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Suphur Mining, Reel 1

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Silent | 1930

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  •  A carload of sulphur is produced in the United States every 10 minutes 
  •  Sulphur-mining plants along the Gulf Coast of Texas 
  •  Water being pumped into a reservoir from the San Bernard River 
  •  Drilling wells into the sulphur-bearing strata 
  •  A diagram of the mining process 
  •  How miners extract the liquid sulphur 
  •  Bleed wells take care of the remaining hot water 
  •  Workers build vats to contain the molten sulphur 
  •  Miners drill blast holes to break apart the sulphur for shipment 
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Considered one of Texas’ most significant natural resources, sulphur deposits first attracted speculators’ interest in the mid-1800s. Significant mining did not begin, however, until around 1919, when the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company began extraction at the Big Hill Dome deposit in Matagorda County. It is estimated that since then, Texas has produced approximately 80 percent of the nation’s sulphur supply. In the first part of this government-produced educational film from the 1930s, the sulphur mining industry in Texas and the United States is detailed and elaborated on.