Click here to return to the Staffordshire Multimedia Archive web site

Audio Content
Historical Overview
Mining Economics
Colliery Overview
Mining Techniques
Support Systems
Coal Transport
Safety and Rescue
Miners Lives
Miners Strikes


| Home page |

Support Systems

From 1870 onwards shafts with depths of over 2,000 feet become common. The deepest shaft of 3,750ft in Western Europe was recorded in Wolstanton colliery in North Staffordshire.

These advances were due to the improvements in the mining support systems. The invention of the steam engine brought the biggest change and improvement to these systems. It drove the drainage pumps, winding gear, ventilation fans and haulage equipment.

These developments not only helped increase the output of coal, but also improved the health and safety of the miners.

Click image or highlighted words below to go to that specific section.

Drainage Drainage: Water is one of the biggest enemies of the coal miner.
Winding Winding: The winding engines are the biggest power-consuming units at a colliery. 
Ventilation Ventilation: There are three main reasons for ventilating a mine.
Haulage Haulage: The tubs of coal, filled at the coal face, were hauled by pony or later conveyor to pit bottom.
Pit pony Pit pony: pit pony played significant role in the coal mining history.