thumbnail of Document: Deep South; Domes of destiny
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Wolf document Deep South. Of the cotton factory in the heart of Dixie already feeling story of progress in the area documented with on the spot recordings by the radio broadcasting service extension division. University give out about 30 minutes you will make a transcribed trip through the beach. You will see the significance of a new industrial salt changing self. You will see how determined people turn nature's plug into prosperity. But more than ever is making itself felt and our nation's economy.
Of Destiny. The sound you're about to hear is a sound that shatters all preconceived delts that Dixie today is on a firm footing economically that today's Dixie is essential to the growth prosperity and security of our nation. You're standing in a Louisiana Salt Mine is of solid salt. You're standing in the heart of us.
The Gulf Coast is a rounded hump a near-surface important enough to affect the economy of the world. Knocking on the office wall there. Is a map of thought of it with all of the odds against the hero and their thread your product whatever the cause of me in the yellow and red and green the green color then negate cumulated of all and the red color indicate again feel the yellow color indicate a locate and thought no petroleum prospectors make a beeline for salt
dome but there they can usually find a characteristic evidence is going to a reservoir or some gated down here and there that we have some of the apparent thought Don't put your perfect producer there but when you have a very pronounced double graphic I don't have much salt dome was ready at that. Why out. Here they saw a mass of software vendors weave upward through the. Upper segment and I noticed more of the gallery areas Sakya Laurie left to go that mean a solid mass of soft pipe like matted through the bad rap that things are like that but they are like and designed the car longer far along the top of the
green areas around the yellow spot and occasionally one on top. There's a couple places in both play reservoirs made up by Air Force band where they go but you're told too little salt dome is not a sure sign of oil. It simply affords a natural reservoir. The break in the beds or fold as a geologist would call it oil reaching that point would tend to collect nevertheless Sol domes in Mississippi and Alabama. Often no petroleum whatsoever. You know. That you are. Like. You remember Dr. Walter your traveling companion pointing out a small dome. And you wondered at the time what caused it. Later you found out that salt under great pressure flows like water is given plenty of
time. Geological time. That through the ages it becomes squeezed into a mound like dome the actual salt almost reaching the land surface. This salt pure rock salt will reach the depths of many feet. You're deep within the core of one of these domes now that all the sap and we're out of there after having walked out of the lab just out of that lower level what we're standing here looking at a huge mass of salt small cars right in front of us. It was salt. You're amazed at the breathtaking beauty of this huge room of solid salt. Big is a ballroom with the ceiling some 100 feet high. You listen as Dr. Jim's questions the superintendent and you learn that the core of this
particular salt dome at this level is at least two miles in diameter. As superintendent explains how the soldier's mind how it's loaded in lump forming special mine cars then transported over a track to the elevator shaft from where age lifted topside and dumped automatically went out when you got it topside do you have it by the preparation part of your ship. Yes and I created the opening at the top of the door for her grave. We have a bottom level of I hope to buy another what you produce it's material to the specifications that they get back to is going to watch it and you don't manufacture anything here you're separate Oh out this process or this rather or you want to do so. You want to have your sorted out to chemical industry is mainly chemical and it has a carrying
steel bells and how far is yours and all growing this for a fact every ride of yours is like any father that I don't need worry about salt on my eggs and I see it right here I know we're going to have that question of eggs after I get back you got pissed off and we'll get there. Yet. While they're important it is neither all oil more salt that makes a salt dome the envy of nations the world over. For another very important role is usually found in its purest state on or near a salt dome. That mineral is south are and while sulfur is one of nature's most plentiful minerals. Ironically enough the world has just undergone a critical
shortage a shortage so alarming that the United States government imposed sharp restrictions on the usage of this vital product. To get this story to find out the far reaching effects of sulfur from the Deep South. You take a trip to the source of this critical commodity Port Sulphur Louisiana. You're in the company of Mr. George Leppert assistant to the vice president of the Freeport Sulphur company. It is night now and a great soulful colored moon hovers over the mirror like Reservoir outside the lodge window. At the guest house of the reports I look up and for the prudent sit across the aisle operate that's going on right as I reign over the dock that crane is unloading the Salva barge from the brand of time mine ten miles back in the
marsh behind us here. That's the one that we're going to visit in the morning Yass now we're going out that MRC to grant a comm line ten miles from here that's the second largest cell phone line in the world who read the law just by law just as over in Texas southwest of Houston. This room supplies a million in the quarter long tons of the year and that this crane that you see over there working now works night and day most of the time loading ships and barges on the river that's the river right across the levee that diet I can see that hope and that that crane will be loading unloading barges and put on a conveyor belt carried over the levee to ships of barges or in some cases two trains of which on the near side of the levee and that crane that is more or less the triangle of the point of a triangle of A. A rather extensive operation which is shaping up now but what's right
