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  • Fluorspar Mining Collection

The fluorspar-rich region of southeastern Illinois served as a home for several mines, making Illinois the leading producer of fluorspar in the United States from the 1940s until the 1990s. The mineral is used to smelt metals such as aluminum, creade hydrofluoric acid, and in items containing fluoride chemicals. Fluorspar mines existed in southern Illinois until the mid-1990s when the last mine closed due to increased availability of fluorspar from international locations.

Photographs in this collection include images of miners at work, mining machinery and factories, and Aluminum Company of America factories.

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