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Home > Search > Site Map > The Quarry Industry (in General)

The Quarry Industry (in General)

(Also see: “Quarries - Economics, Methods, Equipment, and
other Considerations
” & “The Building Industry”)

General Quarry/Mining Industry Information and Links

Quarry/Mining (companies, museums, resources, etc.)

Stone Selection Resources

(Please Note: There are many stone portals on the Internet, and below are a few. If you are aware of other similar web sites, feel free to send them to me to be included in the list below.)

Historical Perspectives in Quarrying/Mining

  • The Art of Splitting Stone: Early Rock Quarrying Methods in Pre-Industrial New England, 1630-1825, (book) by Mary Gage and James Gage, Powwow River Books, Amesbury, Massachusetts. (A comprehensive study of methods used to split stone in pre-industrial New England. A total of 11 different stone splitting methods are documented in New England for the time period. Some were transferred from Europe, while others were developed here. All are discussed in the book, which includes illustrations. Powwow River Books, 163 Kimball Road, Amesbury, MA 01913-5515.)
  • The Stone Industries in the United States & Foreign Countries up through 1939 in The Stone Industries: Dimension Stone, Crushed Stone, Geology, Technology, Distribution, Utilization, by Oliver Bowles (Supervising Engineer, Building Materials Section, United States Bureau of Mines), New York: 2nd ed., New York: McGraw-Hill, 1939.  (You can view a copy of this book on Internet Archive web site, and you can download a copy of the book to your computer at the link above.)

    This book fully covers the United States stone quarry industry up through 1939.  There is also a chapter on “Foreign Building and Ornamental Stones.”   Below is a listing of the information covered in the chapters.  (Many photographs of quarries, etc., are included in this book.)

    Part I.  General Features of the Stone Industries

    Chapter I.  Extent and Subdivision.  Extent of the Industry – Major Divisions of the Industry – Varieties of Stone Used

    Chapter II.  Minerals and Rocks.  Distinction between Rock and Stone – Relationship of Rocks to Minerals – Rock-forming Minerals – Classification of Rocks – General Distribution of Rocks in the United States.

    Chapter III.  Factors Governing Rock Utilization.  Rock Qualities on Which Use Depends – Importance of Other factors than Quality – Available Markets;  Diversification of Products  Transportation Facilities – Production Code

    Chapter IV.  Prospecting and Developing.  Prospecting – Stripping – General Methods of Operation – Bibliography

    Part II.  Dimension Stone

    Chapter V.  General Features of Dimension-Stone Industries.  Definition of Dimension Stone –   Principal Uses  Requisite Qualities of Dimension Stone –  Adaptations of Raw Materials to Use –  Complexities in Marketing –  Royalties

    Chapter VI.  Limestone.  Definition –  Origin – Physical Properties – Varieties – Qualities on Which Use Depends – Uses – Industry by States – Occurrences of Travertine – Quarry Methods –  Milling Methods – Limestone Products – Cost of Quarrying and Manufacture – Waste in Quarrying and Manufacture – Utilization of Waste – Limestone Marketing – Bibliography

    Chapter VII.  Sandstone.  Varieties – Composition – Size and Shape of Grains – Cementation – Color – Porosity – Uses – Production – Industry by States – Quarry Methods – Quarry Processes – Yard Service – Sandstone Sawmills and Finishing Plants – The Bluestone Industry – Waste in Sandstone Quarrying and Manufacture – Bibliography

    Chapter VIII.  Granite.  General Character – Mineral Composition – Chemical Composition – Physical Properties Varieties – Related Rocks – Structural Features – Uses – Distribution of deposits – Industry by States – Quarry Methods and Equipment – Milling Methods and Equipment – Market Range – Imports, Exports, and Tariffs – Prices – Bibliography

