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Twenty Mule Team Borax Wagons, Death Valley Junction, Inyo County, CA


Twenty Mule Team Borax Wagons, Death Valley Junction, Inyo County, CA



Significance: The twenty mule team borax wagon's significance resides not only in their technology but also in their enduring image as an advertising and cultural symbol. Technologically, these wagons, designed to carry borax across the desert from the borax source to the Mojave station on the Southern Pacific Railroad, reveal adaptations to the harsh environment of Death Valley. They had large wagon wheels to traverse the rough terrain. The rear water wagons were another adaptation, essential since there was no water available for long stretches of the journey to the Mojave station. Culturally, the wagons represent the American west and the pioneering miners who became icons of both masculinity and the quest for material wealth. The dissemination of the image of the twenty mule team borax wagons as an advertising icon long after they had ceased to be used reveals the power of advertising symbols and the reliance on images to market brands.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N972
Survey number: HAER CA-301
Building/structure dates: 1883 Initial Construction



1969 - 1980


Historic American Engineering Record, creator
Old Dinah
Furnace Creek Museum
Harmony Borax Works
Winters, Aaron
Southern Pacific Railroad
Perry, J W, S
Stiles, Edward
Mather, Stephen T
Pacific Coast Borax Company
Parkinson, Bill
Christianson, Justine, transmitter
Croteau, Todd, project manager
Grogan, Brian, photographer
Flores, Roland, delineator
Lockett, Dana, delineator




Library of Congress

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