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Grant number like: FB-56477-12

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Paul Lucier
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (Wakefield, RI 02879-2386)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013

Exploration and Industry: Science and the History of Mining in the American West

This is a major study of the role of science in the exploration and extraction of gold, silver, and copper in the American West during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It shows how Americans became leaders in the new interdisciplinary sciences of economic geology, geophysics, and geochemistry by their active involvement in mining. It highlights the United States Geological Survey and its promotion of mining and simultaneous support of basic research. It also explores the relations between geologists and mining engineers and the development of key technologies like underground mapping. By 1900, mining had become science-based, an R&D model different from the familiar electrical and chemical industries. With geology integral to industry, mines grew deeper, companies bigger, the environmental impact greater, and the science increasingly applied. Based on rich archival sources, scientific and legal records, this study provides a new interpretation of industrial mining in the West.