Chinese Opium Scale
Support provided by:
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 Season 4 Vicksburg Map Could this mysterious map have been at the front lines of one of the most explosive battles of the Civil War?
- Also with Elyse Luray Red Hand Flag Is this peculiar flag one that African-American soldiers marched under in the war to end all wars?
- Also with Elyse Luray Poison Pin Are these prototypes for poison suicide pins carried by spy plane pilots during the Cold War?
- Also with Elyse Luray Galleon Shipwreck Is this a piece of treasure from a Spanish galleon washed up on an Oregon beach?
- Also in Season 4 Confederate Eyeglass Is this how southern sympathizers identified each other during the Civil War?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Bartlett Sketchbook Does a leather bound sketchbook hold the key to some of the US' most significant history?
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.
Anyone wishing to submit an artifact for investigation should do so through Submit a Story.
- Submit your StoryDo you have an object from Expansion: 1801-1861? Submit your story now.
- Latest CommentI actually just found #3 and googled it and came up with this story. I am amazed that I have this in my posession. Yes, I am going to auction it. (1 hour ago)
- Twitterremember this investigation with @TukufuZuberi @elyseluray Tonight they reunite! Let us know your thoughts! @PBS http://t.co/4KMnc27K (7 months ago)
- FacebookWes here -- hope everyone is having a great long weekend. As you enjoy your time with friends or family , take a minute to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. (10 hours ago)