Ores to Metals

The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry

by James Fell

Paperback Price $28.95
Ebook Price $23.95
30-day ebook rental price $9.99

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foreword by Stephen J. Leonard

A Timberline Book

"Ores to Metals is a book that belongs on the shelf of all readers who want to understand how Colorado matured so rapidly from rambunctious youth to conventional adulthood."
—Virginia McConnell Simmons, Colorado Central Magazine

"Ores to Metals thus becomes not only an interesting history lesson, but also an informative business text that is worth reading for this knowledge alone."
—Paul W. Lipinski, Center for Colorado & the West

"Fell expertly presents the triumphs and troubles of the entrepeneurs who built one of the great industries of the West. This was an industry that has long needed a comprehensive history and Ores to Metals provides it."


This comprehensive treatment of the smelting industry of Colorado, originally published in 1979, is now back in print with a new preface by the author. Packed with fascinating statistics and mining data, Ores to Metals details the people, technologies, and business decisions that have shaped the smelting industry in the Rockies.

Although mining holds more of the glamour for those in and interested in the minerals industry, smelters have continuously played a critical role in the industry's evolution since their introduction in Colorado in the 1860s. At that time, miners desperately needed new technology to recover gold and silver from ores resistant to milling. Beginning as small independent enterprises, progressing to larger integrated firms working in urban centers, and finally following a trend toward mergers, the entire industry was absorbed into one large holding company—the American Smelting and Refining Company. Over time, fortunes were won and lost, business success was converted to political success, and advances were made in science and metallurgy. Drawing on archival material, Fell expertly presents the triumphs and troubles of the entrepreneurs who built one of the great industries of the West.


James E. Fell Jr. has been a professor at the University of Colorado since 1990. In 2004, he received the Mining History Association's Rodman Paul Award of the for distinction in the field and for service to that organization. In addition to Ores to Metals, he coauthored Aurora: Gateway to the Rockies (Cordillera Pr, 1985) and Mining the Summit: Colorado's Ten Mile District, 1860-1960.

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  • Paperback Price: $28.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87081-946-9
  • Ebook Price: $23.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $9.99
  • EISBN: 978-0-87081-968-1
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Illustrations: 15 b&w photos, 4 b&w line illustrations, 1 map
  • Discount Type: Trade
  • Author: by James Fell
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87081-946-9
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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