1999.318.139 | Bell Mine (?), Thetford Mines, QC, early 20th century
Bell Mine (?), Thetford Mines, QC, early 20th century
About 1910, 20th century
Silver salts on paper
13.7 x 9.6 cm
Gift of Mr. Alfred Penhale Estate
This artefact belongs to :© Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines
Keys to History
In the first decade of the 20th century, the federal and provincial governments made little mention of industrial accidents in their official publications. The newspapers of the time are often the best source of information on the question, as in this article from Le Soleil of June 13, 1904:
"A terrible accident occurred here on Saturday. A young man from Sacré-Coeur de Jésus, in the Beauce, Joseph Drouin, aged sixteen, had come looking for work from the King brothers, who are mine owners. After obtaining what he sought, the young man went walking around the company property. At about 9:30 a.m., he was seen on the railway tracks. Small cars full of rock from the various pits travel constantly along these tracks. These cars and their contents weigh approximately five or six tons. The poor unfortunate was struck by one of these cars and literally cut in two. Dr. Lacerte was called to the scene, but found only a corpse. The coroner held an inquest and rendered a verdict of accidental death."
The ore is being brought up from the bottom of the pit to the processing shed on an inclined plane: four 4-ton cars linked by steel cable could be hauled out of the pit using a powerful electric winch.
This covered haulage way, with a 20% incline, is likely tunnel no. 8 of the Bell mine at Thetford Mines.
The inclined plane method was introduced at the Bell mine in 1908, so the picture cannot have been taken before then. It cannot have been taken after 1922, either, as that was the year that wooden cars were replaced with metal ones.
Keasbey & Mattison, an American company, bought the Bell mine in 1906.