[RGS] Placerville Gondola loads

Don Bergman

Thanks to all for the great comments.  Possibly the large cylinder thing on end in the last car goes on top of one of the separators.

Sorry for the loss of your Uncle to Covid-19,  everybody stay safe and wear a mask in public.

Don B.


My uncle was a mill operator for most of his adult life. I asked him about these conical devices a number of years ago and I told him the time frame that the photos were taken in and he said they were probably centrifugal separators. These machines (if that is what they really are) use the ventury effect to de- water the ore concentrates.

We lost my uncle to COVID-19 early this year so I can’t go back and ask him for more information.

If you look closely at the photos, there are 3 distinct types of machines here. The one on the wagon probably had a rectangular opening at the top that connected to an air blower. The ore exiting the bottom would be damp but not in slurry form anymore. Wet ore was more expensive to ship because it was heavier and the water content had no monitory value.

Dale Buxton

On Sunday, August 9, 2020, 14:49, Don Bergman <DBRenegade@...> wrote:


I have long been fascinated with several photographs at Placerville of gondolas with mill equipment.  I have modeled the first one of the 3 gondolas and am working on the second one.

What might the "back" hidden side of item being loaded onto the wagons look like?    (See second URL below.)
What would any of the objects on all 3 gondola loads be used for?  In the third gondola what might the farthest item be? Looks like a big grinding stone to me.

Thanks for the help.

Don Bergman
Holland, MI

Three D&amp;RGW gondolas, #9719, #8836 &amp; #8196, loaded with mining equipment on the house track behind the RGS Placerville depot.&lt;br /&gt; RGS Placerville, CO ca. 1900-1916&lt;br /&gt; In book &quot;Rio Grande Southern, The: An Ultimate Pictorial Study&quot; page 56&lt;br /&gt; Same image as RD128-069. Also in &quot;RGS Story Vol. I&quot;, p. 278 and &quot;Narrow Gauge Pictorial Vol. III&quot;, p. 89.&lt;br /&gt; Thanks to Don Bergman for additional information.