    Chapter IX.  Marble.  History – Definition – Composition – Origin and Varieties – Physical Properties – Jointing or Unsoundness – Chief Impurities of Marble – Uses – Distribution of Deposits – Production – Industry by States – Quarry Methods and Equipment – Transportation; Equipment and Operation in Mills and Shops – Waste in Quarrying and Manufacture – Marketing Marble – Imports and Exports – Tariff – Prices – Bibliography

    Chapter X.  Slate.  Definition – Origin – Mineralogical Composition – Chemical Composition – Physical Properties – Structural Features – Imperfections – Uses – History of Industry – General Distribution – Production – Industry by States – General Plan of Quarrying – Quarry Operations – Quarry Methods – Yard Transportation – Manufacture of Roofing Slate – Storage of Roofing Slate – The Art of Roofing with Slate – Manufacture of School slates – Manufacture of Mill Stock – Slate Floors – Walks, and Walls – Crushed and Pulverized Slate Products – Waste in Quarrying and Manufacturing – Tests and Specifications – Marketing – Imports and Exports – Tariff – Prices – Bibliography

    Chapter XI.  Soapstone.  Composition and Properties – History – Uses – Origin and Occurrence – Quarry Methods – Milling Processes – Marketing – Rocks Related to Soapstone – Bibliography

    Chapter XII.  Boulders as Building Materials.  Origin and Nature of Boulders – Stone Fences – The Use of Boulders in Buildings

    Chapter XIII.  Foreign Building and Ornamental Stones.  Scope of Discussion – Imports of Stone – Foreign Limestones – Foreign Sandstones – Foreign Granites – Foreign Marbles – Foreign Slates – Bibliography

    Chapter XIV.  Miscellaneous Rocks and Minerals Used for Building and Ornamental Purposes.  Agalmatolite – Alabaster – Amazonite – Catlinite – Clay – Diatomite – Tripoli and Pumice – Fluorite – Jade – Labradorite – Lapis-lazuli – Malachite and Azurite – Meerschaum – Mica Schist – Porphyry – Quartz; Snow and Ice – Sodalite – Bibliography

    Chapter XV.  Deterioration, Preservation, and Cleaning of Stonework.  Deterioration of Stone – Preservation of Stone – Cleaning Stone – Bibliography

    Part III.  Crushed and Broken Stone

    Chapter XVI.  General Features of the Crushed-Stone Industries.  History – Types and Values of Stone Used – Crushed Stone and Dimension Stone Contrasted – Uses of Crushed Stone – Competition – Markets – Transportation – Prices – Royalties – Capital Required

    Chapter XVII.  Crushed and Broken Limestone.  Types of Stone Included – Extent of Industry – Uses of Crushed and Broken Limestone – Uses for Which Physical Properties are Most Important – Uses for Which Chemical Properties are Most Important – Uses of Dolomite and High-magnesian Limestone – Industry by States – Quarry Methods and Equipment; Bibliography

    Chapter XVIII.  Crushed and Broken Stone Other Than Limestone.  General Features – Uses – General Distribution and Value – Industries by States – Quarry Method and Equipment – Marketing – Bibliography

  • “Barre in The ‘Nineties,” (Barre, Vermont) by William Barclay, son of the first William Barclay, founder of the pioneer firm of Barclay Brothers, in Monumental News Magazine, Vol. 51, No. 12, December, 1939, pp. 548-550. (Includes information on the progressive use of new tools and equipment in the granite quarry industry from 1899 up through 1939.)
  • Building Materials in Archaeology Use and Reuse of Building Materials – The Methodology, History and Philosophy of Building Materials in Archaeology, by Emeritus Professor Dr. Ian Windsor, DSc FRNS, 24 March, 2012 ©™® 1992.
  • Cemetery Geology:  Geology of Mausoleums, August 30, 2008, on the Scientific American web site.  (“For Halloween, we take a tour of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York, with geologist Sidney Horenstein and Woodlawn expert Susan Olsen, concentrating on the geology of the rock used in the memorials.”)
  • Cutting Blocks of Stone in a Quarry (location unknown) 
  • Men cutting blocks of stone in Quarry (location unknown; postcard photograph)

