Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 8 > Page 9 - Tius Tutty, Codfish and Handpick Mining

Page 9 - Tius Tutty, Codfish and Handpick Mining

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/6/1 (796 reads)

there. Oh, Lord, quite a lot. Oh, yes. And different ones died dovm there. Got killed, too. There was horses got killed. Runaway boxes. Now there was a driver he wasn't killed but he got hurt pretty bad • he never got over it. He was going up what they call a headway. And a fellow that was working in this headway • had a box and had no sprag, only had something under the wheels. And when they started chucking the coal in, before they got about half-full she took off. The driver was going up this headway and the box come down and hit the horse. Killed the horse and broke the driver, pretty bad. He was in the box. Handpick Miners opening a mine in Port Morien, 1880 Gordon MacGregor; If you see the seam, the actual seetm, it runs in reeds ? although it's pressed together • 'eiit *'' ''' Q' handpick mining, if you or I went down right now we'd hammer our arms ofi and we'd perhaps get a scuttle full of coal. An old handpick miner, he'd tap it like that. He'd lie on his side. He'd have to lie under a cut of coal. He'd dig a trench in the bottom of the seam. There could be perhaps" seven feet above him. And he'd work his way in until all you could see sticking out from under the mining as they called it, was his heels. Solid coal was above him. He was taking a chance of being crushed. But the good miners would timber themseTves • put timber up. And they'd just pick away. When the Gardiner Mine out here flooded' I was tunnel director; we were driving a tunnel, blasting out of solid stone. They sent me up to open the only slope that had worked before 1870. We went in the old French Slope, the old East Slope • it was all handpick mining. And as true as I'tT" here, you see that wall there, it was just as straight and just as smooth as that. They took pride m their work those handpick men. We had a little lamp something like a teapot hooked in your cap. A little spout on it. And a wick in it, seal oil. Yes, I had my light go out in the mine. Different times. Dark? Well you couldn't be any darker. You'd just try to get a light. With the old oil lamp they carried matches, and the next thing thev got was the closed light--it had a plug and a kind of a lip come out on both sides of it and a plug in it. That's the way it was locked. And if you got in the dark with that vou'd have to walk as far as from here up to darn near where my son is living up there, to the landing to get a light. And you'd be going along like this, and rubbing your foot a- gainst the rail • unless the driver come in. Well then you'd send your lamps out with with the driver. If you just made a move with them, they'd go out. They were no good. But the last light they got, there was no trouble to light that--there'd be something around like your battery. But the old oil lamp, yes, that was open flame. But there never was an explosion caused through that. But there was an explosion in Caledonia, about four years before I started. It was 8 men killed. A pumpsman was looking after the water • water pumps to pump it into a sump and then a big pump would pump it to the surface • and the pump was froze and he lit some waste and it was burning and it seems that the smoke from it got back into a dead end, blind end • and of course when it was reported that there was trouble down below to the mana? ger • his name was Johnson • he went down and instead of going around where the pump was he opened a slide, a little trap slide in the stoppings and stuck his open light in and when he did she went up. 8 men killed. They found his lamp • used to carry it 'Cape Breton's Magazine/9 i''''";i!!;c'ci'''''''x'''' 'fhBl'''''' '"ij-dt:' i'-
Cape Breton's Magazine
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