Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fluorspar Usage

From my previous article about the Fluorspar Mining History in Crittenden County, many people do not know what Fluorspar is or what it was used for at one time. The picture at the right will only give you a small glimpse into the Fluorspar world. These are small specimens and do not really show how beautiful the mineral can be.

Fluorspar was the major dependent for some industries survival and existence. Hundreds of things about the home and the everyday life are possible because of Fluorspar.

Major uses included making steel, hydrofluoric acid, glass and enamel and iron foundry.

Fluoride can also help strengthen bones and teeth with thousands of tons of the substance going into the water to prevent decay and breakdown.

All of the aluminum that man uses can also be attributed in part to Fluorspar as Fluorspar salts and cryolite are used in the process to form the aluminum.

High octane gas, insecticides, refrigerants, dyes, plastics, solvents, clothing fibres, synthetic rubber, all get minor contributions for this mineral in their production.

During World War II, Fluorine (taken from the mineral fluorspar) was second only to uranium in making the atom bomb.

Marion in Crittenden County is very fortunate to have the Ben E. Clement Museum, home to the most unique collection of Fluorspar and minerals in the world. Many of the Fluorspar specimens were taken from the many mines located in our area.

The reason the mining industry was taken from Crittenden County and Southern Illinois, causing many, many familes to be without an income and many of our families having to move up North to the car and steel factories for a living to support their families, was that the fluorspar had begun to be imported into this country from foreign land in large quanities, and which has been produced by cheap foreign labor. This being allowed due to low tariff and poor import restrictions on foreign goods being brought into our country.

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