MP-0000.103.44 | Making sluice boxes, new claim, Hunker's Creek, YT, 1898

Photograph, glass lantern slide
Making sluice boxes, new claim, Hunker's Creek, YT, 1898
Edwin Tappan Adney
1898, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8 x 8 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  event (534) , History (944) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Here some miners are making sluice boxes. Sluice-boxes were square, three-sided troughs of the length shown in the picture. Small strips of wood called riffles were nailed across the inside bottom of the box. Dirt and gravel containing gold were shovelled into one end of the box, and it was tilted up slightly. Then water was let into that end. The water washed the dirt and gravel out the other end, but the gold sank to the bottom and was caught in the riffles. When the water was stopped, the gold was scraped off the riffles, and the process repeated. Some gold was lost, of course, but the process was simple and cheap.

Source : Off to the Klondike! The Search for Gold [Web tour], by William R. Morrison, University of Northern British Columbia (see Links)

  • What

    These are sluice-boxes, used to separate placer gold from gravel and muck.

  • Where

    The location is Hunker's Creek, Klondike, Yukon Territory.

  • When

    Sluice-boxes had been in use in North America for about 50 years before this photograph was taken.

  • Who

    The miners, who had probably handsawn the lumber themselves, are unidentified.