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Placer Mining Scene
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Attributed to Carleton E. Watkins
American, about 1850-1853
Half-plate daguerreotype
4 1/4 x 5 7/16 in.
2008.10.2

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Watkins was persistently interested in the technical details of mining operations. Here a primitive Spanish ore mill is used to pulverize gold-bearing rock. Throughout his career Watkins earned income producing photographs that were used as sources for engraved illustrations, as this one was.