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"This first-ever pictorial record of the people and methods of the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District from the 1900s to the 1990s covers early and modern means of extracting, hoisting, processing, and transporting the mineral from mine mouth to end user.

"Nearly 100 images carefully selected by author Herbert K. Russell show early pick-and-shovel extraction and open-flame lighting as well as primitive drilling methods and transportation by barrels, buckets, barges, mule teams, and trams, in addition to the use of modern equipment and sophisticated refinement procedures such as froth flotation.

"Russell also provides an overview of the many industrial uses of fluorspar, from metal work by ancient Romans to the processing of uranium by scientists seeking to perfect the atomic bomb."


"Preserving what is known about the industry by miners, managers, and museums, this detailed and fascinating pictorial history looks both above and below ground at fluorspar mining."


Fluorite is Illinois' state mineral.


"Rosiclare is a city in Hardin County, Illinois, along the Ohio River. The population was 1,160 at the 2010 census, down from 1,213 at the 2000 census," the town's Wikipedia page says.

"Some of the earliest settlers of the Rosiclare area were outlaws mainly counterfeiters from the Sturdivant Gang in the late 1810s-early 1820s

"Rosiclare used to be the fluorite capital of the United States. Andrew Jackson, in 1835, once owned a fluorspar mine in Rosiclare.

"Wholesale mining of fluorspar first began in Rosiclare in 1842. Mining ceased when it became cheaper to import fluorite from China, due to that nation's cheap labor. The Lead and Fluorspar Mining Company continued to process ore from mines in Hardin County but closed due to foreign competition in 1996."


Tribune, 1996: "As of Wednesday, the state mineral of Illinois no longer will be mined in the state of Illinois.

"We'll be buying it from China instead," said Greg Humm of Rosiclare.

Humm is president of the union that represents employees of the Ozark-Mahoning Mining Company, the state's - and nation's 0 only producer of fluorite, the official mineral of Illinois."


Rosiclair Fluorspar Mining Documentary:


Comments welcome.


Posted on December 19, 2018

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