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Photographer's Note

We survived Death Valley to show you the historic site
of Harmony Borax Works.
Seen here are the water tank for the twenty-mules team and wagons hauling the borax from the valley by 1881.
Chemistry: In the Furnace Creek area, borates were deposited in the remains of old lakebeds. Later, partial alteration and solution of these veins by groundwater moved some of the borates to the Death Valley floor where evaporation has left a mixed crust of salt, borates and alkalies.
History: Aaron Winters found borax on Death Valley saltspan in 1881. He soon sold his claims to William Coleman, builder of the Harmony Borax Works, where borate-bearing muds were refined until 1889. Then the plant closed forever.
At present the Borax Works plant consists of a four-level ruin situated against a hillside. There are remains of buildings, machinery, tanks and piping.
Borates in modern use: 43% of world demand in insulation fiberglass, textile fiberglass and heat-resistant glass.
17% in detergents and soaps.
12% in ceramic and enamel frits and glazes, ceramic tiles bodies.
5% in agricultural micronutrients.
Other uses including wood treatments, polymer additives and pest control products.

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Additional Photos by Robert Deschenes (clic) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2923 W: 0 N: 4025] (25388)
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