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Scope and Contents The American Espionage in Siberia Photograph Album documents the secret efforts of the Americans to obtain platinum from Siberia in 1918. The Bolsheviks had cut off American access to platinum, an important metal used to build airplane engines. The U.S. Commerce Department subsequently dispatched Charles Leroy Preston, an American fur trader in Riga, to Siberia as an officer of the Red Cross to provide humanitarian supplies to the Czech Legion on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Working secretly...