Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Clark Christian Spence  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1923 in Great Falls, Montana

-- Clark Christian Spence on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Clark Christian Spence taught at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Biographical and Professional Information

Clark C. Spence is Professor Emeritus of History from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The sinews of American capitalism: An economic history

Macmillan. 1965

The American West: A Source Book

Crowell. 1966

Terriric source book on the American West covering many aspects, by many different 19th century eyewitnesses. Great reader.

Mining Engineers and the American West: Lace-boot Brigade, 1849-1933 (Western Americana S.)
ISBN: 0300012241

Yale University Press. 1970

Though they were key figures in the development of the western mineral industry, the mining engineers of the early West have received too little attention. Drawing upon the careers of a number of individuals - some famous, some little known - Mr. Spence examines the professional mining engineer in terms of his education, life style, acual work, and impact upon the rugged environment beyond the Mississippi. He depicts the engineer's versatility in his several roles as manager of mines, consultant in the field and in the courtroom, and builder of financial empires, and traces the engineer's evolution from a generalist to a professional specialist. Mr. Spence's volume is at once technological and social history. The context is international as well as national, for the engineer moved in cosmopolitan circles, pursued his career on a global scale, and applied ideas and techniques from one area of the world to another. An extensive bibliography completes the volume.

Territorial Politics and Government in Montana, 1864-89
ISBN: 0252004604

University of Illinois Press. 1976

Montana: A Bicentennial History (States and the Nation)
ISBN: 0393333833

W. W. Norton & Company. 1978

At three times the size of Pennsylvania, with a county bigger than the whole state of Connecticut, Montana is a large place, once described as "bounded on the west by the Japan current, on the north by the aurora borealis, on the south by Price's Army, and on the east by the Day of Judgement."

Montana has a rich story, in which different people have sought both great fortune and modest prosperity. How well they succeeded is part of the story told in this engaging history.

The Salvation Army Farm Colonies
ISBN: 0816508976

University of Arizona Press. 1985

history of the farming collective of the Salvation Army

The Conrey Placer Miner Company: A Pioneer Gold-Dredging Enterprise in Montana, 1897-1922
ISBN: 0295969679

Montana Historical Society. 1990

Placer mining companies revolutionized the mining industry during the late nineteenth century when they first put dredges to work on previously unprofitable ground. Dredges would so effectively mine gold-bearing grounds, one forecaster predicted in 1903, that the world would "not only be saturated with gold, it would be nauseated with it." In The Conrey Placer Mining Company, historian Clark C. Spence describes the optimistic hopes of the dredge miners in Virginia City, Montana, and the hard realities of this new industrial placer mining technology. Since 1863, miners had pulled millions of dollars in gold out of Montana's Alder Gulch using pans and Long Toms and later tunnels and ground sluices. But dredging was a dramatically different process. The most costly of all placer mining techniques, dredging was a highly industrial and technological enterprise. Spence describes how the dredges, as large as ocean freighters and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each, dug their own ponds as they moved ponderously down the gulch, ripping up paydirt from bedrock as deep as a hundred feet below the surface. He shows how the efficiency and power of this revolutionary, "mass production" technology changed the mining industry and how it irrevocably altered the western landscape. Using corporate papers held by Harvard University's Baker Library, Spence recounts the story of the Conrey Placer Mining Company. In many ways, it is the story of the early years of the American gold-dredging industry. As the pre-eminent Montana placer firm of the early twentieth century, Conrey's operations showed a continuity common to only a handful of multiple-dredge concerns. The company tested different types of dredged, innovatively adapted them to the special conditions of Montana's climate and terrain, and later adopted state-of-the-art California-type dredges. Spence takes a penetrating look at this unique company, which operated so successfully in the isolation of Montana's southwestern mountains. This volume is at once a corporate history, a technological history, and a local history that takes readers through the intricate workings of an innovative mining company and examines the lives of the executives, the engineers, and the workers who made it possible.

The Northern Gold Fleet: Twentieth-Century Gold Dredging in Alaska
ISBN: 0252022181

University of Illinois Press. 1996

The Northern Gold Fleet is the story of how new gold-dredging technology was applied to the rich placers of the Far North from 1899 to the present, leading to mass production and economies of scale that made previously unprofitable resources profitable. The bucket-ladder dredge was a single, complex apparatus that rivaled ocean freighters in size. At once ugly, spectacular, and awesome, the dredges dug, classified materials, and performed gold-saving and tailing-disposal functions.
A richly illustrated and comprehensive history. The Northern Gold Fleet is part environmental, part technological, part corporate, part labor, and part Alaskan in its thrust, offering a picture - both dazzling and absorbing - of how new technology simultaneously helped build the economy and lay waste the resources of Alaska.

For Wood River or Bust (The Idaho Legacy Series)
ISBN: 0893012157

University of Idaho Press. 1999

The moment of brilliance of Idaho's Wood River mining towns spanned roughly the decade of the 1880s. Noted mining historian Clark C. Spence details the mining history of the Wood River region and captures the bedlam of the early camps and communities. Copublished with the Idaho State Historical Society.



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