomplished by knocking off overhanging edges and projections with the spalling hammer or spalling tool. Drafts or ledges are then chiseled along two opposite edges. One draft being completed, the workman lays upon it a wooden strip or rule having parallel edges. A second rule is then sunk in the draft made on the opposite side until the two drafts are in the same plane, which is determined by sighting across the upper edges of the rules. The whole face is then worked down to this plane with tools necessary for the required fineness of finish, a straightedge being applied from time to time as the work progresses. The point is used for removing rougher projections. This is followed by the pean hammer, and, if a smoother surface is required, it is made by bush hammering, the hammer having the fewest number of plates being used first. The required size of the face being marked out upon this surface, the position of a second face may be determined by chiseling drafts across the ends of an adjacent surface, using for the purpose either a square or a bevel, depending upon the angle it is desired to make with the first face. The projecting rock between the drafts having been removed in the manner used in forming the first surface, a third face may be projected. A winding surface is formed by using in one draft a rule or strip having its edges not parallel, the amount of divergence depending upon the amount of warp required. This rule is sunk till its upper edge is even with the upper edge of the strip, having parallel edges placed upon the opposite edge of the stone.

A cylindrical surface is worked by using curved rules in one direction, and is not as hard a matter as might at first seem. Much difficulty is, however, encountered in laying out and working spiral, conical, and spherical surfaces, as it is first necessary to form plane and cylindrical faces on which to apply the necessary bevels and templets.

Granite for Building Purposes.

By reference to the table giving the output of granite according to purposes, it will be seen that more stone was used for building than for any other purpose. A great amount of labor by the stonecutter is necessary to fit it for its destined place, but much of this work consists in merely squaring up or subdividing the large blocks as hauled from the quarry opening. Much more work is needed on the stone to be used for fronts, trimmings, and certain portions of superstructures, while for special parts, such as polished columns and ornate keystones and capitals, the greatest skill and longest time are required. The general processes of finer finish will, however, be mentioned further on in connection with cemetery, monumental, and decorative purposes, although all stone designed for superstructures, whether rough or finely wrought, has been tabulated under the heading "Building purposes."

Granite for Street Work.

Paving Blocks.

Experience has demonstrated that the best and most enduring streets for heavy traffic in large cities are those paved with stone blocks of proper material and size laid upon a specially prepared bed. The very hard and tough rocks frequently used, though capable of withstanding a maximum of wear, soon become smooth and glazed under traffic, and are therefore inferior to a stone which, wearing roughly, affords a better foothold for horses. Many of the granitic rocks posses the right degree of hardness and brittleness, and are largely used for this purpose. This industry has increased largely since 1880, the number of granite blocks made in 1889 in the various States aggregating nearly 62,000,000.

Streets paved with the large-sized block used at first were found to be more difficult to keep in repair, worse for horses, and rougher on vehicles than pavements made with the smaller blocks now in general use. There is no uniform standard of size, as specifications of the various cities call for different sizes, but the variations are not great, and blocks 3 to 4 inches wide, 6 to 7 inches deep, and 8 to 12 inches long are generally preferred. In New York City, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia blocks a trifle longer are more commonly used, while in many of the Western and Southern cities the length does not exceed 10 inches. New Orleans, owing to the peculiar nature of its streets, takes blocks much larger.

The manufacturer of paving blocks, though an important adjunct of the granite business, varies nevertheless for obvious reasons in many of its details from the ordinary methods of granite cutting. The high skill and fine workmanship of the stone mason are not needed, but a quickness in seeing and taking advantage of the directions of cleavage, as well as a deftness in handling the necessary tools, is requisite.

Specifications call for blocks so quarried or dressed as to present substantially rectangular faces with practically straight edges. The corresponding dimensions of opposite faces must not vary more than one-half inch, and the surface must be free from bunches, depressions, and inequalities exceeding one-half inch.

The tools used for making blocks are knapping hammers, opening hammers, hand hammers, reels, chisels, and, for initial splits, drills, wedges, and half-rounds. When the block maker quarries his own stock it is called "motion work," and the same process is used as in quarrying stone for other purposes, except that, as large blocks are not required, most of it can be done with plug and feather.

