N-0000.94.55 | Huntington Copper Mining Company's works, Bolton, QC, 1867

Huntington Copper Mining Company's works, Bolton, QC, 1867
William Notman (1826-1891)
1867, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
10 x 17 cm
Gift of Mrs. William Molson
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , industrial (826) , Industry (942) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Surprisingly, the mines used huge amounts of wood, not just to fuel the steam boilers, but also to shore up the unstable tunnels. In addition, at each mine site, there were always a few buildings on the surface. Some were used for storage, others for mechanical processing of the ore: breaking up rocks, preliminary sorting of valuable rocks and preparing for smelting. The blacksmith and carpenter, the skilled workers of the time, also had their shops nearby, as they always did at mines. Because of the small scale of the mining, the total workforce hired at each mine rarely numbered more than 100, so the hierarchy, dominated by the mine captain, was very elementary.

  • What

    The dump, which built up as the ore was extracted, is a sure sign of a mine.

  • Where

    The Huntington mine, on a hill, took advantage of the elevation by building a platform along which the cars full of worthless rock from the mill were pushed.

  • When

    Although we do not know how the work at the Huntington mine was organized, it is likely that the miners worked 10 or 12 hours a day, six days a week.

  • Who

    At this time, the ore hauled to surface was often sorted by women in one of the company buildings. That is how it was done at Huntington, anyway.