is that life on out now docked down the river right by 7:00 AM outside right right at the mouth of the Mississippi. The new mine and Garden Island Bay that's going to be the third largest mine in the world. Well that went out in the water that said snow it's about three miles from the actual Gulf woods in the marsh that way then the mob. It's close enough for the seagulls in the pelicans to be swarming over it all the time and then to our left over here some seven miles west south of Houma Louisiana there's another mine going up an amphibious mine which is a floating operation floated and there are a lot and it's in a marsh but they floated into the mine and how big is it how big is that brought out. Production wise it is a small operation and expect it produce something a 100000 tons a year but the production is not the main significance of it it's a new type of operation. First of all it's a
movable operation an amphibious one and secondly it uses a salt water process which means that it will be possible to my small of the pilots that that our mining industry. So that's a new departure. And two aspects of the movable treat you have and then the salt water process which means you don't have to have use of a new year fresh water you can get it where you find it about the outbreak of the Korean War. Consumption of sulfur reached the critical stage and a shortage shook the world. Why. Well you were surprised to learn how many things need sulfur in a manufacture. Well you got on that diet soft rubber in the. Heels of yourself at one stage in the process the tires in the car that you drove downing the steel in your car yourself at one stage and so it's almost universal mineral.
There are hundreds of uses paper fertilizer chemicals gasoline steel explosives lubricants insecticides paints and so on. And since sold for the big chemical as it is found in many forms the supply is unlimited. We'll never give out of salsa as they are the experts and yet the shortage has occurred. Why. Well it's a matter of economics Mr Levitt explains. Actually it was more of a dislocation of the European consumers particularly were shifting over to keeping us brimstone and neglect in their own sauces. But whatever you want to call it it is easing in and the end of the challenges in sight. The discovery of new brimstone deposits at the southern tip of the Mississippi River Delta below New Orleans has brightened the picture considerably. You're quite anxious to see these mining operations. You can hardly wait until tomorrow.
We're going to we're going out by boat in the morning and where the mine is 10 miles back in the marshes a little canal accompaniment dug I pared down Mark and I ONLY way to get their way. There's operation and by boat we have a fleet of 11 of these speed boats 50 people in each one of these ponds big boards and that's how you get them in a way back going back or they don't and I think it was the only other way to get out there to be there but I don't. The moral compass of Europe with the sun. After breakfast Mr. Leopard takes you to the village of Port Sulphur to the docks are a fleet of motor launches a standing idle. Your skippers waiting for you when you get aboard and they cast off. Or was he will write down with feeling and
feeling now it was willing to meet the people willing that the guy was on the yacht. Was was was was as your launch turns its way up the straight and narrow channel and you look across a level sea of Sawgrass. They call it the floating prairie. You understand no land no train is just a massive sword like marsh grass and water that's all. This is the scenery that greets hundreds of
man who must be shuttled back and forth each day. Right now you're meeting one of the shuttle boats a launch like yours and your skipper slows down to reduce the cross a wash rag and I was like the man I was. Right now I am like night like night and day like taxis. It takes a lot to operate a vast sells a mining operation like this. A lot of time a lot of people a lot of plans a lot of money machinery and maintenance. It takes a lot of interest a lot of ingenuity. It takes a lot out of Man and out of
nature. More than seven million gallons of water are needed per day to be heated and pipe down to the soil for my mile away. You're standing in the power plant a giant building that offers a geometric maze of many pipes and complex machinery where the water is heated to the power generated. The basic essential for sapping rich sulphur deposits deep beneath Louisiana marshlands. As you started toward the door Mr. Leppard explains the principle of sulphur mining what you will see he says is not a mind at all but actually a well quite similar to an all around water heated from three hundred twenty to three hundred thirty degrees Fahrenheit is pumped below it melts the solver and forms a pool being twice as heavy as water. The molten sulphur drops to the bottom of the pool and is forced to the surface by a stream of compressed
air. This molten salt for them is piped in special vats word Soames a little FAEs. This method the method of surfacing molten sulphur is known as the fresh method and therein lies a story. Dr. Herman fresh came to this country from Germany at the age of 19. He was later to become a prominent scientist in the oil industry. You can see the idea of mining silver not as a solid but as a liquid. In the face of skepticism and ridicule. Dr. Frash pushed ahead with his scheme. In 1894 So the first golden stream of sulfur flow forth and the Countess toured Paris Dep. Louisiana. Leak and. How do you do
that. They are them their moment in the now moment. What do you call it like the little known of the lake. They really really like gathering data gathering. Basically now we have Mount Milo plant where they want to eat it. You're not a great winter morning degreed Babli a bit better man bumped out the very well he'll yeah not be around that bell may be a real one looks like on baritone where you found the whale. That's correct and the wander down into the ground. And Deep Throat. Oh I just wanna go back to you now because the miles or they think that the 14 little bear that I think about and I'll run down
in the basket and I don't want to get on the ground and pound the began. A number 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 Don that it that's coming from individual while they may be on that lot it or not it was not long at all of that well down on our luck. That doesn't represent a welder now that will back up the dream that a ploy to break through it coming out now that it wasn't like that right. Well now that to get into the fray and then they pump out the band
with a level of comfort level we're at that role and that will run out. Let's think of it if. You need the connecting station behind you launching move to another landing get oath and walk between canyons of pure sulphur and collecting and play on forming a.
