Treadgold, Arthur Newton Christian

Treadgold, Arthur Newton Christian
b. August 1863 Woolsthorpe, Grantham, Lincolnshire, England
d. 23 March 1951 London, England
English organizer of the Yukon gold fields in Canada, who introduced hydraulic mining.
A direct descendant of Sir Isaac Newton, Treadgold worked as a schoolmaster, mostly at Bath College, for eleven years after completing his studies at Oxford University. He gained a reputation as an energetic teacher who devoted much of his work to sport, but he resigned his post and returned to Oxford; here, in 1897, he learned of the gold rush in the Klondike in the Canadian northwest. With a view to making his own fortune, he took a course in geology at the London Geological College and in 1898 set off for Dawson City, in the Yukon Territory. Working as a correspondent for two English newspapers, he studied thoroughly the situation there; he decided to join the stampede, but as a rather sophisticated gold hustler.
As there were limited water resources for sluicing or dredging, and underground mining methods were too expensive, Treadgold conceived the idea of hydraulic mining. He designed a ditch-and-siphon system for bringing large amounts of water down from the mountains; in 1901, after three years of negotiation with the Canadian government in Ottawa, he obtained permission to set up the Treadgold Concession to cover the water supply to the Klondike mining claims. This enabled him to supply giant water cannons which battered the hillsides, breaking up the gravel which was then sluiced. Massive protests by the individual miners in the Dawson City region, which he had overrun with his system, led to the concession being rescinded in 1904. Two years later, however, Treadgold began again, forming the Yukon Gold Company, initially in partnership with Solomon Guggenheim; he started work on a channel, completed in 1910, to carry water over a distance of 115 km (70 miles) down to Bonanza Creek. In 1919 he founded the Granville Mining Company, which was to give him control of all the gold-mining operations in the southern Klondike region. When he returned to London in the following year, the company began to fail, and in 1920 he went bankrupt with liabilities totalling more than $2 million. After the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation had been formed in 1923, Treadgold returned to the Klondike in 1925 in order to acquire the assets of the operating companies; he gained control and personally supervised the operations. But the company drifted towards disaster, and in 1930 he was dismissed from active management and his shares were cancelled by the courts; he fought for their reinstatement right up until his death.
Further Reading
L.Green, 1977, The Gold Hustlers, Anchorage, Alaska (describes this outstanding character and his unusual gold-prospecting career).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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