Slabs, having been split out in the usual manner to sizes that may be easily turned over and handled by one man, are subdivided into pieces corresponding approximately to the dimensions of the required blocks. This is done by striking repeated blows upon the rock along the line of the desired break with heavy knapping and opening hammers. When a break is to be made crosswise the grain, it is frequently necessary to chisel a light groove across one face, and commonly across the adjacent sides, to guide the fracture produced by striking on the opposite surface with the opening hammer. Good splits can, however, be made along either the rift or grain by the skillful use of the opening hammer alone. Blocks broken out in the manner described are trimmed and finished with the reel, which is a hand hammer having a long, flat, steel head attached to a short handle. Block breakers become very expert in the use of this instrument, and, without making any measurements, turn out in a surprisingly short time a large number of blocks. In Maine, which is far ahead of any other State in the number of blocks made, the entire product of many quarries is used for this exclusive purpose. This is also the case in California, which comes second, though the blocks are manufactured chiefly from the surface "bowlders" or detached masses of basalt so common in Sonoma County. Other quarries, however, in various parts of the country utilize on the "grout," small or irregular shaped pieces, for making paving blocks, and haul the stock to the breakers, who work in sheds; but the greatest number of blocks are made on the spot where the rock is quarried, the workmen being protected during the hottest months by temporarily spread canvas fly.

Blocks are counted as they are thrown into the cart, which is usually needed to haul them to the shipping point. Several paving-block quarries in Maine are situated on steep mountain slopes so near water communication that blocks may be slid in long board chutes from the quarry directly into the hold of the vessel used for their transportation.

Paving breakers seldom work by the day, but are paid a certain sum per thousand for making the blocks, the price paid in 1889 ranging from $22 to $30, according to the size of block made, kind of stone used, locality, and whether the tools were furnished and the blocks quarried by their employers. Workmen using their own tools are commonly paid $1 more per thousand for the blocks made, and when they quarry the stock they use, from $2 to $5 per thousand is allowed in addition.

Curbing and Basin Heads.

Next in importance to the manufacture of paving blocks, in the division of granite for street work, is the production of long granite slabs for curbstone. Granite having a free rift is preferred for this purpose on account of its better working qualities. The dimensions of ordinary curbstones are from 6 to 12 feet long, 6 to 8 inches thick, and about 2 feet deep. The top edge is made full and square and neatly bush hammered; the face is also bush hammered down about a foot from the top. The ends are dressed smooth, so as to make close joints, and the back of the stone, which is placed next to the sidewalk, is also dressed a few inches from the top.

Other Uses.

Other applications of granite to street work are for flagstone, for cross walks laid at the intersection of streets, and for gutter stone, but these are dressed, when required, in the usual manner, and need no special comment here.

Granite is largely used for making macadam and telford roads and concrete and artificial stone pavements, though it is seldom quarried expressly for this purposes, but made of spalls, grout, and waste from other quarries. The pieces are broken with sledges where coarse stones are needed, or run through power rock breakers when a finer subdivision is required.

Granite for Cemetery, Monumental, and Decorative Purposes.

A considerable portion of the stone for these uses, especially for small-sized monuments, tombstones, and grave markers, is shipped from the quarries in rough blocks, which are suitably shaped and finished by masons working in town shops or stone yards. Large monuments and large polished blocks for buildings, columns, pilasters, and statuary are generally worked at quarry sheds, polishing mills, or shops not far distant.

There has been a decided increase in the use of polished granite for cemetery purposes since the introduction of machinery for its polishing, which has greatly decreased the price for this kind of finish. For these, as well as for all purposes where a polished surface is desired, as bottom courses in buildings, columns, pilasters, wainscoting, etc., the red, pink, dark-gray, and black varieties are in high favor, since they have a richer look and present a much greater contrast between a hammered or chiseled surface and a polished one; but for granite statuary and ornately carved building blocks, and for all purposes where it is desirable to present fine detail, it is necessary that the granite be of a light color, fine grained, and easily worked to secure the best results.

Polished Granite.

The varieties of granite susceptible of the highest and most enduring polish are those containing the largest percentages of the hard minerals, quartz and feldspar, quartz being especially important. Hornblende, however, takes a fairly good polish, and contributes largely to the coloring of most dark granites. Pyroxene of the type occurring in the Quincy granites is rather bad, since owing to its brittleness, it cracks out more or less and leaves small pits in the finished face. Much mica, especially in large plates, is objectionable, as it will not polish, but remains dull and lusterless except where the direction of its cleavage planes happen to coincide with the face of the stone.

