Can You Identify These Objects From the Klondike Gold Rush?

By: Lauren Lubas

A drawknife is a tool that is still used today. It has two handles and a flat blade that connects them. This helps carpenters (and prospectors) control their movements as they shred the bark off of lumber and shave it down to form.

The design of the pickaxe hasn't changed much over the years, and that is because it's a pretty perfect piece of machinery. These helped miners break rocks and get to more difficult areas while they were searching for gold.

With all of the work that everyone was doing, it was important to keep the tools in top shape. That is why a scythe stone was a necessity; these helped miners maintain their tools while they worked.

Sluice boxes could be made from various materials, but they all did the same thing. Sluice boxes help separate gold from rocks by pouring water over them. It was a more efficient way to separate gold while panning.

While prospectors and workers didn't necessarily bathe much in those days (who has time when there's gold to find?), it was an item people carried, because you never know when you're gonna need a bath.

Bacon was an excellent source of food for miners and prospectors alike. This is mostly because it was easy to transport and it kept well during the travels of these people ... also, it was delicious.

Boots were necessary in the summer months to trudge through mud and were more than necessary in the winter months to keep your feet warm and dry at all times while chipping away to find gold.

Not everyone required a stove to cook on during the gold rush, but some people liked to have them. However, one person could share their stove with at least three others, giving them the ability to stay warm and fed during long days and nights.

No one wants to be bitten by mosquitoes, and the Alaskan wilderness was full of them. Therefore, it was necessary for prospectors and workers to sleep with these mosquito nets, and they also helped reduce the spread of disease.

When you hear about people panning for gold, it isn't just a saying. As a matter of fact, a great way to look for gold is to slosh some rocks around in water. The gold will float to the top because it's lighter.

The journey to the Klondike was not easy. As a matter of fact, many died before they even reached camp. If you planned on trudging through the snow, it was essential to have a stick help you test the ground.

Candles were also used in lanterns at the time. The lantern housed the candle, so it wouldn't get blown out by strong winds and storms that often occurred in Alaska (and still do).

If you could imagine not having your morning coffee with subzero temperatures and a full day of work ahead of you, we commend you. Even these miners couldn't live without it, and these were an essential cooking vessel in the camps.

Canvas is a very thick and sturdy material that helps people keep all of their items safe. While it isn't completely waterproof, it is water resistant and helps keep bugs and animals out of your belongings.

Thick wool socks or multiple layers of socks were a great way to ensure that you could avoid getting frostbite or other severe damage to your feet and toes. Boots were also very helpful in this regard.

Long underwear in the 1890s was known as a "union suit." It helped give added protection from the cold for those traveling toward the area where gold had been found as well as workers who were in the frozen ground, digging for gold.

Many miners and workers simply pitched tents near their stakes to help them maximize their work time as well as keep their stake protected. They used tents and fires to keep them protected from the elements.

When traveling to the Yukon, it was essential to bring your own supplies. It was difficult to simply send out for items that you needed, and buying these items at general stores in the area was difficult and expensive.

Rubber was a heavy material, and it took a lot of energy just to put one of these coats on, but it was totally worth it. These coats helped protect miners and prospectors stay warm during the cold Alaskan nights.

Heavy wool mittens were an essential element to bring with you if you were headed to Alaska to find gold. It was also a great idea to bring more than one pair, just in case one (or several) of your mittens became wet.

Mackinaw trousers were made of thick wool that was densely woven to ensure that minimal wind or elements could penetrate them. These were an essential layer of the clothes that were worn at the time.

Natural rope was essential for miners, but it was also necessary if you wanted to travel to the Klondike. Not only did it help people stay together during brutal winter storms, it also helped them get over the toughest peaks on the way there.

Buckets were great for a lot of different jobs around camps and stakes. They were one of the easiest ways to move earth into sluice boxes to help them separate the gold pieces from the dirt.

While we know it today as condensed soup, in the 1890s, it was called compressed soup. Most miners simply ate this out of the can, and it was a great source of vitamins and minerals that were hard to come by in the Alaskan winters.

Even if you don't know what it's called, chances are you've seen a whipsaw in your lifetime. This saw is long and thin and has handles on both sides, meaning it requires two men to work it, so the work gets done twice as fast.

With the amount of work being done, it was impossible not to come across broken materials, tools and equipment. However, bringing extra ax handles with you could help you keep the work going when breaks occurred.

Nearly every miner and prospector had a hammer on their person. They were used to pitch tents, build equipment and repair various items. If you found yourself without a hammer, you were probably up gold creek without a paddle.

There was a lot of moisture, rain and working in rivers and creeks to ensure that every square inch of a stake was covered while looking for gold. For this reason, rubber boots were essential for keeping feet dry.

Towels weren't necessarily just for cleaning and drying your body. They were used to help men get the large chunks of dirt and dried mud off of them to keep their bodies clean while they worked.

Overalls were (and still are) a great article of clothing for workers. Miners didn't have to worry about holding their pants up while they worked if they wore overalls. Remember that coveralls have sleeves as well as pant legs, and overalls simply have straps that go over your arms.

First aid kits were first invented in 1888. While the gold rush took place a few years later, there were still many travelers who didn't have this. However, those who came prepared definitely lasted longer.

If you think that carrying a suit to Alaska isn't the greatest idea ever, think again. Those who wore suits in town were noted as prestigious and made it look as though they struck gold. This allowed for a lot of con men to work the towns over.

Wool is an excellent material for cold environments. It protects people from the cold and is water resistant. However, if it does get submerged, it can remain wet for a long time. This means that miners, workers and prospectors had to bring a lot of back-up pairs of mittens and socks.

Having a variety of medicines at your camp could help you fight the disease that flowed through these communal areas. Additionally, it helped when miners were in pain or suffering, and it kept them working.

Vinegar's uses haven't changed much over the years. During the Alaskan gold rush, travelers would bring evaporated vinegar, because it was easier to carry and gave them the opportunity to add water to it if they wanted regular vinegar.

In the summers, hats were necessary to keep the sun out of miners' eyes. In the winter, thicker hats that covered the ears were a great way to keep the ears and head warm while working.

Beans were easy to carry and they could be dried, locking in their nutrients. Beans were the most abundant food source during the gold rush because they were cheap and an excellent source of protein.

Hot plates didn't exist during the gold rush, but a good frying pan was necessary for cooking. Because these were so big and heavy to carry, there was usually only one frying pan per camp.

If you have never eaten dried fruit, you probably have no idea how delicious it is. Not only does having the fruit dried preserve it, but it also makes it lighter to carry on the long journey to the gold mining town.

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About This Quiz

In 1896, gold was discovered in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon Territory. As word spread that you could strike it rich in the tundra of North America, over 100,000 people started to make their way north and west. Some wanted to claim a stake of their own, while others were simply looking for work and a quick buck (even if it was a 1,000-mile trek for that quick work). The numbers for those who actually made it rich were minuscule compared to the number of those who traveled so far to do so. There were only a few hundred that could claim they earned money from the journey, and out of the tens of thousands who arrived in Dawson City, only about 4,000 actually struck gold.

Whether you're a history buff or you just like watching those gold digging shows that are peppering our educational programming, you know that there were a lot of items and objects that were necessary to make this journey as well as dig for gold in the 1800s. These items were both for survival and work. If you think you can identify these objects from the Klondike Gold Rush, take this quiz to see just how much you know.

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