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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Furnace Creek in Inyo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

White Gold

 
 
White Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
1. White Gold Marker
Inscription.  Though steeped in legend, the frenzied search for gold and other materials in Death Valley produced few fortunes. Borax, the "White Gold of the Desert," ranks as the valley's most profitable mineral.
Harmony Borax works, in front of you, was one of Death Valley's first borax operations. It operated from 1883-1888. The 3/8-mile interpretive trail takes you through Harmony Borax Works.
 
Erected by Death Valley National Park, National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNatural ResourcesNotable BuildingsNotable Places.
 
Location. 36° 28.8′ N, 116° 52.508′ W. Marker is in Furnace Creek, California, in Inyo County. Marker can be reached from Borax Mill Road near California Route 190, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Death Valley CA 92328, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Borax (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Harmony Borax Works (approx. 0.3 miles away); Stephen Tyng Mather
White Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, October 29, 2020
2. White Gold Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
(approx. 1.3 miles away); Old Dinah (approx. 1.6 miles away); 20 Mule Team Wagon Train (approx. 1.7 miles away); Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley (approx. 1.7 miles away); Death Valley 49ers Gateway (approx. 2˝ miles away); Zabriskie Point (approx. 5.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Furnace Creek.
 
Regarding White Gold. Picture caption:
A 20 mule team at the Harmony Borax works
about 1885. Some "20 mule" teams, like this
one, had varying numbers of animals.
 
Additional commentary.
1.
Borax,
also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.

Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as an insecticide, as a flux in metallurgy,
Harmony Borax Works image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, October 29, 2020
3. Harmony Borax Works
a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds
    — Submitted July 5, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
 
White Gold, at Harmony Borax works image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
4. White Gold, at Harmony Borax works
White Gold , Harmony Borax works image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
5. White Gold , Harmony Borax works
Twenty Mule Teams image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
6. Twenty Mule Teams
For more than a century, the 20 Mule Team has been a symbol of the borax industry --- on product labels, in history books, and on television. The status is well- earned; mule teams helped solve the most diffiult task that faced Death Valley borax operators --- getting the product to market. The mule teams pulled loads weighing up to 36 tons (33,113 kg), including 1,200 gallons (4,545 l) of drinking water. The rear wagon wheels were 7 feet (2.1m) high, and the entire unit with mules was more than 100 feet (30.5m) long. (Death Valley National Park)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 801 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 5, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   2, 3. submitted on November 6, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   4, 5, 6. submitted on July 5, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

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