After being prepared by bush hammering, the block is transported to the shop or mill to receive further smoothing and its final finish. The surface to be worked upon is brought to a horizontal position and ground smooth with an abrasive material mixed with water and moved about by a revolving iron or steel disk perforated with holes or made of concentric rings. This disk, which is 12 or 14 inches across, is revolved by an upright shaft, to the bottom of which it is fastened, and the power is communicated through a main shaft running overhead. Joints in the upright or counter shaft and its peculiar attachment to the main shaft allow its lower end to be swung over a considerable area, thus permitting the workman who guides it to move it over a surface of stone many times larger than the disk itself.

The abrasive material now almost exclusively used for grinding granite is either chilled-iron globules, steel emery, or crushed steel. A coarse grade is used at first, then a finer kind, and for the last grinding fine emery is often used. Polishing is done in much the same way as grinding, except that a felt-covered disk is used in place of an iron one, and putty powder mixed with a little water, instead of coarser grinding materials. Before the final polish, however, the surface is usually given a dull gloss of "skin coat" by the disk and water alone. A polish is sometimes produced by the use of oxalic acid instead of putty powder, but the polish thus made is less durable. Moldings are ground and polished by means of blocks fitting the grooves dragged back and forth either by power or hand.

Granite for columns, balusters, round, posts, and urns is now worked chiefly in lathes, which, for the heaviest work, are made large enough to handle blocks 25 feet long and 5 feet in diameter. Instead of being turned to the desired size by sharp cutting instruments, as in ordinary machines for turning wood and metal, granite is turned or ground away by the wedge-like action of rather thick steel disks, rotated by the pressure of the stone as it slowly turns in the lathe. The disks, which are 6 to 8 inches in diameter, are set at quite an angle to the stone, and move with an automatic carriage along the lathe bed. Large lathes have four disks, two on each side, and a column may be reduced some 2 inches in diameter the whole length of the stone by one lateral movement of the carriages long the bed. The first lathes for turning granite cut only cylindrical or conical columns, but an improved form is so made that templets or patterns may be inserted to guide the carriages, and columns having any desired swell may be as readily turned. For fine grinding and polishing the granite is transferred to another lathe, where the only machinery used is to produce a simple turning or revolution of the stone against iron blocks carrying the necessary grinding or polishing material.

Blocks are prepared for lathe work by being roughed out with a point, and by having holes chiseled in their squared ends for the reception of the lathe dog and centers. This principal of cutting granite by means of disks revolved by contact with the stone has been also applied to the dressing of plain surfaces, the stone worked upon being mounted upon a traveling carriage and made to pass under a series of disks mounted in a stationary upright frame. Tracery and lettering for polished granite are usually first drawn upon paper which is firmly pasted to the surface and the design chiseled through to the requisite depth in the rock.

Carved Granite.

Statues, capitals, keystones, and, in general, all highly ornamental designs, are worked out with chisels from detail drawings or plaster casts. It is necessarily a slow process, owing to the hardness of the rock, and the cost of such work is consequently great. The MacCoy pneumatic tool, however, which has been recently patented and successfully applied to this purpose, gives promise of superseding much of the tediousness of the hand process. This instrument is connected to a flexible pipe, supplying the compressed air or steam by which it is driven, and works at a remarkably high rate of speed. It may be moved to any part of a surface, and works with a celerity unapproached by other means.

The use of granite for sculpture is steadily increasing, particularly for outdoor statuary. The white fine-grained muscovite-biotite granite found at Hallowell, Manchester, and Augusta, in Maine, is particularly well adapted for this purpose. Statues made of the Hallowell granite are to be found in nearly every State, though possibly the stone is not superior to varieties found in other localities.

Value of the Granite Product, By States.

The following table shows the value of the granite product, by States, for the year 1894:

States.

Value.

Arkansas

$28,100

California

307,000

Colorado

49,302

Connecticut

504,390

Delaware

173,805

Georgia

511,804

Maine

1,551,036

Maryland

308,966

Massachusetts

1,994,830

Minnesota

153,936

Missouri

98,757

Montana

5,800

Nevada

1,600

New Hampshire

725,702

New Jersey

310,965

New York

140,618

North Carolina

108,903

Oregon

4,993

Pennsylvania

600,000

Rhode Island

1,211,439

South Carolina

45,899

South Dakota

8,806

Vermont

893,956

Virginia

123,361

Wisconsin

166,098

Total

$10,029,156

The foregoing table shows a gain of $1,220,222 in the value of the product as compared with that of 1893. This gain was made in the following States, named in alphabetical order: Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. By far the most of the gain was made in Rhode Island alone, this State showing an advance of $701,640. It is thus apparent that for most of the States there has been a falling off in the total output. As was true in 1893, the financial depression is accountable for this state of affairs.

