That danged blue stuff

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“That danged blue stuff!” said the miner as he flung away the blue gravel. “Clogging our mekaniks and gettin’ in our clothes” he muttered as he went back to work. That miner, among dozens of others, was mining for gold in Virginia City, Nevada, in 1858. An onlooker, B.A. Harrison, picked up some of those blue rocks and put them in his pocket. On his next trip to California, Harrison gave them to an assayer, Melville Atwood. Atwood found out that there was not only $876 worth of Gold, but also $3,196 worth of Silver per ton of “that danged blue stuff”. Everyone was sworn to secrecy, but Atwood wrote to Don Davidson, in San Francisco and told him about the Silver ore. The Nevada silver rush was on.

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