Museum logo Joseph Grant Almaden Quicksilver Martial Cottle SCCP

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog number 1997.2.1624
Object Name Clipping, Newspaper
Date 1940
Description TITLE: QUICKSILVER ACTIVITY SUBTITLE: May Reopen Old Mines
Soaring prices of quicksilver due to European wartime conditions have caused renewed activity at the historic Almaden and Guadalupe mines, where several local "syndicates" reported operating on a profitable basis and where reports are widespread that a large mining company plans to install heavy machinery and reopen the mines on a large scale.
So far, the outside company has not started operations, but it was learned reliably that one local syndicate, headed by Frank Pfeiffer, member of an old-time Almaden district family, has been operating quite successfully on a small scale and as late as yesterday reduced $168 worth of quicksilver from slag and tailings at the old works for a single day's work. Pfeiffer's group is operating only at the old Hacienda mines, while another syndicate headed by a man named Snyder is working the old Almaden mine diggings above the town of New Almaden, while at Guadalupe a Turner Brothers Company was reported engaged in small-scale but profitable operations.
HISTORIC MINES
The mines being reworked by the local interests since the rise in the price of quicksilver, needed badly in manufacture of high explosives, were once the largest quicksilver producers in the world. They have been operated alternatively by Indians, Mexicans, Spaniards and Americans, the latter during pioneer days having reduced millions of tons of cinnabar ore.
Gradually the market waned, and the mines went into a decline except for a short period during the World War, when they were operated on a large scale for several years.
Cataloged by Boudreault, Art