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Mining In 1849

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The most expensive instrument of the early miner was the rocker, which, hough simple in construction, cost in he mines from fifty to a hundred dollars. In general appearance it was no+ unlike a baby's eradle as used by our grandmothers and as still seen on the frontier. It consisted of a flat bottom with two sides that flared ontward, and an end board at the head, while the foot was open save a rifiie abont au inch and a half high at the bottom to catch the gold that might pass another riffle across the bottom near the middle. At the head of the eradle was a hopper about eighteen inches square, with a perforated sheet iron bottom or wire screen. Under this was an apron, or board, sloping downward towird the head. Two substantial rockers under the whole completed the simple machine which gave to the world millions of dollars. The modus operandi may be described as f ollows: Two sticks of wood hewn on the upper side were imbedded at the river's brink, one four inches lower than the other, on which the rockers were to rest, thus securing a grade in the machine to facilítate the outward flow of the water and sand. Two minere usually worked together as partners. One shoveled the earth into the rocker, while the other, seated on a bowlder or block of wood, dipped the water from the river and poured it upon the earth in the hopper with one hand, all the time rocking with the other. When the earth was thoroughly washed, he rose, lifted the hopper from its place, threw out the stones and gravel, replaced it, and thus the work went on. As the ground about the rocker, became exhausted to the bedrock, recourse was had to the bucket, and the earth was carried sometimes a few rods, making laborious work for the miner. To keep the rocker going another hand wonld be employed to carry earth, and each wouid carry two buckets at a time. Hard work of this kind snggested improvements in mining. At noon the gold and black sand collected above tho riffles were taken np on a .scraper and thrown into the pan, which was carried to the river and carefnlly washed to remove as far as possible all but the gold. The yield of the forenoon was carried to the camp, dried over a blaze, the dry sand blown out, and the gold weighed in scales or guessed at, and poured into the part■nprsViin nnrft nrc rlpnnsit.pfl nnrlfvr thft bed or anywhere elseout of