    Men cutting blocks of stone in Quarry (location unknown; postcard photograph)

  • Granite Quarries” (PDF), in Scientific Magazine Supplement No. 1574, Vol. LXI., No. 1574, March 3, 1906, New York.
  • Historical Review - 1872 - Quarries from The Great Industries of the United States Being an Historical Summary of the Origin, Growth, and Perfection of the Chief Industrial Arts of This Country, 1872.
  • Historical Review - 1923 - The Production of Granite in the New England States (From The Commercial Granites of New England, 1923.)
  • Historical Statistics for Mineral and Material Commodities in the United States, U. S. Geological Survey.
  • Horses, Oxen and Granite,” (in Barre, Vermont), (online article) by Paul Wood, January 7, 2008, in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus.

    The time period covered in this article is during the early 1800s.

    Key words in article: Adamant Quarries, Montpelier, Vermont; block and tackle; boom derrick; clog chains; John Crouse of Syracuse, New York; Fayette Cutler, Barre, Vermont; double runner sleds; freight Tariffs; Joseph Glidden, Mark Glidden;granite quarries; granite sheds; horse sweep; Jones Brothers, Vermont; “New Hampshire Horses,” railroads; ramp, rollers; single-drum winch; skids; spur track; St. John the Devine Cathedral, New York City; Stanford Mausoleum; wagon pulled by horses and oxen teams, wagons.

  • “Marble in America, Part 1: The Industry” & “Marble in America: Part II, Marketing & Perception,” by Eva Schwartz, in “Focal Points” on the Barbara Israel Garden Antiques web site. (For Part I, scroll down to the article.)  Companies mentioned in the article include:  Vermont Marble Company; Sutherland Falls Marble Company, Proctor, Vermont; and Producers Marble Company – all of Proctor, Vermont; and Colorado Yule Marble Quarry, Marble, Colorado.
  • Marble: Prospecting for Marble, excerpt from Mineral Resources of Southeastern Alaska, Bulletin 682, by Ernest F. Burchard, 1921, pp. 99-102.

    Prospecting (for Marble).

    “Important technical details of modern prospecting of marble deposits have been recently published in a paper by Bowles,* in which the following suggestions are given in much greater detail.

    (* Footnote 1, page 98: Bowles, Oliver, The technology of marble quarrying: Bur. Mines Bull. 106, pp. 39-46, 1916.)

    Value of geologic maps. – Some marble beds crop out in long-narrow bands, which may extend for many miles These bands represent truncated edges of folded strata and they may be curved or straight, their form depending on the topography and on the nature of the folds. Other marble beds have irregular outlines owing to faulting or to incomplete metamorphism of the original limestone mass. Much of the rock surface may be covered with gravel, sand, or clay to a considerable depth. The geologist may, by a careful study of outcrops exposed here and there, obtain a knowledge of the chief structural features and may thus determine the position, attitude, and thickness of the marble beds with a fair degree of accuracy, even if they are almost entirely hidden by surface debris. If geologic maps of marble areas are carefully made they are of inestimable value to the marble prospector. By accurately locating himself in the field and carefully studying a geologic map the prospector may determine the position of the marble beds beneath the surface and know something of their extent and attitude, although the beds are unseen. It is important, therefore, that all available geologic maps of the region be consulted freely.

    Detailed prospecting. – Knowledge of the suitability of any particular site can be gained only by detailed prospecting, including determinations of the depth of overburden and of surface decay of the rock and of the extent, quality, impurities, and soundness of the deposit. It is unwise to proceed with development work without reasonable assurance that an available mass of sound and attractive marble is sufficiently uniform in quality and abundant in quantity for profitable exploitation.

