Michigan Mine Hoist Named Landmark


| November/December 1984



Miners had unearthed copper for the Quincy Mining Co. in Hancock, Michigan, since 1856. By 1910 they reached a depth of nearly a mile-and-a-half in Shaft No. 2, but, without improved technology, going beyond this depth was unlikely. Nordberg Manufacturing Co. of Milwaukee found the solution in 1920 the largest compound condensing steam hoist in the world.

On August 24 at Quincy, Mine's Shaft No. 2, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated this hoist a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. George Kotnick, ASME president, presented a plaque, citing the hoist's remarkable technical highlights, to Burton H. Boyum, president of Quincy Mine Hoist Association.

Cost of No. 2 hoisting plant was $371,000. Its grooved drum, 30' in diameter at the center, carried 10,000 ft. of 1/8' wire rope, when wound in one layer over the drum's cylindrical section and one conical end.

The cross-compound hoist engine was actually four engines in one. Two high-pressure cylinders on one side of the drum had a bore and stroke of 32' x 66' and ran on 160 lbs. of steam. Two low-pressure cylinders on the other side were 60' x 66' and ran with a condenser. The four double-acting pistons provided eight impulses or power strokes per revolution of the drum. Turning at 34 revolutions per minute, the drum hoisted skips enlarged from 8- to 10-ton capacity at 3,200 ft. per minute, or 36 MPH.

Said ASME President Kotnick, 'What is impressive about this hoist, apart from its size, is that it did the work of the previous smaller hoist raising 52,000 skips and a quarter million tons of copper rock and mass per year but it took 2,400 fewer tons of coal to do it. In its first year Quincy saved $16,080 in fuel bills.'

For a brochure about the Quincy Mining Hoist and list of landmarks write: ASME, Public Information Dept, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017.