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The Palace of Mines
The Palace of Mines is a most interesting Palace, built in the Spanish style, with some very fine doorways or portals.
Inside we found so many things of interest that we were quite surprised, as we had not expected to be so very much interested in mines. Father says that we came to this Fair to learn about the things in it, and mines are very important. We began to think he was right, when we saw the two big balls of gold which show where the most gold comes from, and how much is mined every year.
Gold mines are not the only kind that are valuable. So many things come from mines which we had never even wondered about before, that we wonder now at our former ignorance. Jewels of every kind come from the ground - lovely opals and diamonds, and our birthstone - the purple amethyst - and rubies, and everything but pearls. It is wonderful to think of, isn't it? We were invited to go down in a coal mine, not a real one, of course, but one which shows just how it looks. It was a bit scary down there; and always after this when we are sitting before a glowing coal fire, and perhaps popping corn over it, we shall remember that some one went down in a dark coal mine and dug it out for us. Father says that the Fair teaches us great lessons, and the best among them is to be kinder to each other.
When we came up from the coal mine we were taken into a dark room, like the ones which photographers have, and shown some radium. You have to use a sort of telescope glass, and shut one eye, and look through the lens, and there it is hopping about in the box just as though it did not enjoy a bit being shut up in there. Being so little of it in the world it is tremendously expensive.
We were glad to see that there are all sorts of ways to keep the men who work in mines well and happy now, at least compared to what there used to be, and the motto "Safety First" is all over everywhere.
The machinery for working the mines was interesting to father, but it was a little too heavy for us, so just to help us to remember that we had seen the Palace of Mines we went to a coal-mining "movie." After that we went and sat in the North Gardens and watched the ships go by until father came for us. The bay is very beautiful, and we just adore the sea-gulls. They were having a lawn party that day. Your loving cousins,
Jane and Ellen.