20 Mule Team hauling Borax in Death Valley, Federal Litho Company

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20 Mule Team hauling Borax in Death Valley, Federal Litho Company
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c. 1895. The famed 20-mule team pulls two large wagons and a smaller trailer through the trackless desert. The black horses contrast with the pale gold of the desert and the blue of the wagons and the hills in the background. Printed by the Federal Litho Co., New York. Some rubbing & soiling to image, scuff mark at lower right, 4" vertical scratch at left edge, rubbing to left and right borders, some edges bent, else very good. There is a 4" vertical scratch at left edge and some overall minor wear and rubbing. Coleman's mining superintendent J.W.S. Perry and a young muleskinner named Ed Stiles came up with the idea of hauling the borax ore to Mojave by hitching two ten-mule teams together to form a 100-foot-long, twenty mule team. The borax wagons had to be hauled up and out of Death Valley, over the steep Panamint Mountains and across the scorching desert to reach Mojave. The 20-day round trip started 190 feet below sea level and climbed to an elevation of 2,000 feet. Specialized wagons would also be needed to haul the ore to Mojave. The borax wagons were built in Mojave at a cost of $900 each. Each wagon was designed to carry ten tons of borax ore and to withstand the grueling trip across the treacherous Panamint Mountains and to grind through the sand and gravel of the arid desert floor. The wagon's rear wheels measured seven-feet-high and the front wheels measured five-foot-high. The tires were made of one inch thick iron and measured eight inches across. The wagons beds measured 16 feet long and were 6 feet deep. The wagons were constructed of solid oak and weighed 7,800 pounds empty. When the two wagons were loaded with ore and a 500 gallon water tank was added the total weight of the mule train was 73,200 pounds or 36 1/2 tons. When the mules were added to the wagons the caravan stretched over 100 feet. The Twenty Mule Teams hauled more than 20 million pounds of borax out of Death Valley between 1883 and 1889. [Boron Chamber of Commerce, 20 Mule Team Museum between Barstow and Mojave.]City: Death ValleyCounty: InyoState: CADate: