NEIMME: Library > Journals

NEIMME Transactions

Volume 9

Annandale, Mr. Locke at .................................. 62
Acid as affecting Cement .................................. 69
Armstrong Mr., on Furnace Ventilation....................70 75
Anderson, Wmv his Evidence.............................. 108
Alfreton Furnaces, Gas Analyzed.................... ....... 137
Atkinson, Mr., on Furnace Action.......................... 152
Atkinson, Mr., on Strength of Shaft Tubbing.................. 175
Benton Workings ........................................ 19
Brass Thill Seam, Dipton................................. 20
Breckon's Ovens............-.........?.. .............36 48
Burradon Accident, discussion on......... 4.................. 55
Bidder, Mr., on Mr. Locke ............................... 60
Broad Gauge ..............»............................. 61
Birmingham Meeting....................................68 85
Brick Brattice, Ouston .................................... 70
Brattice, Malleable Iron...............«.................... 79
Bell, Mr. I. L., on the Hetton Explosion...................... 90
Bell, Isaac Lowthian, his Evidence ..........................103
Bond, John, his Evidence..................................107
Bell, Mr. I. L., on the Action of Acids on Cement ..........148 167
Boyd, Mr. E. F., on Mountain Limestone Series................ 185
Basaltic Dyke......... ........191
Boggle Houses, scene at ..................................212
Circular Coke Ovens ...........t..................... 6
............9 41
Church's Patent Coke Burners..............' • • *............. ig
Coke used on Railways................................ 18
Creeps in Pillar Working ................. ' .\\\........... 68
Cement for Tubbing .......•----•;.......______ g5
Circular on Birmingham Meeting...............'' ...... ^
Curry, John, his Evidence.......................*' ^ 113
Clennell, William, his Evidence ..................' * [[[]] Uq
Cement, Strength of ........................... 162
Cochrane, Mr. W., on Boiler Accidents ...................• • • ^
Coombes on Cast Iron Tubbing..............................
Dipton old Colliery Workings .............................. ^
Davy's Safety Lamp, objection to............................
Dunn, Mr., as to Removing Pillars ..........................
tv > n ...........35 48
Dixon s Ovens......................................
Durham University........................................
Davison, George, his Evidence..............................110
Daglish, John, his Evidence................................11 ^
Dunn, Matthias, his Evidence .............................. 127
Dickenson, Joseph, his Evidence ............................ 128
Daglish, Mr. J., on Ventilating Furnaces .:................132 159
Drainage, General, Mr. T. J. Taylor's plan of.................. 244
Electricity applied to Coke Making.......................... 54
Eppleton Colliery, Experiments at............................ 133
Elemore Colliery, Experiments at............................ 135
Enumerated Strata, Mr. Boyd .............................. 199
Finance Committee........................................ 2
Finance Committee's Report................................ (3g
Forster, Thos. E., his Evidence...............,,.............122
Gauges, Battle of the...................................... (31
Gawber Hall Colliery Ventilation......................., t... 80
Greener, Mr., his Improved Furnace.....................• • • • • 0±
Gleghorn, George, his Evidence.......................* • * • • 108
Gardiner, Robert, his Evidence.............................. 108
Greenwell, Mr. George, on Furnace Action.................... 150
Hetton, Explosion at...................................... &9
Hetton Accident, Mr. Wood on.............................. 93
Hall, E. W., his Evidence.................................. 98
Hope, Ralph, his Evidence.........•..................»..... 107
Heckels, Richard, his Evidence....................«......... 125
Jenkin, Mr. Daglish's Remarks on.......................... 31
Jars on Coke............................................ 50
Killingworth Pillar Workings .....v i....................... 19
Locke, Jos., Esq., the late Engineer ...........*..........•. .2 56
Lancaster and Preston Railroad.............................. 59
Lignite from the Upper Rhine .............................. 71
Longridge, Mr., on Boiler Explosions ........................ 91
Lowden, George, his Evidence.............................. 98
Longridge, Mr., Letter on Boiler Accidents......... ^.........160
Lowick, Strata developed at ,............................... 211
Lewis, Sir G. C, Letter from................................229
Mickley Patent Coke Ovens .......,........................ 11
Meeting, Central, proposed................................ 15
Meadow Vein Coal, Pontypool.............................. 43
Mackworth's Oven.......................,............... 43
Marley, Mr., on Breckon's Oven ............................ 50
Mining College at Durham ..................\...........87 251
Matthews, R. F., his Evidence.............................. 122
Monkwearmouth Colliery, Explosion at ...................... 250
...............24 196
Ninety-Fathom Dyke......................' U1
Natural History Society, Meeting with........................ ^
Northumberland Carboniferous Limestone ....................
Ordnance Maps, Sir R. Murchison on........................ ^
Ogden, Mr., his Proposal ..................................
Pillar Working Discussed..................................
Pillar Working, Mr. Crone on .............................. ^
Paris and Lyons Line...................................... ^
Pressure borne by Cement..................................
Pemberton Improved Furnace ...............•............. ^1
Rogers and Mackworth's Kilns.......................•...... 45
Rouen and Havre Lines.................................... 59
Richardson, Dr., on Hetton Explosion........................ 94
Reid, James, his Evidence.................................. 109
Railway, Border Counties.................................. 243
Steavenson, Mr., on Coke Ovens.............................. 3
Spencer, Mr., on Pillar Working............................ 17
Stephenson's Safety Lamp.................................. 26
Seaton Burn Low Main Seam ........................,..... 27
Steavenson, Mr., Supplement on Coke Ovens .................. 35-
Stephenson, George, assisted by Joseph Locke.................. 57
Stephenson, Robert, Causes of his Death.....<............... (53
Smith, Thomas, his Evidence........................,...... 100
Simpson, Robert, his Evidence.....-........................ jqj
Southern, G. W., his Evidence ............,.............% ## 120
Sinclair, Edward, his Evidence.......................... 127
Scremerston, Fossils found near........................
Slip Dykes ..................................... 189
Sections of Strata, Mr. Boyd........................ 214
Safety-Lamp, Aluminium......,................. ' 255
Thompson, Mr. Benjamin, his Coke Oven...............,...... 40
Taylor, Mr. Thomas John, as to Hetton Explosion.............. 90
Thursdale Colliery, Explosion at ............................ 92
Taylor, the late Thomas John, Memoir of...................... 237
Ure, Doctor, on Coke Burning...... .................,..... 4
University of Durham ... • •.............................86 229
Water, use of, in Coke Making.............................. 9
Wood, Mr., on the old practice as to Pillars................... 37
Walker and Rastrick's Report .............................. 57
Watson on Cement for Tubbing.............................. 68
Wood, Mr. Nicholas, on Hetton Explosion.................... 93
Watson, Mr., his Experiments on Cement • • • • „............143 145
Wood, Mr. Nicholas, on Furnace Action ..................155 167
Whin Sill, great.......................................... 193
Young, Robert, his Evidence................................ 99
The Institution is not, as a body, responsible for the facts and opinions advanced in
the Papers read, and in the Abstracts of the Conversations which occurred at the
Meeting's during the Session.
In presenting their Report of the position and proceedings of the
Institute of Mining Engineers of the North of England to the General
Meeting, the Council have a mingled and chequered duty to perform.
They have to congratulate their associates in this Institute upon a
position of general prosperity, as far as the general objects of the asso-
ciation are concerned; at the same time they have to deplore losses by
death, too sad to be psssed over without the expression of deep sorrow,
and too considerable not to give rise to feelings of deep regret.
Speaking in general terms, the progress of the Society during the
year just passed has been eminently satisfactory. The number of
members, deducting the losses by death and other circumstances, has
risen from 237 to 286 whilst the attendance at the monthly meetings,
and the character of the papers read, and for many parts of the
published " Transactions," have fully borne out the original intention
and the general anticipated success and utility of the Institute.
The pecuniary position of the association will be detailed in the
Treasurer's Statement of Account, embodied in the report of the Finance
The papers read during the past year have, without exception, been
of an eminently practical character, and some of them treating of matters
of very considerable interest.
An enumeration of them will sufficiently demonstrate this.
At the meeting of October the 4th, a paper "On Coke Ovens and
their Construction" was read by Mr. A. L. Steavenson, which gave rise
to a good deal of practical and useful discussion.
On November 1st, Mr. Stephen C. Crone read a paper "On Pillar
Working " a subject already broached by Mr. Wm, Spencer, Jun., and
one prolific also of considerable utility.
At the same time, a supplementary paper " On the Construction and
Management of Coke Ovens" was produced by Mr. Steavenson.
On°the 7th of February, a short explanatory paper "On the use of
Cement for Walling as a substitute for Metal Tubbing in Shafts," was
read by Mr. Watson, and at the same time, an essay " On Ventilating
Furnaces and their Elasticity of Action," by Mr. Wm. Armstrong.
On the 7th March, a succint account was communicated by the
President, of the facts connected with an explosion at Hetton Colliery,
which appeared to have originated at the boiler flue of an underground
engine called "Davison's Engine," which occasioned, by its destructive
effects, a great loss of life and destruction of property, and which was
very difficult to be accounted for under ordinary circumstances of under-
ground engines. To the statement of facts was appended a copy of the
evidence taken at the inquest. By the singular circumstances connected
with this lamentable casuaiity a subsequent discussion of much curious
interest was elicited, which is recorded in the proceedings.
At the same meeting, Mr. John Daglish read a paper containing
additional observations " On the Construction of Ventilating Furnaces."
At the meeting of May the 2nd, a paper, by Mr. J. J. Atkinson,
Inspector of Coal Mines, " On the Strength of Tubbing in Shafts, and
the Pressure of Forces it has to resist," was read. This was a paper
also of great practical as well as theoretical interest.
At the same meeting, a paper was read by the Treasurer, Mr. Boyd,
" On a part of the Carboniferous Mountain Limestone Series of North*
Northumberland," which is the concluding paper published in the
volume of the " Transactions " of the twelve months now ended, and
which treats in a very able manner of the geology of a most interesting
Prom the pleasing duty of thus detailing the "Transactions" of the
current year, the Council have for an instant to advert to a topic which
painfully contrasts therewith. They have already mentioned the losses
which death has occasioned this Society in the course of twelve months.
t now becomes their duty merely to say, that memoirs of the leading
events of the career of the late eminent and scientific vice-president,
°sep Locke, and of that of his colleague as a vice-president of this
^nstitute, the late talented and accomplished Thomas John Taylor, will
rLiT*at pages 56 and 237 of the aTransactions"of tne Je*T> as
.y the President, who was an intimate friend and well" able to
^preciate the acquirements of both of these distinguished and lamented
Having adverted to the leading " Transactions " of the past year, the
Council may now be permitted to hazard a few observations on some
topics of more remote or minor importance connected with the Institution.
The members of the Institute need not be reminded on this occasion
of the various steps that have been taken, and efforts made by those
appointed for that purpose, towards the establishment in some favourable
and central locality of a practical Mining College, in which mine
engineering, and the sciences immediately connected with it, might be
It has not been the fault of those to whom the advancement of this
desirable object was entrusted that their endeavours have been hitherto
They have, however, much pleasure in communicating to the Institute
their hopes that an opportunity may soon be presented for the realization
of that desirable object.
This opportunity will be found in the Commission now appointed by
Parliament to enquire into and amend the constitution and management
of the University of Durham, especially with reference to the introduc-
tion into that seminary of the promotion and cultivation of practical
At page 88 of the "Transactions" of the year will be found a
memorial to Sir George Cornewall Lewis, the Secretary of State for the
Home Department, with respect to this proposed enquiry, and strongly
advocating the necessity, in a national point of view, of the incorporation
with that University of a College for the advancement and teaching of
Mining Science. The memorial was presented to the Home Secretary
by a deputation headed by the President, who earnestly urged upon his
consideration the various points embodied in the memorial connected
with this important subject, to which Sir G. C. Lewis appeared to pay
marked attention, and, without pledging himself to any definite con-
clusion, said the memorial should have his most serious consideration;
recommending, in addition, that the subject should be laid before the
proposed Commission. The Council accordingly beg to recommend that
the President, with Messrs. J. T. Woodhouse and I. L. Bell, be appointed
to give evidence before the Commission on the subject, with power to
add to their number.
There yet remains one other topic to which it is the duty of the
Council particularly to advert.
The Finance Committee have, in their Report already printed, and in
the possession of the members of the Institute, animadverted, and not
without cause, on a growing- insufficiency of room for the models, maps,
library, and fossil specimens belonging to the Society, and on the
necessity of some arrangement which may, either now or at some early
period, obviate these inconveniences.
With a view to these very proper considerations, the Council may
remark that a proposal has already been laid before a sub-committee
appointed to receive it; such proposal emanating from the Natural
History Society, whose premises communicate with the building at
present occupied by the Institute, and who propose to mature some
arrangement by which the valuable assortment of fossil specimens
collecting and collected by this Institute may be made generally useful^
not only to themselves but also to the public, by arranging them and
exhibiting them in company with the fossil collection belonging to the
Natural History Society.
An outline of the plan proposed by the Natural History Society was
handed in by Messrs. Hancock and Mennell and by Dr. Charlton, who
formed the deputation from the body of the members of that society;
and such plan is now under the consideration of the Committee to
whom the subject was referred. When the Committee shall have made
its report, it will be the province of a general meeting to consider and
determine what further steps shall be taken, and if it be practicable that
such arrangments can be made which will accomplish the objects which
the Institute have in view with reference to this important subject.
The next subject which the Council has to lay before the Institute for
its consideration is the question—Is it desirable to appoint another
secretary as recommended in the Finance Committee's report of August,
1860? The Council would refer to the proceedings thereon at the
meeting of June last, and the resolution passed at that meeting, that
the Council should report thereon to the annual meeting of this year.
In pursuance of such resolution the Council beg to report as follows
That in their opinion the office of secretary requires revision, so that
all the duties of that office, not considered as included in the duties of
their present secretary, be efficiently performed.
In conclusion, the Council have to advert to the meeting which has
recently taken place at Birmingham. It is not necessary for them to
enter mto detail of the preliminary proceedings taken with respect
areiallUdn i° " Pr°Ceedi^s of the
meetings. The Council would, however, beg to congratulate the Insti-
tution upon the eminent success of that movement, and of that meeting;
and to express their entire conviction that the result will be most advan-
tageous to the character and success of the Institution.
Besides the Address of the President, on 66 The Objects and Labours
of the Institute," the following papers were read and discussed:—
Mr. Samuel Bailey, on "Underground Engines, &c.f Mr. T. Y. Hall,
on "The Rivers, Ports, and Harbours of the Northern Coal-field;"
Mr. Robert Ayton, on " Safety Cages f Messrs. G. C. Greenwell and
H. Cossham, on " The Somerset Coal-field ;" Mr. J. T. Woodhouse, on
" The Progress of Mining Engineering in the Derbyshire Coal-field,
with a short Account of the Method of working Coal by Long-wall;"
Mr. Stuart Smith, on " The Winning and Working of the Cinderhill
Colliery;" Mr. George Fowler, on " Working the Main Seam at Moira,
particularly with reference to Spontaneous Combustion f Messrs. J. J.
Atkinson and John Daglish, on "The Friction of Anemometers;"
Mr. Henry Johnson, of Dudley, on "Working in the Thick Coal;"
Mr. P. S. Reid, on " Boring through Quicksands."
There were, besides, eight other papers presented for reading, which
were not read in conseqence of the want of time, but which, it is trusted,
will be brought forward at the future meetings of the Institute.
The reading of the papers occupied two days, and on the third day
several places in the neighbourhood were visited by the members and
their friends; and it is only right to add, that the reception which the
members and their friends met with from the Mayor and inhabitants
of Birmingham, and from the proprietors of the various works they
visited, was of the most enthusiastic character.
As the volume of the "Transactions" of the present year will be fully
occupied by the papers read and discussed at Newcastle, the Council
would recommend that the papers and transactions of the meeting at
Birmingham be arranged in a separate volume.
fimmt %tptt
We beg* to submit the Treasurer's Annual Accounts to the Institute^
made up in accordance with resolution of the members, to the 31st
July, 1861.
The total receipts of the Society from all sources has been as fol-
lows :—
Subscriptions from Members - £483 0 0
Do. from Collieries - - - - 73 10 0
From Sale of Publications - - - - 82 10 10
„ Interest on R. Stephenson, Esq.'s Legacy - 42 12 0
Legacy from R. Stephenson, Esq. - 2000 0 0
2681 12 10
The Cash Balance in hand at close of 1860 was 273 11 0
2955 3 10
The aggregate Payments, as per Balance Sheet,
have been...... 729 7 9
Leaving Cash in hands of Treasurer - - £2225 16 1

We have to observe that the amount of £300 in the hands of the
District Bank Liquidators remains unpaid, together with interest, which
we suppose will be due on it.
The Maps of the Geological Survey, as recommended in last year's
report, have been purchased.
With reference to the arrangement of Instruments, Models, Geological
Specimens, &c, alluded to in last year's report, your Committee beg to
refer the Institute to their report to the Council in February last, and
discussed at the June meeting.
The stock of books in the hands of the printer have been examined,
and we believe the statement to be correct.
In furtherance of the resolutions of the June meeting, 269 complete
volumes of the Proceedings of the Institute have been bound up.
For the Year from August 1st, 1860,
=^860===== Br. £ s- d-
July i._To Balance in hand of Treasurer from Eighth Year. .£273 11 0
Do beino* Proportion of Deposit at District
Bank yet unpaid.................. 300 0 0
___ 573 11 0
„ Subscriptions collected since Balancing at July 31, 1860, for
37 Ifi 0
that and former years ............................ ot
„ Bequest of the late Robert Stephenson, Esq...............2000 0 0
„ Interest on Ditto, from Nov. 14, 1860, to June 30, 1861 .... 42 12 0
„ Subscriptions from 212 Members ........................ 445 4 0
„ Subscriptions from Colliery Owners, viz. .—
Black Boy................................£4 4 0
East Holywell ............................ 2 2 0
Holywell Main............................ 2 2 0
Haswell.................................. 8 8 0
Hetton .................................. 10 10 0
North Hetton ............................ 6 6 0
Grange.................................. 2 2 0
Kepier Grange.......*.................... 2 2 0
Lambton ................................ 10 10 0
Leasingthorne........................... 2 2 0
Westerton................................ 2 2 0
Poynton and Worth ...................... 2 2 0
South Hetton and Murton.................. 8 8 0
Stella.................................... 2 2 0
Whitworth, for the Tears 1858-59-60-61 .... 8 8 0
-- 73 10 0
By Sales of Publications, per A. Reid, from July 14,
1860, to and with January 31, 1861 ......£62 10 10
„ Ditto, from January 31 to July 1 .............. 20 ' 0 0
-- 82 10 10
£3255 3 10
to and with July 1st, 1861.
1861. €r. £ s. d.
July 1.—By paid A. Reid, Printing- and Publishing Account
from July 14, 1860, to January 4,1861... .£227 16 0
„ Ditto, from January 4 to July 1 .............. 285 17 0
„ Ditto, for Binding Copies of Vols. I., IV., and
VIII..........r...................... 39 16 0
-- 553 9 0
„ Paid Postage Stamps, Secretary................ 17 10 2
„ Do. and Receipt Stamps, Treasurer .... 5 7 9
„ Do. Stamps, Printer.................. 26 16 9
--49 u 8
„ Paid for Circulars, Covers for Parts, &c................... 22 9 9
„ Paid for Advertising .................................. 14 3 6
„ Secretary's Salary, 11 Months up to July 1st.............. 22 18 4
„ Reporter's, ditto ditto .............. 11 11 0
„ Paid h. Cossham for 50 Copies of Bristol Mining School
Lectures.................................>...... 5 0 0
„ Paid P. S. Reid for a Work entitled " Charbon de Terre"____ 5 5 0
„ Paid E. Stanford for Geological Maps and Sections ........ 40 12 6
„ Paid R. Snowdon for Framing Robert Stephenson's Portrait.. 1 17 6
„ Paid Premium for Insurance of £300 on Property at Institute
Rooms.......................................... 0 16 6
„ Paid Premium for Insurance of £400 on Property called Stock 110 0
„ Deposit Receipt held on Messrs. Lambton & Co.
for Amount of the late Robert Stephenson's,
Esq., Legacy .......................£2000 0 0
„ Balance in hand of Treasurer at this date...... 225 16 1
» Do. being Proportion of Deposit in hands of
District Bank Liquidators yet unpaid .... 300 0 0
---2525 16 1
£3255 3 10

1861. Eutoilitm. £ s. d. i86i. Assets. £ s. d.
July 1.—By Amount of Cash in hands of Trea-
surer ....................£225 16 1
„ Ditto ditto District
Bank Liquidators .......... 300 0 0
„ Ditto ditto Lambton
and Co., and for which Deposit
Receipt is held ............2000 0 0
---2525 16 1
„ Value of Volumes Bound .................. 170 0 0 ^
„ Sheets and Plates belonging1 to Vols. IV., VI., *
VII., and VIII.—Vols. I., II., III., and &
V. being now imperfect or bound ...... 260 0 0
„ 30 Copies of Mr. Wales' Paper on Ventilation.. 3 15 0
,, Members' Subscriptions in Arrear at this date.. 117 12 0
„ Sheets and Plates belonging to Vol. IX., unfi-
nished at this date .................. 125 0 0
£3202 3 1
His Grace the Duke of Northumberland.
The Eight Honourable the Earl of Lonsdale.
The Right Honourable the Earl Grey.
The Right Honourable the Earl of Durham.
The Right Honourable Lord Wharncliffe.
The Right Honourable Lord Ravensworth.
The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Durham.
The Very Reverend the Dean and Chapter of Durham.
The Venerable Archdeacon Thorpe, the Warden of Durham
Wentworth B. Beaumont, Esq., M.P.
OFFICERS, 1 8 6 1 -6 2.
Nicholas Wood, Hetton Hall, Fence Houses.
William Anderson, Cleadon Cottage, South Shields.
Edward Potter, Cramlington, Newcastle.
J. T. Woodhouse, Midland Eoad, Derby, Derbyshire.
Thomas E. Forster, 7, Ellison Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
m.: ¦
Cuthbert Berkley, Marley Hill Colliery, Gateshead.
Thomas G. Hurst, Backworth Colliery, Newcastle.
John R. Liddell, Netherton Colliery, Morpeth.
John Daglish, Hetton Colliery, Fence Houses.
John Marley, Mining Offices, Darlington.
P. S. Reid, Pelton Colliery, Chester-le-Street, Fence Houses.
Geo. W. Southern, Rainton Colliery, Fence Houses.
John Ramsay, Walbottle Colliery, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
S. C. Crone, Killingworth Colliery, Newcastle.
G. C. Greenwell, Radstock Colliery, Bath.
Matthew Liddell, Hedgefield House, Stella.
William Armstong, Wingate Grange, Ferry Hill.
Edward F. Boyd, Moor House, Durham.
Thomas Doubleday, Newcastle.

John Alexander, Esq., Mining Inspector, Glasgow.
John J. Atkinson, Esq., Mining Inspector, Bowburn, Durham.
Lionel B rough, Esq., Mining Inspector, Clifton, Bristol, Somersetshire.
Joseph Dickinson, Esq., Mining Inspector, Manchester, Lancashire.
Matthias Dunn, Esq., Mining Inspector, 5, St. Thomas Place, New-
Thomas Evans, Esq., Mining Inspector, South Wales.
Golds worthy Gurney, Esq., Bude Castle, Cornwall.
John Hedley, Esq., Mining Inspector, Derby, Derbyshire.
Peter Higson, Esq., Mining Inspector, Ridgeneld, Lancashire.
Charles Morton, Esq., Mining Inspector, Wakefield, Yorkshire.
Edward Shipperdson, Esq., South Bailey, Durham.
Robert Williams, Esq., Mining Inspector, 37, Queen Street, Edinburgh.
Thomas Wynne, Esq., Mining Inspector, Longton, North Staffordshire.
De Von Decken, Berghauphnan, Bonn, Prussia.
Mons. de Boureialle, Paris, France.
Geheimerbergrath Yon Carnell, Berlin.
Mons. Gonot, Mons, Belgium.
Mons. de Yaux, Inspector General of Mines, Brussels.
tM nf 3Hemher0.
1 Adams, W., Ebw Vale Works, Newport, Monmouthshire.
2 Anderson, W., Cleadon Cottage, South Shields, County of Durham.
3 Anderson, C. W., St. Hilda's Colliery, South Shields, County of
4 Appleby, Charles Edward, Derby, Derbyshire.
5 Arkless, B., Tantoby, Gateshead, County of Durham.
6 Arkley, G. W., Harton Colliery, South Shields, County of Durham.
7 Armstrong, W., Wingate Grange, Ferry Hill, County of Durham.
8 Ashworth, Thomas, care of J. Hadwen, The Towers, Poynton
Colliery, Cheshire.
9 Atkinson, J., Coleford, Gloucestershire.
10 Attwood, Charles, Towlaw, Darlington, County of Durham.
11 Aytoun, Robert, 3, Fetter Row, Edinburgh.
12 Bailes, Jun., Thos., Low Beechburn Colliery, Crook, Darlington.
13 Bailey, W. W., Kilburn, near Derby, Derbyshire.
14 Bailey, Samuel, The Pleck, Walsal, Staffordshire.
15 Barkus, W., Low Fell, Gateshead, County of Durham.
16 Barkus, Jun., Wm, Broom Hill Colliery, Acklington.
17 Barrow, Richard, Ringswood Hall, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
18 Bartholomew, C, Rotherham, Yorkshire.
19 Bassett, A., Tredegar Mineral Estate Office, Cardiff, Glamorganshire.
20 Beacher, E., Thorncliffe and Chapeltown Collieries, Sheffield, York-
21 Beckett, Henry, Upper Penn, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire.
22 Bell, John, Normanby Mines, Middlesbro'-on-Tees.
23 Bell, I, L., Washington, Gateshead, County of Durham.
24 Bell, T., Shincliffe Colliery, Ferry Hill, County of Durham.
25 Berkley, C, Marley Hill Colliery, Gateshead, County of Durham. *
26 Bewick, J., Grosmont, Whitby, Yorkshire.
27 Bewick, Thomas J., Allenheads, Haydon Bridge, Northumberland.
28 Bigland, J., Bowdon Close Colliery, Bishop Auckland, County of
29 Binns, C, Claycross, Derbyshire.
30 Blackburn, John G., Oldham, Lancashire.
31 Blackwell, John Kenyon, 73, Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park,
London, W.
32 Bolckow, H. W. F., Middlesbro'-on-Tees*, Yorkshire.
33 Bourne, P., Whitehaven, Cumberland.
34 Bourne, S., Shelton Colliery and Iron Works, Stoke-on-Trent, Staf-
35 Bourne, Chas. R., Peaseley Cross, St. Helen's, Lancashire.
36 Bowkley, Silas.
37 Boyd, Edward F., Moor House, Durham.
38 Braithwaite, Thomas, Eglinton Iron Works, Kilwinning, Ayrshire.
39 Brown, J., Bank Top, Darlington, County of Durham.
40 Brown, J., Barnsley, Yorkshire.
41 Brown, J., Whitwell Colliery, County of Durham.
42 Brown, John, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.
43 Bryham, William, Rose Bridge, Wigan, Lancashire.
44 Burn, D., 20, Broad Chare, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
45 Buxton, William, Staveley Colliery, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
46 Byram, B., Wentworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire.
47 Cadwallader, R., Ruabon Colliery, Wrexham, Denbighshire.
48 Carr, Charles, Cramlington, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
49 Carr, William Cochrane, Blaydon, Newcastle.
50 Carrington, Jun., Thomas, Derby, Derbyshire.
51 Charlton, G., Dunkirk Collieries, Dukenfield, near Manchester.
52 Clark, W. S., Aberdare, Glamorganshire.
53 Cochrane, W., 31, West Parade, Newcastle.
54 Cochrane, C, Woodside Iron Works, near Dudley.
55 Cockburn, William, Hutton Mines, Guisbro', Yorkshire.
56 Coke, Richard George, Ankerboold, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
57 Cole, W. R., Bebside Colliery, Morpeth.
58 Collis, William Blow, The Platte, Stourbridge, Worcestershire.
59 Cook, Richard, East Holywell Colliery, Earsdon, Newcastle.
, 60 Cooke, John, Willington Colliery, Durham.
* 61 Cooper, Phillip, Grange, Durham.
62 Cope, J., King Swinford, Dudley, Worcestershire.
63 Cordner, Richard, Crawleyside, Stanhope, Weardale.
64 Cossham, R., Shortwood Lodge, Bristol, Somersetshire.
65 Coulson, W., Crossgate Foundry, Durham.
66 Cowen, Jos., Blaydon Burn, Newcastle.
67 Coxon, F., Shelton Colliery Iron Works, Stoke, Staffordshire.
68 Coxon, S. B., Usworth Colliery, Gateshead.
69 Crawford, T., South Road, Durham.
70 Crawford, Jun., T., Little Town Colliery, Durham.
71 Crawhall, G. E., 24, North Bailey, Durham.
72 Creswick, Theophilus, Merthyr Tydvil, South Wales.
73 Croffcon, G. J., Crook, Darlington.
74 Crone, S. C, Killingworth Colliery, Newcastle.
75 Croudace, J., Washington Colliery, Gateshead.
76 Curry, Thomas, Cassop Colliery, Ferry Hill.
77 Daglish, J., Hetton Colliery, Fence Houses.
78 Dakers, Thomas, Brancepeth Colliery, Durham.
79 Darlington, James, Chorley, Lancashire.
80 Davidson, A., Hastings House, Seaton Delaval, Newcastle.
81 Day, J. W., Newton Hall, Durham.
82 Deane, John, Tranent, North Britain.
83 Dees, J. Whitehaven, Cumberland.
84 Dennis, Henry, Byn yr Owen, South Wales.
85 Dixon, George, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
86 Dobson, S., Cardiff, South Wales.
87 Dodd, Benj., Blaenaron, Newport, Monmouthshire.
88 Douglas, T., Pease's West Collieries, Darlington.
89 Dumolo, J., Danton House, Coleshill, Warwickshire.
90 Dunn, T., Richmond Hill, Sheffield, Yorkshire.
91 Dunn, Thomas, C.E., Winden Bridge Works, Manchester, Lan-
92 Easton, J.? Hebburn Colliery, Gateshead.
93 Elliot, G., Houghton-le-Spring, Fence Houses.
94 Elliott, W., Weardale Iron Works, Towlaw, Darlington.
95 Embleton, T. W., Middleton Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire.
96 Errington,-, C.E., Westminster, London, S.W.
97 Fletcher, Jos., C.E., Dawson Place, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
98 Fletcher, John, Clipton Colliery, Manchester, Lancashire.
99 Foord, J. B., General Mining Association Secretary, 52, Broad
Street, London.
100 Forster, J. H., Old Elvet, Durham.
101 Forster, G. B., Cowpen Lodge, Blyth.
102 Forster, Thomas E., 7, Ellison Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
103 Fowler, George, Moria Collieries, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire.
104 Fryar, Mark, Eighton Moor Colliery, Gateshead.
105 Gainsford, William Dunn, Derby, Derbyshire.
106 Gardner, M. B,, Chilton Colliery, Ferry Hill.
107 Gillett, F. C, Derby, Derbyshire.
108 Gilroy, G., Orrell Colliery, Wigan, Lancashire.
109 Gooch, G., Lintz Colliery, Gateshead.
110 Green, G., Rainton Colliery, Fence Houses.
111 Greene, Jun., Wm., Framwellgate Colliery, Durham.
112 Greener, W., Pendleton, Wigan, Lancashire.
113 Greenwell, G. C, Radstock Colliery, Bath, Somersetshire.
114 Haggie, P., Gateshead.
115 Hall, T. Y., Eldon Square, Newcastle.
116 Hall, William, Page Bank Colliery, Crook, Darlington.
117 Hall, Thomas, West Hetton Colliery, Ferry Hill.
118 Hann, W., Hetton, Fence Houses.
119 Harden, J. W., Exhall Colliery, Coventry, Warwickshire.
io? XT0*7' Benj,> Woodh°use Close Colliery, Durham.
121 Harris, C.E., Jno., Woodside, Darlington,
f Harrison, C.E, T. E., Central Station, Newcastle.
123 Hawthorn, R., Engineer, Newcastle.
124 Hawthorn, W., Engineer, Newcastle.
12fi hT; Newcas^-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.
127 H HI BunWs Hill> *™» Joules.
< medley, Edward, Gresley Wood Colliery, near Burton-on-Trent.
128 Herdman, John, High Horton, Blyth.
129 Hethering-ton, David, Howard's West Hartley Colliery, Netherton,
near Morpeth.
130 Hewlett, Alfred, Ince Hall Coal Works, Wigan, Lancashire.
131 Higmore, Jacob. .
132 Hodgson, R., Engineer, Whitburn, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
133 Hood, Archibald, Whitehill Colliery, Lasswade, Edinburgh.
134 Horsley, Jun., W., Seaton Cottage, Hartley, Newcastle.
135 Howard,-, Staveley Works, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
136 Hunt, J. P., Corngreaves, Birmingham, Warwickshire.
137 Hunter, Wm., Spital Tongues, Newcastle.
138 Hurst, T. G., Backworth Colliery, Newcastle.
139 Jackson, Frederick John, Seaton Delaval, Newcastle.
140 Jackson, Henry, Astley Colliery, Manchester, Lancashire,
141 Jackson, John, Derby, Derbyshire.
142 James, Christopher, Mountain Ash Colliery, Aberdare.
143 Jeffcock, P., Midland Road, Derby.
144 Jobling, T. W., Point Pleasant, Wallsend, Newcastle.
145 Johnson, G., Talk'oth Hill, Lawton, Cheshire.
146 Johnson, J., Chilton Hall, Ferry Hill.
147 Johnson, R. S., West Hetton, Ferry Hill.
148 Joicey, James, Quay, Newcastle.
149 Joicey, John, Tanfield Lea, Gateshead.
150 Jones, E., Lilleshall Iron Works, Sheffnal, Salop,
151 Jones, Alexander, Mine Agent, Prior's Lea, near Sheffnal, Shrop-
152 Kerr, John, Hamilton's Gas Coal Works, Lismahagow, North
153 Kimpster, W., Quay, Newcastle.
154 Knowles, A., Crescent, Salford, Manchester, Lancashire.
155 Knowles, John, Pendlebury, Manchester, Lancashire.
156 Knowles, Thomas, Ince Hall, Wigan, Lancashire.
157 Lancaster, John, Hindley Hall, Wigan, Lancashire.
158 Landale, Andrew, Lochgelly, Fifeshire, North Britain.
159 Laverick, George, Plymouth Iron Works, Merthyr Tydvil, Glamor-
160 Laws, J., Blyth, Northumberland.
161 Ledward, William J., South Bank Iron Works, Eston Junction,
162 Levick, Jun., F., Cwm Celyn, Blaina and Colebrook Dale Iron
Works, Newport, Monmouthshire.
163 Lewes, T. Wm., Plymouth Iron Works, Merthyr Tydvil, Glamor-
164 Liddell, J. R., Netherton Colliery, Morpeth.
165 Liddell, M., Hedgefield House, Stella, Gateshead.
166 Lindop, James, Bloxwich, Walsal, Staffordshire,
167 Lishman, Wm., Etherley Colliery, Darlington.
168 Lishman, Wm., Lumley Colliery, Fence Houses, Durham.
169 Little, William, West Cramlington, Newcastle.
170 Livesey, Thos., Chamber Hall, Hollingwood and Bradford Colliery,
Manchester, Lancashire.
171 Llewellin, Wm., Glanwern, Pontypool, Glamorganshire.
172 Longridge, J., 18, Abingdon Street, Westminster, London, S.W.
173 Love, Joseph, Brancepeth Colliery, Durham.
174 Low, Wm., Vron Colliery, Wrexham, Denbighshire.
175 Marley, John, Mining Offices, Darlington.
176 Maddison, W. P., Thornhill Lees Colliery, Wakefield.
177 Marshall, Robt., Lugar Iron Works, Ayrshire, North Britain,
178 Matthews, Richd., South Hetton Colliery, Fence Houses.
179 Matthews, Philip, Leasowes, Staffordshire.
180 Mc'Ghie, Thos., British Iron Works, Ruabon, Denbighshire.
181 Mercer, J., St. Helens, Lancashire.
Iqq ^iddleton> J-> Davison's Hartley Office, Quay, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
183 Morns, Wm., Waldridge Colliery, Chester-le-Street, Fence Houses.
1»4 Morton, H., Lambton, Fence Houses.
185 Morton, H. J., Qarforth House, Leeds, Yorkshire.
186 Morton, H. T, Lambton, Fence Houses.
187 Muckle, John, Little Town Colliery, Durham.
188 Mu caster, H, Colliery Office, Whitehaven.
Mulvany, Wm. Thos., 1335, Carls Thor, Dusseldorf on the Rhine,
-Prussia. ;
190 Mundle, W ftvw n . i ,
iQi at ' ' }ton> Gateshead.
J> • Uiester-le-Street, Fence Houses, Durham.
193 Napier, Colin, Westminster Colliery, Wrexham, Denbighshire.
194 Palmer, A. S., Malago Yale Colliery, Bedminster, Bristol.
195 Palmer, C. M., Quay, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
196 Palmer, J. B., Jarrow, South Shields.
197 Paton, Wm., Alloa Colliery, Alloa, North Britain.
198 Peace, Maskel Wm., Solicitor, Wigan, Lancashire.
199 Pearce, F. H., Bowling Iron Works, Bradford, Yorkshire.
200 Pease, J. Wm., Woodlands, Darlington.
201 Peele, John, Springwell Colliery, Gateshead.
202 Pilditch, Wm., Iron Shipbuilding Yard, Jarrow, South Shields.
203 Pilkington, Jun., Wm., St. Helens, Lancashire,
204 Potter, E., Cramlington, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
205 Potter, W. A., Mount Osborne Collieries, Barnsley, Yorkshire.
206 Powell, T., Newport, Monmouthshire.
207 Ramsay, J., Walbottle Colliery, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
208 Ramsay, David R., Iron Works, Wallsend.
209 Ravenshaw, J. H., Seaham Harbour, Fence Houses.
210 Reed, R. G., Newton Colliery, Felton, Northumberland.
211 Rees, Robt.T., Lothy, Shenkin Colliery, Aberdare, Glamorganshire.
212 Reid, P. S., Pelton Colliery, Chester-le-Street, Fence Houses.
213 Richardson, Dr., Framlington Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
214 Robinson, R., Stanley Colliery, Pease's West, Darlington.
215 Robson, J. G., 38, King William Street, London.
216 Robson, G., Tondu Iron Works, Bridge End, Glamorganshire.
217 Robson, M. B., Field House, Borough Road, Sunderland.
218 Robson, Thomas, Wylam Colliery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
219 Rockwell, Alfd. P., M.A., Norwich, Connecticut, United States,
220 Rogers, E., Abercarne Colliery, Newport, Monmouthshire.
221 Ross, A., Shipcote Colliery, Gateshead.
222 Rosser, Wm., Mineral Surveyor, Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
223 Routledge, Jun., Wm., Shincliffe Colliery, Durham.
224 Rutherford, J., South Tyne Colliery, Haltwhistle, Northumberland
225 Sanderson, Jun., R. B., West Jesmond, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
226 Sawyers, W. G., Whitehaven, Cumberland.
227 Shepperdson, Edw. H., Hermitage, Chester-le-Street.
228 Shortreed, T., Newbottle Colliery, Fence Houses.
229 Shore, Isaac, Mineral Surveyor, Brymbo, near Wrexham, Denbigh-
230 Shute, Charles A., Thornley Vicarage, Ferry Hill
231 Simpson, L., Medomsley Colliery, Durham.
232 Simpson, R., Ryton, Newcastle.
233 Simpson, John Bell, Moor House, Ryton, Newcastle.
234 Simpson, R. L., Western Hill, Durham.
235 Sinclair, E., Western Hill, Durham.
236 Sinallman, Joseph Harris, King's Hill, Wednesbury.
237 Smith, C. F. S., Cinder Hill, near Nottingham.
238 Smith, F., Bridgewater Canal Office, Manchester, Lancashire.
239 Smith, Jun., J., Monkwearmouth Colliery, Sunderland.
240 Smith, Edmund J., 14, Whitehall Place, Westminster, London, S.W.
241 Sopwith, T., Allenheads, 43, Cleveland Square, London, W.
242 Southern, G. W., Rainton Colliery, Fence Houses.
243 Southern, J. M., Kibblesworth Hall, Gateshead.
244 Spark, H. K., Darlington, County of Durham.
245 Spencer, Jun., W., Corporation Road, Middlesbro'-on-Tees.
246 Steavenson, A. L., Woodifield Colliery, Crook, Darlington.
247 Stenson, Jun., W., Whitwick Colliery, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leices-
248 Stephenson, George, 24, Great George Street, Westminster,
London, S.W.
249 Stobart, H. S., Witton-le-Wear, Darlington.
250 Stobart, Wm., Roker, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
251 Storey, T., St. Helen's Auckland, Bishop Auckland.
252 Stott, G., Ferry Hill, County of Durham.
253 Taylor, H., Earsdon, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
254 Taylor, M.P., H., Backworth Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
laylor, J., Earsdon, Newcastle.
256 Telford, W., Cramlington, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Tl!°maS; H* W-> Pinchinthorpe, Northallerton, Yorkshire,
ojq ^°mpSOn> J°K Marley Hill Colliery, Gateshead.
261 Thor e R ^khouse, Brampton, Cumberland.
0rYorkshire'; Gawber Collier^ Staincross, Barnsley,
262 Tone, C.E., John F., Market Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
263 Trotter, J., Newnham, Gloucestershire.
264 Truran, Matthew, Dowlais Iron Works, Merthyr Tydvil, South
265 Vaughan, J., Middlesbro'-on-Tees.
266 Vaughan, Thos., Middlesbro'-on-Tees.
267 Vaughan, William, Middlesbro'-on-Tees*
268 Verner, Albert, Framwellgate Colliery, Durham.
269 Wales, T. E., Abersychan Iron Works, Pontypool, Monmouthshire.
270 Walker, J. Lakelock, Wakefield, Yorkshire.
271 Walker, Jun., T., High Street, Maryport, Cumberland.
272 Ware, W. H., The Ashes, Stanhope, Weardale.
273 Warrington, John, Rippax, near Leeds.
274 Watson, W., High Bridge, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
275 Watson, Joseph J. W., Ph. D. &c, The Knap, Charlton Kings,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
276 Webster, R. C, Ruabon Collieries, Ruabon, North Wales.
277 Willis, Jas., West Auckland Colliery, Bishop Auckland.
278 Wilmer, F., Framwellgate Colliery, Durham.
279 Wilson, J. B., Haydock Rope Works, Warrington, Lancashire.
280 Wilson, R., Flimby Colliery, Maryport, Cumberland.
281 Wilson, John Straker, Backworth Colliery, near Newcastle.
282 Wood, C. L., Black Boy Colliery, Bishop Auckland.
283 Wood, Lindsay, Hetton Colliery, Fence Houses.
284 Wood, N., Hetton Hall, Fence Houses, County of Durham.
285 Wood, W. H., Coxhoe Hall, Ferry Hill.
286 Woodhouse, J. T., Midland Road, Derby, Derbyshire.
fist jof SttfrsOTbittg Vallum*.
Owners of Stella Colliery, Ryton, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
„ Grange Colliery, Durham.
„ Kepier Grange Colliery, Ferry Hill.
„ Leasingthorne Colliery, Ferry Hill.
„ Westerton Colliery, Ferry Hill.
„ Poynton and Worth Colliery.
„ Holywell Main Colliery.
„ Black Boy Colliery, Bishop Auckland.
„ North Hetton Colliery, Fence Houses.
,, Haswell Colliery, Durham.
„ South Hetton and Murton Collieries, Fence Houses.
„ Earl of Durham, Lambton Collieries, Fence Houses.
„ Seghill Colliery, Seghill, near Newcastle.
„ East Holywell Colliery.
„ Hetton Collieries, Fence Houses.
n Whitworth Colliery, Ferry Hill.

1 _That the Members of this Society shall consist of Ordinary
Members, Life Members, and Honorary Members.
2. —That the Annual Subscription of each Ordinary Member shall
be £2 2s. Od., payable in advance, and that the same shall be considered
as due and payable on the first Saturday of August in each year.
3. —That all persons who shall at one time make a Donation of
£20 or upwards, shall be Life Members.
4. —Honorary Members shall be persons who shall have distin-
guished themselves by their Literary or Scientific attainments, or made
important communications to the Society.
5. —-That a General Meeting of the Society shall be held on the
first Thursday of every Month (except in January and July), at twelve
o'clock noon, and the General Meeting in the mor+h of August shall be
the Annual Meeting, at which a report of the proceedings, and an
abstract of the accounts of the previous year shall be presented by the
Council. A Special Meeting of the Society may be called whenever the
Council shall think fit, and also on a requisition to the Council signed by
ten or more members.
6. —No alteration shall be made in any of the Laws, Rules, or
Regulations of the Society, except at the Annual General Meeting, or at
a Special Meeting; and the particulars of every alteration to be then
proposed shall be announced at a previous General Meeting, and inserted
in its minutes, and shall be exhibited in the Society's meeting-room
fourteen days previously to such General Annual or Special Meeting.
7. —Every question which shall come before any Meeting of the
Society shall be decided by the votes of the majority of the Ordinary and
Life Members then present and voting.
8. —Persons desirous of being admitted into the Society as Ordinary
or Life Members, shall be proposed by three Ordinary or Life Members,
or both, at a General Meeting. The proposition shall be in writing,
and signed by the proposers, and shall state the name and residence of
the individual proposed, whose election shall be ballotted for at the next
following General Meeting, and during the interval notice of the propo-
sition shall be exhibited in the Society's-room. Every person proposed
as an Honorary Member must be recommended by at least five Members
of the Society, and elected by ballot at the General Meeting next suc-
ceeding, A majority of votes shall determine every election.
9. —The Officers of the Society shall consist of a President, four
Vice-Presidents, and twelve Members who shall constitute a Council for
the direction and management of the affairs of the Society; and of a
Treasurer and a Secretary; all of whom shall be elected at the Annual
Meeting, and shall be re-eligible, with the exception of Three Councillors
whose attendances have been fewest. Lists containing the names of all
the persons eligible having been sent by the Secretary to the respective
Members, at least a month previously to the Annual Meeting;—the
election shall take place by written lists, to be delivered by each voter in
person to the Chairman, who shall appoint scrutineers of the lists; and
the scrutiny shall commence on the conclusion of the other business of
the meeting. At meetings of the Council, five shall be a quorum, and
the record of the Council's proceedings shall be at all times open to the
inspection of the members of the Society.
10. —The Funds of the Society shall be deposited in the hands of
the Treasurer, and shall be disbursed by him according to the direction
of the Council.
11. —The Council shall have power to decide on the propriety of
communicating to the Society any papers which may be received, and
they shall be at liberty, when they think it desirable to do so, to direct
that any paper read before the Society shall be printed. Intimation shall
be given at the close of each General Meeting of the subject of the
paper or papers to be read, and of the questions for discussion at the
next meeting, and notice thereof shall be affixed in the Society's-room
ten days previously. The reading of papers shall not be delayed beyond
three o'clock, and if the election of members or other business should
not be sooner despatched, the President may adjourn such business until
after the discussion of the subject for the day.
12. That the Copyright of all papers communicated to and
accepted by the Institute, becomes vested in the Institute; and that such
communications shall not be published for sale, or otherwise, without the
permission of the Council.
13. —That the transmission of the Proceedings be withheld from
members more than .
u lwo Jears in arrear of their annual subscriptions.
Page 149, six Hues from bottom, for " water tank trass" read water tight trass.
Page 154, nineteen, twenty-two, and twenty-three lines from toiprJbr "per hour"
rend per twenty-four hours, in each case.
[n the discussion of Mr. Armstrong's paper " On Ventilating Furnaces, and their
Elasticity of Action," Vol. IX., page 158, eight lines from the top, for " 375-2°,"
read 459°; an error which gives rise to others, requiring the following correc-
tions for their rectification :—
Page 158, twelve lines from the to?, for " tv = 375-2° + 2t°," read tx =459° + 2t°.
„ fifteen lines from the top, for " 4392°," read 523°.
„ sixteen lines from the top, for " 495*2°," read 579°.
Note.—The maximum draught is produced when the hot air in a chimney has
exactly half the density of the outer air.
Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
The Secretary read the minutes of the Council meeting*, after which
the gentlemen proposed for members at the last meeting were elected,
viz., Mr. George Robert Stephenson, 24, George Street, Westminster;
Mr. Wm. Pilditch, Iron Ship-building Yard, Jarrow; Mr. John Thomp-
son, Jun., Marley Hill Colliery; Mr. Thomas Robson, mining engineer,
Wylam Colliery; Mr. J. B. Simpson, Moorhouse, Ryton; Mr. Thos.
Rymer Bourne, Peasley Cross Colliery, W. Helens ; Mr. John Herdman,
High Harlow, near Blyth.
The President said, Mr. Stephenson's bequest of £2,000 had been
placed in the Messrs. Lambton & Co.'s bank, at bank interest. They
could not make any other investment, until they knew what was to be
done with it, whether there was to be any specific appropriation of it,
or if it was to be merged into the general funds of the Society; perhaps
it would be well to determine this and to pass a resolution on the subject.
After some discussion, the following resolution was agreed to :—
That the Council he requested to take into consideration, at their next meeting, the
disposition of this sum, and report to a General Meeting, at the earliest opportunity.
The President referred to the sudden and lamented death of
Mr. Joseph Locke, one of their Vice-Presidents. Mr. Locke was an old
friend of his, having known him from the first commencement in his
profession, indeed, he believed, his first employment in business was by
Vol. IX.—October, 1860. a
himself, to make a survey for the late Lord Crewe, in Cheshire, of a
coal mine, which he (the President) was engaged in reporting upon, and
this was the first money Mr. Locke had earned. He was, therefore,
intimately acquainted with him in early life, and, until the time of his
death, indeed, he might say that acquaintanceship had never been
interrupted. Mr. Locke was, as is well known, employed by the elder
Stephenson in the early introduction of railroads, and was afterwards
associated with Mr. Eobert Stephenson in several important works, in
the early period of railways. It was due, therefore, to the memory of
that gentleman, as well on account of his having risen, as it were, from
this district, concurrently with other celebrated engineers—from having
done so much for railroads—and from his connection with this Institute,
that some record of his eventful life and labours should be noticed in
their Proceedings. His death had, however, so recently occurred, that
he (the President) had not had time to prepare such a document. He
would, however, with the permission of the Institute, do so, and lay it
before them at as early a period as he could possibly accomplish such a
task. After some further observations by the President, it was arranged,
as being the unanimous wish of the gentlemen present, that the Presi-
dent should, at an early period, give the Institute an outline of the
labours of their late Vice-President.
The President said, it would be in the recollection of the Institute
that Mr. Locke was only elected a Vice-President in August last. He
had communicated to him that event, but it appeared, that he had gone
into Scotland to enjoy his annual relaxation from business, and that he
had shortly afterwards been seized with that malady from which he never
recovered. He had not, therefore, had an answer to his communication.
It would, therefore, devolve upon them to elect another Vice-President,
and he proposed that they should take the subject into their consideration
at the next meeting*.
The next subject on the minutes of the Council was the appointment of
the Finance Committee. The Council recommended that Mr. P. S. Reid,
Mr. Cuthbert Berkley, and Mr. John R. Liddell, should be the Finance
Mr. Berkley said the Council passed all the accounts before they
were paid, so that the Finance Committee's duties were not well defined.
Mr. Liddell said some distinct duty should be assigned to the
Finance Committee.
Mr. Berkley said, if an order were passed that the Treasurer should
not pay any account unless it were first signed by two members of the
Committee, they would then be enabled to exercise a proper control over
the payments of the accounts of the Institute.
The following motion was then adopted, viz., " That two members, at
least, of the Finance Committee, sign every account before payment
Mr. Reid said, at the annual meeting in August it was determined
that the ordinary meetings should be held once a month. He wished to
know why there was no meeting in September ?
The Secretary—We relied on a paper of Mr. Boyd's being read,
and he wrote to say that it was not ready. He (the Secretary) saw
Mr. Potter and Mr. Thos. John Taylor, two of the Vice-Presidents, and
they thought it best, under such circumstances, to take the responsibility,
tmd not to have a meeting; and he got their permission to send a circular
to adjourn it.
Mr. Reid said, according to rule there ought to have been a Council
meeting on the Saturday, but no such meeting had been called. That
meeting should have decided whether there was to be a postponement or
not, and not any individual members.
The President said, it was very desirable that the regular routine
of conducting the business of the Institute should be adhered to, and he
had no doubt that such in future would be the case. Being September
several members, himself amongst the number, were absent; the Secre-
tary had done what he conceived was best under the circumstances, and
he trusted in future that all would be regular.
Mr. Steayenson, in answer to an enquiry by the President, said he
had nothing to add to his paper, except with reference to a patent which
had been taken out since his paper was read, which he would lay before
the Institute at a subsequent meeting, and give drawings of that, as well
as of some other coke ovens which he had not thought necessary to do
at the time when his original paper was read, but which he now under-
stood it was desirable to do.
Mr. Berkley then read the following remarks :—In looking over
Mr. bteavenson's paper on the Manufacture of Coke, I would offer the
Allowing observations :-At page 110, line 12, vol. VIIL, Mr. Steuven-
son says, in calculating the make of coke—«Foundries use a large
quantity, every ton of metal brought down requiring about 200 lbs. of
coke." This is a quotation from Dr. lire's "Dictionary of Arts," &c;
but Mr. S. has, I think, come to an erroneous conclusion, for, if he had
read a little further, he would have found his calculations materially
altered. Dr. Lire proceeds thus—" After the cupola has been brought
to its proper heat by the combustion in it of nine baskets of coke =
360 lbs." Those who are more versed in the working of foundries will
be able to inform us what proportion this heating of the cupola bears to
the quantity of metal brought down • but, in another place, Dr. Ure
gives us the information himself, for he says—" In the course of a year
a foundry will consume 300 tons of coke in melting 1240 tons of cast
iron." It appears from this, that every ton of metal requires 463 lbs.
of coke, instead of 200 lbs • making a total of 679,512 tons, instead of
293,526, as stated by Mr. S. From what source Mr. S. obtains the
amount of metal " brought down" in foundries is not mentioned. I
have assumed the quantity as correct, not having any data myself
At page 114, in the first paragraph, Mr. S. says, after stating the
means used for cooling the oven by throwing on water—" The only
drawback from the latter method of cooling being the contact of water
with the hot bricks." This, no doubt, is a very serious objection • but
I have heard of another, and which, I think, to a certain extent, is
correct, that when water is thrown upon the coke in the high state of
temperature at which it must be when drawn at seventy-two and ninety-
six hours, it renders the coke very friable, and, of course, of less com-
mercial value.
On the same page, line 16, Mr. S. says, in reference to the oven
taking fire—" Then follows a thick black smoke and reddish flame all
round the sides." This, I think, is not always the case, and my expe-
rience tells me, that in good substantially-built ovens, if the " reddish
flame" does not strike over the whole surface of the coal at once, that
part most in the current of air is the first, and where the coal ignites
round the sides of the oven, it does so before the oven strikes, as it is
technically called, and in consequence of the fire passing from the
adjoining oven by means of the small crevices occasioned by the con-
traction of the bricks in the oven that has just been loaded with coal, or
merely from the heat of the side of the oven, in which latter case I have
seen the coal round the sides take fire almost immediately after loading.
men Mr. S. says-" Openings, as the oven increases in heat, extend
downward, so as to allow the volatile matters to pass off, and, by their
ignition, generate additional heat." I believe these openings only
extend downwards as the coal is coked, for if an oven is cooled out when
it is only half burnt off, the basaltic form does not extend further down
than where the coal is completely coked. Next the coke is a mass,
extending over the whole oven, of charred coal cemented together • and
below that will be found the coal in precisely the same state in which it
was put into the oven. Of course, the line between these separate states
is not distinct, but I think I am not far wrong when I say that the coke,
in a perfect state, will be found not more than four inches above the
coal, untouched by fire, the mass of charred coal lying between. I
think in this Mr. S. will agree with me, if he has noticed it.
Mr. S., in the next paragraph, says—" As the process ceases, we have
a bright, clear flame, which dies gradually off, lingering longest over
the centre of the oven, owing to the smallest coal lodging there when
loaded from the top and not properly levelled." This is, I believe, one
of the greatest objections to loading* the ovens from the top, so much
depends upon the men in charge spreading the coals regularly • and
even with those most careful, it is scarcely possible to have the coals of
the same density over the whole oven. I have heard of a process adopted
to avoid this greater density in the centre of the oven, but I have not
seen it, and therefore cannot vouch for its efficiency, namely, a cone
hung by means of a bar passed across the centre opening in the oven
top, with its base downwards, thus—
so that the coals falling from the small wagon into the oven strike the
cone, and are diverted from the centre, falling more lightly all over the
In the next paragraph, I cannot altogether agree with the writer in
that he says—" After all flame has ceased, the sooner the oven is drawn
the better." In some cases, and with some descriptions of coal, this
tnav be correct; but generally, I think, the coke becomes more dense,
and less liable to break into small pieces, if allowed to remain a few
hours in the oven after the flame has left. If the air is carefully
excluded, I think the quality of the coke would be improved by remaining
twenty-four hours in the oven.
I quite agree with the writer as to the use of coke brees in preserving
the coke near the inlet at the door, for, with many descriptions of coal,
the burner, let him regulate the air as he will, cannot prevent this
wasting or burning away of the coke ; but this remedy has a drawback,
for the brees or small coke often run to a scar or clinker, and if not
carefully picked out, damages the quality of the coke for locomotive
With reference to the form and size of the oven—
(1.) I quite agree with Mr. Steavenson that a circular oven, ten and
a half feet, or perhaps eleven feet diameter, has given most satisfaction.
Ovens of a smaller diameter are not so expensive to maintain, but the
quality of the coke produced is inferior. Again, ovens of a larger
diameter produce a better quality of coke, but are much more expensive
to maintain.
(2.) As to ovens with and without flues and chimneys, no one, I
think, who has had experience with the former will ever recommend the
latter, except where quality is not an object, and economy of first cost
is a very great one; and I am of Mr. Steavenson's opinion in all he says
upon that subject.
In loading the ovens, I advocate the coals being thrown in by hand
at the door, rather than dropped by wagon in at the top of the oven, for
the reason Mr. Steavenson states; and, further, I think the wagons
passing over the top of the ovens will rather tend to shake them; but
as I have not had experience with this class of oven, I cannot speak
confidently as to which system is the best.
The President—Any admission of air into the ovens when in a
state of great heat, and in cooling, oxidizes the coke, and, of course,
wastes it.
Mr. Berkley—It spoils the coke; but if you can guard against this,
the coke gets more dense the longer it is kept in the oven.
Mr. Dunn—Does it not lose weight when kept in the oven ?
Mr. Berkley—With some descriptions of coal it does not.
Ihe President—If you do not let the coke cool in the oven it must
be cooled by water; and if you throw the water hastily into the oven,
when in a state of intense heat, it is apt to destroy the brick work; and
when the coke is drawn out of the oven in a state of great heat, and
before it is in a dense, compact state, and water is then thrown upon it,
the coke becomes split and broken.
Mr. Berkley—That is so.
Mr. Reid—Mr. Berkley makes it a condition that the air should be
excluded altogether. Mr. Steavenson says, when every precaution is
used, it is impossible to exclude it.
Mr. Berkley—It is not absolutely necessary to exclude all air.
The President—The affinity of the carbon, or coke in a state of red
or white heat, for oxygen, makes the admission of air injurious, and very
undesirable. When the coking process is complete, and air is then
admitted, it flies off as dust.
Mr. Berkley—It is, to a certain extent, injurious.
The President—A perfect oven should be impervious to air, except
at the openings. Air is admitted through these openings in the early
part of the process. When the carbonization is complete, the openings
are closed, and continue so whilst the coke is cooling down. I suppose
it is a fact, that in a well-constructed oven, closed at the proper period,
and allowed to cool quietly down, the coke is much harder than if water
is thrown into the oven to cool it.
Mr. Berkley—I find, when the men are drawing ovens cooled with
water at a great heat, the coke breaks to pieces very much.
Mr. Reid—Are you able to tell us what is the maximum temperature
in carbonization ?
The President—That is, the temperature that will drive off the
gaseous productions of the coal ? I do not know of any experiments to
ascertain this.
Mr. Reid—I have heard it stated at something like 2000°.
Mr. Berkley—There is a difference in the different descriptions of
Mr. Reid—Before all the gaseous matter is driven off, and when
coke is the only product, it must reach the maximum temperature, and
then it gradually cools.
The President—The process of coking begins at the top of the coal,
and proceeds gradually downwards to the bottom of the oven. The
time oi coking depends on the thickness of the coal, and the ultimate
degree of heat will, in some respects, depend on the thickness of the
coal likewise. If you have four feet of coal, the temperature will be
much higher than if there is only twelve inches. The condition of the
coke also very much depends on the process. The deeper the coal, the
denser the coke, owing, probably, to its being longer exposed to the heat.
In the process of driving off the gases, and whilst the coking is going
on, such gases pass upwards through the already carbonized portion of
the coke, and such gases giving out carbon appear to render the portion
of the coke, which it passes through, more dense and compact. This, I
fancy, must be the reason why a four-feet thickness produces a more
dense coke than twelve inches. Besides, a twelve-inch thickness of
coke is subjected to only one-fourth of the time to the heat of the oven.
Mr. Berkley—It will be drawn within twenty-four hours, whereas
a four-feet will require ninety-six hours.
Mr. Ramsay—It depends much on the quality of the coal. We have
five feet deep of coal, and we find the coking process complete in less
than ninety-six hours.
The President—Is the coke in such cases good in quality ?
Mr. Ramsay—It took the prize at the Exhibition in France.
The President—Your experience is, the deeper the coal the denser
the coke is ?
Mr. Ramsay—Yes, if you give it time.
The President—The upper part of the coke must receive carbon
from the bottom part of the coal, by the gases passing through it in the
process of coking ?
Mr. Ramsay—You make the coke denser by a great depth of coal.
You make it produce as much as seventy-six per cent. Water increases
the weight, but not, of course, the density. We tried an oven a month
ago, and we found the coke fifty-five and fifty-eight per cent.; but
when we drew it, well watered, it was seventy-two per cent., though, I
believe, the latter was burnt two days longer.
A Member—You get six or seven per cent, more by loading the
ovens very heavy, and burning them a longer time—say 160 hours.
The President—All this is consistent with what I conceive to be
the fact, that the upper part of the coke in the oven acquires carbon
during the process of coking, from the lower part of the coal. It thus
becomes more dense; therefore, the deeper the coal put into the oven
e better. But I cannot very well understand how pouring in water
shouW have the effect of increasing the density of the coke. It fills the
denslv nf T T Pr°dUCeS additi°nal wei%ht mechanically, but che real
density of the coke remains the same.
M, Ramsay~-A11 the coal is watered before it is put into the oven.
The President—Does this give you greater produce ?
Mr. Ramsay—Yes, but the coke is not of such good quality.
The President—Do you think the coking is as perfect as that of
dry coal?
Mr. Ramsay—It is more like a piece of metal, bright and glossy.
Mr. Berkley—I cannot say it increases the per centage. It is the
common practice to put water on the coals. It tends to promote the
basaltic form of the coke, the steam passing through it and splitting it
into a columnar shape. The gases pass off more rapidly, and the heat
is generated quickly. The higher the temperature you can get in the
oven the denser the coke.
Mr. Reid—By using water you get rid of the deleterious gases ?
Mr. Steavenson—The hydrogen of the water creates additional heat,
and makes the coke denser. The heat of the oven might decompose
the steam, and thereby generate a greater amount of heat.
A Member—It should be used where sulphur is predominant. I
have not noticed sulphur in the washed coal.
The President—Before you can test the beneficial effects of the use
of water and steam, you should try it with the same coal.
Mr. Ramsay—We did so, and sent the coal to be tried with the loco-
motives. Many coals make coke by using the galvanic battery, which
would be too sulphureous without it. Many years ago, I had a large
galvanic battery made. Some inferior coal was coked with the galvanic
battery, which could not have been used without it.
The President—How do you explain its action?
Mr. Berkley—By the decomposition of the bi-sulphuret of iron. It
leaves the iron by itself.
Mr. Ramsay—Mr. Church has a patent for it. My opinion comes
to this—it does improve bad coal, but is not required for good coal;
consequently it has not been generally used.
The President—It had a certain effect, no doubt, but not sufficiently
great to make it of commercial value.
Mr. Ramsay—In 1844 the coke trade was not so large as it now is.
It would be of no ultimate advantage, because it was bringing inferior
coal in for coking, which should not be so used.
Mr. Berkley—At page 115, second paragraph, Mr. Steavenson
alludes to covering the coals with small refuse coke, in order to save the
coke. I quite agree with him in this.
The President Which acts by excluding the air from the hot coke.
Mr. Berkley—Instead of the coke burning away, the debris burns
Vol. IX.—October, isgo. *
awav I acree with Mr. Steavenson in nearly all he says on this part
of the subject. At the bottom of page 116, he says--The result of
experiments which I have made is, that from nine and a half to ten cwts.
of water are sufficient to cool a ton of coke." I can corroborate this
by actual measurement of water three months by the meter. I use
eio-ht and a half to nine and a quarter cwts. As this water is to pay for
by the gallon, it becomes important.
The President—Mr. Cox likewise estimates the quantity of water
Mr. Steavenson—That is in a paper of his, which he read to the
South Wales Institute. I give the quantity I use in a note.
The President—You may pour it in, but it does not seem to require
such a quantity of water to cool down the coke.
Mr. Dunn—Are you in favour of flues or chimneys ?
Mr. Berkley—In windy weather, the coke in the ovens without
chimneys would be almost all spoiled. As Mr. Steavenson says, the
flame would be driven out at the door.
The President—The effect of the chimney is to make a steady
draught. Assuming the fact that a tall chimney increases the draught,
how does it operate on the coke ?
Mr. Berkley—When the chimney is tall, the wind has no effect
in checking the regular draught of air into the oven. This applies to a
high wind only.
The President—Because the draught of air is steady, you think it
improves the coke?
Mr. Berkley—If you let in too little air or too much air, the quality
of the coke is injured. You never let the air go into the mass of coal;
it just passes over the top.
The President—How does the wind blowing into the ovens affect
the coke ?
Mr. Berkley—The gases would not get out of the oven freely.
Mr. Ramsay—Suppose there are no flues and no chimneys. Do not
they always regulate the draught on a windy day ?
Mr. Berkley—On such a day as this the draught, I think, could
not be regulated. [The day was exceedingly windy.j
Mr. Ramsay-1 have five ovens in a windy situation. The flame
°Ut °I ^ CW In such —s we close the door, and
^tow^lTJ v116 "r °Ut °f ^ to» °f the — There is *
r&ltl Wlth ChimnGyS ^ With0ut Th* taught
: Mr. Berkley—You should have a damper in every oven, to regulate
the draught of air.
The President—If the tall chimneys are properly regulated by
dampers, and in good order, your opinion is that, even in such case, they
are not better than ordinary ovens, well regulated in the manner de-
scribed by you ?
Mr. Ramsay—That is my opinion.
Mr. Berkley—You want more air at one time than another, and
that is best accomplished by ovens with flues and a chimney. As the
heat increases, the gases are generated more rapidly, and you require,
when the gases escape, that there should be oxygen to combine with
them. In page 118, Mr. Steavenson says—" Many manufacturers
prefer loading at the door/' &c. I have had no experience of coals
tipped in at the top of the ovens.
The President—Your ovens are loaded at the door?
Mr. Ramsay—I think that loading the ovens at the door produces
better coke than when loaded at the top. The fire passes down more
uniformly. It cannot pass down equably in ovens loaded at the top,
because the coal is denser in the centre than on the sides of the oven,
and consequently the process of coking is not regular. At Roddymoor
and Crook the coal is very dry and light, and, therefore, less dense in
the centre of the oven than in some other coal, especially the Busty
Bank coal.
The President—We have now, I think, discussed the mode of
burning very fully. The time of coking seems to depend upon the thick-
ness of the coal in the oven. What is the effect of letting air in at the
bottom of the oven, by flues under the floor of the oven ? These are
closed when the process of coking is.going on, and opened when it is
Mr. Ramsay—As soon as the coking process reaches the bottom of
the oven you cool it, to prevent the coke from continuing to burn, and,
therefore, wasting. Church passes the air round the oven, as well as
underneath the bottom; after this, he lets it out behind.
Mr. Berkley—The patent oven used at Mickley is the patent oven
which Mr. Steavenson refers to, plate I., vol. VIII. I think the lower
part of the coal coked by the heated air passing under the bottom
of the oven, at the same time that the coking process is going on from
the top in the usual way, will not be of uniform quality, and there
will be a layer of uncoked coal in the centre of the oven-
Mr. Cochrane—Tn the experiments at Mickley we found that it was
only the silvery lustre that was lost. The coke was really as good in
quality. You cannot attain this by the other patent ovens. This is in
Breckon and Dixon's specification. They have about fifty ovens at
Micklev, with three feet six inches to four feet of coal, and burning
fortv-eight hours. The front door is closed immediately the floor is
charged with coal, and the heated gases pass off through the top of the
The President—The gases must pass through the uncoked coal?
Mr. Cochrane—Yes.
The President—Is there not a waste of coal between the two layers?
Mr. Cochrane—The yield is better working forty-eight hours,
instead of ninety-six, and they get sixty-seven per cent., instead of
fifty-six, which they were getting before. Dunning, at a much prior
date (1853), combines almost as much as Breckon and Dixon. In these
ovens the great object is to preserve the heat at the bottom. Generally
we cool the bottom of the oven.
The President—When you draw the coal out of the patent ovens,
does not the bottom cool down ?
Mr. Cochrane—Very little. They say, when the coke is treated in
every respect the same as in the best ordinary ovens, there is no depre-
ciation, except in the appearance. The coke is shorter and more friable.
It is, however, an expensive oven to construct, and to maintain also.
The President—There is the long oven, which we have not yet
Mr. Steavenson—Yes; I mentioned it as being thirty feet long.
The President —Will you give us a drawing of this oven ? Where
is it erected ?
Mr. Steavenson—At Mr. Pease's collieries.
Mr. Berkley—I would mention to Mr. Steavenson one thing with
regard to the consumption of coke by railways. In a paper, read by
Mr. R. Stephenson, to the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1855, it is
stated to be 1,300,000 tons, estimating 36 lbs. per mile consumption by
locomotive engines. I do not know whether this is all over the
world, or applies only to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Reid—It is the United Kingdom.
Mr. Berkley-^Mr. Steavenson has the consumption 641,611 tons.
Mr. Reid—He refers solely to Great Britain.
The President—As the subject of coking is very important, shown
°y the immense consumption, it appears to me to be very desirable to
have plans and descriptions of the different kinds of ovens in actual use,
with any observations of a practical nature, from which we might arrive
at a correct conclusion as to the results in practice of the various kinds
of ovens. I would suggest, as Mr. Steavenson has given the subject
great consideration, and as his practice is in a district from which a very
large proportion of the coke produced in this district is manufactured,
that he be solicited to furnish the Institute with drawings and descrip-
tions of such ovens as he may deem useful, in a practical point of view,
and which may enable us to arrive at some definite result by discussion
After some desultory conversation amongst the members, Mr. Stea-
venson undertook to lay before the Institute, at their next meeting,
plans of the different kinds of ovens, with a short description of each.
The meeting then adjourned.
Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
The Secretary read the minutes of the Council Meeting*, after
which the following* gentlemen were elected members of the Institute,
viz.:—Mr. John Peele, Springwell Colliery, Gateshead; Mr. Thomas
Dakers, Brancepeth Colliery, Durham ; Mr. John Cooke, Willington
Colliery, Durham ; and Mr. Albert Verner.
The President said, with regard to Mr. Stephenson's legacy of
£2000, he had written to the solicitor of the executors to inquire if any
special instructions by the donor had been given in the will as to its
appropriation, or if it was for the general purposes of the Institute.
A resolution was adopted in accordance with a recommendation of the
Council, that the monthly meeting in December be made a special
meeting for the election of officers in cases of vacancy.
The President then begged to mention the particulars of a discus-
sion which they had just had in the Council of the Institute, as to
whether it might not be advisable, instead of holding all their meetings
in Newcastle, to hold some of them in some central part of some of the
other coal districts of the kingdom. They had a great many members
residing in distant parts of the country, and it might be well to hold a
meeting occasionally in the Midland, or other coal districts of the country,
so that such members might have an opportunity of being present at
the discussions; and he had no doubt it might be arranged that impor-
tant matters should be discussed at such meetings. It appeared to the
Council that such a meeting might be productive of great benefit to the
members of the Society generally, and to the young members particu-
larly, by bringing them more immediately into connexion with the
members of other districts 5 and it would give them an opportunity,
likewise, of seeing what was going on in these districts; and thus,
whilst they would be extending their information, it might also be a
means of getting together, on these occasions, a much larger number of
the members of the Institute than generally takes place at their ordinary
meetings at Newcastle. It would be desirable that such a meeting, if
deemed advisable, should be held in some one of the summer months,
and, therefore, there would be sufficient time to consider the proposition.
He mentioned the subject now, that it might be considered at a future
Mr. Spencer's paper on Pillar Working having come on for discussion,
the President said, the paper treated of the mode of Working Pillars
at small depths from the surface, but, as he had previously remarked,
they should not stop there. They had not yet discussed the question as
to the best mode of working pillars generally. The discussion should
embrace the working of coal at all the different depths, from say ten
fathoms to three hundred fathoms, that being, he believed, the range of
working coal in the counties of Northumberland and Durham. The
late Mr. Wales approached the subject, to a certain extent, in his
valuable papers on ventilation; but these papers being specially devoted
to ventilation, did not, except incidentally, enter upon the question of
working coal, or of obtaining the greatest quantity of coal, in the best
condition, and at the least possible cost, which were the elements of
discussion of the paper before them.
Mr. Crone said, he had put upon paper some remarks as to the
method of pillar working at Dipton Colliery, under similar circumstances
to those enumerated by Mr. Spencer in his paper, where, in consequence
of the roof of the coal being so friable and tender, it was found difficult
to remove the pillars at all. He had extended these observations to
some remarks on the working of pillars generally, in the early days of
coal working, and he had continued these observations into the period
immediately preceding the introduction of safety-lamps, and into the
period when these lamps were introduced, making some observations on
tnese lamps, and ending with some remarks on the mode of working a
thL!!V TJ C°al at Seat°n Burn; and the permission of
the meeting he would read these observations.
The paper on some methods of Pillar Working, communicated to the
Institute by Mr. Wm. Spencer, Jun., having given rise to the anticipation
that the subject would be continued by other members, I herewith offer
some instances of pillar working which, I trust, may be deemed of a
sufficiently interesting nature to warrant my laying the same before the
The requirements of pillar working having been clearly explained to
the Institute in the paper above referred to, it is scarcely necessary to
6tate that great care and attention is imperatively required to protect
the workmen from accidents during the process of removal, as there is
generally a certain amount of danger. This, however, is greatly lessened
if proper precautions are taken and a system adopted suitable to the
exigences of the case, almost every colliery offering varying features
from others, requiring modifications of the plan usually followed, which
ought to be arranged so as to obtain the largest per centage of coal of
the greatest commercial value, and with as little loss of timber and other
material used as possible. To illustrate the subject more fully, I have
ventured to add some examples of old colliery workings, and the reducing
or partial removal of pillars, which may not be generally known. These
are ot comparatively little value in the present day, further than to show
e great loss of coal sustained by the old system of working contrasted
with more modern methods.
Vol. IX.—November, 18co.
Referring- to plate I. No. 1 are some old workings near the outcrop
of the Hutton Seam at Dipton Colliery, apparently of very early date.
It is evident such a plan could only be followed to a very limited extent,
and under very favourable circumstances, with a cover of from ten to
twenty fathoms. The pillars are fifteen yards long, walls two yards
wide, from which the bords are turned away three yards wide, being
gTadually widened out in the middle of the pillar, leaving the latter
extremely thin, the bords frequently holed into the next adjoining. The
bords were again brought into a width of three yards before holing into
the headways course, with a view, no doubt, of keeping the latter open
and upstanding. The coal left and lost in the pillars would, probably,
be about from twenty to thirty per cent.
No. 2, plate I., is also a plan of thin pillar working at the same
colliery, the pillars are twenty-four yards long and from two to three
yards wide, the bords four yards and the walls two yards • these being
the only effective excavations, the pillar being abandoned, causing a loss
of thirty-three per cent, of coal, as well as endangering the entrance of
the mine, unless the seam of coal, the stratum immediately above and
below it, are of a very hard nature, and sufficiently thick to resist the
pressure of the incumbent strata. No great extent of workings could
be excavated on such a system. Should the bottom be of such a firm
texture as to resist the pressure and the coal less so, these thin pillars
would be crushed to dust by the settling down of the strata above occa-
sioning what is called a " thrust." An incident seldom heard of in the
present day in collieries of any extent. On the other hand, should the
roof of the mine and the coal be of moderate hardness and strength,
and the bottom less so, the pillars of coal would be forced downward,
compressing the stratum beneath it to such an extent as to cause it to
rise upward into all the excavations of bords and walls formed. This is
technically called a " creep," a section of which is shown in plate No. IV.
When a "creep " takes place with such thin pillars as No. 2 being
left, it would be almost impossible, and, certainly, not advisable, to
keep the working face open, as, under any circumstances, even with
large pillars, it is an expensive process to contend with creeping places,
the only means at command, until roof and bottom meet, being to cut
out the bottom as it is forced up. Whilst referring to the creep, it may
le necessary to add, there is generally a slight movement in all the
roken workings, unless the seam is very shallow. The roof and bottom
being firm, and the seam of coal either worked entirely out, or such
small portion only left as will be readily crushed down by the weight of
the strata above, a partial creep takes place. It is always, therefore,
most desirable to remove all the coal, if possible, so as to allow the roof
to fall freely. When large pieces of coal are left, it often happens the
roof is supported and hangs upon such coal, frequently causing creeps
of a very troublesome nature. A creep almost invariably occurs, as
previously remarked, where the roof is strong, the coal seam of a yielding
nature, and the bottom soft, but to a less or great extent, produced in
working, according to the facilities of removing the whole of the coal,
and as the pillars may be large or small. Whilst removing large pillars
the creep is only felt in the vicinity of the juds, and not even there, to
any serious extent, if good falls can be procured in the goaves. With
small pillars, under the same circumstances, the creep is general through-
out all the various openings, often entirely closing the bords and walls
of the first working', as in plate IV.
In old workings we also find larger pillars left 6, 8, or 10 yards, a
portion of which has been removed by driving a jenkin through and
scooping out the middle of the pillar, similar to No. 1, plate I.
In collieries of greater depth pillars have been partially removed,
examples of which are given in plate II., taken from the old workings of
Benton and Killingworth Collieries. These operations require a little
explanation. The left hand pillars are shaded dark, to show their orio-inal
size, the part taken out shaded light; bords and walls not shaded. The
following- is the No. of each plot in the plate, size of pillar in yards,
and per ccntage of the whole coal lost :—
No. 1 pillar, 12 yards x 9 yards, 40 per cent, of coal lost.
» 2 » 12 „ x 7 „ 28
» 3 » 22 x 8 „ 39
" t » 12 » x 8 „ 31
" 5 » 40 » x 9 „ 40
" ? » 12 » * 3 „ 41
» 7 » 16 „ x 8 „ 41
ur President, from his extensive and varied experience of these prac-
icai details, will doubtless he enabled to give some information of these
at th * Wr°1Ugllt Pillars- Xt is not without a slight feeling of regret
e great loss of coal sustained by this system of working, yet, we
must be lust a<i i • , ° J '
'1 u ¦ charitable towards our predecessors, when we
consider their position at the time, and the great advantages we now
possess over them, in having* the safety-lamp to guard us against the
insidious attacks of our enemy, the light carburretted hydrogen gas of
our mines. They had nothing but the naked light, or the expensive and
uncertain scintillations of the steel mills, or, as our old pitmen have
reported, the dim spectral phosphorescent light of fish heads or skins, to
protect them from danger. In a seam such as the High Main of the
Tyne, giving off large quantities of this gas, it was quite impossible to
remove the whole of the pillar and form a goaf to become a large reser-
voir of gas, with such inadequate means at their disposal to light the
mine. Under these circumstances they removed as much of the pillar
as they could do with safety, and to retain the ventilation. These designs
may seem fanciful in the present day, yet, in the past, we must admit
they were very ingenious.
