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Man Engines


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Ladders R_Burt extract.pdf


old ladders underground

The basic piece of equipment for going up and down the mine shaft.

Traditionally made of wood, ladders had to rest upon horizontal platforms placed at regular intervals down the shaft. An example of this can be seen at Geevor. The longer the ladder, the more vertical the climb within a narrow shaft. This was a fairly inefficient method of travel as it took time for the miners to safely climb up and down them and restricted the amount of tools and ore they could also carry. Many accidents occurred due to miners falling off of ladders due to tiredness, so the platforms were also safety features to break a miners fall.


Photograph (ladders Old)  reproduced with the kind permission of the Royal Institution of Cornwall,
Photograph (ladders modern) reproduced with the kind permission of A Cocks with Geevor Archivel

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Comment left by Shirley from Belgium on 2012-05-24 08:00:00

What a fantastic website, I've learned so much. Hope the kids like my presentation today on the 'Origins of the Cornish Pasty', I have you to thank for the greatest and most interesting part: the miners and their working conditions.

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