Chinese Opium Scale
A woman in Missoula, Montana bought what looks like an old, miniature fiddle case in the Montana mining town of Butte in the 1960s. When she made the purchase, she was told the case didn’t hold a fiddle, but rather a scale that was used for weighing opium.
Could this really be an antique from the Chinese community of Montana? The Chinese were among the first immigrant groups to arrive in Montana in the 1800s. After the California gold rush petered out, Chinese immigrants moved away to find work building the railroads, mining gold, and in restaurant and laundry businesses.
History Detectives heads to Montana to find out how Chinese immigrants survived for decades in Big Sky Country, particularly during a time when anti-Chinese sentiment was rampant in the U.S.
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Bartlett Sketchbook Does a leather bound sketchbook hold the key to some of the US' most significant history?
- Also in Season 4 Philadelphia Freedom Paper Is this document found in a flea market an original freedom paper for African-Americans?
- Related Investigation Chinese Poems Who were the authors of the poems describing bitterness and misery on the Angel Island detention center walls?
- Also in Season 4 Rebel Whiskey Flask Is this flask a relic from the historic "Whiskey Rebellion" of 1794?
- Related Investigation Isleton Tong Was this building a safe haven for persecuted immigrants, or a hub for organized crime?
- Also with Elyse Luray Drone Propellor Could this propellor have powered a top secret weapon that transformed modern warfare?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.