I shall now refer to the more immediate subject of this paper,—the
removal of pillars,—which have come under my notice and direction;
avoiding those systems as far as possible which have already been pub-
lished in the " Transactions " of the Institute. The following reference
applies to the plates III., IV., V., VI., VII., and VIII.
That part shaded dark represents ..........coal.
That part coloured blue represents........... goaf.
That part shaded lightly represents..........lifts, Jenkins,
and places advancing in the pillar to facilitate removal.
The dotted lines show the outlines of the pillars, and the various oper-
ations in removing them. The Nos. refer to each portion of the pillar
consecutively, as taken off, ibr instance, 1 is the first operation, 2 the
second, &c, to the highest number, which is the last operation. This
method of numbering will render the plans sufficiently plain to practical
members without much explanation. The rise of seam is given and the
direction shown by the arrows.
Plate III.—The pillars in the Brass Thill Seam, Dipton Colliery,
were found extremely difficult to remove, although only at a depth of
thirty-five fathoms. (See section of strata.) The cause of this was
principally owing to the roof being composed of a loose, friable black
shale, and the Five-Quarter Seam being worked above. The space
between the two seams varied, but was generally about eleven feet.
The thickness of the Brass Thill Seam, five feet six inches, of a medium
texture and hardness • large patches were very much crushed and rent
with open fissures, caused either by the creep in the Five-Quarter Seam
above, or by the Hutton Seam being all, or nearly all, worked away,
.about twenty-eight fathoms below, or probably a combination of both
influences. The Hutton Seam, reported to be eight feet nine inches
thick, and composed of coal and bands, would necessarily cause heavy
falls when worked away. The roof of the Brass Thill Seam being so
short and friable, frequently fell down between the spaces unoccupied
by timber, and the face of the working, although the props were not
more than from twelve to eighteen inches apart, and about two feet from
the face. Much inconvenience was also felt from the large amount of
carbonic acid gas which came down from the Five-Quarter workings or
goaves immediately above. The headways courses were timbered with
baulks about five inches by six inches square, and five feet long, often
placed close together. These had frequently to be renewed, and were
almost inadequate to keep the roads into the broken or pillar working
open. The wide bords generally ran close as soon as the timber was
removed. Such was the position in the first pillars formed, in laying
out the workings, which were thirty yards by twelve yards. In
removing these pillars I adopted several of the usual methods, which
were found unsuitable for the peculiar position of the seam. It may be
interesting to enumerate some of them. The first method adopted (see
pillar A, plate II.) was to drive down a narrow jenkin 1, two yards wide
from the outer side of the pillar, rather more than half-way down, after
holing wall 2; then driving lift 3 down, leaving stooks 4 and 7. Stook
4 was then removed, and the whole drawn out and allowed to fall.
Lift 8 was now turned away (see pillar a), and advanced at the same
time that 5 was driving down, stooks being left at the end of the lifts to
protect the road out; such stooks, or as much of them as could be
obtained, being worked as numbered. The coal 10, 10, on each side of
the jenkin, was then brought back. Pillar b shows the jenkin 1,
wall 2, prepared for driving lifts down, as soon as 3 and 5, the lower,
part of pillar «, is off. This plan was not successful. Thin shells of
coal were left at the sides of the lifts, but before the lifts could be holed
t e roof frequently broke down, crushing both coal and timber, and
ectually shutting up the coal that had not been removed. The loss of
coa by this mode would average about 25 per cent. Pillar d was taken
t^\^^S^ Tner'by driving jenkin wal12'then
Stocks 4 and 6 ^ succeeded h? lift 5 from the toP end-
and the coal ^ removed> theJenkm 1 continued to the end,
whole length^Ahepill ^Vf ^ "P ^
b we pillar. Pillar e was removed by going down by the
side of the bord, holing the half pillar wall 1, then taking four-yard
lifts 2 3 4- The other half was obtained by lifts 5, 6, 7, from the head-
ways course. Neither of these latter methods were satisfactory, the per
centage of coal lost being much the same as pillar A. In pillar B,
jenkin 1 was driven down the middle, with the object of leaving a large
amount of coal on each side, to resist the pressure of the roof, the lifts
being shortened, and taken off quickly, to reduce the size of goaf sup-
ported, and to preserve the timber, by keeping it exposed as short a
time as possible. This was effected by holing wall 2, out of which was
driven the short lift 3, 3. The timber was then drawn out, keeping in
only as much as preserved the face of lift 4, 4, which was taken up to
lift 6, 6. The whole was then drawn out, and allowed to fall. In the
meantime, walls 5, 5, were holed, and lifts 6, 6, taken off to goaf, and
drawn out in a similar manner as 3, 3. Lifts 7, 7, were then taken up to
stooks 8, 9, and drawn out. The stooks were then removed. Pillars
a and b show narrow work progressing. This plan was effective, to a
certain extent, and an improved per centage of coal obtained • but wishing
to obviate the expense of narrow work, and finding that driving these
places weakened the pillars too much, and as the results seemed to pro-
duce that which we were struggling to avoid, the roof being rather
stronger, we adopted the plan as shown in pillar C. The lifts 1 were
turned away narrow, and widened out to about six yards, half the width
of the pillar. Good stooks, 2, 4, being thus left on each side, about three
yards square, the lifts were taken off to half the length of the pillar,
and drawn out, a shell of coal, from three to six inches thick, being left
next the goaf or old bord to keep out the falling stone. Stook 2 was
then removed, and lift 3 turned away and taken off in the same manner
as 1. Stooks 4 and 5 were then successively removed, half the pillar
going to each headways course. Pillar c shows lifts 1 and 3, in course
of removal. This method was found very successful, the loss of coal
being about 4 per cent, of the whole area, or 6 per cent, of the pillar.
It was found almost impossible to keep the headways course open, in
the ordinary way, by timber. Headways were driven under the top of
the seam, leaving about ten inches of coal for a roof formed into an arch.
These resisted the pressure most effectually, and the consumption of pit
timber was reduced about two-thirds. This saving was partially effected
by ceasing to drive bords, which was a source of trouble and expense.
Large pillars were formed, sixty yards by thirty yards, as shown at D.
These were most successfully worked away in the broken. The reason
of this is obvious, when thoroughly investigated. Under ordinary cir-
cumstances, the pillars left might be considered of ample strength ; but
when the bad roof is taken into account, the timber having to be drawn
out of the bords as soon as possible, to prevent breakage and loss, and
the heavy falls which took place in consequence, on each side of the
pillar, it is evident that these falls would extend upwards to the Five-
Quarter Seam • and from the fact of that seam being partially wrought
in the pillars (the workings being found very much crept, and portions
of coal left), this would also disturb and injure the stone between the
seams, and the nature of the overlying strata, which would be rent,
broken, and fallen. It is probable the Brass Thill falls would pass
through, and disjoint the strata considerably above the Five-Quarter
Seam. This would necessarily cause the strata immediately above every
individual pillar to rest upon and crush a portion of it down, as soon as
weakened by the process of removal. Hence the difficulty of keeping
open the headways courses, from the loose dead weight resting upon
them, and the great loss of coal sustained by the first attempts to
remove the pillars. The pillars C, C, were probably more effectively
removed, from the strata above being less injured, and the protection
afforded by the large pillars D, which were worked off in a similar man-
ner to C, taking half the width—fifteen yards of the pillar to each head-
ways course, by driving six yards lifts 1, and 3, on each side protecting
the road out of the lifts by stooks 2, 4, 5, which were also removed.
. /is a lift in course of removal. A thin shell of coal was left at the side
next the goaf, and again where the west side lift holed, with this excep-
tion, all the coal was obtained, the estimated loss being about 3 per
cent, of the whole area. This was found to be the best method of
removing the whole of the coal, as well as the cheapest, as the largest
portion of it was worked at the lowest prices paid for hewing. By
eavmg these large pillars we gained the following advantages :-The
i trata above was not disturbed or disjointed, being kept steady by the
tected '7;.ai^.frmness of the pillar; the headways courses were pro-
b° 6 thrUSt °r observed, the lifts of coal in
goafasposiirr;0^safeiy and quicki^as smai1 -M »f
the roof broke shorJP* *UpP°rted b^ the timbe^ which, on being drawn,
thus oau ? °\ ^ relieved ^at portion resting on the pillar,
The foregoino- J * t0 be *e m°re easi1^
B eiers generally to mining at shallow depths, and
comparatively level. I shall now give some details of pillar working
under very different circumstances, at a great depth, and very heavy
dip of seam. The High Main Coal Seam at Killingworth Colliery is
found at the shaft, 113 fathoms from the surface; but, probably from
its being in the vicinity of the Great Ninety-Fathom Dip Dyke on the
north side of the Tyne, there is an unusual heavy dip southward, and a
consequent rise northward, from the shaft, thus varying the thickness of
superincumbent strata to a great extent. The seam of workable coal
varies from six to eight feet (see section, plate IV.), generally overlaid
with a strong white post roof, eight and a half to twelve fathoms thick,
but not uniformly so, as in the east division, plate VII., a stratum of
dark grey metal stone, of variable thickness, from a few inches to
several feet, intervenes between the coal and the post; there is, however,
usually an average good roof. The quality of the coal is good, and
strong in its character; but from the great thickness of incumbent
strata, height of seam, and softness of bottom, as the large pillars are
reduced the coal is often very much crushed, yielding a large per centage
of small. The process of removing the pillars is one requiring an active
supervision and watchful care of the ventilation, &c, the seam giving
off large quantities of light carburetted hydrogen gas, which, from the
heavy rise of the seam, would constantly float about the workmen, unless
removed by active ventilation.
I will briefly enumerate the methods adopted, the examination of the
plans will render this sufficiently plain, observing the old pillars are
small, and the new, or modern ones, large in size.
Plate IV. North-west Division; Seam, six feet thick; depth about 180
fathoms; old pillars twenty-six yards long by seven yards in width;
bords are headways way, wide bords and walls are crept close. Walls
a a, about four feet wide, were driven by the side of old headways course,
from which Jenkins b, b, b, b, and 1, two yards wide, were driven to the
rise end of the pillar, the remaining portion of the pillar being taken off
by siding over four yards lifts eastward to goaf. The whole of the coal
was got, the pillars having been left so small had evidently brought on
a heavy creep, as shown in the section of crept bords, the bottom of the
bords had been forced upward and compressed against the roof, thus
causing the pressure of the strata to be balanced. These pillars had
been standing about forty years. Before being opened out this year,
of course, all movement in the strata had perfectly subsided, several
were removed without the least disturbance, but, we found, after making-
a large goaf, which did not fall freely, the post roof resting upon the
metal ridges* seemed again to cause a movement of " creep," but only
in a slight degree.
Plate V. North-east Division, Seam, six feet thick; depth about fifty
fathoms ; old pillars twenty-six yards by seven yards; bords and walls
heavily fallen. A wall, 1, is driven across the middle of every third
pillar and jenkin, 2 up the middle to goaf, the sides, 3 and 4 of each
pillar, being brought back down the jenkin to stooks 5, 6, which are then
removed. A thin shell of coal is left on each side of the pillar to keep
out the fallen stone, causing a loss of eight or ten per cent, of the pillar,
and six per cent, of the whole area of coal.
Plate VI. North-west Division; Seam, seven feet thick; depth 180
fathoms; post roof ; large pillars, fifty yards by thirty-three yards.
The process of working off these pillars is extremely simple; a four-
yard wide jenkin, 1, is driven half the length of the pillar, on each side
of the headways course, leaving a lift of four yards on the high side
next the goaf. Then, siding up, 2, to goaf, and the four yards of coal,
3, brought back to stook 4; as soon as both sides are off to the stook
they are removed. Nearly all the coal is obtained, not more than two
per cent, being lost, so effectually, indeed, that instances have been seen
where the post roof has broken off, as if sawn asunder from the main
body, and slipped down, a huge mass, at the edge of the goaf, showing
a perpendicular wall face.
Plate VII. South-east Division; Seam, eight feet high; depth about
200 fathoms; large pillars sixty-six yards by fifty-five yards. The
pillar is divided into divisions by walls driven to the rise, each of these
is converted into self-acting inclined planes, as circumstances may require.
The rise of the seam being so great, the temperature of the working
places often high, and the large quantity of hydrogen gas evolved,
imperatively require an airway, a, a, to be driven round the outer and
rise side of the pillar for ventilation.
Plate VII. represents the removal of the first pillar adjoining the
rolleyway. Wall 1 is driven up, the coals being inclined down by a
"dilly" weight, which, I believe, has been before described in the
uTransactions" of the Institute; but for the benefit of those who may
* Metal ridges, or "metal riggs," the portion of bottom stone or coal forced into the
old workings by the creep.
Vol. IX.—November, 1860. D
not be enabled to refer to it, I may briefly describe it as a heavily-
weighted box, on a tram, running on a tramway of its own. This
serves as a counterbalance weight. It draws up the empty tub to the
face by means of a hemp rope passing round a portable sheave, working
in an iron strap, and secured to a prop, which, of course, is moved for-
ward as the working place advances. The loaded tub counterbalances
the dilly weight, when hung on, and takes it up again in turn, and so
on alternately, the loaded tub pulling up the dilly weight, and the dilly
weight pulling up the empty tub.
When wall 1 is about twenty yards from the top of the pillar, an
incline wheel, d, is fixed for the top of the pillar, as shown in the west
pillar, and at d in the east pillar, for the lower portion of the pillar. A
narrow borcl, 2, is driven to the outer edge, from whence is set away
walls 3, 4, 5, 6, and the airway a. The coal is taken off in four-yard
lifts out of each wall, bordways way on the level line of the seam, as
7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, a shell of coal, about two feet thick, being left on the side
next the goaf for protection, a great portion of which is afterwards worked
off. This district is nearest to the great dyke. The bottom of the post
is very undulating, rising and falling in heavy rolls, the spaces being
filled up with dark grey metal stone, which is often difficult to keep up,
and making heavy falls. This is the reason why the same system as
shown at plate VI. is not followed, the lifts having to be wrought out
quickly. Large areas are often excavated before the post is broken
down, which causes the bottom to creep about the broken workings and
become troublesome, but not more than we can successfully contend
against. The lowest piece of coal next the wall is taken off, as 10, 11,
12, 13, either headways or bordways, as it can be best obtained. I
estimate the loss of coal in this division to be about 5 per cent.
It is the invariable custom in the North of England always to use the
Davy-lamp where the least danger is to be apprehended in pillar
working. It is used in the least dangerous parts of Killingworth Col-
liery ; but in the dip and most dangerous parts, no other but the
" Geordy," or Stephenson's safety-lamp, is allowed to be used, as being
the most improved, and affording greater protection from danger than
the Davy. The Davy safety-lamp is undoubtedly safe under all ordinary
circumstances of danger ,• but on extraordinary occasions, where danger
is constantly to be apprehended, I prefer the " Geordy." I mention
this from having observed, in persons unaccustomed to the use of the
" Geordy," a species of objection, almost amounting to a prejudice,
against this safety-lamp, difficult to account for, unless they are igno-
rant of the principles and action of the lamp. As the " Geordy" is
not so generally known and extensively used as the Davy, T may here
give a brief explanation of its action, and why I prefer it as above stated.
When introduced into an explosive atmosphere, the light gently flames
up, and is immediately extinguished. The reason of this is, the flame
absorbs all the oxygen inside the glass cylinder placed within the gauze,
and the air cells at the bottom, to admit air for the support of the flame,
being too small to allow a sufficient quantity of oxygen to pass through
for supporting a large flame, it is necessarily and immediately extin-
guished, the heated air passing upward preventing a supply from the
holed cap on the top. This is not the case with the Davy safety-lamp.
Every orifice of the gauze being open for the admission of oxygen from
the surrounding air, a sufficient quantity is admitted to support a large
flame; and when introduced into an explosive atmosphere, it flames up,
and continues burning with a large volume of flame as long as any
oxygen remains, so as to render the gauze red hot, if the lamp is con-
tinued in such an atmosphere. In the ordinary course of working it is
not, however, allowed to remain in such an atmosphere until it becomes
red hot, the workmen being ordered to remove it. I merely state this,
contrasting the value of the two lamps in an explosive atmosphere, the
utter inability of the workman to remain at work, in the dark, under
such circumstances, with a " Geordy" lamp, which he might be tempted
to do with a Davy.
I shall now offer a few remarks on pillar working in a hard coal seam,
plate VIII. The Low Main Seam at Seaton Burn Colliery is found at
a depth of fifty-eight fathoms, but, from the rise of the seam, and the
great number of faults, the depth is variable, the seam generally four
feet thick, and very hard in its nature. Eoof, blue metal stone, with
post girdles, bottom, grey metal stone, varying in thickness from a few
inches to twelve inches ; beneath this stratum, however, there is a strong
grey post, which really forms the bottom or substratum of the seam.
Pillars, forty yards by sixteen yards; the bords are turned away four
yards, and thrown out to six yards wide. The process of removing the
pillar is simply by driving a six-yard jenkin, 1; by the side of the old
bord, a road is supported by placing chocks, four feet from the side of
the coal, headways lifts are then sided off, as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, the last
stook, 9, being removed from the headways course. Occasionally there is
a crosscut or diagonal cleavage in the coal, the line of this is usually
followed by the lifts shown at pillar a. The bottom being- firm there it*
not the slightest indication of creep. The coal is all worked away, none
being lost except that which may be left as bad or inferior in the neigh-
bourhood of hitches.
It is extremely difficult to make dry practical details generally in-
teresting, but, if I have succeeded in making my communication useful,
I shall be amply repaid.
Mr. Taylor—Alluding to the mode of working explained by Mr.
Crone in plate III.—By working this way you get a fresh roof every
day, if you persevere.
Mr. Crone—That is if you have a binding roof.
Mr. Daglish—You cannot remove the chocks with such a roof, if you
were to work with chocks.
Mr. Taylor—The plan has never been carried out in this district.
Mr Crone—Breakers are formed between the chocks and the face of
the coal.
Mr. Taylor—That is more likely to happen where it is a tender roof.
A tender roof bends down. Have you any band in the seam ?
Mr, Crone—None. Large pieces of coal would have to be used to
keep it up. The height of the seam is an objection. The height is five
feet six inches, and it would take a good many chocks to fill up the space
to be kept open for the workmen.
Mr. Berkley—There is no whole roof. No timber could stop it
from falling.
Mr. Crone—There is no bed of stone you could timber against tha*
would resist the pressure.
Mr. Taylor—Was any whole coal left ?
Mr. Crone—No; the pillars were of small dimensions.
The President—Twelve feet between them ?
Mr. Crone—Yes; loose, black short stone.
Mr. Southern—The falling of the shale would never be sufficient to
allow chocks to be used, where the roof is so very short.
Mr. Ramsay—Did you ever try to let the stone fall down and bring
the Five-Quarter coal back above the working of the Brass Thill coal ?
Mr. Crone—No; there is too much space between the two beds of
coal. The falling mass of debris would fill up the places completely.
You can hardly get the props out. There are a great many open fissures.
Mr. Taylor—Were these fissures in the shape of steps ?
Mr. Crone—-They were vertical cracks. The line of the roof and the
bottom of the seam were level. There was no slip. There was merely
an opening. He had seen them nearly an inch wide. It was rather a
tender seam, The bords were usually driven four yards.
The President—You say by the last mode you pursued you lost only
twelve per cent. What per centage do you lose in the other modes?
Mr. Crone—I often used to lose one-fourth. The roof was so
heavy in the old system of jenkining, the top frequently rushed in.
The coal was not worth ridding for. In the improved mode we in-
variably tried to remove all wre could. We were never disturbed by
The President—There could not be a more difficult case of working
coal, with a bad roof, and only ten feet to another seam, and that seam
worked, and the seam below worked in the pillars likewise.
Mr. Ramsay—Was it free from water ?
Mr. Crone —We had water to a trifling extent.
[The discussion was then taken on the working of the High Main Seam
at Killingworth, " North-west Division."]
The President—Did you, in working these pillars, get all the coal
Mr. Crone—Yes, nearly so. We found the metal ridges of the bords
formed pillars to support the roof. We were afraid to take the whole of
it out altogether on account of the gas, and the stones and rubbish falling
into the working places, but we got almost the whole of the coal.
The President—I was at Killingworth when the whole coal was
worked. It was an illustration of the mode of working the coal at the
period when the pillars were formed. Previously to that, and where the
depth was not so great, it had been the custom to reduce the size of the
pillars, leaving as much as would support the roof, and not bring on a
creep. The pillars were reduced at the top—four yards were generally
taken away and they were so left, the impression being that no more
could be got. Lamps were not then invented; the ventilation was
required to be perfect so as to adaiit the use of candles, and, therefore,
this is a case where, for want of lamps, a large portion of coal was left.
It was the same in the pillars you mention. There was a great deal of
gas, and the question was, what quantity of coal could be got out without-
using steel mills, and to keep the ventilation intact. That mode was
practised over a very great district of country, viz., to leave as much
coal as that a creep could not take place. Since lamps have been
invented, all these pillars have been got out most successfully. In the
case you allude to, a creep took place after the pillars were drawn up by
water, the pillars being just sufficient to support the roof. The water
percolating the fireclay, a shale in the bords produced disentegration of
the shale, weakening the base of the pillars, and producing a creep.
The metal ridges, or upheaved sill of shale in the bords, forming the roof
of the mine; and it appears all the coal, except a small per centage, has
been since got. In some cases we took part of the coal of the pillars
away where we found the coal that was left more than sufficient to
support the roof—all that we could get with candles—leaving what was
necessary to keep up the ventilation,
[Mr. Crone here read his observations " On the North-west Division."]
Mr. Daglish—Why cannot you carry the jenkin up to the goaf?
Mr. Crone—Because we would have to leave a shell at the side of
every lift to support the falling stone on the rise side of the jenkin.
Mr. Daglish—Did you not say you did leave a portion of coal ?
Mr. Crone—It falls for all that. If taking it off close, we should
leave a foot thick, but, by driving a jenkin of four yards wide, we should
leave two thin strips of coal. The height of the seam is extremely
dangerous; it lessens the danger to leave a wide jenkin.
The President—You drive the Jenkins four yards ?
Mr. Crone—Yes; it is hard coal, but it contains a very large amount
of gas. The pressure of gas assists much in working the coal. Being
a post roof, and a great depth, there is a considerable amount of weight
on the coal, and this, assisted by the gas, renders the coal easy to work.
Mr. Spencer—You got the timber easily out?
Mr. Crone—There is a thin bed of block shale between the roof of
the coal and the bottom of the post, which falls when the timber is
Mr. Daglish—The great advantage of this system is owing to the
height of the seam. The other particulars of the case are almost iden-
tical with ordinary working. You could not work so unless you used
Mr. Crone—It is a heavy rise, and the seam is of great thickness.
This necessarily compels us to adopt that system which we find the best.
If it were a level seam, or comparatively level, it would be a different
thing altogether.
Mr. Ramsay—The roof stands, in the first instance, until you produce
a general fall by working out a considerable breadth of coal ?
Mr. Crone—It frequently stands. If we do not get the roof down
it produces a creep, and teazes us very much,
[Mr. Crone then read his remarks on the " South-east Division."]
Mr. Spencer—What is the least inclination these dillies can be satis-
factorily applied ?
Mr. Crone—We seldom think of applying them less than eight inches
to the yard, where the borings have a difficulty in getting up even a short
distance. If the seam has not a very heavy rise we work with ponies.
The President—When I stated that in some parts of Killingworth
Colliery the pillars were left in that state that would or might produce
creep, in that portion of the colliery there was not a very large quantity
of gas, and we got the places pretty well ventilated in the ordinary
manner, so as to be enabled to use candles; but, in another part—the
eastern portion of the colliery—there was an immense quantity of gas-
We could not, in that case, take away the coal to produce creep, for
this reason it was necessary, after airing one bord, to take the air into
the back pillars, to dash the air or mix the gas with the common air
before you could take it into the next bord. It was necessary, therefore,
to keep open a considerable extent of back pillars, or waste, in order to
be enabled to so mix the air, almost explosive in that portion next the
roof, with the common or lower stratum of air, so as to render the whole
inexplosive, before you could use it in the next bord. We had to take it
often fifteen or twenty pillars down into the waste before we could take
it into the next working bord, otherwise we could not use the candles,
and there were no lamps then.
Mr. Dunn—(To Mr. Spencer)—In the neighbourhood of Crook was
not the mode of working affected by the state of the surface ?
Mr. Spencer—We try to get as much of the coal away as possible.
Mr. Dunn—When I went into the Auckland district, twelve years
ago, they left a small pillar, not to destroy the land.
The President—The pillars were taken away at a very early period.
I have reports as far back as 1740 or 1750, and upwards, as to the mode
of taking away the pillars, and have travelled in Old Benton waste when
large districts of pillars have been worked entirely away. Benton was
abandoned sometime before 1765, so that before 1765 there must have
been a very extensive system of taking away pillars. If you inquire of
old people, they say it was the practice to leave pillars till they got to the
extremity, and then they came back and took them away. The records
of the very old collieries show that it was the practice to take away pillars.
Mr. Dunn—My remark refers to shallow districts. They left the
pillars for fear of destroying the land.
The President—The great difficulty, before the lamp was invented,
was to know how much you could take away with candles, and whether,
after taking away a certain quantity, you could take away more without
producing a creep. I have several reports on the subject. I do not
know whether any general system could be laid down as to working
pillars, or working coal by the pillar and stall method ,• cases such as
Mr. Crone has instanced are exceptions. At Dipton they have a very
bad roof, and the circumstances are, also, exceptional. But it has always
appeared to me, now they have access to any part of the mine with
safety-lamps, that if they left pillars at all, these pillars should be suffi-
ciently strong, that in any mode of working them the part left should be
sufficient to support the roof, or superincumbent strata, without crushing
the coal. They knew that before they could take pillars off a much less
strength of pillar would do than after they produced a break in the strata.
After the break a portion of the support was gone. The pillar, in that case,
must be stronger than if no such break had taken place, and, as in every
case of working pillars, such a break does take place, it follows that the
pillars must be much stronger than barely sufficient to support the super-
incumbent strata. Suppose they began at the end of the pillar and took
a portion of it away. In every stage of working the pillar, the coal left
in such pillar should be strong enough to support the roof without crushing
the coal. That is the only general principle which can, in my opinion,
be laid down in pillar working. If you drive a jenkin you leave a weak
pillar on each side, but that which is left should be sufficiently strong, so
that the coal is not crushed.
Mr. Spencer—In all the places I mentioned the roof has broken
immediately, so that there is no weight at any time on the coal.
The President—You should never have the pillars in such a state
that the superior strata crushes them.
Mr. Spencer—The cleaner the coal is taken out the less is the
damage done to the surface. When it is clean taken out it falls evenly.
The President—I quite agree with Mr. Spencer in that. They
lower the surface, but it is not broken up into hollows.
Mr. Steavenson then read the following supplementary paper, and gave
drawings of the different descriptions of oven, in accordance with the
request made to him at the last meeting.
Having been requested to obtain and place on record certain inventions
and improvements in coke manufacture and coke ovens, I have selected
the following as illustrative of the degree of perfection to which the art
of coke-making has attained at the present time. The remarkable
similarity of several of which I will instance, shows the necessity for
such a registration.
First, I will notice certain patents having for their object the utiliza-
tion of the heat afforded by the ignited gases, which are generally
allowed to pass directly into the chimney or open air.
The invention of John Robert Breckon and Robert Dixon consists in
constructing ovens with one, two, or more flues, for the purpose of con-
veying the gases, when in a state of combustion, underneath the floor of
the coke ovens.* The flues communicate with the interior of the oven,
and the gases are conveyed through them underneath the floor of the
oven, and afterwards into a chimney.
The accompanying plan, and following description, will enable the
method to be better understood. (See plate I.)
Fig. 1 is an elevation of a row of coke ovens, with a chimney, into
which all the products of combustion are conveyed.
* See specification in pursuance of the conditions of letters patent, filed June 9.1860.
by John Robert Breckon and Robert Dixon. ' '
Fig. 2 is a plan, partly in section, of four coke ovens.
Fig. 3 is a sectional elevation, taken through the door of the oven.
Fig. 4 is a sectional elevation of two coke ovens, with the flues leading
to the chimney.
Fig. 5 is another elevation, also partly in section.
These ovens are shown with regulating valves and air distributors, for
which letters patent were granted on the 29th of March, 1858. But
the present invention may be used independently of such regulating
valves and air distributors, a is the door of the coke oven; b, the
opening at the top; c, the flues or pipes which convey the atmospheric
air admitted by the regulating valves d> to the distributors e9 e; f is
the water tap.
The present improvement consists in the application of flues g, g,
which are placed under the floor, h, of the oven. The floors are of fire
brick or other suitable material, and bear on the partitions between the
flues g, which are connected with the interior of the oven by the upright
flues i, i, and orifices j, j, and with the chimney h, through the vertical
flues Z, and horizontal m. Each orifice, j, is in communication with one
of the outer flues, g ; and as the partitions between the flues terminate
alternately at a certain distance from the inner wall of the oven, it is
evident that a passage is left for the gaseous products of combustion to
pass from one flue to another, as indicated by tho arrows in fig. 2.
When these gases arrive at the inner flues g} they rise up the flue Z,
and enter the horizontal flue m, which conveys them to the chimney k;
a damper, n, is placed in each flue Z, so as to be able to shut off any one
or more of the coke ovens during repairs, or for other purposes, without
interfering with the others. The coal to be converted into coke is
dropped into the oven through the opening b, or it may be cast in through
the door a.
When the coal is ignited, the gaseous products of combustion escape
through the orifices j, and down the flues i, into the flues g, g, through
which they circulate before escaping up the flues Z, and along the flues m,
to the chimney k. By this means the floor of the coke oven is heated
by the ignited gases, which, the patentees state, enables them to convert
a given quantity of coal into coke in about one-third less time than is
required in the ordinary coke oven, and to obtain from ten to fifteen per
cent, more coke, and the coke produced is denser and of a better quality.
They do not limit themselves to the details given, as the shape of the
coke oven may be oval, instead of circular, as shown, and the number of
flues, g, may be considerably varied, but claim as their invention an
improved arrangement of flues for heating the floors of the coke ovens,
by means of the ignited gases escaping from the coal during the process
of coking. A very similar patent was taken out by Joseph Dunning, in
May, 1853.*
The oven is constructed of the shape and dimensions shown on the
accompanying plan, plate II., in which the interior of the oven (see fig. 5)
is twenty-four feet in length and fifteen feet in breadth, measured on the
floor of the oven, three feet six inches high from the floor (see fig. 1) to
the springing of the arch of the roof, and nine feet from the floor to the
crown of the arch (see fig. 1); and for the purpose of facilitating the
process of coking, and the subsequent drawing of the coke from the
oven, two doorways and doors of the usual material and suitable dimen-
sions are made, one at each end of the oven, as shown at A, A, in figs.
S and 6.
Instead of allowing the heat, arising from the ignited coal in the oven
•during the process of coking, to pass away at the top or back of the
oven, through a flue leading directly into a chimney, it is made to
circulate under the floor, and along a part of the sides of the oven, by
means of two vertical flues, one at each corner, at one end of the oven,
having their upper orifices in the interior of the oven a little above the
springing of the arch of the roof, as shown at B, fig, 3. These two
vertical flues, of about fourteen inches square, sectional measure, are
carried down in the substance of the side of the oven, and close to the
usual firebrick lining, as shown at B, fig. 3, and B, B, fig. 5, and made
to open (see B, B, fig. 4) into, and communicate with, a series of hori-
zontal flues under the floor of the oven, (see fig. 4, which is a plan of
the series of horizontal parallel flues running lengthwise under the floor,
connected and communicating with each other by means of two horizontal
curved cross flues of similar size.) . These horizontal flues are made in
the substance of the floor of the oven about nine inches wide and eighteen
inches deep, the parallel straight flues being separated from each other
by walls about nine inches wide (as shown in section in fig. 1, in which
a, is a section of the flues and b, b, a section of the walls), and the
whole series of horizontal flues is to be constructed at such a depth below
the upper surface of the floor as to make the floor above these flues
about six inches in thickness. There are also constructed, in the sub-
* See specification of Joseph Dunning, of No. 14, Regent Street, in the city of
Westminster, architect, sealed 31st May, 1853.
stance of the two longer sides of the oven, two horizontal flues, viz., one
on each side, fourteen inches deep and four inches wide, at such a level
that their bottoms may be about two inches above the level of the floor,
opening into and extending from the two vertical flues (B, B, fig. 5) to
about two feet from the two chimneys hereafter described, as shown by
the dotted lines from C to D in fig. 5, and connected at their ends, D,
with the horizontal flues under the floor of the oven by descending flues
of the same sectional dimensions, as shown in section at 0, C, fig. 3, in
which C represents a section of one of these horizontal flues, and the
dotted lines from C to C a section of the descending flue, connecting this
horizontal flue with the series of horizontal flues under the floor. At
that end of the oven opposite to the two vertical flues above mentioned
are constructed two straight vertical chimneys, of about fourteen inches
by nine inches, inside measure, communicating with and opening into, at
their base, the horizontal flues already described, in the position and
manner shown at F, F, in figs. 4 and 5, and rising to any convenient
height above the exterior of the roof of the oven, as shown at F, F, fig. 2.
An oven thus constructed may be charged with coal in the usual
manner, but it is recommended that the coal should be introduced through
an opening at the top of the oven, as shown at E, figs. 1, 6, and 7, and
for the more easy spreading of the coal evenly over the floor, the use of
a hopper, having below it an inclined board, of length and width suitable
to the size of the oven, moving at one end on an axis, C, fig. 7, so that
by means of chains attached to each side of the bord, and by pulleys
suitably fixed at the bottom of the hopper, as shown in fig. 7, the coals
may be projected on to the floor at any angle, in the direction of each of
the doors.
When the oven has been charged and the coals ignited in the usual
way, air is admitted by the doors to carry on the necessary combustion.
The heat, gas, and volatile matters produced will then rise into the
interior of the oven above the charge of coal, and pass down the two
vertical flues above described into the horizontal flues in the sides and
under the floor of the oven, and thence so much as may be necessary for
creating a sufficient draught of air for carrying on the requisite degree
of combustion must be allowed to escape upwards through and out of the
two chimneys above described, the draught being regulated by moveable
fireclay tiles placed on the tops of these chimneys.
By these means the heat arising from the burning coal, instead of
being confined in excess at the top of the oven, or being wasted by
escaping thence out of the oven, will be carried down into the two hori-
zontal flues in the sides of the oven and under the floor, when it will be
applied to the lowest stratum of coal, so as effectually to coke that
portion of the charge, as well as to aid in the transmission of heat more
equally from the whole surface to the centre of the charge.
For the better regulation of the heat of the oven and under the floor
during the process of coking, by permitting the escape of a portion of
the heat, should it at any time become excessive, the horizontal flues are
made to open into the external air by flues and openings at the end of
the oven in which the vertical flues are placed. Three of which openings
of the same sectional dimensions as the rest of the horizontal flues under
the floor are sufficient for an oven of the dimensions described, and in
the position shown at G, G, G, in figs. 2 and 4, being, of course, fitted
with proper doors, of suitable materials, for the purpose of confining the
heat or allowing it to escape, when necessary.
The inventor does not claim to himself any particular shape, or size,
or number, of horizontal flues, at the sides and under the floor of the
oven, or any particular number or position in the oven of the vertical
flues, and does not claim any particular size, or shape, or mode of building?
or of working, coke ovens, but simply the construction of vertical and
horizontal flues in the sides and under the floors of coke ovens, for the
purpose of applying the heat of such ovens, in the manner above described,
more efficiently to the charge of coal to be coked, and more directly to
the lower portion and the under surface thereof, which is next to and
upon the floor of the oven, than has hitherto been practised.
The anchor oven, by which the entire charge of coke can be drawn at
once, previous to cooling, thus saving a considerable part of the labour
in drawing the coke, and, also, the great destruction of bricks, which occurs
to the linings, or interior bricks, by the application of water in cooling
the coke in the ordinary method, I have already alluded to (see page
120, vol. VIII.) I am now enabled to give a plan showing the same,
for which I am indebted to Mr. Berkley (see plates III., IV., and V.)
A, A, A, &c., are the ovens, the mouth of which is of the entire width
of the oven, and of the height a, b; the dotted line b, c, being the height
to which the oven is filled with coals; d, e,fy is the anchor, which is made
of wrought iron, and which is placed in the oven when the coals are put
into it, and which is, of course, imbedded in the coke.
When the oven is required to be drawn, a chain, d, g, k, is attached to
it, which, passing over the pulley, g, leads to a winch at k, h. Power
being applied to the winch, the whole mass of coke is drawn out of the
ven entire, and without breakage, and is cooled at the outside of the
ven by water. In some cases an iron cover is put over the coke, which
early excludes the atmospheric air, to such an extent as that its action
as no injurious effect in wasting the coke. There is an apparent objec-
ion to this mode of drawing the coke, by the great size of the mouth of
tie oven, which has to be closed in the usual manner while the process is
¦oing on, but this, in practice, is found not to be difficult. The wear and
3ar of the anchor is also an apparent objection, but experience shows-
hat the waste of the iron is really not great.
December llth, 1845.
This oven was twenty-five feet long by ten feet wide inside, having a
oor (two feet nine inches) at each end, which was walled, and plastered
p air-tight, when charged in the usual manner, with clay. Its chief
eculiarities were—
1st. The admission of air, for the combustion of the volatile consti-
nents of the coal, by openings which passed along flues in the division
ralls of the ovens, entering by vents on each side. The quantity of air
dmitted was regulated by plugs at each opposite end. The area (col-
jctively) of the air passages was Gin. x Sin. x 4in. This, Mr. Thomp-
m stated, would probably be found more than sufficient, but, if neces-
iry, a small quantity might be admitted at each doorway, and that it
as probable that this mode of admitting the air would promote the
uiformity of the combustion of the gases, and waste less of the fuel,
lan by the usual method of letting the atmospheric air in by the door
2nd. Underneath the floor of the oven, cooling air passages were made,
r the purpose of extracting the bottom heat from the mass of coke
hen the process was over ("and the stewing or hardening process was
operation"). The mouths of the flues (previously stopped up) were
)ened, and cool air permitted to wind through the passage, the effects
?ing that the bottom portion of the coke was equally dense and bright
ith the general body.
The exit of this cooling air was provided for by a metal chimney,
hich came up from the level of the floor, twelve feet in length, twelve
ches by three and a half inches inside, and half an inch thick, with an
bow at the bottom one foot in length.
Flues under the bottom, for cooling purposes, had previously been
patented by Mr. Jabez Church (see notice of his patent); and side air
flues, for combustion of the gases, have formed the basis of several
patents (amongst others, see a specification referred to at page 118,
June, 1860), but I am not aware that any have been practically
The objects sought to be obtained by this clas3 of ovens consist in the
application of the waste gases of blast furnaces, or other unutilised com-
bustible gases, for the purpose of causing the coking or carbonization of
coal in coke ovens, either alone or as an auxiliary to the ordinary process
of coking, and in the use of steam for the purpose of desulphurizing coke.
To effect these objects the coke oven employed is furnished with a
false perforated bottom, placed a short distance above the true one, to
receive the charges of coal to be operated upon. Under the false bottom
a current of any unutilised combustible gases is admitted after the oven
has been charged in the usual way, sufficient air being allowed to enter
to insure the combustion of the gas. The heat so produced will cause or
assist the coking of the coal contained in the oven, the heat being diffused
as uniformly as possible under the false bottom by means of partitions
deflecting the direct course of the flame, or by any other simple means.
It is, of course, necessary to have a stack in connection with the flame
space under the oven, and by means of a damper on this stack the heat
of the oven may, in a great measure, be regulated. The combustible
gases may also, if desired, be applied at the top or sides of the oven, with
suitable modifications, and the flame spaces, whether at top, bottom, or
sides, need not of necessity be separated from the internal contents of the
oven by perforated partitions, the perforations being more for the appli-
cation of steam than tfie waste gases. When the conversion of the coal
into coke is effected, which is indicated roughly by the disappearance of
heavy yellowish red flame in the oven, and while the coke is still at its
maximum degree of heat, the supply of inflammable gases is cut off, and
a current of steam admitted under the false perforated bottom, its escape
to the stack being checked as much as possible. Or the steam may be
applied from the commencement of the operation of coking, and, in that
case, if it is desired to use the waste gases, they must be applied at the
top or sides of the oven.
When very sulphureous coals are operated upon, it is advantageous to
* See Pamphlet on the Desulphnrization of Coke by R. S. Roper, Esq., F.C.S. & G.S.
Vol. IX.—November, 1860.
provide for the combined use of the waste gases and the steam at the
same time, so that the steam may be applied for a longer period.
The steam passed under the false bottom is forced through the per-
forations into the coke oven, where it is retained under pressure, as much
as possible, by closing all apertures from the oven, so that the coke may
be thoroughly permeated by the steam, which, being decomposed by the
sulphide of iron, or other sulphide present, the hydrogen combines with
the sulphur of the sulphide, carrying it off in the gaseous state. In the
case of extremely sulphury coals, the use of superheated steam is recom-
mended, so that the decomposing action may be exerted for the longest
period. It is evident that the steam required for desulphurizing the
coke may be raised by means of the waste heat of the coke ovens them-
selves, and, also, when necessary, arrangements might easily be made
for superheating the steam by the same heat, so that in fact the expense
of desulphurizing coke in the way pointed out resolved itself simply into
a question of first cost, and a small item for wear and tear. The coke
after steaming sufficiently may be cooled in the usual way; but by con-
tinuing the use of steam the coke may be extinguished, and being then
in an anhydrous state, or nearly so, is peculiarly adapted for particular
Description of plan,—The plan, plate VI., shows the nature of the
coke oven employed for desulphurizing ordinary qualities of coal. It
should, however, be observed, that the characteristic portion of this oven
is the bottom, the other portions being as usually arranged in South Wales.
The perforated bricks for the bottom are shown in plan and section on
an enlarged scale, the form of the bottom being indicated in the plan and
section of the oven.
The steam enters by three branch pipes through the back wall of the
oven, and under the perforated bottom, which is supported by two
longitudinal brick partitions, with considerable transverse openings for
the equal diffusion of the steam.
The damper in the stack is closed as soon as the steam is turned on,
and thus prevents its escape in a great measure. The dimensions of the
holes in the perforated bricks are found in practice to answer well, and
should not be widely departed from. The conical shape of the holes is
to prevent their obstruction by small pieces of coke.
It should also be noticed that the dimensions of the steam pipes are
those used for steam of about 81bs. pressure, conveyed about forty yards
from the boiler, and are, therefore, only suitable in similar circumstances;
for high pressure steam much smaller pipes might be used,
Where a series of ovens are employed on this plan, it will be evident
that the best arrangement will be to place a steam boiler in connection
with the flues from the ovens, and thus raise steam by the waste heat of
the gases produced by coking, in which case the cost of the process
resolves itself into the interest on the prime cost of the boiler and fittings,
together with the necessary alterations in the ovens, and small items for
wear and tear and attention. With such an arrangement of boiler, and
with coal of average quality, as used in South Wales, the entire cost of
the process will not exceed threepence per ton, including license fees,
and interest on capital at £5 per cent, per annum.
This process has already been applied to the following uses :—
The first trial of this process, for the desulphurization of coke, was
made on the Meadow Vein coal at Pontypool. This coal has been proved
to be useless for the cupola or blast furnace, from the large quantity of
sulphur it contained—about 2*4 per cent.
After the application of steam by the above process, it was found to
be equal to the best coke made at Pontypool for smelting iron, the iron
retaining its greyness, and being as soft as could possibly be desired.
The Rock Vein coke has also been desulphurized with most satisfactory
results, yielding a bright silvery coke that could scarcely be surpassed.
Mineral charcoal, or soft coke, as it is more commonly termed, has
also been operated upon in the same way, and it was found -that tin
plates made with this fuel were equal to charcoal plates, and better than
those made from mineral charcoal made from Ebbw Vale Three-Quarter
coal in the ordinary way, which contains only about *5 of sulphur, whilst
the coal from which the desulphurized mineral charcoal was made contained
1*64 per cent, of sulphur. This process has also been applied for many
other purposes, with equally good results.
In MachwortKs Patent Oven, plate VII., the gases pass off in the
direction of the arrows, through narrow flues, which present, in the aggre-
gate a large heating surface, and distribute the heat uniformly. When
the coal gives off smoke, air can be allowed to enter the pipes B, B, to
burn the gas in the flues. The holes C, C, allow of each of the chimneys
being examined, to see if they are working uniformly. The air required
to support combustion is admitted through or near to the arch, in order
that a stratum of gas may be interposed between the air and the coke,
so as to prevent the burning of the latter. When the coal is well lighted,
the flue D is closed by the brick damper, E. Before a charge of coke is
drawn the top of the chimney must be closed by a damper to prevent the
draught of cold air into the flues.
The advantages obtained by this oven are stated to be:—
1st. Economy of heat. The heated gases being made to pass round
and heat three or even four sides of the oven before escaping, and the
operation of coking is conducted at a lower temperature.
2nd. The entrance of air and exit of gases being diffused through
more openings, the surface of the coke is less consumed, and the heat
being rapidly conducted, and rendered uniform round the oven, double
the depth and four times the usual charge of coal, can be operated upon.
3rd. The density, yield, and strength of the coke are said to be in-
creased. The ovens may be constructed to hold twelve tons of coal or
Rogers and Machwortli}s Patent Coke Kilns, plate VIII., are simple in
their construction, a sound concrete bottom, about eighteen inches in
thickness, to guard against cracks or fissures, through which air from the
outside might obtain access, is one essential point to be provided for.
The external walls and flues may be all constructed of rubble stone,
or common brick, the inside walls and floor require to be faced with
common fire brick, but not the flues ; the entrance at each end is built
up with bricks laid in mortar.
The process consists in having flues constructed carefully with large
blocks of coal across the interior of the kiln, providing a clear passage
for the air and gases between the corresponding flues in the opposite walls.
If the coal varies in size, it is an advantage to lay the largest coal at the
bottom, diminishing in size towards the top. A fifty-ton kiln may be
filled to a depth of four feet six inches, or upwards, above the top of the
cross flues, finishing off with a layer of dead ashes, two or three inches
in thickness, forming the surface or cover of the kiln on the top.
When the kiln is charged, fire is applied at the flues marked A in the
section, and the flues B and C are stopped, the draught then being from
A to D, through the cross flues. In six to twelve hours the flues B on
the opposite side of the kiln may be fired, stopping the flues A, D, and
opening the flues B, C. As soon as that side of the kiln has become ignited
the draught may then be reversed backwards and forwards for a short
time until the vertical flues C, D, have become thoroughly red hot; all
the horizontal or cross flues A, B, must then be closed, and all the vertical
flues C, D, opened. A powerful heat having been created by the heated
state of the vertical flues, C, D, the atmospheric air is now drawn down
through the top of the kiln, passing through the interstices of the coal to
the seat of combustion beneath, whilst the products of combustion are
passed off through the vertical flues C, D.
The coking process gradually ascends from the bottom of the kiln to
the top. The exact state of the process being ascertained by thrusting
an iron bar downwards, at different parts of the surface, until it is stopped
by the hard mass of coke beneath; if found to be proceeding irregularly
at any part, it may be regulated by closing all or part of the vertical
flues on either side.
In a jiftij-ton kiln the process occupies seven to eight days, but for
locomotive purposes ten days are requisite.
This process, by which coal is coked, being effected by combustion from
beneath, is the reverse of that obtained in ordinary coke ovens by radiated
heat, combustion progressing downwards. After the vertical flues have
become thoroughly red hot, and all the horizontal flues, A, B, are closed,
combustion is supplied with air through the open top of the kiln, and as
the air reaches the melted coal flame is produced, and the bituminous
vapours, with the hydro-carbon gases, descend through the incandescent
mass. If the flame emitted from the top of these flues loses its pale blue
color and acquires illuminating power, thus indicating that bi-carburetted
hydrogen is being passed off, the too rapid combustion is at once checked
by temporarily closing those flues which emit the illuminating flame.
During this process no smoke or flame is emitted from the top or surface
of the kiln, which is perfectly cool when the coking of the whole mass is
completed, which enables a man to walk upon the top of the kiln to test
its progress.
The saving, in working expences, is stated to be fifty per cent, the
yield fully seventy-five per cent., with a greater density and more uniform
quality than is usually produced.
Church's Improvements'" in the manufacture of coke and construction
of coke ovens are—
lstly. For regulating the supply of air to the ovens, during the manu-
facture, by means of regulators and valves.
2ndly. The cooling of the coke within the ovens, and before the removal
thereof, without exposing it to the air; and
Srdly. The application of electricity to the purifying of coke from
sulphur and other metallic admixtures.
Fig. 1, plate IX., represents a front elevation, and fig. 2 a side
Fig. 3 is a transverse section on the line X, X, fig. 2.
C*LS0%^ Manufacture of Coke and Construction of
Fig. 4 is a plan on the line Y, Y, fig. 3 ; and
Fig. 5 is a plan on the line Z, Z, fig. 3.
Fig. 6 is an elevation, and fig. 7 a section of the principal parts of the
oven front, on a larger scale than in the other figures. A is the mouth-
piece, and Q, fig. 3, the floor; B a temporary wall of brickwork; C is a
cast-iron door, called the " regulator," in which are a number of oblong
apertures, D, D, for the admission of air to the interior; E, E, are
vertical slides, by which D, D, all or any of them, may be closed wholly
or partially; F, F, are two additional air passages made in the side
walls, and carried in an upwardly inclined direction towards the interior
of the oven, so that the air supplied through them may not impinge
directly on the surface of the coal; G, G, are circular slide valves, by
which the passages F, F, are opened or shut as required; I, I, are iron
bands encircling the exterior of the oven, to strengthen the same ; N is
the chimney, and 0 the flue leading into it from the interior of the oven;
K, K, are openings through which, after the coal has been carbonized,
cold air is introduced for cooling down the coke; and R, R1 (fig. 4), are
two valves commanded by handles, L, L, by which these passages are
opened or closed, being represented in the one case as closed, and the
other as open; M, M, M, are horizontal passages carried underneath and
around the oven (but not communicating with the interior), through
which the cold air circulates, after its admission through the openings
K, K; and m, m, are smaller vertical passages, by which the main pas-
sages, M, M, communicate one with the other; H, H, are vertical pipes,
with hinged caps or covers, which are opened, when required, by the
dependent chains, h, ft, to allow of the escape into the atmosphere of the
air employed in the cooling process—[S, S, in fig. 5, represent the bases
of these tubes]; P, P (fig. 4), are parts filled up with concrete.
The oven is loaded as usual. As soon as the main body of coal has
become fairly ignited, the regulator, C, is closed; its edges and che
joints of the temporary brickwork are well luted ; the passages D, D,
and F, F, are, in the first instance, left entirely open (M and m being
closed). As the coking of the coal advances, D, D, and F, F, are
gradually closed, until, at the conclusion of the process, they are wholly
The valves R, R1, are then opened for the admission of air to cool
down the coke, and the caps of the exit pipes H, H, pulled off—the coke
not being removed from the oven until it has been thoroughly cooled.
When desirable to have a coke more than usually free from sulphur,
&c, the coal, at the completion of the process of carbonization, is sub-
jected to a current of electricity, thus—The apertures D, D, and F, F,
being closed as before-mentioned, an iron rod is introduced through the
temporary brickwork in front into the coke near the bottom and through
the back of the oven, just under the chimney flue 0; a second rod over
the surface of the coke, so as to rest upon and be in contact therewith.
The former rod is connected with the positive pole of a powerful electric
battery, and the latter with the negative pole, each by means of a stout
copper wire, leaving the body of coke to complete the circuit. With a
mass of coke amounting to about six tons, it is stated that the time it
may be beneficially subjected to the electric action is about two hours,
and that, from repeated analysis of equal portions of coke, one of which
had been subjected to the electric action and the other not, the former
was freer from sulphur and other metallic admixtures, in the proportion
of twelve to one.
I am indebted to Mr. John T. Ramsay for having brought this patent,
and other information, under my notice.
The President—I have received a letter from Mr. Stobart stating
that he is at issue with Mr. Steavenson as to the substitution of flued for
open ovens.
Mr. Steaveinson—In the case of flued ovens I examined them
carefully. I gave two per cent, in favour of the flued ovens. The per
centage is given by me in the first appendix.
The President—Mr. Stobart will, I presume, furnish us with his
experiments ?
Mr. Steavenson—I will state the reason why I prefer flued ovens.
They give an increase of regulating power, and protect the coke from
the effects of stormy weather.
Mr. Marley—The results are actual experiments, ten in one instance
and twenty-one in the other ? You take them for what they are worth ?
Mr. Steavenson—The open ovens extend over five years, the flued
ovens perhaps twelve months. What I have further to describe is
entirely with respect to patent ovens. No. 1 is by Breckon and Dixon.
