Getting Gold: a practical treatise for prospectors, miners and students eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 180 pages of information about Getting Gold.

Clear the inside of the water-cask frequently, and occasionally add to the water a little Condy’s fluid, as it destroys organic matter.  A useful cement for stopping leaky places in casks is made as follows:  Tallow 25 parts, lard 40 parts, sifted wood ash 25 parts.  Mix together by heating, and apply with a knife blade which has just been heated.


Are easily made, and are very handy for carrying small supplies of drinking-water when prospecting in a dry country; they have the advantage of keeping the water cool in the hottest weather, by reason on the evaporation.  The mouthpiece is made of the neck of a bottle securely sewn in.


Medicine is also a matter well worthy of thought.  The author’s worst enemy would not call him a mollycoddle, yet he has never travelled in far wilds without carrying something in the way of medicine.  First, then, on this subject, it cannot be too often reiterated that if common Epsom salts were a guinea an ounce instead of a penny the medicine would be valued accordingly, but it is somewhat bulky.  What I especially recommend, however, is a small pocket-case of the more commonly known homeopathic remedies, “Mother tinctures,” which are small, light, and portable, with a small simple book of instructions.  Though generally an allopath in practice, I once saved my own life, and have certainly helped others by a little knowledge in diagnosing complaints and having simple homeopathic remedies at hand to be used in the first stages of what might otherwise have been serious illnesses.


Every one has heard, and most believe, that fire may be easily produced by rubbing together two pieces of wood.  I have seen it done by natives, but they seldom make use of the operation, which is generally laborious, preferring to carry lighted fire sticks for miles.  I have never succeeded in the experiment.

Sometimes, however, it is almost a matter of life or death to be able to produce fire.  The back of a pocket knife, or an old file with a fragment of flint, quartz, or pyrites struck smartly together over the remains of a burnt piece of calico, will in deft hands produce a spark which can be fanned to a glow, and so ignite other material, till a fire is produced.

Also it may not be generally known that he who carries a watch carries a “burning glass” with which he can, in clear weather, produce fire at will.  All that is required is to remove the glass of your watch and carefully three parts fill it with water (salt or fresh).  This forms a lens which, held steadily, will easily ignite any light, dry, inflammable substance.

When firearms are carried, cut a cartridge so that only about a quarter of the charge of powder remains.  Damp some powder and rub it on a small piece of dry cotton cloth or well-rubbed brown paper.  Push a loose pellet of this into the barrel, insert your half cartridge, fire at the ground, when the wad will readily ignite, and can be blown into flame.

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Getting Gold: a practical treatise for prospectors, miners and students from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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