A steam hoist. used in underground mining since 1800, uses cables wound around its drum to raise and lower skips
, buckets, or cages. One cable is used for lowering, while the other is used for raising the cables up and down the shaft -- located directly below the headframe
. Hoist production factors include; winch type, bucket capacity, lifting hieght, and lifting speed.
A steam hoist operator
controls the hoist by moving levers and pedals in response to the Mine Bell Signal System
. A signal is given from underground giving the steam hoist operator the indication to lower or raise the cage, skip or ore bucket to a certain level within the mine depending on the level marker
The steam hoist at the Quincy mine in Michigan -- first operational in 1920, is the largest in the world. It was produced by the Nordberg Mfg. Co for the Quincy Mining Company. The 30' drum held 10,000' of 1 5/8" wire rope (almost 27 tons) and could hoist 10 ton skips at the rate of 3.200' fpm or (34 mph).