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The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

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Jun 22

Salt Mining in Kansas in the 1890s

Posted on June 22, 2022 at 12:45 PM by Bill Sowers

Salt Works Kanopolis Kansas 1890SALT IN KANSAS IN THE 1890s


Mining salt has been big business in Kansas for over 100 years. Did you know that "in 2000 Kansas ranked fifth in the U.S. in salt production, producing 2,944,000 tons valued at $111 million. Roughly 13 trillion tons of salt reserves, about 1,100 cubic miles, underlie Kansas." (https://www.kgs.ku.edu/Publications/pic21/pic21_3.html)

We've clipped and made available at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library an interesting article on salt and it's production for human consumption in the 1890s.  Written by E.H.S. Bailey.

The article takes a look at locations and differing kinds of salt deposits present in Kansas.  It then goes into depth on the manufacture of salt primarily in Kansas and the different methods used in processing it.  Some very cool graphics are included in the article showing the processes used in production.

Some of the article gets pretty technical.  The author is a professor of chemistry. Most of it is an easy read about an industry many are not aware of in our state other than Strataca, the salt mine museum in Hutchinson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strataca) or the famous underground vaults storing old films, medical records and other valuable items.

You can view this article online at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library here:

SALT IN KANSAS [1891?]

You can virtually thumb through the entire Eighth Biennial Report online at:

Kansas State Board of Agriculture 8the Biennial Report 1891-92
The KGI record includes a complete Table of Contents for the 607 page book so you can figure out which Section you'd like to look through.