It couldn’t be clearer to the entrepreneurs of Gold Rush era San Francisco that if you could find a way to get eggs to the masses, you could become insanely rich overnight. As aspiring gazillionaires began searching far and wide for solutions, others looked closer to home. Twenty-six miles offshore, to be exact.
Crude tent neighborhoods full of sweaty, tired miners multiplied, as did brothels and casinos, as the initial population boom included a staggering majority of men. Once an economy of hungry, tired, lonely men emerged, scores of people realized what — or who — the real goldmine was.
Case in point: One miner purportedly made a solid income when he came into possession of a women’s slipper, which he charged a lofty one dollar to his fellows for the simple privilege of touching it. That’s around $35 in today’s money.