Sep 10-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: September: Sep 10-09
Behind the wheel    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Riley Davis
Hard hat area    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Riley Davis
Steam Hoist    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul & Nathalie Brandes

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 07:46 am:

Riley Davis is the Pasty Cam photographer for today's first two photos. He's not only a newcomer to the Pasty Guest Gallery Albums, but also to the U.P., with his very first visit having just recently taken place. While here, he chose wisely (with some help from his girlfriend Karen), to make a stop at the Quincy Mine to learn about the background of mining in the Copper Country. The second photo is Karen and Riley inside the Quincy Mine buildings and at first I wasn't quite sure what they were standing in front of.

Then I spotted the same item in a photo from Paul and Nathalie Brandes (alias Capt. Paul and Dr. Nat), only their photo shows the whole piece of equipment, along with telling us what it is....the Nordberg Steam Hoist. Now I'm going to rely on Capt. Paul, Dr. Nat or someone else with more mining experience and/or knowledge, to explain exactly what its function was.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 08:21 am:

From the cable around it I'd believe it was used to haul the ore cars from the depths to the surface - maybe the man cars, too. It would take a large drum to wind up and store all that cable.

By Brenda Leigh (Brownmoose) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 08:24 am:

OMG Riley and Karen..never thought I would see your faces again. It was so nice meeting you two on the West Branch of the Eagle River...baptizing our feet in her cool waters. We spent the entire day at the mouth of the Eagle River where we last seen you two driving by.

Send your email as I have photos of you two making that crossing. WELCOME TO PASTY.COM it is a great place to view photos of the U.P. and great people to connect with. BEST TO BOTH OF YOU. So glad you appreciate our beautiful PENINSULA.

By Dale Beitz (Dbeitz) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 08:44 am:

A few details:
The Nordberg hoist at the Quincy #2 is the largest steam hoist ever built. The drum had the capacity for 13,300 feet of 1 5/8 hoist rope (steel cable, but still called rope). It was set up "in balance" (two skips, one going up while the other goes down) and could operate at a speed of 3200 feet per minute (36mph). The mine hoist was a showpiece for the company, so they spent a good deal of money on the building that housed the hoist rather than building a simple industrial structure. Tours are available through the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.
For more info about the hoist, visit the link below. This is a rather large PDF file and may take some time to load on slower connections.
Quincy Mine Hoist PDF

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 08:57 am:

Loving those pics. Living in Pewabic, right next to the mine growing up, we got to know the insides and the outside of this entire area. Fascinating playground for sure. My grandfather was one of 7 miners killed in this mine in 1927.

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 09:23 am:

The quincy mine is a great tour, and not to be done just once. All the guides have a different way to do it and different stories to tell. My favorite time was my first tour I did with my Grandpa. Since he worked in the mines we asked him what the man car was like. He said "scare da •••• outta ya" he didn't like working in the mines.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 09:34 am:

My schoolboy friend was injured on a great lakes freighter so he decided to get a job at C & H in the late 50's. They hired him as a miner and he took a trip down to the 47th level, scared the bejeebers out of him and he looked around and asked to go back up on the return trip. He then went back sailing on the lakes for a few years.

By Donna Peterson (Jdmodel60) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 11:52 am:

My grandfather was one of the miners that went down to rescue the trapped miners in 1927. My Mom has the certificate he received for doing that. Found a pic of him and my great uncle in the Michigan Tech archives with their rescue gear.

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 03:52 pm:

Donna, kudos to your grandfather! Thanks for sharing this!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 05:59 pm:

The function of the Nordberg steam hoist was to lift copper ore, men, and water out of the mine, like any other hoist at that time. But to understand the process, let's step back a bit in time to the first engines.

