1999.348.5 | Irvin & Hopper Mine, Black Lake, QC, about 1890
Irvin & Hopper Mine, Black Lake, QC, about 1890
About 1890, 19th century
Silver salts on paper
25 x 30.4 cm
Gift of Mr. Alfred Penhale Estate
This artefact belongs to :© Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines
Keys to History
In the early 1880s, to get the stone out of the pit, the asbestos pioneers had to load it into wheelbarrows that they pushed up to the surface, or sometimes used horse-drawn carts. Soon, however, the work of both men and animals was made easier by the installation of wooden rails for cars. By 1895 there was less need for horses. Yet they continued to be used on the surface to transport spoil (earth and rock considered to be worthless, because it contained no asbestos fibres), rubbish or various construction materials well into the 1950s.
This car is being used to remove rock from the asbestos mine. The rock will then be loaded into a horse-drawn cart to be taken to a shed for processing.
This mountainside mine is at Black Lake. It is probably the Irvin and Hopper mine.
This photo may have been taken just before 1895, at the very end of primitive mining, just before the asbestos industry began to be mechanized.
Here we see a horse and men, whose hard physical labour was still essential to asbestos mining.