Back in 1913, mining played an important role in Colorado’s economy and employed thousands of workers. Hundreds more were made wealthy by owning and investing in Colorado’s mines. Therefore it is no surprise that in that year the Colorado Geological Survey published a book entitled Common Rocks and Minerals: Their Occurrence and Uses. As suggested in its title, this book explores the numerous types of rocks and minerals available in Colorado and, tangentially, how money could be made from them. It provides information on all types of rocks and minerals, from gemstones to metallic minerals to stones useful in the building trade. “Many valuable minerals lie unused for want of knowledge of what they are and how they may be used. It is hoped that [this book] will stimulate an interest in, and a search for, valuable geological products,” the book explains, demonstrating the importance of minerals to the state’s economy and the continued opportunities available to exploit those resources in the early part of the twentieth century.
Underground inside the Yule marble quarry in Pitkin County. Photo courtesy Colorado Geological Survey.