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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Gould Rotary Furnace and Condensing System

 
 
Gould Rotary Furnace and Condensing System Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 15, 2012
1. Gould Rotary Furnace and Condensing System Marker
Inscription. The rotary furnace was used to recover mercury from cinnabar ore. Finely crushed ore fro the fine ore bin entered the furnace by means of a feeder known as a shotgun or bump feeder. The feeder periodically injected a measured amount of ore into the rotary tube where it was heated above the dissociation temperature (1095 degrees F). High temperature plus injected air provided by the burner/blower also oxidized the sulphur within the ore.

The rotary tube slowly rotated so that ore was constantly mixed, exposed to the heat, and gradually fed toward the burner end, where spent ore dropped into the calcines bin.

Gases resulting from the heat consisted of mercury, sulphur, and water vapor, which along with an unavoidable amount of dust were drawn out of the furnace into a dust separator and on to the condenser. Mercury vapor was condensed back to its liquid form and, along with a small amount of rock dust, caught in rubber buckets. Sulphur vapor was exhausted into the air.

This rotary furnace was used in the Guadalupe mine from 1940 until the mine closed in the 1970s. The Guadalupe Rubbish Company donated the furnace to NAQCPA in 1987.
Specifications
Manufacturer: Mutual Engineering Co., South San Francisco, California
Model: Gould Improved Quicksilver Furnace Condensing
Gould Rotary Furnace and Condensing System Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 15, 2012
2. Gould Rotary Furnace and Condensing System Marker
System
Manufacture Date: 1940
Capacity: 15 tons per day
Fuel: Bunker Oil
Rotational power: 4.98 HP electric motor. Rotary tube rotation, about once per minute.
 
Erected by New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association/The California State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Daughters of the American Revolution marker series.
 
Location. 37° 10.4′ N, 121° 49.578′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from Almaden Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. The Hacienda Mining Display is a short walk on the Deep Gulch Trail from the Almaden Quicksilver County Park parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: San Jose CA 95120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Skip Loader (here, next to this marker); D Retort and Condensing System (here, next to this marker); Shaker-Concentrator (here, next to this marker); Mine Air Compressors (a few steps from this marker); Mercury Storage Vault (a few steps from this marker); Hoeing Table and Cleaning Tank
Gould Rotary Furnace and Condensing System image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 15, 2012
3. Gould Rotary Furnace and Condensing System
(a few steps from this marker); Mine Ventilation Fans (a few steps from this marker); Cornish Pump (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose.
 
More about this marker. The Hacienda Mining Display is still under development.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 19, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 679 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 19, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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