A couple of postings ago I mentioned that the buffalo came close to extinction in the 1890s. There is a Bison Exhibit at the Russell museum which explains what happened to the tens of millions of those animals in the 19th century. It is the usual story of people discovering a natural resource, thinking the supply is endless, and using it fully for their own gain. In the 19th century some called this industrial progress. Buffalo bone was pulverized and primarily used as bone ash fertilizer; it also was used to make such products as charcoal, bone or ivory black pigment, glue,gelatin and ash for bone china. Michigan Carbon Works purchased thousands of tons of those bones from the North Bone Syndicate in North Dakota. Below is an exhibit at the museum of a pile of bison skulls.Fortunately a few people saved some of the bison and started their own herds to be placed back out into the wild.