    Determination of overburden. – The depth of stripping necessary may be determined at small cost by putting down drill holes. Such preliminary tests may save much wasteful expenditure, for in places stripping has been attempted without any previous investigation of the depth of soil to be removed, and great loss has resulted from thus working blindly.

    “In estimating the necessary cost of stripping for a new quarry, the attitude of the marble beds must be taken into account. If the beds are flat a greater area of rock must be uncovered than if they are steeply inclined or vertical.

    “Conditions relating to disposal of strippings are of great importance. In certain places it is a matter of some difficulty to find a suitable place in which to deposit the soil that must be removed; in other places the soil may be carried to neighboring valleys or low-lying areas and usefully employed.

    Surface study. – Surface observations of the marble beds are of great value, especially as regards jointing. The process of weathering tends to emphasize all unsoundness and thus facilitates the study of joint systems. Exposed surfaces may also permit a determination of dip and strike and the thickness of the beds. In determining the quality of a marble deposit a study of uncovered knobs or ledges should not, however, be deemed sufficient. On account of surface weathering the top rock may differ materially from the deeper parts of the deposit. Moreover, the number and spacing of joints at the surface may be no indication of the prevailing conditions at depth. In order to obtain a fair idea of the quality and soundness of the marble and the supply available, drill cores should be taken at several points.”

    Diamond-drill prospecting. – The ordinary diamond drill will give the necessary information regarding color, uniformity, and general appearance of the stone, and also the extent of the formation. It will not, however, give definite information concerning the dip and the strike or the unsoundness of the marble. If drill cores come out in long, unbroken sections that show no indication of cracks, it may be assumed that the rock is fairly sound. If, on the other hand, the core is in short sections, the rotation of the drill will as a rule have so worn and rounded the broken ends that it will be impossible to determine whether the breaks are due to natural planes of weakness in the rocks or to the process of drilling itself.

    “A method of prospect drilling that has been employed involves the use of the double-core barrel drill, consisting of an outer and an inner tube, which was designed primarily for drilling bituminous coal and operates in such a manner as to bring out a core from delicate material with a minimum of breaking or other damage.

    “The use of such a drill enables the prospector to judge the unsoundness of the marble at points beneath the surface, for by examination of the ends of the sections of drill core he can generally interpret the breaks and state whether they are due to natural joint planes in the rock or to the process of drilling. If the cores are properly oriented, the proximity and direction of all natural cracks in the rock and in the immediate vicinity of the drill holes may thus be ascertained. If the marble deposit is well exposed, the dip and the strike may be determined from examination of the ends of the sections of drill core he can generally interpret the breaks and state whether they are due to natural joint planes in the rock or to the process of drilling. If the cores are properly oriented, the proximity and direction of all natural cracks in the rock and in the immediate vicinity of the drill holes may thus be ascertained. If the marble deposit is well exposed, the dip and the strike may be determined from examination of the outcrops. If, however, it is completely buried, these features may be determined from the drill cores if they are carefully oriented.

    “Information should be obtained with a minimum number of drill holes. In this respect prospecting for marble differs materially from prospecting for metalliferous ores, as the soundness of the ore is not important, whereas with the marble every crack or cavity increases the proportion of waste in the quarried product. A drill hole in a quarry may be nearly as objectionable as a crack. If the deposit lies flat or nearly so, a single well-placed core driven entirely through the deposit will give the information as to the character of the marble and show ether it is one homogeneous mass or is divided by streaks of color or open beds into different layers and whether the layers differ in character. If, however, the deposit dips at a moderate angle and is comparatively thick, the best way to determine its thickness and the character of its beds is to lay out a line of drill holes at right angles to the strike. The first drill hole that penetrates the upper beds should begin in the hanging wall, the bed immediately overlying the marble bed. The holes should be of such depth and spacing that the bottom of a hole in the upper beds will penetrate the same layer as the top of the neighboring hole on the side toward the footwall. The core nearest the footwall should reach and penetrate this wall. By this method a series of core holes of moderate depth will supply samples from all the beds, and the relatively high cost of drilling deep holes penetrating the entire deposit will be avoided.