Mr. Berkley—The Marley Hill Coking Company had an oven made
at Gateshead similar to these twelve years ago. The gas was carried
under the flues. It was not found to answer, and was, therefore,
The President—I can speak with confidence as to the experiments
of the Marley Hill Company with the ovens at Gateshead twelve years
ago. They had one of large size—an experimental oven—in which the
heated air was conveyed underneath the floor of the oven, probably not
in the precise way as in the patent ovens, but still the object was to
convey the heated air from the top, and to convey it into flues spreading
underneath the floor of the oven. We had a tall chimney, and there
was plenty of draught. The result of this was, as you very properly
state, a failure. The coke was quicker made—a third of the time was
perhaps saved. It was so, at least, in these experiments. But it was
found that the coke was not of such good quality as in the ordinary
ovens. The upper and lower parts of the coke were pretty good, but
the middle was not properly coked. It was not equal to the coke which
remained the usual time in the common oven. I should, therefore,
like to know what were the results of these patent ovens with reference
to the quality of the coke as a mass. I understand there are several
of them erected at Mickley. These have been in operation some time,
and it is desirable to know the difference between them and the ordi-
nary ovens.
Mr. Steavenson—I have seen the reports, which are very satisfac-
tory. I believe it was coked through the entire mass of coal.
Mr. Marley—It was perfectly coked in the middle. There was a
parting where the two heats had met.
The President—You believe that the coke was equally good in the
middle with that of the top and bottom ?
Mr. Marley—1 cannot speak positively, but I have no doubt it was.
I offered to introduce Mr. Breckon as a friend to this meeting : he is not
a member.
The President—Mr. Breckon might communicate, through you,
the practical result. You said there was 15 per cent, more produce.
That is very important, looking at the thousands of tons made weekly.
If the coke is not quite so good, there is a great deal used for iron
furnaces, and it may be as useful as sufficiently good coke for that
Mr. Marley—They represent that it is better than the coke made in
the ordinary ovens, and at the present time they are receiving a higher
price for that coke than the other, for foundry purposes.
Mr. Steavenson—It is coked at a very high heat, which is favourable
for producing a good article.
The President—Did you give us the comparative cost?
Mr. Steavenson—I have not the cost of erecting that oven. The
cost would be greater, on account of the number of flues. The great
difficulty is to keep the flues open. They do not stand well, on
account of the intense heat.
The^President—The Marley Hill Coking Company could have no
objection, I presume, to give us the cost of working their ovens.
Mr. Liddell, under whose management the Mickley ovens are, would
know the cost of these ovens, and perhaps he would furnish the infor-
Mr. Steavenson-I can get the cost of erection from the patentees.
Mr. Berkley—Is the cost a matter for this Institute to go into ?
Mr. Mabley-K you produce fifteen per cent, more in a third less
time, and get one shilling per ton more in price, the cost of making the
Vol. IX.—November, 1860.
coke becomes an important question. I have no authority to speak on
behalf of Mr. Breckon. Will you allow him a voice, if introduced ? ^
The President—Can you not put it down in writing? You could
bring it here with your remarks upon it.
Mr. Steavenson—I had the cost from Mr. Liddell privately, but I do
not consider myself at liberty to use it. Here are plans of the anchor
oven, by which three or more charges can be drawn at once.
Mr. Spencer_I saw one of these anchor ovens working in 1857 in
The President—Has this been in operation in any other locality?
Mr. Steavenson—Yes. I will instance two or three cases. The
first is Pontypool.
Mr. Green—I have an oven with a false bottom. The coke is quite
black, however, when made in that oven.
The President—In that case the object was to carry off the sulphur.
My impression is it has not answered.
Mr. Dunn—The patent has been purchased by Francis Morton.
Mr. Reid—Generally there has been a feeling of dissatisfaction with it.
Mr. Monro—I have seen those in use at Walker Iron Works. They
make very good coke, provided you are careful to use a proper kind
of coal, but the proprietor sends the cokemaker so many kinds of coal.
We only allow six days for coking, and they require seven or eight.
Mr. Marley—I do not think the coking in such ovens is carried
on at a sufficient degree of heat to make it sufficiently hard or pure coke.
It is too low a temperature during its whole process.
The President—That is my impression as to the double ovens.
They did not get a sufficiently high temperature to carbonize the coal.
Mr. Marley—I think the President is mistaken in this as to
Breckon's. He gets a very high temperature.
The President—Where have we experience of these ovens?
Mr. Cochrane—They are used in the Forest of Dean. I do not
know any results.
Mr. Reid—There is a translation of it in M. Jars. You get the date
when coking was first known in 1730. I think he states that at first
they called the coke made in open ovens cinders, and in close ovens they
called it coke.
[Mr. Steavenson then read that portion of his paper which alluded to
Church's Improvements.]
Mr. Ra msay—It makes excellent coke, though not superior to others.
It is not so handy to work. I have given it up.
Mr. Steavenson—They are more complicated than the others.
Mr. Ramsay—When Church's patent was taken out it was for the
purpose of cooling the oven, now they cool it by throwing water in.
The President—They practically use the water ?
Mr. Ramsay—Yes; but I think it of no advantage. Water does
not improve the coke.
The President—Do you throw water inside your common ovens?
Mr. Ramsay—I am sorry to say we do.
Mr. Berkley—Many engineers pour water on the coke after it is
taken out of the oven. You see them doing this in the coking for the
locomotives. The great per centage of coke is generally from water.
Mr. Steavenson—The application of electricity to remove the sulphur
is a peculiarity. Mr. Church applies electricity.
The President—How does the electricity act in removing the sulphur?
Mr. Steavenson—I do not think it likely to do so.
The President—I have seen Mr. Church's ovens in the south. I was
informed that they had some effect on the sulphur, but could never make
it out satisfactorily to myself.
Mr. Ramsay—My opinion is, that in coal where there is a great
deal of sulphur, it is of use. I have seen the coke after it was burnt,
and the sulphur was quite marked upon it. I have tried Church's
electricity, and have found it an advantage in inferior coals.
Mr. Steavenson—There is a plan of coking by the bottom flues. It
is a long oven, twenty-two feet long.
Mr. Ramsay—They have them in use at the Bellingham Iron Works.
Mr. Marley—One object is to keep the round coal from the side of
your oven.
Mr. Ramsay—The appearance would be injured by usino- rouo-h or
unscreened coal. ° °
Mr. Marley—The reason is, that however good in theory to keep the
round coal from the side of the oven, it is not so good in practice. The
better way is to break the coal.
The next paper for discussion was that of Mr. Dunn, on « The Geology
of the Cumberland District." &J
The President—As this is a very important subject, and as Mr.
T. J. Taylor, who has paid great attention to the geology of that district,
is not present, it might be well to adjourn the discussion. I expect that
next month Mr. Boyd will be prepared with a paper on "The Coal
in the Northern part of Northumberland," which paper will partly bear
upon this subject; this is an additional reason why the discussion of
Mr. Dunn's paper should be postponed.
The discussion was accordingly adjourned, and the meeting then broke
mining engineers.
Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
In the absence of the Secretary, the minutes were read by Mr.
The President stated he had received a letter from Mr. Eobert
Hayes, solicitor to the executors of the late Mr. Robert Stephenson, in
reply to the inquiry whether there was any specific instruction in the
will of Mr. Stephenson as to the disposition of the money he had
bequeathed to the Institute. The letter stated " that the will contained
no specific instructions, further than that the money was left for the
general purposes of the Institute." He (the President) might add, that
the money had been placed in the bank at bank interest. A committee
had been appointed to consider the best mode of disposing of it, but
that committee had not yet reported, and it would, therefore, remain in
the bank of Messrs. Lambton and Co. until the committee reported.
The next notice was that the meeting be made special, for the appoint-
ment of officers in case of vacancy. The subject now to be considered
wras, such an alteration of the ninth rule as would enable general meetings
to elect officers in cases of vacancy.
Mr. Marley suggested that, in making the alteration, the following
proviso should be added—" Notice of such election having been given
at the previous general meeting."
The rule was then altered accordingly.
The President stated that a letter had been received from Mr. R. Von
Carnall tendering a present of some books and maps to the Society,
which it was agreed should be duly acknowledged. He also stated that
he had written to Sir Roderick Murchison to ascertain if the Institute
could be furnished with a set of the Ordnance maps and sections free of
cost. Sir Roderick wrote him in reply that he was prohibited by the
Government from giving away a single sheet. They could only be
obtained through a Treasury order. The Council considered it was not
likely that a copy could be had gratis, and they therefore recommended
that a set should be ordered. The President stated that about ninety
maps had been published, containing all the southern counties, and
including one-half of England. He (the President) had inquired of
Mr. Sandford, Charing Cross, London, who was one of the persons
selected to sell them, as to the cost, and he found it would be about £46.
The next subject was with respect to the proposed meeting of the
Institute in some of the midland counties. The Council had taken this
into consideration, and they thought it desirable to have a meeting in
one of the midland counties.
Mr. Crone—Will it be necessary to confine it to the midland coun-
ties ? It might be held in Scotland.
The President said, the sub-committee recommended by the Council
would consider that question. It might be in any central town in the
A sub-committee, consisting of the President, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Reid,
and Mr. Daglish, was then appointed.
The President said, the next proceeding was the election of a
Vice-President. It had been stated to him by some members that it
appeared very desirable, in electing a Vice-President, that they should
have some person from amongst their distant members—a gentleman of
standing, character, and influence in the profession.
Scrutineers were then appointed, and the result of the voting was—
For Mr. Woodhouse, of Derby, 16 votes; for Mr. Sop with, of London, 3;
and for Mr. Cossham, of Bristol, 1. Mr. Woodhouse was accordingly
The President said, the circular convening the meeting informed
the members that there were two subjects to be brought before them at
this meeting, namely, the discussion on Mr. Dunn's paper, and the paper
to be read by Mr. Boyd. In the discussion on Mr. Dunn's paper, he
(the President) begged to say a few words. Mr. Boyd's paper was on
the geology of the northern part of Northumberland, and the coal seams
of that locality. That would bear materially on the discussion of
Mr. Dunn's paper. Mr. Boyd's paper would throw considerable light
on the subject. Under these circumstances, it was a question for consi-
deration whether the discussion of Mr. Dunn's paper had not better be
deferred until they had Mr. Boyd's paper before them. Knowing a
little of the general bearing of Mr. Dunn's paper, and having some years
ago published a paper, with plans and sections, on the geology of
Northumberland, and having read Mr. Boyd's paper, he was of opinion
that the two papers would be much more effectively discussed together.
He would, therefore, propose that the discussion of Mr. Dunn's be post-
poned until they had Mr. Boyd's before them.
Mr. Dunn said he was quite agreeable. He supposed there was a
very great analogy between Mr. Boyd's paper and his own. He was
going to put a question on another subject,—he was going to ask
whether it was intended to discuss the Burradon question ?
The President—Let us consider the question before us first.
The meeting having decided to postpone the discussion of Mr. Dunn's
paper, Mr. Dunn repeated his question.
The President said, he could not answer the question. It depended
on the Institute. It was in their hands. It was a very important
question, and it had certainly not been discussed yet.
Mr. Dunn—As it stands, it is a very imperfect paper, and more
particularly so as a great number of facts have come out since, bearing
on the subject.
The President—You think, since the reading of the paper, a great
many facts have come out bearing upon the subject. Are you in a
position to furnish these facts ?
Mr. Dunn—Yes; I have visited the locality since. There is a
question raised by Mr. Taylor as to the cause of the accident.
The President—WThere ?
Mr. Dunn—At the termination of the paper. Read from "such is
an abstract of the principal facts" to the end, « as may be decided upon."
g>reat man7 facts have come out which were not raised before.
The PRESiDENT-Can you inform the Institute whether any le-al
proceedings have been taken against the owners ? °
Mr. Dunn—Legal opinions have been taken.
The President—It is extremely desirable that we should not mix
up the Institute with any legal proceedings. It would fetter the dis-
cussion very much if members thought that any opinion expressed by
them in such discussion would be made use of in a court of law, as the
opinion of a professional person on the subject. Until we are quite
satisfied that we are quite free from any legal or ulterior consequences,
I think it would not be desirable to go into the discussion.
Mr. Berkley moved that the discussion on the Burradon Explosion
be postponed sine die.
Mr. Boyd seconded the motion, which was put from the chair, and
carried nem. con.
The President then said,—At the meeting in November I alluded
to the lamented death of one of our Vice-Presidents, Joseph Locke, Esq.,
M P. That gentleman having received his professional education in the
coal mines in this neighbourhood, and having been associated with the
Messrs. Stephenson in the early progress of railway engineering, and
having ultimately become one of the most eminent members of the
profession as a railway engineer, and being at the time of his death a
Vice-President of this Institution, it appeared to me that it was due to
the memory of such a person that some notice should be taken by me,
as President of this Institution, of his labours in the profession, and of
his connection with the Institute.
Mr. Locke was born at AtterclifTe, near Sheffield, August 9, 1805, and
was, consequently, 55 years of age when he died. His father removed to
Barnsley when he was four years of age, and he received his education
at the Grammar School there. On completing his education, he was
placed under the late William Stobart, of Picktree (father of the present
Col. Stobart, of Etherley), who at that time was one of the most eminent
colliery viewers of the district, as an apprentice to that profession; and
from Mr. Stobart he went to the late George Stephenson, as one of his
" young men," as an engineer, and as such I first became acquainted
with him; and I believe it was on a survey which he made for me at
the late Lord Crewe's (then John Crewe, Esq.) collieries in Cheshire,
that he earned the first money in his profession. With Mr. Stephenson
he acquired a knowledge of engineering, and particularly with the
construction of the early locomotive engines, as well as completing his
knowledge of mining engineering. And it is a circumstance which
merits notice that Mr. Locke, as well as Mr. Robert Stephenson, often
referred to the knowledge of mining engineering, which they received at
Killingworth and elsewhere, as being of the most essential service to
them in their profession of civil engineers, particularly in tunnelling \
and it may likewise be stated, that it was in this description of work that
the elder Stephenson more particularly employed Mr. Locke at Liverpool,
in the construction of that railway.
I had, at the time Mr. Locke was with Mr. Stephenson at Newcastle,
many opportunities of observing his habits in acquiring a knowledge of
his profession, and it is only an act of justice to his memory to say, that
as in after-life, in the duties of that profession, he was remarkable for
his untiring industry, assiduity, activity, and intense application, his
frame of body was of that stamp which enabled him to go through
almost any amount of work; and his mental powers being of the same
stamp, it is no wonder that he should have attained the rank and
eminence in his profession wThich he held at the time of his death.
When Mr. George Stephenson was employed in surveying the line of
the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Mr. Locke was one of his
assistants ; and when Mr. Stephenson undertook the duties of chief
engineer, Mr. Locke was employed by him as superintendent of the
tunnelling, and some of the most important works at the Liverpool end
of that railway, and he remained as superintendent until the opening of
the line on the 14th of September, 1830. In the question of the motive
power to be employed, Locke adopted, like his master, the locomotive,
in preference to fixed engines; and the practical experience which he
had derived at Newcastle of the construction and minutise of these
engines, rendered him a useful auxiliary to Mr. Stephenson. In the
controversy which ensued as to the adoption on the Liverpool and
Manchester Railway of locomotive or fixed engines, Mr. Locke assisted
Mr. Robert Stephenson in making numerous experiments with the
existing locomotives (at many of which I was present), and these two
gentlemen produced a joint report in favour of locomotive engines, in
answer to the report of Messrs. Walker and Rastrick in favour of fixed
engines, which substantially settled the question as to the adoption of
locomotive engines over fixed engines, or any other system of motive
power, on that railway. This report was printed as a pamphlet, and
had great influence at that period in determining the use of locomotive
After the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was completed, the
projection of the Warrington Branch to Birmingham was revived, and
the line was commenced in 1882. Mr. George Stephenson was at first
appointed engineer, hut it was subsequently executed by Mr. Locke, and
denominated the Grand Junction Railway, and was opened on the
6th July, 1837. It included some heavy works, such as the Dutton
Vale Viaduct, and some heavy bridges. It was here, I believe, that the
first double-headed rail, fastened to the chairs with wooden keys, was
adopted, and which has since been almost exclusively used, as a mode
of fastening the rails to the chairs.
The success of this line of railway, as a commercial speculation, had
a considerable effect on the public mind in favour of railways, and such
success being associated with what was deemed to be a very economical
construction of a railway, established Mr. Locke in his profession as a rail-
way engineer; and not only so generally, but particularly, as an econo-
mical and successful engineer, and which, no doubt, contributed greatly
towards the reputation which he afterwards attained in that respect
as an engineer. The Lancaster and Preston Railway was commenced
in 1837, Mr. Locke being appointed engineer, and was opened in 1840;
and then the Sheffield and Manchester. A line from London to South-
ampton was likewise projected, which was eventually constructed under
Mr. Locke's direction. The first section, from Nine Elms to Woking,
was opened on the 21st May, 1838, and the entire line on the 11th
May, 1840. The Micheldever embankment, about ninety feet in height,
was one of the heaviest works; and Mr. Locke, in the execution of this
line, struggled hard, and to a considerable extent succeeded, in sustaining
the reputation he had previously acquired in the construction of the
Grand Junction Railway, viz., that of applying the strictest economy in
the construction of railways.
The execution of the London and Southampton Line brought him
into connection with the construction of some important lines of railway
on the continent. It was a part of the scheme of the promoters of the
Southampton Line to accomplish a connection with France, and with
Paris. Hence a line from Paris to Rouen was projected, in which some
of the directors and several of the shareholders of the Southampton
Line took an interest. The able secretary of the Southampton Line,
Mr. Reid, joined the directory of the French Line, Mr. Locke being
engineer. This was followed by Mr. Locke being appointed engineer
to the Rouen and Havre, Paris and Lyons, Caen and Cherbourg, and
other lines, in the construction of which he was consulted. For the
Paris and Rouen Line he received, in 1845, the decoration of the Legion
of Honour from King Louis Philippe. He also designed and superin-
tended the line between Barcelona and Mataro, in Spain; and the
Dutch Rhenish Railway.
While, however, he was employed in the engineering and construction
of the Continental lines, he did not lose sight of those of his native
country, neither did his countrymen lose sight of him. To assist him
in his multifarious duties he associated himself with, and took into
partnership in his professional practice, Mr. John Edward Errington; and
together they constructed the Lancaster and Carlisle, the East Lanca-
shire, the Caledonian, the Scottish Central, the Scottish Midland, the
Aberdeen Railways, and the Greenock Railway and Docks. In the
construction of these works, Mr. Locke and his coadjutor struggled hard
and successfully in carrying out the system of economy from which Locke
had started in life; and it may be instanced as a proof of such a desire,
that the Caledonian Railway, though it passed through a very rough
and uneven country, was executed without a single tunnel, and, together
with the platforms and roadside stations, was constructed for less than
£16,000 a mile.
In studying Mr. Locke's career as a railway engineer, that of economy
and minute practical detail and accuracy, and untiring application and
industry were the essential characteristics. The whole bent of his
energies was devoted to these principles, they were, in fact, his consti-
tutional genius; he was essentially a man of detail, and the constant
bent of his mind being applied thereto, made him an adept in that respect
with whom few were able to compete, none to excel. Contrasted with
his contemporaries, Mr. Robert Stephenson and Mr. Brunei, it has been
said that Locke has not given us a Britannia or Victoria Bridge of the
former, or the Saltash and other gigantic works of the latter gentleman.
True, he has not, but the whole bent of his mind being based on economy
and detail, he studiously avoided such works in the execution of the
railways entrusted to him; and he would weigh, with commercial minutiae
the difference of cost between going round a hill and going through it,
and it was in this that he might be said to rival if not excel these eminent
engineers. Perhaps, with such a bent of genius, his mind was not, con-
stitutionally considered, so well adapted as the towering genius of Brunei,
or the more sober, but probably equally expansive genius of Robert
Stephenson, for the contemplation and execution of such gigantic works •
but in the sphere in which he elected to pursue, he certainly attained equal
eminence and success; and we certainly know that he directed the execu-
tion of equally extensive works as either of these gentlemen, and overcame
all the obstacles which presented themselves on these extensive lines of
railway. A portion of Mr. Locke's address to the Institute of Civil
Engineers, when President, has been very appropriately quoted by the
present President of that Institution, Mr. Bidder, as characteristic
of the principles which he had laid down as his guidance in his pro-
fession. He said, "Let us consider the principle on which public
works are now undertaken, the motives that supply those abundant
means by which alone they become possible. It must be seen that the
problem proposed on such grounds to practical science is not merely the
execution of certain works, but rather their arrangement and construction
in a manner calculated to realise the objects in which they originate
and, "in every point of view, therefore, whether especially considering
that it is the triumph of science to solve the whole of every problem
submitted to it, and not a part only, or regarding its general relations
to the objects of modern society in inviting its exercise, it will be
seen that the financial result of their joint operation is not their least
important feature, and that the appreciation of this side of the question
really concerns the engineer no less than the statesman or the capitalist;"
and Mr. Bidder, no mean authority, adds, " those who had watched the
career of Mr. Locke were well aware how pertinaciously he adhered to
these rules. It was not that he feared engineering difficulties, for when
they were inevitable he encountered and overcame them with skill, as,
for instance, in the works of the Manchester and Sheffield Railway.
But his great anxiety, and which secured for him the confidence of a
large body of capitalists, was to attain his object by avoiding difficult
and expensive works, from a desire that all the works on which he
engaged should be commercially successful. And then Mr. Bidder adds,
" that whilst establishing his reputation as an economical engineer, he
turned his attention to the locomotive engine (in which he had from the
earliest period the greatest confidence), and to tax its powers for over-
coming steeper gradients than had hitherto been deemed compatible
with economy and safety." Nothing could more strikingly exhibit his
adherence to these principles than his conduct as regarded the application
of the locomotive engine. His early study of that engine, and the ex-
periments which he made in conjunction with Mr. Robert Stephenson
made him thoroughly acquainted with its powers and capabilities; and
he certainly imposed upon that machine tasks which no other engineer
had attempted, and which, more than any other course of proceeding,
contributed in developing its powers, and with the practical aid of
his coadjutor, Mr. Robert Stephenson, raised it up to that state of per-
fection which we see exhibited every day.
It was laid down as a principle by Mr. George Stephenson, in the
early days of railway engineering, that no gradient should be more than
1 in 330; and so deeply and firmly rooted was this principle in Mr.
Stephenson's mind, that he ever fought against steep gradients. He
deprecated them even to the time of his death, and could not be made
to approve, as a principle, of other than very moderate gradients. He
would incur considerable outlay in the first cost of a railway to secure
favourable gradients, which, he always contended, would be ultimately
more than compensated for by the diminished cost of working the line.
Mr. Locke, on the other hand, keeping steadily in view his, as deeply
rooted principle of economical construction, used steeper gradients, de-
pending upon the powers of the then locomotives, and the probable
improvements in these machines, to surmount them; and the result has
so far proved that he anticipated correctly, that the passengers find very
little difference in the rate of travelling over the steeper gradients of the
Western Coast and Central Lines of Scotland, than along the more
moderate gradients of the Midland and Eastern Coast Lines from
London to Scotland. With heavy trains there is, no doubt, a difference,
the steeper gradients requiring heavier and, of course, more costly
engines, and the traction is consequently more expensive; the whole
question being, however, one of comparative cost between the increased
expenditure of capital and less annual cost, against the less expenditure
of capital and greater annual cost. I need scarcely say, that each of
these gentlemen were peculiarly competent to investigate the propriety
of adoption of their respective principles; but I much doubt, so tena-
ciously did they adhere to their respective dogmas, that they ever
entirely agreed on any isolated case. I well recollect the jobation I got
from " Old George," as we used to designate him, for giving evidence
for Mr. Locke in favour of the adoption of, I think, ten miles of
gradients of one in seventy on the Scottish Central Line of Railway.
In the battle of the gauges, Mr. Locke adopted the side of the narrow
gauge, which he supported with his wonted energy, and all his lines
were laid down on the narrow gauge principle; and hence in the Western
Radways he came in contact with the Great Western Railway and its
broad gauge branches. The battle did not end, therefore, with the
question of which was the best width of gauge, but extended to the
Vol. IX.—December, 1860. i
practical adoption of one or other of the systems in the debateable
country of the West of England; and even after the broad gauge was
executed to Exeter, it was a continual fight between the South-Western
and the Great Western interests which of them should obtain the traffic;
and it was only a short time before his death that Mr. Locke succeeded
in pushing the narrow gauge line to Exeter, the capital of the West of
England, and the great point of contention between the narrow and
broad gauges.
In the exercise of his profession, and while examining a tunnel on the
Caen Line of Railway in France, Mr. Locke met with an accident by
the fall of a scaffold, which disabled him for some time from walking;
he recovered from this, however, though he was never quite so strong
as before, still he enjoyed good health up to the period of his fatal
illness. He was excessively fond of shooting as an annual relaxation from
the pressure of business, and rented a shooting-box in Annandale, near
Moffat. At the commencement of the grouse shooting in August last,
he was at his usual shooting quarters at Moffat, and had been there
about five weeks, when he was seized with a sudden, and, as it turned
out, a fatal illness, which resisted all the best efforts of medical skill to
avert. On the preceding morning, at an early hour, he became aware
that he was not in his usual state of health. Feeling intense internal
pain, he rang for his servant, and, as if sensible of his peril, he at once
sent for medical aid, and Dr. Muro, of Moffat, with Dr. Hunter,
speedily reached him, and rendered him all the professional service in
their power, but their efforts to mitigate the pain or arrest the progress
of the disease were only partially successful. The seizure took a rapid
and fatal course, and a little after eight o'clock on the morning of
Tuesday, the 18th of September, he died. The body was removed to
his residence in Lowdnes Square, London, on Wednesday evening,
accompanied by his nephew, William Locke, Esq., C.E., and was
interred at Kensall Green Cemetery on the 25th of September, 1860.
The funeral was not attended with that number of people which fol-
lowed the remains of the late Robert Stephenson to Westminster Abbey,
at which he was one of the pall bearers, Mrs. Locke having declined a
public funeral; but the number of his friends, and members of the
profession from all parts of the country, were most numerous, and
shewed the esteem in which he was held.
Mr. Locke was a member of the Royal Society, and at the time of his
death, was a past President of the Institute of Civil Engineers, having
been President in the year 1859, and on the opening of the session in
November, delivered a most feeling address announcing the death of his
two distinguished colleagues in the profession, Mr. Brunei and Mr.
Robert Stephenson. He was also elected, a few weeks before his death,
a Vice-President of the Institute of Mining Engineers, at their Annual
Meeting in August, 1860; and he would receive the announcement thereof
at Moffat, a week or two before his death. He was also a Member of
Parliament, having sat for the borough of Honiton from 1847 to the
time of his death, being proprietor of the Lordship of the Manor of that
No two men, probably, as private gentlemen, and in their public
conduct, ever acquired the confidence and esteem of so large a class of
their fellow members, as Mr. Robert Stephenson and Mr. Locke. I have
already given in detail my feelings as regards the former of these gen-
tlemen ; allow me here to say, as regards the latter, that of his private
character, and of his urbanity and general bearing towards every one
with whom he came in contact, and especially in his profession, it is
unnecessary for me to descant; his loss will be long felt in his profession,
and his friends and relatives will long mourn over the deprivation which
they have sustained in the loss of so excellent a person.
