Hoeing Table and Cleaning Tank

Hoeing Table and Cleaning Tank (HMXNL)

Location: San Jose, CA 95120 Santa Clara County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 10.405', W 121° 49.573'

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Hoeing tables and cleaning tanks were used to purify mercury as the final step in the process of converting cinnabar to mercury. Mercury collected in the condensers of a furnace or retort was contaminated with soot, water, dust, sublimed sulphur [sic] and other oxide metals, all of which was called "soot" or "mud." To separate these impurities from the mercury, mud was spread on the hoeing table and mixed with quicklime (calcium oxide - CaO). The lime absorbed the water and captured other impurities, allowing the mercury to flow freely.

The two examples above left are "manual" hoeing tables whereupon a worker used a hoe to thoroughly mix mud with lime and allow mercury globules to coalesce and flow out of a spigot into a catching bucket. The cleaning tank, below left, was powered by an electric motor. The motor turned four rubber paddles to mix the mud with water and lime and allow clean mercury to settle to the bottom of the tank, where it was drawn off through a spigot. This type of cleaning tank was able to operate nearly continuously, freeing the worker to perform other duties.

These three tables were used in the Guadalupe mine from the 1940s until the mine closed in the 1970s. The Guadalupe Rubbish Company donated the tables to NAQCPA in 1987.
Year Placed2011
Placed ByNew Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association, California State Society - Daughters of the American Revolution and Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 1:09am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 604202 N 4114755
Decimal Degrees37.17341667, -121.82621667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 10.405', W 121° 49.573'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 10' 24.30" N, 121° 49' 34.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)408
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 80-99 Deep Gulch Trail, San Jose CA 95120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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