SIGNAL CANNONSmall cannons, like our iron example, were usually intended to fire signals rather than function as weapons. Also known as salute cannons, many were used onboard ships and were often mounted on a swivel, as this example may have been. Even with its small 1-3/4" bore, this little cannon would have delivered a loud report when fired. This cannon probably dates from the middle to the later part of the 19th century.UTICA MINE ORE CARThis small ore car, once used at the famous Utica Mine, is a classic example of the rugged equipment the miners depended on. Our example represents a design that evolved in Europe over hundreds of years. The earliest humble wooden cars over time led to this little iron workhorse on tracks which in turn inspired large railroad cars. A handsome brass label identifies the maker of our car as the famous Risdon Iron Works of San Francisco. Starting in the mid-1850s until 1911, Risdon supplied mining equipment to the world from their 32-acre factory at Potrero Point. When this car was in service, it would have been loaded with the precious ore and then pushed by men along the narrow tunnels.ARRASTRA MODELThis model represents a style of primitive muller or ore grinding mill used in the gold mines to process
quartz. First brought to the California Gold Rush by Mexican miners, arrastras had been introduced much earlier to the New World by Europeans. Often called Mexican "rastras" or "rasters" during their time of use, many later so called improved versions were often powered by water wheels and utilized multiple drag stones. On occasion, the slower but efficient arrastras were used in conjunction with the faster processing stamp mills to boost gold production.