Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Today's picture shows a couple of prospectors with their donkeys all packed up, ready for the gold rush. The picture was taken in 1907 in Goldfield, Nevada. One wonders if these gentlemen had any success in their search for gold. They certainly appear to be well equipped.


  1. A fairly unusual aspect of this photo is that the men are riding the donkeys. Donkeys can be ridden, of course, and you have up other photos of that being done.

    But Americans don't typically ride donkeys and never did, making this an unusual photograph.

  2. Most donkeys are small enough to make riding them awkward, and riding's not the best use of their weight-bearing capacity. These men may have been fairly small, or not going a great distance. One thing your gold prospecting pictures with donkeys has made me think of is the variety of places in America--even just North America--where gold prospecting has been done Not just the California Gold Rush and the Alaskan Gold Rush, which are clearly the big two, but you've shown Nevada and Colorado. I can also think of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, off the top of my head, and I'm sure there were many more. That doesn't even count the Native Americans, who mined for gold in a variety of places, many in the Midwest, or in Mexico and South America before the arrival of the Europeans. Humans played the major role as pack animals for the Natives before European contact, except in the Inca Empire, where they used llamas.