Throughout history men have dedicated their lives to working in the mines to support their families. Children, women and men submerged into the darkness, knowing they may not come back. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s technology was farce, so modern equipment to warn theme of hazardous conditions, the hauling coal and picking the coal was limited and often done by hand. The first picture explores the hauling of coal by “pit ponies”. Extinct for modern machinery now, these ponies had by far the rotten part of the job. They had long work hours and could haul up to 30 tons of coal per day. The second picture shows a shuttle car with a conveyer belt, which now hauls the coal out of the mines or known as “The Continuous Haulage System”. This is equipment designed and used to obtain continuous throughput of material from the mine face to the main mine load-out conveyor belts; unlike the pulsed, batch load throughput made possible by usage of shuttle cars and battery haulers. This essay will be describing how pit ponies and the continuous haulage system have proven or advancement in technology.
Life in the coal mines has never been easy for the horses. A pony would be bred, born, and put to work without ever having seen the light of the sun. Whether this confinement was insensitive or really more humane has been debated for some time. However, a pony in the mines received excellent care and attention throughout its working life. Luckily, the Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1887 contained the first national legislation to protect horses working underground. The section referring to the horses was minimal but it allowed mines inspectors to investigate the treatment of horses and consider whether haulage way roofs were high enough to prevent injury to the horses' backs. Injuries to pit ponies were common, and they had to be put... [continues]
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