The first hoisting engines at the Quincy were single-cylinder, slide valve hoisting engines with their power transmitted to the hoist drum through a series of wheels and gears. While they were effective, as the underground operations grew, so to did the engines. In 1892, Quincy purchased the first of the “large” hoist engines. The engine was built by EP Allis in Milwaukee and erected at Quincy No. 2 in 1894. The engine was a two cylinder design (duplex) with more efficient Corliss valves and a direct-drive winding drum. This engine had 2,500 horsepower and was the largest engine Allis ever built. The hoisting drum was 12 ft across and held 7,500 ft of 1 5/8 in. wire rope. Running at 32 rpm, the engine was capable of pulling loaded ore skips at 2500 to 3000 feet per minute. An innovation at the time was that two ropes were installed on the drum; one winding over and one winding under the drum. This allowed Quincy to raise and lower skips in balance so that as one was unloaded, another at depth was loaded. This nearly doubled the amount of rock that could be processed. With this increased production came larger skips; from 3 ton to 8 ton capacity.

With the more powerful engines came deeper depths, almost to the limit of these large engines. As a matter of economics, Quincy looked to engines that could pull from greater depths while using less coal. The engines at use were of a 2 cylinder design that used steam only once for power, then exhausted it. Quincy decided to move away from this design and go to a more efficient design, the 4 cylinder, compound condensing engine. This design uses the steam twice for power through 2 high pressure and 2 low pressure cylinders. As high pressure steam in one cylinder pushed the piston down, it lost some of its pressure. Instead of wasting this steam to the atmosphere, the lower pressure steam was sent to a larger piston in the second cylinder. The steam for the second larger piston was enhanced by the use of a condenser, which when contacted with cold water, further dropped the pressure of the steam to create a partial vacuum and thus making a more powerful engine.

The Nordberg Manufacturing Company was contracted by Quincy in 1917 to build the world’s largest steam hoist, a 4 cylinder compound condensing engine. The engine used 4 double acting pistons which gave 8 power strokes per revolution of the drum. The hoisting drum is 30 ft at the center and holds 10,000 ft of 1 5/8 in. wire rope. The engine normally turned at 34 rpm; at this speed, it could lift a 10 ton skip loaded with rock at 3,200 feet per minute (a little over 36 mph). Once in operation, the Nordberg really didn’t increase the amount of rock lifted out of No. 2 over the Allis engine, but the Nordberg managed to do it using 2,400 tons less coal, a savings of several thousand dollars to Quincy.

Pictures don’t do the hoist justice; you can’t imagine how large a piece of machinery it is until you’re standing under the drum or trying to get a full photo of the engine. As you can see I did the best I could….. Thanks Mary for choosing one of my photos for the daily cam notes!!

By Doug (Greenhermit) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 09:08 pm:

Some may not be aware that Bruno V. Nordberg, founder of the Nordberg Manufacturing Company, which built the Quincy steam hoist, was a Finn. He was born in Helsinki in 1857 and emigrated to Milwaukee in 1880 where he first worked for the Allis Company before forming his own company in 1890. His father had been a ship builder in Finland, and the Nordberg companies are part of the "genealogy" of Finland's present-day global manufacturing giant, Metso.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 10:30 pm:

As I've said several times before here, lots of memorys as kids in the 40s playing in this building, often climbing up the stairs of the drum! (Scary!) Back then it was in very bad condition, rust, debri, broken glass everywhere. Not a place for kids to be. Down in the basement there was a locker room of sorts where workers had left boots, lunch pails, rubber coats and hats when the mine closed. Most of the lower levels of that building then were flooded with dirty water.

Our house was 2 doors from this hoist building. Helen Marie Chamberlain and family lived nearby as she says and we all went to the old Pewabic school together!

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 09:17 pm:

Well God Bless the miners who died there as well as those who worked on the rescue. We don't always give enough credit to those who work the dangerous jobs on a daily basis so that the rest of us can benefit from the ores that they mine, the trees that they fell, or the cars and buildings that they build.
I loved Eddy's story about the guy who was too scared to work in the mine so he went back to working on a ship on the Great Lakes!

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