Nevada is located pretty far outside the U.S. Manufacturing Core, and doesn’t have any of the traditional industries, like steel, iron, or coal. Its most profitable industry is gaming. The top five revenue-generating companies in Nevada are all gaming-product companies, with Bally and International Gaming Technologies commandeering two slots apiece.
In addition to gaming, Nevada also has printing and publishing businesses, some food-related manufacturers, concrete plants, and machinery factories.
Information from manta.com, and netstate.com. Pictures from Google.
Nevada was home to a lot of mining activity from the very beginning. Archeologists have found Indian artifacts made from mined minerals dating back ten thousand years, or more. Between the fourth and sixth centuries, the Anasazi mined turquoise and salt in what is now Clark County. In 1849, Mormons travelling west discovered gold near Carson River, and in 1856, other Mormons found lead deposits near Old Las Vegas.
1861 to 1889 were especially productive years, with lead, zinc, copper, tungsten, and iron being mined along with gold and silver.
The 20th century had several active and passive periods, but is distinguished by the beginning of petroleum production. The general trend was to develop mines that would serve Nevada’s growing population, so, the focus was more on industrial minerals than gold and silver.
Information from http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/nl/nl20.htm. Images from Google.
Until just a few decades ago, Nevada did not have any large cities at all.
However, with the establishment of Las Vegas in the middle of the 20th century, and its subsequent rapid growth, Nevada is quickly catching up to more urbanized states. Between 2000 and 2006, Nevada’s population grew by almost 25% (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/32000.html). At the same time, neighbor Arizona’s population increased by 20% (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/04000.html). Perhaps the Las Vegas-Los Angeles-Phoenix triangle will be the Megalopolis of the 21st century.
Much of Nevada’s early settlement was done by prospectors. Here is a map of the mines being worked in 1865. I found this map on Google.
Since Nevada is so far west, it wasn’t settled by Europeans until the 19th century, and only sparsely and sporadically then. However, it is now rapidly making up for lost time: southern Nevada is one of the fastest growing areas in the country today!
In 2000, Nevada’s population was predominantly Catholic, with two counties of LDS Mormons, and a small western county of Methodists.
This is a picture of a 19th century Nevada settlement. I found this picture on Google.
Nevada is located in the Intermontaine Basins and Plateaus physiographic region of North America. Most of Nevada is just below 40 degrees latitude and east of 120 degrees longitude. It is not quite east enough to reach the Rocky Mountains, but it does have the Sierra Nevada range to its west. Nevada’s climate is called Middle Latitude Desert climate; it is very hot and dry most of the year, and very cold at night. Its annual rainfalls range between 4 and 12 inches for the greater part of the state. Most of the state lies in the semi-desert vegetation region, and most of the soils are of the aridisols variety. There are no mineral fuels mined in Nevada, but a great deal of metallic minerals, from tin to platinum. Much of Nevada’s subsurface rock is metamorphic.