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The History of the American Mining Industry
BSM North America

The History of the American Mining Industry

For centuries, mining has played an important role in accumulating wealth and resources in the United States—and we at BSM North America are proud to be a part of that history by producing custom steering columns and more. But machinery wasn’t always a part of mining, nor did it always look the same way it does now. In fact, in some areas of the country in the past, it wasn’t massive equipment but small ponies that drove successful mining endeavors!

Take a look at a brief history of American Mining, courtesy of BSM North America, your preferred provider of off-road steering column solutions.

The Early Days

It wasn’t, in fact, the California Gold Rush, but the Carolina Gold Rush that was the United States’ first brush with a “mining rush,” after a young boy discovered gold there in 1799. While of course searching for resources underground—coal, tin, silver, etcetera—characterized early colonial life, it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that mining really became profitable and the industry began to advance.

Indeed, everything from copper to petroleum was discovered all across the U.S. during this century—but it was also a time of strife and anxiety, as towns sprung up and dissipated thanks to financially unsustainable practices.

Says Legends of America about the epoch, in a republished and edited 1879 essay by Albert S. Bolles: “The possibility of making a great deal of money in a short time always crazes people.”

Safety Wasn’t First

Early mining in the U.S. didn’t prioritize safety. It wasn’t until 1891, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, that the first Federal laws regarding mine safety were passed—almost one hundred years after the U.S.’s first mining rush! Even after that law was passed, things took a long time to improve, and as they did, it was gradual. The Mine Safety and Health Administration also reports that, from 1900 to 1945, the U.S. did not have a single year in which coal mining deaths dipped below 1,000.

Mining Today

Luckily, the mining industry of the modern area isn’t characterized by such unsustainability and lack of safety. The Federal Government has passed numerous additional laws since the 1900s to keep miners of all kinds safe on the job. Increased mechanization of the industry keeps workers back from dangerous tasks, a trend that’s also going strong in the commercial machining industry today. Check out our industrial fabrication blog, “The Benefits of CNC Machining,” for more information.

BSM North America: Respecting History, Valuing Innovation

We blend traditional commercial machining and industrial fabrication approaches with modern technology to create steering wheel columns that take advantage of both. For all your steering needs, give our Burnsville office a call today at 952-890-8146.

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