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The Sloane Collection, no. 10 - The Freeport Sulphur Company

Story Sloane, III

Silent | 1920s

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    This footage from the 1920s captures the Freeport Sulphur Company, now known as Freeport-McMoRan Inc., mining sulfur at what is most likely the Bryan Mound salt dome in Brazoria County. Opening in 1912, the mine was the first to employ the Frasch process in Texas. As partly seen in the film, the method extracts sulfur from underground deposits through pumping superheating water into the dome, melting the element. Next, hot air is injected in order to push the molten sulfur to the surface. Then, the sulfur mixture is discharged into bins, where it hardens into large blocks. Finally, explosives are used to break up the sulfur for distribution. The original operation closed in 1935 after producing five million tons of sulfur. The Bryan Mound Complex is now used to store crude oil reserves.