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Mining for Snow

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Out in the middle of the Mojave Desert is the ghost town of Midland, a gypsum mining town abandoned and then burned down in the 60s, whose infamy may come from the use of the gypsum crystals extracted from the ground. "[T]he town was built for workers at the gypsum mine, and the gypsum extracted from the ground in Midland was then used as artificial snow in many Hollywood productions... All the winter scenes during the golden age of Hollywood were filmed with 'snowflakes' from Midland." [BLDGBLOG; image via]