Friday, July 13, 2012

How I got started Restoring Mining Artifacts

How I got started Restoring Mining Artifacts

I started volunteering at the Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum in 1992 working on various projects.

History of the Boras: The Boras Headframe was the last of the wooden headframes built in the Warren Mining District near Bisbee, Arizona. Erected in 1917, it hoisted over 50,000 tons of copper ores by 1926 when the mine was closed during the Depression. Production resumed in 1938 and continued to 1941. In 1952 the headframe was reconditioned and some of its wood supports were replaced with steel. Until 1975 it served as a ventilation and escape shaft for the interconnecting underground workings of the Dallas and Cole mines. The relocation and reassembly to Phoenix was completed in 1997. The shaft served by the Boras headframe was 1,034 feet deep. The hoist motor was manufactured by General Electric and rated at 521 horsepower at 550 rpm. Maximum Speed of the hoist was 1,200 feet per minute. The picture below show the headframe and hoist in Bisbee

                                                       Boras Mine at Bisbee, AZ                    

Boras Headframe Project: My first major project started in 1993 and involved bringing a mining headframe and hoist house from the Boras Mine in Bisbee, Arizona to Phoenix. The headframe and hoist house were placed on loan from Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation, now Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Corporation. I worked with the Curator, Glenn Miller, and the Director, Mason Coggin, to put together a plan to disassemble, transport and reassemble the two major artifacts. The project took from December 1993 to May 1997. This was an education in how to take apart large components and move them. The main frame of the 35 foot headframe was transported in one piece and the hoist, weighing 17,800 pounds was lifted onto a flatbed and transported to Phoenix. This gave me an appreciation for the complexities of coordinating, disassembling, transport and reassembly of delicate mining artifacts. The picture below show the headframe and hoist in Phoenix:

                                          Boras Headframe at Phoenix, AZ                    

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