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MS Am 2768

Prang, Louis, 1824-1909. Records concerning Louis Prang's gold mining venture, 1887-1890: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 2768
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Prang, Louis, 1824-1909.
Title: Records concerning Louis Prang's gold mining venture, 1887-1890.
Date(s): 1887-1890.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 box (.1 linear ft.)
Language of materials: English.
Abstract: Records relating to American lithographer Louis Prang's investment and scientific venture into gold mining and concentrating.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2011M-48. Purchsed with funds from the Louis J. Appell Jr. Fund for Early American Literature and History; received: 2011 October 18.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Melanie Wisner.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Records Concerning Louis Prang's Gold Mining Venture, 1887-1890 (MS Am 2768). Houghton Library, Harvard University;

Biographical / Historical

Louis Prang (1824-1909) was a lithographer, wood engraver, and educator from Breslau (Germany) and Boston (Mass.). With Julius Meyer, he founded the lithographic business of Prang & Meyer in 1856 which later became L. Prang & Co. Prang reproduced paintings by noted 19th century artists and introduced the Christmas card in the 1870s. He is considered the founder of the greeting card business in the U.S.
Prang retired from business in 1899 and died ten years later in a California sanitarium.
The reasons for Prang's interest in gold mining and its processes are uncertain; it was certainly a business and investment opportunity. Prang may also have been interested in the gold for its use in ink; one of his partners in the venture, Henry B. Davis, was an officer of the Dando Printing Company of Philadelphia, a printer of elaborate stock certificates. The venture may have been called Monitor Concentrator and Amalgamator, as evidenced by receipts.


Organized in two series: I. Correspondence; and II. Documents and notes.

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of correspondence (including telegrams), receipts, patent documents, and notes concerning Prang's investment and scientific interest in a gold separation process utilizing mining tailings. The correspondence includes detailed reports on gold mines in California and Nova Scotia, discussions of gold concentrators, chlorination, transport of ore to the eastern United States, and business arrangements. Documents include receipts and invoices for supplies and services connected with expeditions in 1888 to California. Also included is a receipt for Prang's patent for a separator.

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