The Meaning of Trona

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Posted by Cecile on November 19, 2002 at 19:10:39:

In Reply to: Re: Trona posted by David on November 18, 2002 at 15:28:08:

Went through Trona this weekend both going & coming to Death Valley. Looked about the same as I remembered it last time I was through there. The posts on Trona have reminded me to look up where the name Trona came from. I know that it is the name of the chemical that is mined from the dry lake but I did not know where the chemical got it's name.
Gudde's California Place Names provides the following information:
The name referring to a mineral consisting of sodium carbonate and bicarbonate, was applied to the post office on March 27, 1914, and to the railroad terminal from Searles to the lakebed in 1916. In 19-8, Alfred de Ropp, a German engineer from the Russian Baltic provinces, succeeded in making soda and potash from the brine of Searles Lake.

T.S. Palmer in Place Names of the Death Valley Region in California & Nevada:
Western gateway and nearest railhead to Death Valley. Site of the refinery of the American Trona Company, one of the largest producers of potash in the United States.
Origin: Abbreviated anagram of natron, soda; Arabic name of the native salt, hydrous sodium carbonate, deposited from water.

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