How It Works: Mining Equipment

How It Works: Mining Equipment
Sunday, August 26th at 2pm
$5 in addition to regular museum admission

As part of the National Museum of Industrial History’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of anthracite coal, NMIH will host a special outdoor operating demonstration of machinery that was typical in the mining industry. Thousands of engines, compressors, hoists, and pumps, among other machines, provided the mechanical muscle that made large scale mining possible. The same basic categories of machines are still in use to this day, but the tour will focus on older designs common in the first half of the twentieth century. Visitors will learn how the devices functioned and how their design and construction allowed them to run for decades. In the event of inclement weather the program will shift indoors for a presentation about the artifacts.

Mike Piersa is a historian at the National Museum of Industrial History. Among other roles, he is also co-coordinator of the Bangor Quarry Hoist Project, a community initiative to preserve a 118 year old, Bangor, PA, built mining hoist . For over a decade, Mike has directed efforts to save the hoist and many other antique machines from local slate quarries. His Master’s Thesis detailed the history of slate quarrying at the Stephens-Jackson Company in Pen Argyl, PA. Mike has served as an advisor to the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions that have studied the local slate industry.

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