    “A marble deposit in which the color, texture, or other qualities are highly satisfactory may nevertheless not warrant commercial development because of joints and cracks. Most joints occur in two systems, the openings in each system being approximately parallel with one another and the two systems being more or less nearly at right angles. In Alaskan deposits generally more than two systems are present. The spacing of the cracks varies widely in different deposits and even in different parts of the same deposit. In many places cracks persist to almost any depth to which quarrying operations have been carried. It is important to determine, if possible, which of the cracks that appear at the surface are likely to persist, and also their nature and spacing in the deeper parts of the deposit. Where the cracks are nearly vertical a vertical core taken out of marble that is unsound may reveal the presence of only a few of the cracks. There, under such conditions, a veridical hole is not reliable as a means of estimating the unsoundness to be encountered.

    “It is practically impossible to take out good cores that are representative of the deposit from horizontal drill holes. The cores from a horizontal hole invariable breaks into short pieces, which grind on each other, in spite of the use of the double-core barrel. Therefore, if the marble beds lie flat, or nearly so, unsoundness must be prospected for by inclined core holes; otherwise the cores will not yield the information desired. If the marble deposit stands at a high angle, one set of core holes driven in an inclined direction and penetrating from he hanging wall to the footwall, or the reverse, can be laid out so as to give the information required as to the quality of the stone and also the unsoundness. It is important to take cores near the top, near the middle, and near the bottom of the deposit, because the unsoundness may vary in different beds, as well as in different parts of the same bed.

    “In order to get the fullest information from an inclined core hole the core parts should be matched up from one end to the other and placed as fast as obtained on an inclined rack that will hold the core in a position parallel with the hole from which it was taken. While the core is in this position the compass bearing of the cracks and also the angle that they make with the core can easily be determined. From this information a plan may be made from which the probable percentage of marble unaffected by unsoundness may be computed with reasonable accuracy.

    “As a rule, drill cores are not preserved with sufficient care by quarrymen. They are often carelessly stored, lost, or given away as samples. It is important that every part of every drill core be carefully marked and stored for future reference. It must not be assumed that the value of drill cores disappears after their first investigation. They are invaluable records, which should be available at all times.

    “All drill cores should be polished on one side, in order to facilitate determination of color, uniformity, and degree of polish that may be obtained. It is well to supplement the evidence of the cores by stripping the marble along each line of holes, and also to dig a trench or two at right angles to each line of core holes, so as to expose the marble to some extent along the strike.”

  • Marble Quarrying Industry in Vermont circa 1904 – “The Carrara of America,” by Day Allen Willey, in Scientific American, Vol. XCI, No. 10, November 5, 1904, pp. 309, 317-318.
    “A Vermont Marble Quarry 200 feet Deep.” (circa 1904)

    “A Vermont Marble Quarry 200 feet Deep.”

    “Fifty-Ton Electric Crane Used for Loading Cars.” (circa 1904) “Channeling Machine at Work, Showing Vertical and Horizonal Cuts.” (circa 1904) “One of the Locomotive Cranes in Use at the American Carrara.” (circa 1904)

    “Fifty-Ton Electric Crane Used for Loading Cars.”

    “Channeling Machine at Work, Showing Vertical and Horizonal Cuts.”

    “One of the Locomotive Cranes in Use at the American Carrara.”

    “View of Quarry, Showing the Method of Supporting the Sides by Leaving Buttresses of Marble in the Cut.” (circa 1904) “Quarry at Proctor with Gang of Electric Channeling Machines.” (circa 1904) “Type of Steam Drill Used in Quarrying.” (circa 1904)

    “View of Quarry, Showing the Method of Supporting the Sides by Leaving Buttresses of Marble in the Cut.”

    “Quarry at Proctor with Gang of Electric Channeling Machines.”

