Coal Mining Tools
The tools that the miners used are shown in the this photograph. Individual photos are shown below with a description. These tools belong to Frank Bordner and are on loan to the Bridgepot Heritage Museum.
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A chunk of coal.
This is a lunch bucket that all miners carried to work. The bucket had three compartments, the top compartment was for deserts, the center section was for a sandwich and the bottom compartment was for drinks.
This bucket contained blasting powder that the miners used to dis-lodge coal from the coal veins.
These carbide lamps replaced the "coal oil" lamps because they produced a better and bigger light. The carbide is placed in the lamp and mixed with water. This made gas that was lit and formed a light for the miners.
These two object are "coal oil" lamps used to provide light in the mine shafts.
The miners wore a cap to which a lamp was attached.
The basic tool for the miners was a pick. Most of the picks had handles like the one in the photo showing all the tools. However, some did not have handles due to the limited space in the tunnels. The picks broke the coal loose from the veins.
A hammer and wedge was used to reduce the size of a large block of coal so that it could be loaded into the coal cars by hand.
The two copper disks are I.D. tags issued to the miners and are numbered. When a miner fills a coal car he hangs his I.D. on the side of the car. When the coal is dumped the miner gets credit for the weight of coal. The photo above shows a wooden tamping tool and a metal needle with a handle.These two instruments were used when a miner had to blast a coal vein to break the coal from the vein. A hole is drilled into the vein of coal. Blasting powder is rolled in a piece of newspaper sort of like a roll of coins that you take to the bank. This roll of powder is pushed into the hole in the coal using the wooden tamping tool. Then the metal needle is pushed into the hole and penerates the blasting powder roll. The miner mixes some dirt and water together to make a hand full of mud. The hole in the coal is filled with the mud using the wooden tamping tool to push the mud in to the hole until the hole is filled. The metal needle is now pulled from the hole leaving a small hole all the way to the blasting powder. A "squib" is placed in the hole and lit. The miner now has about 5 minutes to get to safety before the blast occurs. The miner now has plenty of coal to fill his coal car.
This image show two coins that the Coal Company used as script to pay the miners. The scrip could be spent at the company store. The large hex coin was worth $1.00 and the small coin was a ten cent piece.
This is a typical bucket that was used to carry coal from a customers coal pile to his stove.
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