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OBSERVATIONS ON THE MATERIALS FROM, AND PROCESSES BY
Ellustrated by an Atlas
CONTAINING 235 WOOD ENGRAVINGS OF MINING TOOLS, DRAWN
LECTURER ON MINING AT THE BRISTOL SCHOOL OF MINES.
LOCKWOOD & CO., 7, STATIONERS' HALL COURT,
ONE of the striking features of the Art of Mining, in its wide application, is the variety which characterizes the tools used for prosecuting it. This variety may be to some extent the result of prejudices which establish local custom; but in the main it is the fruit of skilful design, or selection, for advantageously accomplishing the sundry details of mining operations.
The subject in general is one of interest and importance to those who aim at promoting the prosperity of mining, since, for the successful prosecution of that industry, so much depends upon the adaptability and quality of the tools used. It is consequently requisite that the principles which regulate their efficiency should be thoroughly understood, and as several mining tools are required for work of an exceptional nature, it is desirable to have special acquaint
ance with some points, as touching both principles and practice, in relation to those tools in particular.
It has been endeavoured to make the following pages of some service to mine managers, viewers, or captains, and overmen, whose knowledge of the quality, durability, manufacture, and selection of tools is often appealed to, and who, consequently, require to be familiar with the practical bearings of the subject.
The affording of information to mining students has also been aimed at. For their advantage the principles of operation of some of the tools have been noticed, with additional points, which otherwise would not have been introduced. It is hoped, however, that those of their number who intend to successfully direct mining operations, will be prompted by the perusal of these pages to seek possession of an acquaintance with the actual use of, at least, the ordinary mining tools. To such individuals the advantage of experience thereby gained cannot be overrated, and they should constantly remember that when the time arrives for them to take charge of the execution of work, they ought to be able to bring to bear the requisite practical knowledge,
and not to be entering upon the acquirement of it.*
Another intention has been that of affording English superintendents of foreign mines such particulars, derived from practice, as may be useful to them when engaged in the discharge of functions demanding their close acquaintance with details which, in this country, where manufacturing industry and skilled labour are always close at hand, may be regarded as insignificant and unnecessary.
With the hope that these pages will be read by working miners, and artisans concerned in the furnishing of mining tools, it has been attempted to treat the subject in a way calculated to interest and inform them upon numerous points. The writer is proud to acknowledge that much of the information which has served him well in daily practice has been communicated to him by men of these vocations, amongst whom prevails a high degree of natural intelligence, which is often concealed by modest reserve.
Frequently, disappointments in mining enterprises are witnessed at home and abroad, through those who have control of the works labouring under the drawback of a training -if any at all-in which actual practice in mining has been quite neglected.