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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Kaolin

by Jean H. Seaman, 2006Kaolin Mine, Harris Clay Co., Near Webster. From Clay Deposits and Clay Industry in North Carolina, by Heinrich Ries, 1897.

Kaolin is a fine clay mineral used in ceramics and insulators. The Cherokee Nation was issued a patent in 1744 for the production of porcelain from a mixture of kaolin, quartz, and feldspar. In 1767 Thomas Griffiths had five tons of kaolin dug and transported to England from the Cowee section of modern Macon County for use by the Wedgwood potters in making fine medallions. Systematic mining began in 1888 near Webster in Jackson County, and by 1900 North Carolina had become a significant producer with tonnage sent to Trenton, N.J. Kaolin has continued to be an important product of North Carolina mining.

References:

J. L. Bundy and P. A. Carpenter, Feldspar Resources of North Carolina, North Carolina Geological Survey Information Circular 20 (1969).

J. C. Olson, Mica Deposits of the Franklin-Sylva District, North Carolina Geological Survey Bulletin no. 49 (1946).

Additional Resources:

Kaolin, New Georgie Encyclopedia: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1178

Catalogue of the North Carolina exhibit at the American Exposition at Boston, 1883, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Digital Collections

Public laws and resolutions of the State of North Carolina passed by the General Assembly at its session of...[1917], North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Digital Collections

Image Credit:

Kaolin Mine, Harris Clay Co., Near Webster. From Clay Deposits and Clay Industry in North Carolina, by Heinrich Ries, 1897. Available from http://www.wcu.edu/library/DigitalCollections/TravelWNC/1890s/1890dillsboro.html (accessed July 12, 2012).

 

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