MP-1979.111.183 | Blake & partner weighing small cleanup gold, Buster Creek, Nome, Alaska, 1900

 
Photograph
Blake & partner weighing small cleanup gold, Buster Creek, Nome, Alaska, 1900
Edwin Tappan Adney
1900, 20th century
Silver salts on film - Gelatin silver process
16 x 21 cm
MP-1979.111.183
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Alaska (6) , Buster Creek (2) , event (534) , event (101) , figure (1849) , gold (2) , History (944) , history (162) , Klondike Gold Rush (14) , male (1608) , miner (2) , pair (195) , partner (2) , Photograph (77678) , weighing gold (1) , work (126)
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Keys to History

It was well worthwhile to save every flake of gold. In 1900, when this photograph was taken, the price of gold was $20 an ounce. That doesn't sound like much compared to today's price of CDN$550, but remember that in 1900 many workers made only $2 a day. An ounce of gold was thus worth 10 days' wages. The claims on Bonanza Creek ran 500 feet (about 150 m) along the creek, and some of them produced as much as $500,000 of gold, or a thousand years' wages for the average worker. The lucky few who held these claims went home wealthy. But most of those who came to the Klondike worked on other peoples' claims for wages, and because the cost of living in the North was high, they returned home with very little.

  • What

    The two partners are weighing gold on a set of balance scales, an instrument as old as trade itself.

  • Where

    These men are in Nome, Alaska, but scales like this were used all over the Yukon, as well as in California and Australia.

  • When

    This picture was taken during the gold rush to Nome in 1899-1900.

  • Who

    H. L. Blake and his partner are looking pleased with the results of their work.