One of the leading Copper Country photographers from the early 20th century, D.D. Scott made a specialty out of capturing the industrial strengths of the copper industry. One of the collections he created was a series of postcards showing the movement
of copper from underground, through to final shipment. He titled this the Mine to Market series. I was never able to find a complete set, but using the cards that I do have, I was able to fill in the missing pieces with appropriate replacements. Below is an interesting view of the Copper Country, one that shows how vertically integrated the area was when it came to copper production.
An early underground view, titled 25th level drift and stope, North Kearsarge Mine. Probably dates to ~1900.
It all starts at this stage.
A 1920's era view of a miner with his 1-man, compressed-air powered, drill.
Once the mineral and rock is hoisted to the surface, you can see the rail cars ready to be filled.
The first card in the D.D. Scott series, showing another view of the #2 shaft. On the left, you can see the watch tower used to
gain a visual sighting of the northern end of the property.
Looking south from Red Jacket Road, with the Hecla shafts on the left, and the casting/foundry on the right.
Looking north along Mine Street, with the machine shop on the left.
A great view of a train load of mineral heading to Lake Linden. These tracks are located near where the 6th Street extension is today
Another view looking south, from about where Pamida is located today. These shafts were all located south of the Swedetown Road.
All mineral rock made its way to the great stamp mills in Lake Linden, where the product was crushed down to a sand-like
consistency. From here the mineral was shipped to the smelter.
Here is a view of the Michigan Smelter, owned by the mines in the South Range area. The copper was refined and cast into ingots,
bars, rods, plates and other shapes here. This large facility was located west of Houghton, along the canal road.
These next 3 cards from the series show the smelting works of C&H, located in Hubbell.
This is a view of a cupola located at the base of the smelter. Pure molten copper was funneled down to this area,
where it was tapped off for casting.
Another view of ingots being cast.
The next cards all show the tons and tons of copper being docked and loaded for shipment east. Most, if not all major
manufacturing was done on the east coast. In fact, C&H had a smelter in Buffalo, NY that was used to refine the large amounts
of mass copper produced. Since these masses were almost pure copper, it probably made economic sense to ship these items
east, closer to the market, for final refining.
Copper, copper, and more copper everywhere you look. It's an amazing site to see.