We must all bow to the acts of Divine Providence, and it is not
for us to scrutinise such dispensations as those which we have, almost
simultaneously, been afflicted with; but it has been remarked as an
extraordinary coincidence, that three of the most eminent railway
engineers, following in the footsteps of the great father of railways,
George Stephenson, should, so shortly after his death, be removed
from us—accelerated, no doubt, by the undue tension thrown upon
their mental and physical powers by the very laborious and multi-
farious duties of their profession. The incessant mental and physical
exertions bestowed by Mr. Brunei on the " Great Eastern" steamship,
no doubt shattered his frame, and tended to produce the results which
all deplore. The continuous mental and physical exertions of Mr. Robert
Stephenson, in the conception and in the details of execution of the, in
every case, original and gigantic bridges across the Straits of Bangor,
t e Nile, and the St. Lawrence, no doubt laid the foundation of those
maladies which ultimately exhausted his system, and which at last
erminated fatally. And the incessant, and laborious, and constant
exertion of the duties of his profession by Mr. Locke, no doubt sapped
is physical powers, and rendered him unable to resist the attack by
which he was so suddenly removed from this world. The cord has been
too tightly drawn—the tension too great; and though, at ages compara-
tively short, these eminent men were removed from us, they had lived
in the multiplicity and magnitude of their works, greatly beyond the
period of life of the ordinary race of mortals.
Mr. Boyd's paper " On the Geology of the Northern Part of North-
umberland, and the Coal Seams connected therewith," was then read.
The meeting then adjourned.
[Owing to the time occupied in preparing the description and plans of
Mr. Boyd's paper, it could not be printed in time for this month's pro-
ceedings ; it will, therefore, be given in the proceedings of a subsequent
mining engineees.
P. S. Reid, Esq., in the Chair.
The monthly meeting of the Institute was held to-day, and in the
absence of the President, the chair was taken by Mr. P. S. Reid, on the
motion of Mr. T. Y. Hall, seconded by Mr. J. R. Liddell.
The Secretary read the following report of the Finance Com-
mittee :—
" Gentlemen,—The Finance Committee, on fully considering the
subjects referred to their attention, relating to the general management
of the finances, the stock of books published by the Society as well as
those in the library, the models, specimens, plans, <fcc., are of opinion
that the growing requirements of the Institution demand, on the part of
its promoters, more complete and active supervision.
" With respect to the manner in which the printing and distribution
of the papers of the Institute, and the general storing of undistributed
papers, are conducted, it appears that the printer sends by post, or other-
wise, a copy of each month's proceedings, as they are struck off, to each
" Sometimes members call at the printer's, alleging that they have
not received their copies, and the fact of non-delivery being difficult to
bring home to the post-office authorities, he has, on several occasions,
been compelled to furnish duplicate copies.
"By this means the set required to complete a volume is broken
into, and much loss is occasioned to the Institute, no account being kept
of any extra copies issued to members. The extra parts printed for sale
remain in the printer's hands in loose sheets—the plans, engravings, 4c,
in one lot, and the letter-press in another; so that it is quite impossible,
unless with great labour, to say how many complete volumes remain in
"Your Committee, in offering the following^recommendations, beg to
state that the printer has expressed himself perfectly agreeable and
desirous of carrying out any arrangement which may be decided on.
" We think, in the first place, that in future it should be made a rule
that no duplicate copies be issued to any of the members, unless by
written order direct from the Council, so that any neglect on the part of
the post-office, or elsewhere, be fully inquired into.
" We also think the members will agree that any member losing any
of his parts, cannot expect the Institute to replace them, and that a rule
of this sort should be strictly adhered to.
"We would recommend, in future, that all loose parts be stitched
together and stored, and that none be kept in sheets; and that two
months after the last part of the volume is issued, the whole should be
bound, either in the permanent style of those already in stock, or in
cloth, as the Council may decide.
" We also advise that heads be kept at the printing-office, in a proper
book for this purpose, showing the numbers and distribution of each part.
" Also, that the number of sheets entered to stock be carried to a
ledger account, under a proper head kept for each volume—the loose
numbers being debited to the volume, and the sales and distribution
" The foregoing arrangements should, we beg to suggest, be imme-
diately carried out, and if the following part of our report be adopted, it
would continue in force as hereafter named.
" We think that it will be impossible to expect that sub-committees of
the Institute or Council can attend and do justice to all the many wants
of a Society like this.
" We therefore suggest that a paid Secretary be appointed (who shall
be a member of the Institute), during the pleasure of the Council, and
whose tenure of office shall be terminable by three calendar months'
notice on either side, and that such Secretary be expected to devote a
sufficient time to the fulfilment of the duties of his situation, which shall
be the properly keeping up of the scientific correspondence of the Insti-
tute, the classification of its property, and general furtherance of its
" His attendance to be at the rooms of the Mining Institute twice
a-week, and to have the editorial charge of the furtherance of all publi-
cations emanating from the members, subject to the approval and sanction
of the Council.
" The subjects of rooms, and arrangements for keeping up the Institute
property, demand the immediate attention of the Council.
a We cannot help saying, that the arrangement with the Coal Trade
Association, so far as it has gone in the infancy of the Mining Institute,
has been a most beneficial one; yet still, looking at the magnitude of the
interests which will be discussed as the Society becomes older, and as the
growing necessity for publicity in all its proceedings becomes more felt, as
well as the fact that it ought, to a certain extent, to be a self-supporting
Institution, we feel prompted to the conclusion that that arrangement
now demands the attention of the Council as to its permanence.
" In connection with this, there is also the question of whether it is
desirable to avoid in any way the mixing up of its proceedings or pro-
perty, as a scientific society, with one such as that of the Coal Trade
Association, devoted entirely to commerce.
" W e would also suggest that, in future, the books and accounts in
the hands of the Treasurer, as well as all accounts, should be closed to
an earlier period than hitherto, say to the 30th of June in each year, and
that the whole lie on the table from the 15th of July to the annual
general meeting in August, for the inspection of the members.
"We would also recommend that, in the event of a Secretary, as
before alluded to, being appointed, his remuneration be such as to
encourage him to devote as much time as possible to the action and
furtherance of the objects of the Institute; in short, to be in the position
of managing director of its operations, or general factotum, under the
care and surveillance of the Council.
"We also think he should be a resident in Newcastle, or within con-
venient distance and telegraphic communication.
" We are, Gentlemen, your obedient Servants,
" P. S. REID.
" January 21th, 1861." « CUTH. BERKLEY
Mr. Berkley then moved, "That the Finance Committee's report
be printed in the proceedings of the Institute, and the discussion of it
postponed until it is in the hands of the members."
Mr. Hall seconded the motion, which was agreed to.
The Secretary then read a report of the Council relative to holding
a meeting in some central town, the place recommended being Birming-
ham, and the time for holding it, July. A resolution was proposed by
the Council, " That the committee appointed to carry out this object, by
the general meetings in November and December, be requested to lose no
time in taking the necessary steps to complete it, and be authorised to
add to their number such members of the Institute as may assist them
in carrying out the object in view."
Mr. Berkley moved the adoption of this report and its suggestions.
Mr. Hall seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.
Mr. Charles Ashley Shute, Thornley Vicarage, Ferry Hill; Mr. G. J.
Crofton, and Mr. R. L. Simpson, of Crook, near Darlington; Mr. George
Laverick, Plymouth Iron Works, Merthyr Tydvil, Glamorganshire; and
Mr. William Cook, East Holywell Colliery, Earsdon, near Newcastle,
were then elected members of the Institute.
A paper was then read by the Chairman, from Mr. William Watson,
descriptive of the use of Cement Walling, as manufactured by Mr. I. C.
Johnson, as a substitute for metal tubbing in shafts.
Mr. I. C. Johnson attended to give explanations on the subject of
this paper. He said he had had experiments tried with the blocks of
cement walling, such as those in the room, which were ten inches in the
bed, and about twelve inches in height, and of a very sound, neat
appearance; and he found they were especially qualified for the purpose
of sustaining pressures of water, and, in fact, that they would sustain
exceedingly great pressure and strain.
The Chairman remarked, with reference to metal tubbing, that the
great difficulty experienced in the county of Durham, was to get it to
withstand the heat in upcast shafts, as well as the oxidation which, in
some instances, so thinned the metal as to cause it to fail altogether.
The heat was sometimes as great as 300 degrees. In some instances
upcast shafts, as a protection to the iron, were cased with fire-brick. If
it could be shown that it was likely to supersede the use of cast iron in
these respects, it would be valuable.
Mr. Johnson said, all we want to know is what is required of it?
The Chairman-—I have seen trass and hydraulic lime used on the
Rhine, in Prussia. It has some analogy to this walling, and stands
great pressure.
Mr. Johnson said, it was easy to prove, by direct experiment, the
great pressure this walling will bear, and he would have great pleasure
in getting up experiments, to convince the meeting of its strength.
Mr. Berkley—Is it permeable to water ?
Mr. Johnson—It is not permeable.
Mr. Daglish—There is sometimes a variation of from fifty to two
hundred degrees. Will the expansion not affect it ?
Mr. Johnson—It will bear 500 degrees without being calcined.
Mr. Green well—What pressure will it bear as compared to brick ?
Mr. Johnson—A block of this size will bear a pressure of eighteen
tons on the square foot. It is ten inches thick.
Mr. Green well—Is it as cheap as the ordinary stone you get in
this neighbourhood ?
Mr. Johnson—It is as cheap, but that stone would be porous. This
cement is Is. per square foot, ten inches thick.
The Chairman—There are some pits in South Durham in which the
cast iron tubbing is compelled to be lined with fire-brick, on account of
the free sulphuric acid eating away the metal. How would cement
stand the acid ?
Mr. Johnson—Very powerful concentrated acid would certainly de-
compose it.
Mr. Daglish—«The acid is concentrated.
Mr. Johnson—It does not come on this in a state of liquid?
Mr. Daglish—Yes, in a state of liquid.
Mr. Berkley—It trickles down, and the water is gradually evapo-
rated, whilst the acid remains. Suppose any flaw to occur in your
cement walling, or that the cement, in its manufacture, was not perfectly
attended to by the workmen, how could you remedy this ?
Mr. Johnson—It is scarcely possible that that could happen.
1 r' greenwell— During the time of setting, it might possibly
waste away.
The Chairman, in dismissing the subject, said it was a most impor-
tant and valuable one, and that he was sure he spoke the feelings of the
coal trade when he said they would be quite alive to its merits; and if
Mr. Johnson would come forward with such fresh details as he could put
Vol. IX.-february, 18ci. K
together, which would bear on the subject, at the meeting in March, he
might rely upon it, that the Institute would not lose sight of it, and be
glad to discuss it further.
Mr. Berkley then, in the absence of Mr. W. Armstrong, read a paper
by that gentleman " On Ventilating Furnaces, and their Elasticity of
Mr. Greenwell observed, that there were two points which occurred
to him during the reading of this paper. First, as to the shape of the
furnace. At the back you have what is called a bridge; and unless you
make the top of the arch to slope, so as to have the same space above the
bridge that you have in front, you throttle the air at the back of the
furnace. The next point is this—Mr. Armstrong speaks of the destruc-
tion of iron work in the upcast shaft, and at the same time proposes iron
brattice. The objection to iron brattice is met by having a brattice of
Mr. Daglish—The objection to iron is when it is moist. If you keep
it at the top there can be no objection.
The Chairman—I am under the impression that we have an instance
of the brick brattice in the Ouston Colliery. If I am correct, it is a
mixture of iron and brick.
Mr. Berkley, referring to the diagTams, said they were merely rough
sketches to illustrate the paper. Mr. Armstrong proposed, if the paper
was printed, to furnish proper drawings.
Mr. Greenwell—There is also another point. Mr. Armstrong
attaches great weight to the absorption of the heat of the air at the sides.
This requires a great deal of explanation. There is some change in the
form of the air when rarefied, which causes me to think there is more
due to the atomic form or development of latent heat than to any abstrac-
tion of caloric by the sides of the mine or brick work.
The Chairman—I agree with this. We do not certainly get the
power from rarefying furnaces we should have for the fuel consumed. I
believe it is generally admitted we get a greater amount of duty for the
fuel used in cases where improved mechanical methods of ventilation are
Mr. Greenwell adduced the case of a condensing syringe, in which,
by forcing the plunger smartly down, you acquire such a degree of heat
as will ignite tinder. Now, the question is, how the air is changed in
its atomic condition on the reception of heat.
The Chairman—There can be no question that whatever heat is
acquired by air in any way, it very soon loses it when once deprived of
radiating heat or motive power.
Mr. Daglish—Some advocate having the furnace at a distance from
the shaft, because heat is given off from the heated brick-work when the
fire is low, and which is given off for long after the furnace is extinguished.
In some cases I know of, the furnace is fed with fresh air.
The Chairman—I know similar instances in which the passage
between the furnace and the upcast shaft was so tortuous as to necessitate
fresh air for its proper combustion, and it was applied in large quantities.
Again, I know instances in which it is thought to be too near the upcast
shaft, and where the phenomenon called " natural brattice" is thought
to obtain. It is, therefore, a very necessary point to discuss, which is
the best point to place a furnace at; and also, secondly, which is the
best form of furnace to secure the greatest effect. The Institute is
indebted to Mr. Armstrong for his valuable paper, directing attention to
so important a matter.
Mr. Greenwell—It is a subject which will admit of a very great
deal of discussion.
Before the meeting separated, Mr. Hurst produced some curious
specimens of brown coal, or lignite, from the Upper Rhine, sent to the
Institute by Dr. Richardson, together with samples of paraffin made
from it.
The Chairman remarked, that coal had been generally understood as
eitner black or brown, whereas the specimen produced was more like the
ouZl t ^ magrneSlan HmeSt0ne> bein£ of a whitish brown. It
wwHTiZ^en produced at the Boghead trial on the «uestion 0f
The meeting then adjourned.
as a
In drawing* your attention to a subject of great moment in the general
pursuits of the mining world, viz., the application of tubbing back heavy
feeders of water, unavoidably met with in the winning of new collieries,
I may be allowed to state that it is well known that previous to the
introduction of metal caissons for this purpose, three inch wooden
planking was used, spiked to wooden cribs, afterwards succeeded by
freestone walling; but either of these could only be used at moderate
pressures, the freestone, as you are all aware, being porous and insufficient
to resist an ordinary pressure. Metal tubbing of requisite strength and
thickness was then found necessary to overcome the difficulty of passing
through strata heavily watered, varying in cost according to the pressure
to be resisted, say from £15 to £45 or £50 per fathom (of six feet), ex-
clusive of sheathing and wedging, yet we find, at the present day, that
such metal tubbing is insufficient and not to be relied upon, particularly
in upcast shafts, where it is acted upon by the heated sulphurs, which is
found in time to corrode, and ultimately loses its durability by the action
of the water upon the metal, thus rendering it comparatively useless.
I now take the liberty of drawing your attention to a manufactured
cement which I have had made into segments (by Mr. I. C. Johnson's
assistance) of ten inches in the bed, and beveled to a sweep of fourteen
feet radius, which, being impervious to water, and capable (if I may use
the expression) of resisting any pressure that can or likely be brought
to bear against it, its properties being such that it does not decompose
by being subjected to wet, cold, or heated situations, such as are found
to prevail in all coal mining districts. You will observe, from an inspec-
tion of the blocks laid before you, that they are moulded ready to the
requisite sweep of the supposed shaft, that in placing such blocks the
joints would be, of course, checkered (or, in general phrase, " broken ")
and set in mortar composed of the same material (cement), consequently
would become one solid ring or walling the whole height of proposed
If, then, we have procured a substitute preferable to iron, we have, I
may say, achieved a great object in itself; yet that is not all, for if we
inspect the following tabular form of cost, we observe that the cement
casing can be made complete at a comparative low cost per fathom to
that made of iron :—
AltitiiriA Pressure per Requires Weight Cost Price of Cement
u 1 Square Inch. Metal Tubbing, per Fathom. At per Fathom, compared with Metal.
____per ___
Ton- Depth ~~
In Fathoms. lbs. to lbs. Inches thick. Tons. Cwts. lbs. £ a. d. of £ s. d.
_ _____ Bed.
From 0 to 30 0 to 82 f 5 6 20 £6 31 17 0 6 7 1 0
„ 30 to 50 82 to 140 1 7 2 12 „ 42 12 6 7 8 5 0
„ 50 to 60 140 to 172 1£ 8 18 0 „ 53 8 0 8 9 8 0
„ 60 to 70 172 to 195 1J 10 13 8 „ 64 2 0 9 10 15 6
The result of the above table shows at once a considerable saving in
capital, which is admitted another important consideration for the mining
engineer to attend to.
Cement of this description has many good properties, which can only
be explained by those who have made it their study by a long-continued
practice; and I am much indebted to Mr. I. C. Johnson for the informa-
tion I have received, which induced me to bring the matter before you
for consideration.
Although the laws which govern a ventilating column are now pretty
well understood, and the various devices for abating the friction it sus-
tains, whether by enlarging the area of the air passages, or by splitting
and subdividing the several currents, have been fully and scientifically
treated by several members of the Institute, there still remains for consi-
deration the motive force itself—its maximum effect under given condi-
tions, its elasticity as a ventilating power, and the best forms for its
We propose to discuss very generally the following facts and proposi-
tions, with a view to elicit discussion, and so develope the scientific
principles in the construction and position of a furnace.
I-—The position of a furnace with relation to the upcast shaft, and its
various forms of construction.
—The general laws which limit ventilation.
I IT-—The most efficient form and position of a furnace.
The impediments to the application of the principle, and their
^% The elasticity of the furnace, and its range of action.
I. It must be obvious to any one visiting collieries under different
management, how empirical is the law in the position and plan of a
We find some furnaces so erected that the area over the fire bars is
large, so as to afford as little obstruction as possible to the air current_
others confine the air partially under the fire bars, the area of the furnace
above being purposely reduced, to force the air through the fire—others
have a front arch, with or without what are called ventilating holes,
which arch, coming down within a short distance of the fire, leaves the
remaining space behind open, and of full size, to admit the sudden
expansion of the air after its first contact with the fire—whilst others
have the upper section partially closed by doors, and thus, at the risk of
straitening the air passage, seek only a high temperature in the upcast
Then there are furnaces with large side drifts, varying with the fancy
of the architect, who, sometimes wedded to strange theories of side
openings and spherical inlets, expends his ingenuity in getting the air
entangled amongst a number of pillars, around which it must elbow
itself before its final exit over the furnace.
These irregularities of pattern, and many other fantastic designs, exist
in the simple furnace, where the whole of the return air is passed over
the fire.
And there is the further complication of the problem, when a portion
of the return air is passed over the fire, and the remainder, subject to
occasional intermixture with gas, is conducted into the upcast shaft at
some point out of reach of the flame; and occasionally, in exceptional
cases, where, either from the small ventilating current, or where the
discharge of gas is excessive, all the return air is passed into the upcast
at some point above the furnace—the furnace being maintained wholly
by the abstraction of a small current of fresh air from the downcast shaft.
It is clear that very different forms of construction are needed to meet
these several cases, depending upon the greater or less per centage of
return air passed into the shaft, or over the furnace, and the ratio of the
fresh air to the return air entering the upcast shaft, when the latter is
excluded from the furnace; and it is equally clear that for each of these
modes of ventilation there is a form and adaptation of arrangement, which
with trifling modification to the circumstances of each case, will admit
of a maximum effect.
And there is equal diversity of practice in the position of the furnace
in its relation to the upcast shaft. In some collieries the furnace is
placed at the bottom, and shallow pits are sometimes surmounted with
cupolas, as they are locally termed, to add to the effect; whereas, in
other and deeper collieries, the furnace is placed at very varying distances
from the upcast.
II.—Nothing is better settled than that the ventilating current is
produced by the difference of density of the downcast and upcast columns,
due chiefly to difference of temperature—the amount of current varying
with the square root of this difference between the columns respectively;
so that, if it were necessary to double an air current, the difference of
temperature would have to be quadrupled, and hence there is a speedy
limit to any further extension in this direction. Again, the amount of
current varies with the square root of the depths of the upcast; and here,
similarly, a double current, requiring four times the height of chimney,
stops further improvement after a certain point.
And when to these laws, which operate so suddenly against the deve-
lopment of furnace power, is added the still more stringent law, that the
resistance to an air current increases with the square of its velocity, and
inversely as the area of the spaces traversed, it will be at once seen how
difficult it is, in cases of sudden emergency, to look to a furnace, under
ordinary conditions, for any material augmentation of its power.
III.—The true principles for securing the most efficient action of a
furnace are—
First, to maintain as high a temperature as possible in the upcast shaft,
for, other things being equal, the motive force of the furnace is only
capable of expansion in this way.
And, secondly, the position of the furnace should be at the bottom of
the upcast, and these, we take it, are the two cardinal points to attend
to for securing its maximum force.
The problem being so to construct the furnace and regulate the admis-
sion of the return air over and through it, under ordinary circumstances,
and so to graduate the admixture of a current of fresh air to stimulate
the combustion of the fuel as shall, whilst affording a full area to the air
current, generate the highest heat in the shaft, and thus secure the
highest ventilation of which the furnace is capable. And we suggest,
that the application of these principles to all the various phases of furnace
action to which we have alluded, is the chief desideratum in this branch
of our enquiry.
At the outset we are met with difficulties in the application of
the principles just enumerated.
In collieries having shafts purposely set apart to the use of a furnace,
and these, especially in the midland counties, are of frequent occurrence
no impediment exists to the full application of either principle; the
furnace can be placed so that the heated air shall escape directly into the
shaft without any intervening flue way, and the temperature can be
elevated with impunity.
Vol. IX.—February, 1861. T
But when the upcast is but one section of a larger and single pit, the
sinking of wrhich, from engineering difficulties, in quicksands and loose
alluvial deposit, has involved a large expenditure, and wherein a brattice
or wooden partition is all that separates the air currents of a deep mine,
and when these conditions are still further complicated in having the
upcast section of the shaft appropriated to coal drawing, it becomes
absolutely necessary to set back the furnace, so as to prevent the flame
and occasional sparks whilst stoking it from reaching the brattice, thus
necessitating a long flue-way to the upcast.
Here the retarding forces are very considerable. Much of the tempera-
ture of the heated air is lost or absorbed in the flue-way, from the rapid
conducting power of the circumference of the drift, and the initial
temperature of the column is hence lessened when it enters the shaft.
The water which is distributed over the surface of the brattice scatters
and falls over the area of the shaft, and, besides counteracting the up-
ward draught, robs it speedily of its heat, the numerous crevices in the
brattice, by letting in the cold air, also contribute materially to the same
result, and these drawbacks are all independent of the natural conduction
of heat laterally into the strata of the pit. The loss of temperature in
upcast columns has frequently been noted, and the above comprise the
principal of the adverse causes operating against the furnace so circum-
stanced as a ventilating power, and account for much of the unfavourable
results of a given weight of fuel as applied to a ventilating machine and
a furnace.
In collieries so situated, it is obvious that the maximum difference of
density in the two sections of the same pit is soon reached.
And these are not the only ill effects. The smoke generated so pro-
fusely from the furnace, assisted by the heat and water, sets up the
destructive action upon all the metal exposed in the pit, whether it be
the tubbing, behind which the principal colliery feeders are dammed back,
or the wooden apparatus for the conductors of the cage.
The character of some of these curious chemical changes I have
analysed in a former paper.
And the question arises, how far these impediments to an efficient
ventilation are capable of remedy.
Since the substitution of wire for the old hempen rope, one impediment
is removed, and where wire slide ropes cannot displace the wood con-
ductors, iron buntons and slides may be introduced, and thus another
hindrance to a higher temperature may, to a great extent, be got rid off.
And I feel persuaded, that a malleable iron brattice, built of plates,
rivetted boiler fashion, and attached to the sides of the shaft by side
strings of angle iron (a double case in deep shafts may be necessary,
through which a current of air might be detached) wrould form a strong
and impervious partition, and admit of easy repair and restoration, and
thus the most formidable objection would be removed to the introduction
of a furnace under its most favourable conditions.
If, in addition, the shaft tub be sent back sufficiently to permit a lining
of fire brick, and to which easy access would be given, all further appre-
hension would disappear.
Or, as a still better arrangement in those cases wherein the upper
feeders of water are so considerable that the outlay of a second shaft is
in many instances, from this cause, precluded, the introduction of a
furnace staple under the water bearing strata, at the bottom of which
the furnace could be placed, would obviate much of the inconvenience
and expense arising from the pernicious influence of the smoke upon the
cage conductors and brattice, and would limit the waste to the upper
section of the shaft, where the temperature of the heated current would
be considerably reduced.
A shaft fitted up with such apparatus, or aided by an auxiliary staple,
would go far to avoid the necessity of removing the furnace from the
shaft, and except as to the increased cost of upholding the iron work,
and the trifling retardation caused by the passage of the cages, it would
be equally effective with the single shaft, appropriated solely as an upcast.
As either plan just indicated would admit of the highest temperature
of a column generated from a furnace, situated immediately at its base,
the problem is—
How, and under what circumstances, can we obtain the highest tem-
perature consistent with the preservation of the full area of the air return
mto the upcast ? Nothing is more easy than by narrowing the air return
to produce a high temperature of the upcast column, but this is accom-
panied with such an amount of friction of the ventilating current as to
produce no useful result; and on the other hand, a large column of air
passing over the furnace at the natural heat of the mine requires an ex-
tensive fire area to sustain the elevated temperature by which the venti-
lation is preserved.
V. And it was precisely these difficulties that led to the experiments
upon furnace action, which, in two instances, at the Gawber Hall Col-
liery, near Barnsley, and at the Pemberton Colliery, near Wigan, an
unexpected addition was found to result from a new adaptation of plan—
in the former, where the whole return current was passed over the furnace,
and in the latter, where the return air from the Arley Mine Seam was so
charged with gas as to render it expedient that the furnace should he
wholly fed with fresh air.
Both arrangements are upon the same principle so far, that the fresh
air is forced through the fire bars; but at Pemberton, from the contiguity
of the return, the double furnace was placed fifty yards back from the
At Gawber Hall, Mr. Sutcliffe found that all his efforts to increase the
ventilating current through the old workings of this colliery were in-
effectual without adding materially to his furnace area, or enlarging the
returns, either alternative, under the conditions, being difficult.
With an upcast shaft six feet in diameter and 400 feet deep, the
furnace four feet wide and seven feet long, placed at the bottom of the
shaft, with an airway over the fire-grate of four feet high, a maximum
air-current was obtained of 13,000 cubic feet per minute, with a con-
sumption of four tons of coal in twenty-four hours.
As the furnace burnt languidly, it was suggested that the admission
of fresh air might, if properly graduated, increase the furnace action
without reducing the air current, and a few fifteen inch pipes were
inserted between the separation doors and carried under the fire-grate of
the furnace.