Value of Granite Paving Blocks Made in 1894, by States.

In a number of the New England States there was an increased tendency toward the manufacture of paving blocks rather than the production of stone for building or other purposes. The following table shows the value of the granite paving-block industry in the various productive States:

Value of granite paving blocks made in 1894, by States.

States

Value

States

Value

California

$31,000

North Carolina

$107

Connecticut

32,100

Pennsylvania

258,777

Delaware

80,000

Rhode Island

115,000

Georgia

225,910

South Carolina

9,085

Maine

710,836

Vermont

32,711

Maryland

18,885

Virginia

42,000

New Hampshire

24,000

Wisconsin

20,450

New Jersey

60,000

 

Total

$2,254,587

The following table gives the value of the granite output, by States, for the years 1890 to 1894:

States

1890

1891

1892

1893

1894

Arkansas

(a)

$65,000

$40,000

-----

$28,100

California

$1,329,018

1,300,000

1,000,000

$531,322

307.000

Colorado

314,673

300,000

100,000

77,182

49,302

Connecticut

1,061,202

1,167,000

700,000

652,459

504,390

Delaware

211,194

210,000

250,000

215,964

173,805

Georgia

752,481

790,000

700,000

476,387

511,804

Maine

2,225,830

2,200,000

2,300,000

1,274,954

1,551,036

Maryland

447,489

450,000

450,000

260,855

805,966

Massachusetts

2,503,503

2,600,000

2,200,000

1,631,204

1,994,830

Minnesota

356,782

-----

360,000

270,296

153,936

Missouri

500,642

400,000

325,000

388,803

98,757

Montana

(a)

51,000

36,000

1,000

5,800

Nevada

(a)

-----

-----

3,000

3,600

New Hampshire

727,531

750,000

725,000

442,424

724,702

New Jersey

425,673

400,000

400,000

373,147

310,965

New York

222,773

225,000

200,000

181,449

140,618

North Carolina

146,627

-----

150,000

122,707

108,993

Oregon

44,150

3,000

6,000

11,255

4,993

Pennsylvania

623,252

575,000

550,000

206,493

600,000

Rhode Island

931,216

750,000

600,000

509,790

1,211,439

South Carolina

47,614

50,000

60,000

95,443

45,899

South Dakota

304,673

100,000

50,000

27,828

8,806

Texas

22,550

75,000

50,000

38,991

-----

Utah

8,700

-----

15,000

590

-----

Vermont

581,870

700,000

675,000

778,459

893,956

Virginia

332,548

300,000

300,000

103,703

123,361

Washington

(a)

-----

-----

-----

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Wisconsin

266,095

406,000

400,000

133,220

166,098

 

Total

$14,464,095

$13,867,000

$12,627,000

$8,808,934

$10,029,156

a Granite valued at $76,000 was produced in Arkansas, Montana, Nevada, and Washington together, and this amount is included in the total.

Granite Industry in the Various States.

Arkansas. -The value of the product in 1894 amounted to $28,100, while in 1893 very little, if anything, was accomplished in granite quarrying. The entire output comes from Pulaski County. Indications for 1895 are encouraging.

California. -The granite industry in this State for the last few years, but particularly for 1893 and 1894, has been at a low ebb. The value of the product for 1894 is $307,000, but included in this figure is an estimate as to the value of the output from the State prison quarries, which forms an important item of the total. Placer County is credited with an output valued at $103,443, Sonoma County $34,568, San Bernardino County $30,450, while smaller amounts were taken from quarries in Tulare, Sacramento, Madera, Fresno, Solano, Alameda, Riverside, and Marin counties. Almost every communication received from producers in this State emphatically reveals decline in the industry, due, it is believed, entirely to the financial depression. Many quarries discontinued work entirely, while others shut down for a part of the year or worked with reduced for of men.

Colorado. -The output for 1894 is valued at $49,302. Most of the stone was taken from quarries in Jefferson County, while smaller amounts came from Douglas, Gunnison, and Clear Creek counties. A little work was done in Chaffee, Larimer, and Boulder counties. A number of quarries discontinued operations entirely.

