Levant Mine whim engine

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

Levant Mine whim engine

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

LEVANT MINE. The oldest Cornish mine engine still in existence, this was also the first to be preserved. Built c.1840 by Harveys of Hayle, the design is credited to the Cornish engineer Francis Michell. This engine raised ore from the deep levels up Skip Shaft. An earlier, 1835 engine, was used for pumping water out of the mine, but does not survive. The whim engine was preserved in 1935 by the Cornish Engines Society, now the Trevithick Society.

Levant mine appears on Martyn's map of Cornwall of 1748, but only came together as a mine in 1820. It is best known for its 1919 disaster when the mine's rather antiquated man engine collapsed. Man engines were used in Germany first. Michael Loam of Callington won the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society competition to design a man engine suitable for Cornish mines in the early 1840s. Founded by Quaker sisters, the society's aims were humanitarian - to save miners hours of climbing ladders.

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Location

Cornwall, Hayle

Period

1840

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