[LB020245B], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to U.S. Geological Survey, David Talbot Day, April 20th, 1885


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[LB020245B], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to U.S. Geological Survey, David Talbot Day, April 20th, 1885

Editor's Notes

"Referring to your favor of 11th. inst. I will reply to your questions seriatum. FIRST. In 1879 had expert travelling through the South & west, gathering ore in situ and placer sands, which were sent to Menlo Park for analysis, circulars were sent to all parts of the U. S., thousands of samples or ore & placer sands were received. In no instance was a trace of platinum or its allied metals found from ores or place sand from the South, none cast of the Sierra Nevadas. But on the Pacific Coast platinum exists in nearly all placer sands north of the Central Pacific Railroad and as far up as British territory. The further north the greater the amount of platinum. Large quantities of platinum are in the placers around Oroville, Butte Co., for every 9 parts of gold 1 part of platinum and its allied metals are found, on the Oregon coast placers, one part of platinum metals to 5 of gold and in some localities as much platinum and sold it at San Francisco but of late years no attempt whatever has been made to save it. I have never yet found platinum in ores in situ. Platinum is found in the placers on the Chandiere River, Canada, but in small quantity. SECOND. I do not think an ounce of platinum has been nined in the U. S. in year 1883 or 1884. THIRD. Platinum is workd by a firm at Newark, N. J. I do not remember their name, they are the largest workers in this country. FOURTH. I am quite sure not crude platinum ore is imported into this Country, only pure platinum. The parties who work platinum here, use scrap only. About 80 per cent of platinum ore comes from teh Ural Mountain placers in Russia, 15 per cent from the U.S. of Colombo. It is found on the head waters of the Atral river and is bought by traders in the inland towns and sent to Bueneventura the seaport town on the Pacific all of this platinum goes to Paris, 5 per cent of the ores come from Borneo. Johnson, Matah & Co. of Covent Garden, London, England, practically control the platinum of the owlrd and do probably 80 per cent of the Refining. I would like to have a copy of the book. Should you desire any further information at any time I shall be glad to furnish it."




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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