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Dolcoath Mine, Camborne, Cornwall. 1893


Dolcoath Mine, Camborne, Cornwall. 1893


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Royal Cornwall Museum

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Dolcoath Mine, Camborne, Cornwall. 1893

The Man Engine at 234 fathoms level below adit, in 1893. The man engine went down to the 314 fathom level. Miners can be seen standing on the steps of the engine rod while others stand on solars or platforms fixed in the shaft at intervals of 12 feet. The man engine made 5 strokes a minute, thus enabling men to ride up or down 60 feet a minute. Ordinary ladders were fixed alongside the man engine or against the footwall of the lode. Photographer: John Charles Burrow

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Media ID 12083204

© From the collection of the RIC

Industry Miners Mining Victorian


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This print takes us back to the year 1893, deep within the heart of Dolcoath Mine in Camborne, Cornwall. The image showcases an extraordinary feat of engineering known as "The Man Engine, " which revolutionized mining operations during that era. At a staggering depth of 234 fathoms below adit level, we witness miners standing on the steps of the engine rod while others occupy solars or platforms fixed at intervals of 12 feet along the shaft. These brave men relied on this incredible invention to transport them up and down the mine swiftly and efficiently. With its impressive five strokes per minute, The Man Engine enabled these courageous individuals to travel an astonishing 60 feet every minute. To ensure safety, ordinary ladders were also installed alongside it or against the footwall of the lode. Photographed by John Charles Burrow, this snapshot captures not only a moment frozen in time but also represents a significant milestone in Cornish mining history. It serves as a testament to both human ingenuity and perseverance in their quest for valuable minerals buried beneath our Earth's surface. Displayed at Royal Cornwall Museum, this print offers us a glimpse into Victorian-era industry where hardworking miners dedicated their lives to shaping Cornwall's rich mining heritage.

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