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Photo's and Sketching from

The California Gold Rush

Photo's used in John Polos' paper "They Came to See an Elephant"

These are all photo's I scanned and used in a paper I wrote my senior year. Because these images are all part of another paper, I decided to put them on display here. There are only two photo's by me, one I took when I was first learning how to take pictures, and print them. Also I was just learning how to scan, so some pictures are over 100 K in size, other's are of pour quality. I hope you enjoy the archive.

Send feedback tojpolos@fermat.stmarys-ca.edu

1. "Off To California." Sketching of a "gold hunter on his way to California." Typifies someone going to the mother-load. One of my favorite pictures in the paper, my only regret is I didn't scan it with more resolution.

"Sutter's Mill". A photograph of James Marshal (The man who discovered gold in California) in front of Sutter's Mill. Scanned from a book, not a very good quality scan.

"Going to California" Cartoon by "Elton" from 1849. This cartoon became very famous and as it says underneath, prophetic. It was a common belief that once you reached California, you could just pick gold up off the ground. It was scanned from a book.

"Dead Broke" Sketching/Cartoon, I believe by Elton, is the second part of the sketching above. This was more likely the case of what happened when you went to California, if you didn't die of disease first.

"A Boat" Artist unknown. Sketching of a boat immigrants took to California.

"Aboard Ship" Sketching of what life was like aboard a boat going around cape horn. It shows how cramped things were aboard a boat. Not a very good scan though.

"Miners At Work" Black and White photograph of two miners working a Long Tom" and two more in back in Spanish Flat. A long tom is a trough with water flowing down it. Miners would throw dirt into them and the water would separate out things in the dirt. That Photo is scanned from a book.

"Head of Auburn Ravine, 1852" This picture shows several miners around a "Long Tom"(See above for details) This is an extremely good picture of a "Long Tom" It also gives you a good idea of what the miners wore when at work.

"Winter" The Snow Covered Mountains of the Sierra. Photo by John Polos 1989. Black and White, Kodak T-max X 400 film with a Rollei 35 S in natural light.

"Dutch Flat, California" A picture of the gold mining town of Dutch flat in about 1860 or so. The big hotel in the center is only a third of the size now. Black and White photograph, scanned from a book.

"Dutch Flat Opera House" Old black and white photo, scanned from a book.

"Justice" Black and white drawing of a man that has been hung with onlookers watching. Justice was often swift and resulted in the death of a person, scanned from a book.

"Sunday Afternoon" Drawing of people lounging around on a Sunday. Sunday was the day miners came into town for supply's and R & R. Scanned in gray scale from boot.

"Runckel House" A picture of the house of a Baker. Black and white photograph, Photographer unknown. Dates back prior to 1920.

"Rest Break" Black and white drawing, of two miners resting against a tree. Scanned from a book. A very large file.

"hydraulic Mining" Black and white photo of hydraulic mining in a valley. At least three Monitor are in use. Placer mining was running water through a nozzle (a Monitor) so it came out at high pressure to dig away at mountains to get at gold. Photographer Unknown. This is a very old photo, you can tell because hydraulic mining was outlawed in 1897. Note this is the smaller of two, but the other is a nicer photo.

"hydraulic Mining 2" A very nice photo of hydraulic mining. Two Monitor shown very clearly. Black and white photograph. This is perhaps the best photo of the set. See note above

"New Suits" Portrait of two brothers in suits they had just bought for their trip to California. It was common for people to have their portraits taken before they left. Black and white photo. Scanned,not very well, from a book.

"Lunch" . This photograph(black and white) is of three miners and a woman standing around a long tom(see above for description). Black and White photograph, scanned from a book.

"Nevada City 1852" This picture is of Nevada City, or how it looked in 1852. In 1996 it looks a lot different. Black and white photo, scanned from a book.

"Dutch Flat Hotel" A picture of the Dutch Flat hotel, in 1994. The fence around it is because the hotel is in the 20th year of it's 40 year renovation. Black and White photo. Taken in the late afternoon in late October on a clear day with a Cannon F-1 with a 150mm telephoto lens and t-max 400 film.

View my paper on the California Gold Rush, "They Came to See an Elephant"

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