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The Underground World_ A mirror of life below the surface

The Underground World_
A mirror of life below the surface
Category:
Title: The Underground World_ A mirror of life below the surface
Release Date: 2018-07-04
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

Frontispiece

THE
Underground World:

A MIRROR OF
LIFE BELOW THE SURFACE,
WITH VIVID DESCRIPTIONS OF THE
HIDDEN WORKS OF NATURE AND ART.
COMPRISING
INCIDENTS AND ADVENTURES BEYOND THE LIGHT OF DAY.

INTERESTING SKETCHES
OF
MINES AND MINING IN ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD—CAVES AND THEIR
MYSTERIES—FAMOUS TUNNELS—DOWN IN THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA.
VOLCANOES AND THEIR ERUPTIONS—PETROLEUM—UNDERGROUND
LIFE OF MAN AND THE LOWER ANIMALS. SUBTERRANEAN WORKS
OF THE ANCIENTS. BURIED TREASURES, ETC., ETC.

PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED.

BY
THOS. W. KNOX,
Author of “Overland through Asia,” “Life and Adventuresin the Orient,” “Camp-Fireand Cotton-Field,” “The Boy Exiles,” etc.

HARTFORD:
THE J. B. BURR PUBLISHING CO.
1877.


Copyrighted.
The J. B. Burr Publishing Co.
1877.


[Pg 3]

PREFACE.

The chief intent of this work is the plain,sufficient, and entertainingdescription of the marvelous lives not only of miners, butof all whose lot or choice it is to “delve and dare” underground.That its object is secured, the author is flatteringly assured byacknowledged critics,—travelers and book-men themselves, like thewriter, most of them. The narratives of the book are not merelydry relations of scientific facts freighted with unnecessary technicalterms, as might possibly be suspected from a cursory glance at thelist of the topics treated, but statements of most important andcurious deeds, and descriptions of hidden localities and lives, interspersedwith lively anecdote and “incidents with souls in them,” itis believed, and the greater part herein for the first time given tothe public. The table of contents will suffice to show how wideand varied has been the author’s scope of observation and comment,covering all the most important parts of the globe.

But he has not been satisfied with relying wholly upon his ownobservations and world-studies. No man, however active andindustrious, can collate and digest all the interesting informationwhich may cluster about any important subject. The average lifeis too short for the performance of such exhaustive study. Theauthor has therefore consulted many works upon mining andkindred subjects, adding their funds of knowledge to his ownresearches, in order, so far forth as possible, to perfect his work.Besides, he is specially indebted to Professor Simonin, author of[Pg 4]La Vie Souterraine,and has relied upon him for many facts andfigures, particularly in regard to the coal mines of France and othercountries. Many individuals, professionally conversant with thesubjects discoursed of, have also been personally consulted invarious countries; while several literary gentlemen of eminencehave kindly lent the author their aid. Among the latter it ispermissible to mention Mr. Junius Henri Browne, of New York,and the late Col. Albert S. Evans, of San Francisco.

In preparing the matter for the press, it has been found convenientto make use of words borrowed from the French and otherlanguages, and also of terms more or less technical in their character.They are not numerous, and are so well understood eitherby context or by popular use that a glossary is not considerednecessary.

The author takes this opportunity to thank the newspaper pressand the public for the generous reception accorded to his previouspublications, hoping, in the language of the business card of thetimes, to merit a continuance of the same.

T. W. K.


[Pg 5]

CONTENTS.

