Spring Jumper (aka Spring Jack Hammer)

Contributed by Folk Museum Guernsey

The Spring Jumper was used to cut through 'granite', Guernsey's incredibly dense local rock. © Guernsey Folk Museum

Guernsey 'granite' was used to build St Paul's Cathedral steps, and other great works including London's Embankment.The Spring Jumper was a hand tool used to cut into Guernsey's extremely dense rock. As the nineteenth century progressed, the expanding stone trade became known as the 'granite industry'. The influence of the industry on Guernsey was physical and social. More than 250 quarries were dug in every available part of the island and at its peak in 1910 the industry saw almost half a million tons of stone being exported to the UK. It was used to macadamise the roads all over the country but the best stone was used for specific projects such as the steps of St Paul's Cathedral. The sudden surge of activity brought huge numbers of labourers to the island, transforming the sleepy fishing village of St Sampson's into the industrial harbour it remains today and bringing large numbers of Irish and Bretons and their families to the island.

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