Connecticut. -The product for 1894 was valued at $504,390, while the corresponding figure for 1893 was $652,459. A decrease in product is evident. The general tone of replies from quarrymen indicates a falling off as compared with the preceding year. The productive counties in order of magnitude of output are New Haven, New London, Fairfield, Windham, Middlesex, Hartford, and Litchfield. The first two counties produced most of the entire output. Judging from a number of important contracts that have been awarded to Connecticut producers, 1895 will make a much better showing than the past year.

Delaware. -The value of the output in 1894, $173,805, is below that of 1893. All of the productive quarries are in Newcastle County.

Georgia. -As will be seen from the report on "marble," this State has very materially advanced in its marble output. The same can be said of the granite product, which has increased from $476, 387 in 1893, to $511,804 in 1894. Of this amount $225,910 is the value of paving blocks. There is every reason to believe that with a revival in business there will be a still greater increase in the granite industry in this State. By far the most of the output comes from Dekalb County, in which are the important producing centers, Lithonia and Stone Mountain. Other productive counties are Hancock, Henry, Bibb, Elbert, Spalding, Rockdale, Jones, Oglethorpe, and Newton. The last seven of these counties produce very little as compared with the others.

Maine. -This State stands second among the granite-producing States in the value of its output. This has increased from $1,274,954 in 1893 to $1,551,036 in 1894. While the manufacture of paving blocks for use in the largest cities along the Atlantic coast has always been an important feature of the granite industry in Maine, it has become somewhat more so during the past year. In the census year 1889, the value of the paving-block product was 37 per cent of the whole, but in the year just past it was 45.8 per cent. The most productive counties are Hancock, Knox, Franklin, Waldo, Washington, Kennebec, and York; smaller amounts are quarried in Lincoln, Somerset, Penobscot, Androscoggin, and Oxford. Many small quarries have been temporarily abandoned, while others have been sold out to larger concerns. An improvement in the industry in this State is looked for during 1895.

Maryland. -The output in this State increased from a value of $260,855 in 1893 to $308,966 in 1894. The worst part of the year was the first half, after which, in the case of a number of concerns, business improved somewhat and became even better than the latter part of 1893. Indications are quite decided toward improvement in 1895.

Massachusetts. -This State seems to have prospered exceptionally well during 1894, considering the hard times. The value of the output increased from $1,631,204 in 1893 to $1,994,830 in 1894, and the State maintains first position among the granite producing States of the country. Many complaints of financial depression are to be heard, of course, and in times of prosperity the output would have been much larger. Lower prices than in 1893 have been generally prevalent. The most productive counties in order of importance are Essex, Worcester, Norfolk, Middlesex, Bristol, and Hampden; small quantities were produced in Franklin and Hampshire counties.

As is true of other New England States, more attention than usual was devoted to the production of paving blocks, for which the demand was good, but lower prices prevailed than we received in 1893.

Minnesota. -The value of the output in 1894 was $153,936; the corresponding figure for 1893 was $270,296. The decrease is accounted for in the usual manner-hard times, resulting in the shutting down of operations entirely or operating with reduced force. The output comes from the following counties: Bigstone, Stearns, Sherburne, Pipestone, Rock, and Nicollet.

Missouri. -A falling off from $388,803 to $98,757 in 1894 marks the granite industry in this State. A few prominent concerns practically suspended operations, and their comparative inactivity accounts for the decrease. Indications for 1895 are much better. The productive counties of this State are Iron, Wayne, St. Francois, and Madison.

Montana. -Very little in the way of granite quarrying has ever been done in this state. A little quarrying was done in Lewis and Clarke County.

New Hampshire. -In this State a decided gain in output was made, namely, from $442,424 in 1893 to $724,702. A number of quite important contracts have been fulfilled during the year. Among most of the producers there is considerable complaint of dull trade, but in spite of the financial depression, business seems to have been markedly better on the whole than in 1893. The most productive counties are Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsboro, Merrimack, and Strafford; smaller amounts were taken from quarries in Grafton, Sullivan, and Rockingham counties. Quite a number of new firms have commenced business during the year. The outlook for 1895 is much better.

New Jersey. -Quarrying in New Jersey seems to have suffered from the prevailing business depression. The product fell off in value from $373,147 in 1893 to $310,965 in 1894. Considerable of the product is really trap rock, which, for reasons already given, is included with granite. Indications for 1895 are promising. The productive counties are Somerset, Hudson, Essex, Sussex, Passaic, Mercer, and Hunterdon. Small amounts were quarried also in Union and Morris counties.