Body on the side of the metal modem software and then a taken down and I want to build it up more bombs on the edge again and build up a write up of the top 25 what to do on it. Take that put in. Now notice the one next to that is that an electric scoping it out and putting in and convey about one running right by it over the last lap down a boat. That part now loading some bomb ass and a lot of body than on the body.
Ten miles up front and I don't know why we started right at you boy the launch again is us get the points the prow toward home back over scenery and Sawgrass over the same road traveled by cellphone Laden barge to your point of destination point so you ramming down and loud and elevated you know around and going yeah right. To go.
Eco. Petroleum solved the sulfur. Ingredients of progress emerging from salt domes of the South. It's easy to see that here in lies a future where once tread the past Aaron Burr the Stormy Petrel of American politics was arrested an 18 term that the little how much of my guy some 40 mile the Batmobile under his was an immense sot don't know of course he did not know it. And these doggone which occur in Louisiana Texas Mississippi and Alabama often serve as the basis for an immense chemical industry. That's Dr. Stewart Jay Lloyd talking telling you about the Macintosh dome in Alabama. The former dean of chemistry at the University of Alabama traces this development as an example of the industrial activity that centers around a salt dome
at Macintosh. The Matheson chemical company has located itself right on top of the dome to make caustic soda. Let it lie and chlorine from the saw up to insecticide companies that use a lot of chlorine have likewise located them serve themselves close to the matzo company and are using the chlorine from its operation down the river a few miles. Is the court told Ray and company and they need a lot of caustic soda. Live it is a lie and they get it again from the Madison company at my conduct. And again close to the court all company to supply another of their raw materials is the stuff for a company which supplies carbon myself-I and soon they will be erected by the stopper company. That's a pyrrhic acid plant which again will supply some of the raw material of the Courtauld organization.
So we see that one of these salt domes very frequently builds up around itself a cluster of cum. Whole companies but they all point back sooner or later. They saw Bill as their original thought of material but drolly him salt sulphur. Now add chemical industries which add to themselves more industry breeds industry building a stronger more stable economy not only for the South you realize but for the nation as a whole. Yes it's easy to say that salt domes. Those freaks of nature found in this country only along the Gulf Coast represent a tremendous fortune that the effects of far reaching reaching far beyond the borders of the South they are helping to change helping to build helping to prosper. Yeah. Newt.
This has been programmed 12 of the document deep self a series of actuality documentaries depicting the increasing importance of the South and the economic development of our nation. This week domes of destiny the economic importance of Southern salt domes. Your narrator was wild Whitaker Dokument deep sells is written and produced by Leroy BANNERMAN Was Dr. Walter B Jones as a senior consultant. Documents deep cells is presented by the radio broadcasting services extension
Document: Deep South
Domes of destiny
Producing Organization
University of Alabama
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-d21rkh26).
Episode Description
Considerable wealth and well-being are derived from natural phenomena called "sale domes." Beneath the hump-like hill is a core of solid salt--often sulphur and oil. For this reason, it is a favorite location for chemical industries along the Gulf Coast
Other Description
A series of documentaries depicting the increasing importance of the South in the economic development of the United States. Narrated by Walt Whitaker, written and produced by Leroy Bannerman, with Dr. Walter B. Jones as senior consultant.
Broadcast Date
Sulfur industry--United States.
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Advisor: Jones, Walter B. (Walter Bryan), 1895-1977
Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Narrator: Whitaker, Walter
Producer: Bannerman, Leroy
Producing Organization: University of Alabama
Subject: Frasch, Herman, 1851-1914
Writer: Bannerman, Leroy
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-15-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:13
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Document: Deep South; Domes of destiny,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
MLA: “Document: Deep South; Domes of destiny.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Document: Deep South; Domes of destiny. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from