    “Type of Steam Drill Used in Quarrying.”

  • Methods of Quarrying and Dressing” − Excerpts from The Collection of Building and Ornamental Stones in the U.S. National Museum: A Hand-book and Catalogue, by George P. Merrill, curator, pp. 285-331. From Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution…Year ending June 30, 1886, 1887.
  • The Methodology, History and Philosophy of Building Materials in Archaeology  (Building Materials In Archaeology Use and Reuse of Building Materials), by Emeritus Professor Dr. Ian Windsor, DSc FRNS, 24 March, 2012, ©™® 1992.  
  • Mineral Resources of the United States in the U. S. Geological Survey annual reports and mineral resources books from 1883 through 1931.
    Included for these years are the sections on the “Stone” (including granite, marble, limestone, and slate), “Cement,” and portions of the “Abrasive Materials” of the Mineral Resources sections of the U. S. Geological Survey books from 1883 through 1931.  (For 1932 and later years, see “Mineral Yearbooks of the U. S. Bureau of Mines (1932 through 1993) - Metals, Nonmetals, and Fuels - Domestic & International.”) Sample Title Page
  • Mining and Quarrying, U. S. Geological Survey.
  • Mining and Quarrying Trends, U.S. Geological Survey.
  • The Problem of Dust Phthisis in the Granite-stone Industry, by Frederick Ludwig Haffman, published by Government Printing Office, 1922, 178 pp. (Previous investigations into the dust hazard of certain trades issued as Bulletins nos. 79, 82, and 231 of the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics.) (This book is available in Google Book Search - Full View Books for reading or downloading to your computer in PDF format.)

    Introduction and summary: Pulmonary tuberculosis, silicosis, granite; Previous investigations in the stone industry: Phthisis, tuberculosis, Aberdeen; Mortality among granite stone workers: Pulmonary tuberculosis, granite cutters, schist; Mortality among families of granite cutters: Caledonia Counties, granite, female genital organs; Trade life and occupational changes: Transvaal, living granite, granite cutters; Supplementary considerations: Limestone, influenza, Calcium carbonate; Comparative occupational mortality data: Pulmonary Tuberculosis, limestone, Netherlands; Stonedust correlation data: Calcium carbonate, silica, among granite cutters; Other investigations: Bendigo, silicosis, fibroid; General conclusions: Silica, sputum, Dyspnea; Appendix A Inquiry blank used in this investigation: Grinshill, quartz, Pulmonary Tuberculosis; Mineralogy of the dust problem: Biotite, feldspar, orthoclase; Appendix G Report of medical investigation of granite cutters of Barre Vermont: X-ray, Granite, radiograms; Appendix H German sickfund experience: Cape Town, Silicosis, stonecutters; Charts: Lead poisoning, Anthrax, occupational disease.

    • Related Book:

      Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth-Century America, by David Rosner, Gerald Markowitz, contributor Gerald Markowitz, published by Princeton University Press, 1994, 248 pp., ISBN 069103771X, 9780691037714. (Further information is available on this book on Google Book Search.)

      “During the Depression, silicosis, an industrial lung disease, emerged as a national social crisis. Experts estimated that hundreds of thousands of workers were at risk of disease, disability, and death by inhaling silica in mines, foundries, and quarries. By the 1950s, however, silicosis was nearly forgotten by the media and health professionals. Asking what makes a health threat a public issue, David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz examine how a culture defines disease and how disease itself is understood at different moments in history. They also consider who should assume responsibility for occupational disease.”

  • Slate Production in 1890 – “Production of Slate,”  Scientific American, August 23, 1890, Vol. LXIII, No. 8, August 23, 1890, pp. 117.
  • Stone Cutters Online, presented by Dorothea McKenzie.

    From the web site: “This web site was developed to help preserve the memories, contributions and hard work of the granite, limestone, slate and marble quarry workers of the United States and Canada. The site is also a virtual resource of collecting names of ancestors and their contributions to the industry and their labor unions.”