New York. -This State has never yielded very large quantities of granite, although good stone is to be found there. The product of 1893 was valued at $181,449, while that of 1894 amounted to $140,618. The productive counties are Essex, Richmond, Orange, and Westchester.

North Carolina. -Although the value of the granite product in this State declined from $122,707 in 1893 to $108,993 in 1894, considering the comparative newness of the industry in the State its condition may be regarded as very satisfactory in view of the hard times. The productive counties were Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, Surry, and Wake.

Oregon. -Small quantities of granite were produced in Clackamas, Columbia, and Multnomah counties.

Pennsylvania. -A more thorough canvass of the granite producers in this State is in part accountable for the large reported increase from $206,493 in 1893 to $600,000 in 1894. The value of the stone devoted to paving purposes in 1894 amounted to $258,777, or nearly one-half of the total. Although there is no exceptionally fine granite in the State, there is an abundance of stone that serves ordinary uses very well, and it is steadily produced. The productive counties are Bucks, Chester, Allegheny, Delaware, Montgomery, Somerset, Adams, and Northampton.

Rhode Island. -The increase in the output of granite in Rhode Island over the preceding year, 1893, is nothing less than phenomenal. In 1889, the census year, the output was valued at $931,216; in 1893 at $509,799; and in 1894, at $1,211,439. A number of quite serious strikes have occurred among the Rhode Island quarries and workers within the last three years, and it may be that contracts have been delayed on that account until the past year. In spite of the prosperity which appears to prevail, complaints of financial depression are to be heard in Rhode Island as in all other States. The smaller producers have been particularly affected and in some cases have had to shut down their operations. The bulk of the business is now in the hands of a small number of concerns.

The granite quarries and works located at Westerly, Washington County, have long been celebrated for the very fine ornamental stock produced. Most elaborately ornamented monuments and statues are turned out in great number. The plants for finishing and polishing are exceedingly well equipped, all the latest improvements in quarry tools being freely used. The stone is particularly well adapted for successful ornamentation and fine finish, and this accounts largely for the prominence of this branch of the granite industry in the State. In fine carving a pneumatic tool, striking exceedingly rapid blows and operated by heavy air pressure, is becoming popular among granite cutters. The rapidity with which fine work can be executed is very much increased by the use of this tool. Its value in connection with granite as well as with ornamental marble has already been satisfactorily demonstrated.

Rhode Island stands first among the States of the Union for its output of ornamental and monumental stock.

South Carolina. -The financial stringency made itself felt in South Carolina to the extent of reducing the output from a valuation of $95,443 in 1893 to $45,899 in 1894. The productive counties are Fairfield, Edgefield, and Richland.

Vermont. -In spite of dullness in business generally, the value of the output in Vermont has increased to the extent shown by the values $778,459 for 1893 and $893,956 for 1894. The productive counties are Washington, Windham, Orange, and Caledonia; small amounts have been quarried also in Chittenden, Orleans, and Windsor counties.

Among the most important developments of the last decade are those which have been made at Barre. At this point there is an enormous supply of granite of the finest quality, such that the product is well adapted not only to all the ordinary uses to which granite is put, but also for the finest kinds of monumental and decorative work, to which it is quite largely applied. The methods of quarrying are modern. In one of the quarries in this locality the Knox system of blasting is in very successful use. The application of this recent method of blasting granite is quite limited, and is not received with favor by a great many of the large producers of granite in this and other States. The objections to the system as applied to granite are probably, however, due more to the results of single, and in some cases unsuccessful, experiments than to long-continued and fair trials of it.

Virginia. -The output in Virginia in 1894 amounted in value to $123, 361, while in 1893 the corresponding figure was $103,703. There has thus been a gain which though not large is very satisfactory when the falling off in many other States is considered. The productive counties are Chesterfield, Amherst, Henrico, Alexandria, Campbell, and Dinwiddie.

A number of the quarries in the vicinity of Richmond have been operated successfully for a number of years. The plants are comparatively well equipped, and while operations might be conducted upon a considerably larger scale they may be said to be prosperous. The stone from most of these quarries is of good quality and is generally well received.

Wisconsin. -The value of the granite output in 1893 amounted to $133,220, while in the year 1894 it reached $166,098. The output comes from Green Lake, Marinette, and Marquette counties. The granite industry in this State is comparatively new, but it bids fair to increase steadily under normal financial conditions.


The Value of Granite Produced in Various States During the Year 1894

The value of granite produced in various states during the year 1894



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