ASME-Landmark:Quincy Mining Company No. 2 Mine Hoist


The largest steam-powered mine hoist in the world served the two incline skipways of Quincy Mine Shaft No. 2, almost 9,300 feet long. Copper in most mines in the Michigan copper district was found in lodes averaging from 6 to 12 feet thick. Such lodes at the Quincy mine dipped into the ground at about 45 degrees, for a distance of more than two miles along the lode and a depth of over 9,100 feet on the incline, a vertical depth of more than a mile below the shaft opening.

The hoisting of copper rock at the Quincy Mine necessitated the installation of machinery of extraordinary capacity in order to hoist from the great depths. The mine hoist's overhead winding drum has a diameter of 30 feet, of which the cylindrical center section is 10 feet long. The two 10-foot long end sections taper down to a 15-foot diameter. Wire hoisting ropes (almost 27 tons) could be wound onto a small end of the cylindrical drum as the other rope unwound from the cylindrical section.

Two cross-compound Corliss engines with cylinder bores of 32 and 60 inches and 66-inch stroke drove the drum directly. With steam at 160 pounds per square inch, 2,500 horsepower was developed at 34 revolutions per minute. Skips weighing 6 tons burdened with 10 tons of ore were brought up at speeds of up to 36 miles per hour. In its first year, the new hoist pulled larger loads, faster, saving Quincy $16,080 in fuel bills. See ASME website for more information