  • Tools and Machinery of the Granite Industry,” by Paul Wood, in The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc.
    • Part I. Vol. 59, No. 2, June 2006. (“Introduction: This article, the first in a series of four on granite working, deals with granite as a material, an industry, and a product and begins the description of the granite quarrying process.”)
    • Part II. Vol. 59, No. 3, September 2006. (“Introduction: This article, the second in a series of four on granite working, completes the description of the quarrying process....”)
    • Part III. Vol. 59, No. 4, December 2006. (“Granite Finishing: A small number of basic finished dimension stones made up the great majority of granite shed production. For gravestones and private....”)
    • Part IV. Vol. 60, No. 1, March 2007. (“This article is the last in a series of four on the tools and machinery of granite working....”)
  • Stone Quarry / Trade Card Images from France & Italy (very early 1900s)
    • French Slate Trade Card loosely – translated (below): The Slate as Roofing. Slates are hardened clay that can be sheared (?) easily in thin sheets. The color of slate varies, but generally model goes from green to from green to blue gray. They are used primarily to coat the roofs and also in large, thick plates to make the billiards. They often replace the paper in schools for teaching writing and arithmetic.
      French Trade Card - Slate Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Slate Quarrying, front (ca 1903)

      The Stone and Its Use - Slate

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • French Granite Trade Card – loosely translated (below): The Stone and Its Use – Granite The granite stone as a building stone. Granite possesses high hardness and resisted for a long time has the influence of weather. It is an excellent building stone because of its great inalterability. It is used primarily in construction of bridges, lighthouses, etc. Granite is very well polished.
      French Trade Card - Granite Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Granite Quarrying, back (ca 1903)

      The Stone and Its Use - Granite

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • French Sandstone Trade Card – loosely translated (below): Sandstone with the ease with which we work, is a stone of employ frequent in the construction industry. It is used for paving roads and in the manufacture of grindstones. Utilize it also works with any kind of sculpture and ornamentation.
      French Trade Card - Sandstone Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Sandstone Quarrying, back (ca 1903)

      The Stone and Its Use - Sandstone

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • French Marble Quarries Trade Card – loosely translated (below):
      French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, back (ca 1903)

      The Treasures of the earth. Marble quarries white Carrara (Italy) - Sculpture

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • French Basque Stone Quarry Trade Card – loosely translated (below): The Basques, established...people on both sides of the Western Pyrenes descended from Iberians, the primitive inhabitants of Spain. In the middle of the two nations, France and Spain, which they are politically part, they have maintained for a relatively long period, ancient laws and privileges of individuals. Their language, which has continued until today, is the key to most geo-graphical denominations of the Iberian peninsula. Our engraving represents quarry workers, dressed in traditional costumes and light, which features pieces that include colored shirt and the plaid beret. Women wear the beret as frequently, their lace bodice and sleeves are covered without a multicolored scarf.
      French Trade Card - Basque stone quarry workers, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Basque stone quarry workers, back (ca 1903)

      Montagnards - Basque Stone Quarriers at Work

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • French Slate Trade Card – loosely translated (below): Alabaster, fine white stone so highly esteemed for making small objects of sculpture, comes mainly from the quarries of Volterra in Tuscany. The work function is very painful and because of the dust for unhealthy. As shown in the left part of our vignette, the gross alabaster is cut using a bandsaw before being submitted to the chisel of the artist, making statues, vases, frames of clocks, etc.
      French Trade Card - Alabaster Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Alabaster Quarrying, back (ca 1903)

      Carriere - Sawing blocks

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • Italian Marble Quarry Trade Card – loosely translated (below):1. Excavation. Civil evolution of man, since ancient times marble was known and used. If it finds evidence in the dolmen, which are the first monuments and the Babylonians, the Aztecs. The Greeks and Romans, who prized material for architectural and artistic works, which have come down to our days. There are almost unknown, however, the primitive systems of quarrying of marble. The modern technique is used for this purpose of various means, suitably selected depending on the quality, hardness and position of arrangement of the marble. To get the material from the bowels of the mountain are also used explosive charges.

