On the morning of October 7, 1826, at Quincy, MA, the first commercial railroad in America, the “Granite Railway,” was opened, under the direction of a young engineer by the name of Gridley Bryant. The railway was built to haul granite from the Bunker Hill Quarry to a wharf on the Neponset River, a distance of two and three-quarters miles. From there, barges carried the granite to Charlestown for use in construction of the Bunker Hill Monument.
The southeastern granite cliff of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills features huge carved faces of U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. Construction of the national memorial began in 1927, and the presidents’ faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. The sculptures were created by Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers and cost $989,992.32. Given the permanent nature of granite, iconic Mount Rushmore will remain a national tourist attraction for many more presidential terms to come.
Granite is the oldest igneous rock on Earth.
The pedestal the Statue of Liberty stands on is made from granite.
Parts of pyramids (in Egypt) are made from granite.
The word “Quartz” is German in origin but another name for the clear variety, rock crystal, comes from the Greek for ice.
Quartz is the 4th hardest mineral on the planet, preceded by Topaz, Corundum, and Diamonds.
Quartz is so abundant that almost every rock contains at least a small amount of it. Quartz has even been found on the moon.
Quartz’s high thermo-conductivity makes it feel cool to the touch, and for centuries it was believed that clear, rock quartz crystals were permanently frozen ice.
Some people believe quartz has magical powers and has the ability to promote growth in a garden or to attract certain energies into the home.
Quartz has many uses. It is used to make mortar and glass, internal parts of watches, computer components, jewelry, lenses, etc.