Used in technology, photography, and decorative arts, silver is one of the most versatile metals known to man. In this episode of Modern Marvels we’ll explore the methods, men and machines that extract this precious resource from the earth. In Northern Idaho’s Lucky Friday mine, workers toil more than a mile underground in an around-the-clock cycle of blasting and hauling silver laden rock. While in the wilds of northern Nevada, large machines and even larger ore loads make the vast Rochester open pit mine one of the most productive silver mines in the United States. Both these facilities owe their methods to the silver strike that started it all: Nevada’s famous Comstock Lode of the mid 19th Century. From some of the largest steam engines ever built, to robotic mining machines that work without human intervention, we’ll examine the past, present and future of silver mines.