I.
BELOW THE SURFACE.
DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE.—WHAT THE WORLD BELIEVES.—MUNGO PARK IN AFRICA.—WHY THE NATIVES PITIED HIM.—EXTENT OF UNDERGROUND LIFE.—DISTRIBUTION OF THE EARTH’S WEALTH.—VALUE OF MINES.—THEIR EXTENT AND IMPORTANCE.—COAL AND IRON.—MYSTERIES OF MINES.—EXPERIENCE WITH A NOVICE.—CHANGES OF SEASONS TO A MINER.—DANGERS IN MINES.—LIFE IN CAVERNS.—UNDERGROUND IN METAPHOR.—SOCIAL MINING.—OBJECT OF THIS VOLUME. Page 27
II.
DISCOVERY OF COAL.
SAVAGE THEORIES ABOUT COAL.—EXPERIENCE OF A SIBERIAN EXPLORING PARTY.—BURNING BLACK STONES.—MINERAL FUEL AMONG THE ANCIENTS.—THEIR MOTIVE POWER.—CHINESE TRADITIONS.—CHINESE GAS WELLS.—HISTORY OF COAL IN ENGLAND.—A ROYAL EDICT.—CURIOUS STORY OF THE MINER OF PLENEVAUX.—EXTENT OF COAL FIELDS THROUGHOUT THE GLOBE.—THE QUAKER AND THE YANKEE PEDLER.—THE FIRST ANTHRACITE.—BELLINGHAM BAY AND THE CHINOOKS.—HOW COAL WAS FORMED.—INTERVIEWING A REPTILE.—THEORIES OF THE ANCIENTS.—RIVERS OF OIL OF VITRIOL.—ANCIENT AND MODERN FIRE WORSHIPPERS. 37
III.
BORINGS AND SHAFTS.
HOW COAL MINES ARE DISCOVERED.—OUTCROPPINGS.—SCIENTIFIC RESEARCHES.—HOW A MARBLE QUARRY WAS FOUND.—BORING A WELL, AND WHAT CAME OF IT.—A LOCAL DEBATING SOCIETY.—INTIMATE RELATIONS OF COAL MINES AND THE STEAM ENGINE.—STRIKING OIL.—“DAD’S STRUCK ILE.”—THE UNHAPPY MAIDEN’S FATE.—COAL INSTEAD OF WATER.—THE TOOLS TO BE USED.—A DEEP HOLE.—TERRIBLE ACCIDENT, AND A MINER’S COOLNESS.—SINKING SHAFTS.—AN INGENIOUS APPARATUS.—ACCIDENTS IN SHAFTS.—REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW. 53
IV. [Pg 6]
ACCIDENTS IN SHAFTS.
ADVENTURE OF THE AUTHOR DESCENDING A SHAFT.—A MINUTE OF PERIL.—LIFTED THROUGH A SHAFT BY ONE LEG.—A COLLISION IN MID-AIR.—SENSATIONS OF THE DESCENT.—A MINER’S VIEWS OF DANGER.—PICTURESQUE SCENE AT A DESCENT.—OFFERING PRAYERS.—SCENE AT A RUSSIAN MINE.—SAFETY CAGES.—THEIR CONSTRUCTION.—A LUDICROUS INCIDENT.—HOW A MAN FAILED TO KEEP AN ENGAGEMENT.—DOWN IN THE SALT MINES OF POLAND.—A PERILOUS DESCENT.—“PLENTY MORE MEN.”—ACCIDENT NEAR SCRANTON.—“PUTTERS.”—HOW GIRLS WERE USED IN SCOTLAND.—MAN ENGINES.—THE LEVELS.—AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY RATS.—THRILLING AND FATAL ADVENTURE OF TWO PENNSYLVANIA MINERS.—A FEARFUL FALL OF ROOF.—CARRYING A DYING COMRADE TOWARD THE LIGHT OF DAY.—EIGHT HOURS OF MORTAL AGONY. 65
V.
SILVER MINES AND MINING.
ANTIQUITY OF SILVER.—REAL ESTATE AND SLAVE PURCHASES IN BIBLICAL TIMES.—SOLOMON AND HIS SILVER SPECULATIONS.—ABUNDANCE OF SILVER AMONG THE ANCIENTS.—THE EARLIEST MINES.—ORIENTAL EXAGGERATION.—SPANISH MINES AND THEIR HISTORY.—MEXICAN MINES.—A NONDESCRIPT ANIMAL.—NOVEL WAY OF OBTAINING A PIGSKIN.—PERU AND ITS SILVER.—A HIGH-TONED CITY.—ARIZONA.—BEAUTIES OF ARIZONA CIVILIZATION.—MINES OF UTAH AND NEVADA.—SAD RESULTS OF A SPECULATION. 82
VI.
SILVER MINING IN NEVADA.
HOW GOLD WAS DISCOVERED IN NEVADA.—A PECULIAR “BLACK SAND,” AND WHAT CAME OF IT.—SILVER CURSED AND THROWN AWAY.—ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY OF THE VALUE OF THE ORE.—H. T. P. COMSTOCK.—THE COMSTOCK LODE.—HOW MINING RECORDS WERE KEPT.—YIELD OF THE NEVADA MINES.—BONANZA AND BORRASCA.—THE BIG BONANZA.—THE GRAVE OF THE FORESTS.—“WASHOE ZEPHYRS.”—PAY ROLLS OF THE MINING COMPANIES.—INTERESTING DETAILS. 97
VII.
SPECULATIONS IN NEVADA MINES.
MINING SPECULATIONS.—SWINDLERS IN NEW YORK AND BOSTON.—THE AUTHOR’S EXPERIENCE.—HOW HE WAS CAUGHT.—THE HOOK AND THE WAY [Pg 7] TO BAIT IT.—LIMITED INVESTMENT.—THE ADVENTURER’S STORY.—FACTS AND FIGURES.—THE ROMANCE, AND THE SUBSEQUENT REALITY.—ONE HUNDRED PER CENT. A MONTH.—IRISH DIVIDENDS.—EXPLOSION OF THE BUBBLE.—THE VICTIMS AND THEIR FATE.—NANKEEN TROUSERS IN WINTER.—AN ADVENTURER’S EXPERIENCE IN LONDON.—HOW HE CAUGHT A CAPITALIST.—HELD BY THE GLITTERING EYE. 108
VIII.
MINES AND MINING ENTERPRISES OF NORTH AFRICA.
MINING AMONG THE MOORS, BERBERS, AND ARABS.—THE FRENCH CONQUEST.—GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS.—MINERAL WEALTH OF ALGERIA.—A WONDERFUL IRON MINE.—MOKTER-EL HADID.—HOW THE MINE IS WORKED.—VISIT TO A MOUNTAIN OF SALT.—A REMARKABLE FORMATION.—ARTESIAN WELLS IN THE DESERT.—SCENE AT THE OPENING OF ONE.—EFFECTS ON THE PALM-TREE.—A PROPOSED INLAND SEA.—THE SUEZ CANAL AND ITS HISTORY.—HOW IT WAS MADE.—ADVANTAGES TO THE WORLD’S COMMERCE. 118
IX.
ADVENTURES OF DIVERS.
GOING UNDER WATER.—PEARL DIVING.—COSTUME OF THE DIVERS.—HOW THEY
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