      In quarries discoveries, as shown by our illustration, it performs the cutting of monolithic blocks by means of the helical wire, consisting of three steel wires wrapped helically on the other one, with a diameter of about 6 mm and length up to 1000 meters. This wire rope, mounted in a closed circuit on pulleys, comes made ​​to slide at a speed of 5 or 6 meters per second, passing in a position of rubbing along the rock to be separated; the line of friction is continuously sprayed from a mixture of water and silica sand which serves as the abrasive. The groove-crack so you ridden it may also deepen gradually over tens of meters, as long as it would lower per square on the first place, in marketable size.

      French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, back (ca 1903)

      Marble Excavation in Italy

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • Italian Marble Quarry Trade Card – loosely translated (below):2. Transport of Blocks – from the quarries, the transport of the marble deposits to sawmills can be performed with different systems. Formerly they were dropping blocks to the quarry floor making them roll down the slope of the mountain to fend for themselves. This system, called momentum, is no longer used because it causes great damage to the material.

      The illustration shows three modern systems used.

      The first is by hand, the cheapest and oldest. The blocks from one or two hundred tons are placed on the contention that it is formed by two strong beams of oak or beech, roughly square, with the ends somewhat pointed and curved upwards. The load is restrained with thick ropes of hemp or steel wire, which are the piri stakes driven into the mountain, and slid slowly over wallpaper (?) or hardwood joists, lubricated with soap or tallow to prevent excessive friction and to slide smoothly along the upstream load.

      The second system illustrated is the inclined plane that is carried out on a normal railway track, by means of special trucks, on which are loaded blocks, retained with steel cables.

      A third transport system, the cable car, with which you can pull down from the mountain blocks up to 20 tons, is usually very expensive for marble.

      Inset: an example of – Red Verona

      French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, back (ca 1903)

      Processing Marble
      2. Transport Blocks

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • Italian Marble Quarry Trade Card – loosely translated (below): Marble Work - 3. Deposits of Crude Blocks - After transport downstream, blocks of marble are usually stacked in large deposits. Here the laborers and masons ensure riquadrarli (?) further, to remove any rough edges making...the face of the blocks, then numbered and cataloged them, in order of quality.

      The numerous types of marbles are named according to their physical properties and color, as well as in connection with, often, the places from which they are extracted.

      One of the most marbles I have known are White Carrara, Tuscany and the Roman Travertine, Rosso di Verona, the Baveno pink granite, the red Solberga (Swedish), Brazil’s Black, Black Belgian, etc.

      The operation of moving blocks of marble out by a crane trestle with fly outside that allow them to withdraw or deposit the same on the carts, trucks or railcars that transport them to the sawmills.

      In the box: a copy of – Green Apli.

      French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, front (ca 1903) French Trade Card - Marble Quarrying, back (ca 1903)

      Marble Work
      3. Deposits of Crude Blocks

      (back of trade card to the left)

    • Stone-Quarry Investigations,” in Stone, An Illustrated Magazine, July 1917. (An excerpt from the article is below, and you can read the entire article using the link at the beginning of this entry.)

      “In 1914 a co-operative agreement was entered into between the United States Geological Survey, the Bureau of Standards, and the Bureau of Mines for a study of the stone-quarrying industry of the country.  The work undertaken by the Bureau of Mines had for its chief objects the promotion of safety and efficiency, and the elimination of waste in the industry, as well as a study of the technological methods used, and of the problems involved.

      “There are approximately 3,000 quarries in active operation in the United States, employing in all about 100,000 men….”



  • Women Who Walk Through Time, presented by the American Geological Institute - AGI. This site is for everyone but includes some special things for girls and women interested in the earth sciences.

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