The effect of this, after a few trials, was to obtain a current of 15,300
cubic feet per minute, which, with 1750 feet per minute admitted by the
pipe, gave 17,050 cubic feet per minute as the gross current passing
between the downcast and upcast shafts.
Encouraged by this success, it was further suggested that if the pipe
air was confined under the fire grate, and so forced through the fire, the
front part of the furnace under the grate being barred off by iron doors,
through which the pipe was inserted (see plan), that the effect would
be further improved; and adjusting the pipe air, after many trials, to
2500 feet per minute, it was found that a working current of 25,000
cubic feet per minute was realized, so that the gross current passing
down the downcast had now attained 27,500 cubic feet per minute, with
a consumption of fuel of seven tons in the twenty-four hours. In addition
to the stimulus to combustion afforded by the return air, we have here
the additional force afforded by a current of compressed air, impelled
through the fire with a pressure equivalent to 1*5 inch of water, or 8 lbs.
per square foot, and hence the high temperature and energetic combustion
imparted to the fuel.
Here, by a very simple contrivance under very favourable conditions,
an improvement of ninety-two per cent, was obtained in a working
current, which served all the requirements of the colliery, and rendered
unnecessary the expensive alterations which would otherwise have been
The effect upon the fire was curious. The temperature was imme-
diately elevated almost to a white heat, the rapidity of the cool air
through the bars effectually protecting them from injury, and rendering
their renewal, in fact, less frequent than under the old arrangement.
The stoking of the furnace was superseded, the labour of the furnace-
men being confined to the mere feeding of the furnace with coal, which,
from the intense combustion, was literally consumed, leaving nothing
but an impalpable powder as a residuum.
With a furnace of these small dimensions, the maximum consumption
upon the old plan, was four tons of coal in the twenty-four hours;
whilst the simple introduction of fresh air through a small pipe with
retaining doors, required seven tons to support the waste of coal, with
an improvement besides in the working current of nine per cent, upon
equal quantities of fuel.
And a very marked improvement was also obtained by Mr. Greener,
with his twin furnaces, at Pemberton, but with the plan inverted as to
the retaining doors (see plan); for, as no part of the return air was passed
over the furnaces, from the cause before assigned, they were fed exclu-
sively with fresh air below the bars, the upper section of the furnaces
above the grate being shut off with doors.
With 14,100 cubic feet of fresh air passing over and under the fire
grate, the doors being open, 57,436 cubic feet were realised, with a
consumption of three and a quarter tons of coal, in twenty-four hours;
whilst by closing the doors, and forcing the air through the grate, 65,400
cubic feet were obtained with four tons of coal. Here about fourteen
per cent, increase was obtained.
In this case, however, the whole of the motive force was due to the
elevated temperature acquired by 14,100 cubic feet of fresh air, the return
currents entering the upcast at 62°; and the deteriorating effect is shown
in the reduction of the temperature from 302°, where the returns entered
the shaft, to 108° at the surface.
Under this, perhaps the most disadvantageous condition of things,
still the augmentation was almost immediate; and, contrasting as it does
with the higher improvement shown in Gawber Hall, which latter may
be considered as the normal adaptation of furnace arrangement for ordi-
nary ventilation, the results are useful as showing the most and least
effective position of the furnace, the object of both being to obtain the
maximum current under most dissimilar conditions.
I do not adduce these experiments and their results as affording reliable
data for assuring, that under any but the same conditions, will all the
improvement be realised; but I am satisfied, from the few trials I have
made in this district, under very unfavourable circumstances, that a largely-
improved temperature is immediately generated; and where this can be
sustained without peril to the shaft apparatus, a material and immediate
augmentation of the air current will follow.
With upcast shafts of large area the arrangement will I think, be
valuable, as dispensing with the number of furnaces necessary to support
the temperature of so large a column; and, again, in limited areas or in
shallow pits, it will be found equally advantageous.
One very important desideratum is obtained—an elasticity of action
under complete and independent control; for, by the action of a simple
slide, very varying currents may be commanded to meet the exigencies
of a colliery, under all the fluctuating conditions of barometric pressure,
gas discharge, and increased length of run. Between the limits of the
maximum air currents of the old and improved plans of furnace arrange-
ment, in one of the cases just cited, between 13,000 and 25,000 cubic
feet per minute, a valve, with a graduated dial adjusted to the pipe drift,
will, all other things being equal, afford at any time any required
augmentation of the ventilation of a colliery, and this, too, with a rapidity
and simplicity of action which will render it an acquisition, in many of
the dilemmas of colliery supervision, peculiarly valuable.
mining engineers.
.Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
The Secretary having read the proceedings of the Council,
The following gentlemen were elected members :—Mr. Thomas Belt,
Newcastle; Mr. John Muckle, Littletown Colliery; Mr. Wm. Lishman,
Lumley Colliery, Fence Houses; and Mr. Alfred Hewlett, Ince Hall
Coal and Cannel Works, Wigan, Lancashire.
The President called attention to M. Von Carnall's works, copies
of which that gentleman had presented to the Institute; also to a set of
Ordnance maps which had been purchased.
Mr. Reid—The present of M. Von Carnall was accompanied by a
note, which he would read, and which it would be well to have entered
on the proceedings:—
"M. R. Von Carnall, in forwarding some publications of his for the
Institute, begs to express his gratitude for the honour of being elected
an honorary member, and to thank the members for vols. I. to V., which
he has received, and which he considers well deserving of the acknow-
ledgments of mining engineers, both at home and on the continent."
Referring to the papers which he sends, and which now lie on the
table, he says :—
' The Geological Map of Upper Silesia is a 2nd edition. In comparing
it with the first, which appeared in 1844, it has been thoroughly
amended, partly in consequence of new discoveries, and partly to accord
with observations made in the interim in other countries. The accom-
panying little book contains short explanations of the composition,
Vol. IX.—March, 1861. m
thickness, &c, of our formations. The metallic veins, or, more properly,
hunches or sops of more or less variable thickness, and still more variable
qualities and per centage, are, in general, closely connected with the
dolomite of our Muschelkalk, and have a very peculiar character. A
general synopsis of these beds I am now preparing, and, so soon as
published, I will send a copy.
"A look into the map and accompanying section will show the
whole extent of our coal measures; the most important part of which is
represented by the large plan, consisting of twelve sheets, and six of
vertical sections—the former on a scale of o> tne latter Tatao* wmcn
are on a larger scale than any other I am acquainted with.
" To give a general view of the whole, I add a geological sketch, on a
scale of with an accompanying explanatory volume.
" The aggregate thickness of coal is 300 feet, and, curious enough, it
is everywhere at an attainable depth.
" The first three volumes of the Zeitschrift fur das Berg Hutten und
Salinen Wesen in dem Preussischen Staate are the only ones I have at
my disposal, as I have given up the editorship, though my name
appeared in the three ensuing volumes.
"Lastly, I add five small statistical pamphlets of the produce of all
mines, smelting and salt works in Prussia, their value, and the number
of the workmen employed during the last five years—the preceding five
years being all to the found in the Zeitschrift."
It was then resolved that M. Von Carnall, Chief of the Prussian
Mining Department, be thanked for his present of books, and that in
return the three last volumes of the " Transactions" of the Institute be
forwarded to him by the Secretary.
The President said, the first business would be, to make arrange-
ments for holding the proposed meeting at Birmingham in July next.
The Council had prepared resolutions and a form of circular, which he
would read:—
"North of England Institute of Mining Engineers, Neville
Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne, March 7, 1861.
" Sir,—I am requested to forward you the annexed resolution, ap-
pointing a Central Meeting of this Institute to be held at Birmingham
on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of July next.
" It is expected that those members and honorary members will attend
on the occasion, whose distance from Newcastle precludes their being
habitually present at the ordinary meetings.
" Particular attention is drawn to that portion of the resolution which
relates to the reading of papers, and the exhibition of models of mining
apparatus; and the Managing Committee will be glad to learn from
you, on or before the 1st of May next, whether it be your wish to read
a paper, or to exhibit such models; and if so, in connection with what
subject, which may be either scientific or practical, it being the object of
the Institute to admit of the fullest scope to any suggestion or discussion
bearing upon the security of life or property in mines.
" The Managing Committee will be, of course, called upon to exercise
a discretion in the choice of papers, for the obvious reason, that the
limited term of the meeting will not admit of their being, probably, able
to satisfy all the demands upon them; but this qualification is not
applicable to models, nor can it be construed, for the reason assigned, as
being prejudicial to the character of any paper that may be proposed,
and which may be subsequently read, in the usual course, at the ordinary
meetings of the Institute, if approved by the Council.
" A programme of proceedings will be sent you as soon as the Managing
Committee have completed their arrangements, and, in the meantime,
they will be glad to hear from you, as above mentioned, by address to
the undersigned.
" The Managing Committee conclude by expressing their hope and
confidence that this first Central Meeting of the Institute will, by the
exertions of its ordinary and honorary members, be creditable to the
Institute itself, and will also materially extend the sphere of its usefulness.
" I am, Sir,
" Your obedient Servant,
W^f W? Vi6W °f efficien% car)7ing out the objects of the
institute, winch consists of members resident on the various coal fields
1 9thlll^', " KrSt Central Meeting' be heM at Birmingham, on
^ 10ih; and llth next> that the Council of the Institute,
* 1 tTZl SUCh g,entlemen " the C°Uncil *»T -minate, «m
nected with the Midland, Southern, and Western Mining Districts of the
Kingdom (three being a quorum) be a Managing Committee for the
purpose of making the requisite arrangements.
" That a circular be addressed to each member and honorary member,
requesting his attendance, and also asking to be informed whether it be
his wish to read a paper, or to exhibit models of mining apparatus, with
a view, in the first instance, to the information of the Managing Com-
mittee, and to their selection of such papers as are conceived to be best
adapted to the occasion, consistently with the limited period of three
days, over which it is proposed the proceedings shall extend.
" That the Managing Committee be requested to take the entire subject
into consideration, and to frame a programme, and report the result of
their proceedings on this and other matters connected with the Central
Meeting, at the general meeting of the Institute, which will be held on
the 4th of April next."
Mr. Potter suggested that it would be desirable to add to the
Committee the names of parties resident at Birmingham.
The President said, the whole subject of the arrangements would
be laid before the Institute at the meeting in April.
Mr. Dunn—Would any inconvenience arise from delaying it another
month ?
The President said, the Committee ought to report the programme
on the 4th of April. The time for sending in answers about papers
might perhaps be extended beyond the 4th.
It was then resolved, " That the Committee report on the 4th of April;
but that the time for receiving notices of papers to be read be extended
to the 1st of May."
The President said, the next subject was with reference to the
proposed Mining College in connection with the University of Durham.
The establishment of a Mining College had been brought before the
Institute on several occasions. They would have observed by the news-
papers, that the question of the present state of the University had been
brought before Parliament. The Home Secretary said it was intended
to appoint a Commission of Inquiry as to whether any improvement
could be made in the University as an academical institution. It had
occurred to him (the President) that it might be desirable for the Insti-
tute to remind the Home Secretary of what had taken place in reference
to the establishment of a Mining College last year, and to the promise
he then made. He might mention that, last year a deputation went to
the Home Secretary, in which Professor Chevallier represented the
University, the object of which was to induce the Government to take
up the question as one of national importance. Sir G. C. Lewis, who
was then Home Secretary, after hearing all the representations on the
subject, promised to give the matter his serious consideration. Every
person knew that meant, that it would be dropped altogether until some-
thing again occurred to bring it before the Government and the public.
He thought it would be a good opportunity to remind Sir George Lewis
of his promise; and perhaps the best mode of approaching that gentleman
would be the presentation of a memorial from the Institute, requesting
that, when the Commission was appointed, it should have instructions to
investigate and consider the propriety of incorporating a Mining College
with the University, and to provide the requisite funds. In order to
ascertain what the feelings of the University were on the subject, he
had recently had a conversation with Professor Chevallier, who stated
that it would be strictly in accordance with the feelings of the University
that, when the Commission met at Durham, the Institute should lay
their case fully and completely before the Commissioners. He had
drawn up a memorial to be presented to Sir George Lewis, asking him
to give instructions to the Commissioners to take into consideration the
question of the incorporation of a Mining College with the University.
This had been laid before the Council, who ordered that it should be
presented to this meeting, and he would now read it:—
"To the Right Honourable Sir George Cornewall Lewis,
Bart., Secretary of State for the Home Depart-
ment, &c.
"The Memorial of the Members of the Northern Institute
of Mining Engineers,
" Sheweth,
" That your memorialists are members of the Northern Institute of
Mining Engineers, most of them being practical managers of coal and
other mines in different parts of the United Kingdom, in number two
hundred and fifty-two members.
" That such Institution has now been established for upwards of eight
years, the meetings being generally held monthly, in Newcastle-upon-
Tyne, at which meetings scientific and practical papers on mining, and
other subjects connected therewith, are read, discussed, and published.
" That the Institute have already published eight volumes of their
'Transactions/ copies of which are hereby presented to the Home
Office, and from which the description of the papers read, and the nature
of the discussions at the meetings, will he seen.
"That the primary object of such Institution is to improve the
scientific, practical, and economical management of mines, and particu-
larly with regard to the diminution of accidents, and security of life of
the persons employed.
" That, though the loss of life generally has, of late, been numerically
diminished in proportion to the quantity of coals raised, your memo-
rialists sincerely regret that very serious and great loss of life occasionally
" Your memorialists have long been of opinion, that the establishment
of a Mining College, based on the instruction of pupils in the scientific
and practical management of mines, in some central mining district of
the kingdom, with district schools connected therewith, would be of
essential service to the mining interests, and would be of the most essen-
tial service in the diminution of such deplorable accidents. And your
memorialists beg your attention to those parts of the proceedings of the
Institute which have relation thereto.
"Your memorialists beg particular attention to the proceedings of the
Institute with reference to the establishment of an independent College
at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the munificent offer of His Grace the
Duke of Northumberland for the endowment of such a College.
" And your memorialists likewise beg reference to the proceedings of
the Institute with regard to the incorporation of a Mining College with
the University of Durham ; also, the result of an interview of a deputa-
tion to the Government on such incorporation, at which interview the
University was represented by Professor Chevallier, who expressed the
readiness of the authorities of the University to forward the views of
your memorialists, it being understood that the proposed Mining College,
though connected with the University, is yet to exercise an independent
action by means of its own governing body.
" Your memorialists have perceived, from the proceedings of Parliament,
that it is proposed to appoint a Commission to inquire into the present
state of efficiency of the Durham University as an academical institution
of education, with a view of rendering the same more efficient and more
generally useful as an institution for the instruction of youth.
" Your memorialists would further beg to point out that, should it
ever be deemed advisable that the responsible managers of mines should
be subjected to an examination, and that certificates of competency
should be given, the proposed College, together with the district schools
connected therewith, and probably the inspectors of mines of the several
districts, would form a system by which not only the principal or scien-
tific, but also the subordinate, managers of mines might be subjected to
an examination, and certificates given of their competency to undertake
the onerous and responsible situations to which they might present
themselves for appointment.
" Your memorialists, therefore, humbly beg', having reference to the
proposed arrangements set forth in the negociations with the University
of Durham, and to the importance, in a national point of view, of the
establishment of a practical Mining College, that you would give
instructions to the proposed Commissioners in such investigation, to take
into consideration the propriety of incorporating* with the Universitv of
Durham a College for the instruction of mining and manufacturing-
pupils, and of providing the requisite funds for that purpose.
" And your memorialists will ever pray, &c, &c.
" President of the Northern Institute of Mining Engineers.
"Northern Institute of Mining Engineers,
Newcastle-on-Tyne, March 12,1861."
The memorial was then unanimously adopted, and it was resolved that
it be signed by the President on behalf of the meeting, and that it
should, together with copies of the eight volumes of the Society's
"Transactions," be presented to the Home Secretary.
The President said he had just received a communication which he
was requested to lay before the meeting, viz., an offer made by Mr.
Ogden, of Whitwell Colliery, to be one person out of ten to subscribe a
thousand pounds, i.e., £100 each for five years, making £5000, to be
offered as a premium for the best mode of employing locomotive traction
Mr. Dunn moved that the offer of Mr. Ogden be entered in to-day's
proceedings.—Agreed to.
Mr. Potter moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Ogden for his handsome
offer, which was carried unanimously.
The President said, the next subject was the reading of a paper by
himself on the Hetton Explosion. He thought it desirable, as the subject
was of very great importance, that the evidence given at the inquest
bearing upon the cause of the accident and on the scientific enquiry should
be given in full, and with the view of obtaining it as accurately as possi-
ble, he had got Mr. Maynard, the coroner, to give him a copy of the
official minutes taken by himself at the inquest. The question was,
whether these minutes should now be read. It had also been suggested
that the evidence being very voluminous it might be undesirable to pub-
lish the whole, but that extracts might be given. On the other hand it
was very desirable that all the facts should be before the public, and,
therefore, there was some difficulty in abridging them. Some facts that
might appear to some persons to be of no importance might be of impor-
tance to others. What he proposed was that Mr. Thos. John Taylor and
himself should sit down and go through the whole of the evidence, and
whilst they should make it as full as possible, they should, at the same
time, strike out all extraneous matter, and so reduce it to moderate bounds.
We could not take any general discussion of the paper to-day. It was a
subject of great importance, and as it might be taken up at the meeting
which it was intended to hold at Birmingham, it was desirable, in the first
instance, to get in print the opinions of gentlemen who gave evidence at
the inquest, the discussion could then be taken at the April or May
adjourned meeting, and printed and circulated previous to the meeting
at Birmingham, when the adjourned discussion might be taken. He
(the President) after reading the paper, remarked that he had received a
pamphlet published by the Manchester Geological Society, from which it
appeared they had been discussing the subject at Manchester.
Mr. Bell said, if he was not out of order he would mention a cir-
cumstance which occurred to him after giving his evidence as to the
cause of the accident. The difficulty they had in accounting for it was
this; they attributed it to a coincidence of circumstances. But that
was the thirty-fourth year in which the flue had been used, and there
was the difficulty of specifying any reason why these same causes should
not sooner have been coincidently brought together. In going into the
flue, he had stated how he had found the damper. It was broken in two,
one half was lying at the bottom, and the other was resting at the top, to
which it had been drawn by the counterbalance. He could not help
thinking that this damper had been in its place intact at the explosion,
seeing that the explosion went through the furnace, and then blew down
such inconsiderable work in front. Necessarily the first operation, as
far as the timber was concerned, would have been to blow down this
diaphragm. This was not the case. The timber was placed as if it had
been cut in two by a millwright. After giving his evidence, amongst
other gentlemen, Mr. Reid had sent him some facts which had taken
place in boiler explosions under circumstances where no gas could have
been brought into operation, because they were above ground. There
were frequent explosions in boilers of a certain construction. In one
case it killed the fireman. This always took place immediately after the
fireman opened the door to fire again. Having these facts in view, his
impression was, that the damper, being made of cast iron,, cracked, and
as soon as the top was relieved of the lower portion, which kept it in its
place, it went to the top. Instantly a very great influx of air took place
over the fire place. This mixed with the gas in the flue, probably
took fire, and caused the explosion. If this were so, it accounted for the
abnormal state of things which, probably, never took place before in the
history of this flue—the cracking of the damper, and letting in a great
quantity of air. r Perhaps the gentlemen taking part in this discussion
might take this as an addendum to the evidence he had already given.
He thought this would account for the explosion. He was quite of
opinion that the quantity of gas and the conditions of the flue were such
as would account for every appearance that was seen either by himself
or others.
Mr. Reid said, the information he had given to Mr. Bell came from
Mr. R. B. Longridge, of Manchester.
Mr. Atkinson—Mr. Longridge stated the same thing in the Man-
chester discussion.
Mr. Bell—Mr. Forster told me that one of the engineers who was
down the colliery afterwards, said there were traces of an old crack
across the damper.
The President—He never heard of that. We had the damper
examined and we could not see that.
Mr. Gr. B. Forster said John Hedley, the engineer of South Hetton,
had informed him of it.
The President—At the meeting at Manchester, at which Mr.
Longridge was present, he said, " I know a similar case of an explosion
that occurred with a multitubular boiler, and there was also a flue under-
neath the boiler, with a damper in front. The gentleman to whom the
mill belonged went to the back end and opened the smoke-box door to
show a friend how low the temperature was in the smoke-box, and while
he was there the fireman, not knowing of his presence, threw on his coal
Vol. IX.—March, 18c1.
as usual, and went to the next boiler; but observing that his damper,
which worked on a swivel, had shut, and that the smoke and gas were
coming out at the fire door, he stepped back and turned the damper to
give the draught as usual." He then states, that an explosion took
place which burnt both the gentlemen very severely. The Chairman
asked him if these were the only instances he knew, and he replied, " I
know another instance of an ordinary two-flue boiler; but then they
were making use of sawdust as well, and the gas got mixed with it."
At the next meeting, when we come to discuss the subject, any gentleman
who has heard of any cases would, he trusted, bring them forward.
Mr. Atkinson—There was a case at Thursdale Colliery.
Mr. Cochrane said it blew away the front of the brick work. He
would get the particulars.
Mr. Beid said, he had heard of one or two more in the Glasgow
The President said, Mr. Daglish had letters from various parties on
the subject. If any gentleman would send him any facts he would
incorporate them with the proceedings.
Mr. Daglish's paper, on " The Construction of Ventilating Furnaces,"
was then read by Mr. Southern, Mr. Daglish himself not being present.
The meeting then broke up.
on the
On the 20th day of December, 1860, at about half-past 8 o'clock in the
evening, an explosion took place in the East and West Minor Pits,
which was attended with the most serious results, and by which twenty-
two persons, nine horses, and fifty-six ponies were killed, and considerable
damage done to the pits. The explosion took place in the immediate
vicinity of the downcast pit, and as it was considered quite impossible
that any explosive gas could have occurred in that locality, it was at first
thought to have occurred by an explosion of one of the steam engine
boilers—there being three steam engines, and three high-pressure steam
boilers near the bottom of these shafts.
When access was obtained to the bottom of the pit, as will hereafter
be explained, it was ascertained that the explosion had taken place in
the boiler flues of one of the engines, called Davison's engine; that it
had blown the flues to atoms where the explosion had at first occurred;
that it had then blown down a crossing or archway over the main
wagonway (about eighty yards from the centre of the explosion), and
had then spread right and left from such crossing, one current passing
to the left along the main west wagonway to the shaft, where it had
blown seventeen fathoms of the brattice out of the shaft, and had then
proceeded into the west way, where, at a distance of 800 yards from the
s laft, it bad killed several men; at the same time, the other current
had passed along the east wagonway, and, at about the same distance,
had killed four men—the effects of the explosion being, however, felt at
a distance of upwards of a mile from the centre of the explosion, in both
directions. In a north and south direction, the main ways being at right
angles to the direction of the explosion from the crossing, though the
effects were felt for upwards of 1000 yards, yet the force was much
diminished by its passage around the angles of the entrances into the
main roads.
A conclusion was soon arrived at by the parties in charge of the mine,
that the explosion could not have been occasioned by the ordinary gas of
the mine (a conclusion corroborated by subsequent inquiries), but that it
had occurred by an explosion of some description of gas generated within
the engine flues of Davison's engine in the East Minor Pit.
The circumstances and results of this explosion being of an almost
unexampled character, and being likewise of so important a nature
regarding the risk attendant upon the employment of fire engines,
boilers, and flues underground, render it advisable that every publicity
should be given to all the circumstances attending such an event, for the
purpose of clearly and unequivocally ascertaining and considering all the
facts of the case, that I have thought it of sufficient importance to lay
before the Institute the result of all that took place at the coroner's
inquest, and any other facts which such inquiry elicited, and wThich
appeared to me to bear upon the investigation of so important an inquiry.
I may premise that, finding^the explosion to have been occasioned by
causes which were most unprecedented, and so very difficult to be
accounted for, and of so mysterious a nature, I suggested that the inquiry
before the coroner should be of the most searching character—that all
the evidence which could by possibility throw any light upon so intricate
a subject should be obtained; and, therefore, besides examining all the
witnesses usual on ordinary occasions of explosions, viz., of the workmen
in the mine at the time, of the persons in practical charge of the mine
when the accident occurred, and of the viewer under whose direction the
underground operations were conducted, I called in several profes-
sional gentlemen of other collieries, who assisted in recovering the
bodies, and who rendered most efficient assistance on so melancholy an
occasion, I also obtained the evidence of two of the most scientific and
manufacturing chemists of the district, Mr. I. L. Bell and Dr. Richard-
son, with a view of ascertaining if they could, by their chemical know-
ledge, satisfactorily account for so extraordinary an explosion.
In soliciting the attention of the Institute to so important an inquiry,
it will, perhaps, be the most advisable mode, and that which will promote
the most impartial inquiry, if I lay before them the official evidence
adduced on oath at the inquest, which I am enabled to do by the kind-
ness of the coroner, T. C. Maynard, Esq., who has forwarded to me a
copy of the depositions taken by him on that occasion. In order, how-
ever, to make that evidence more intelligible, I have annexed copies of
some plans exhibited at the inquest, explanatory of, and showing the
situation of the pits, the direction and extent of the different main roads
and air courses, and the quantity of air circulating in the different splits
of the East and West Minor Pits, which were the pits in which the
explosion occurred. I have also added two plans, on a larger scale,
showing the undergTound furnaces, and the different air courses around
the downcast and upcast shafts—the position of the different engines
near the bottom of the pits—and of the boilers and flues, particularly the
flue in which the explosion occurred; showing* the state of the flues
previously to and at the time of the explosion, and the state in which
they were found after the explosion had taken place; together with plans
of the damper of the boiler, and the fire place from which it is supposed
the explosion originated. These will, I trust, enable the members of the
Institute to more clearly understand the evidence, and to investigate the
causes which led to such a lamentable accident.
Plan No. I. shows the general ventilation of the two pits in which the
explosion occurred, with the main air courses and splits of the air, on
which is marked the quantity of air passing along these splits, and into
the different districts of workings immediately preceding the explosion.
It may be explained, that in this portion of the Hetton Collieries there
are two perfectly distinct and independent shafts or pits * one called the
East and West Minor Pit, which is marked on the plan as the downcast,
and which are denominated the Lyons Pits or Colliery; and the other,
which is called the Blossom Pit, marked on the plan as the upcast, the
latter pit not being sunk below the furnace drifts (coloured yellow), which,
as shown in plans II. and III., enter it on both sides; therefore it crosses
the roads from the downcast pits from twenty to thirty feet above them.
The reason why the downcast is termed the East and West Minor Pits
is, that the shaft is divided by a partition or brattice, on each side of which
are drawing apparatus by which the coals of two pits workings—the
East Minor Pit workings, and the West Minor Pit workings—are drawn
to bank. The airways, or main roads along which the intake currents
pass, are shown in black, and the return air courses are shown in red lines,
and the quantity of air passing is shown in cubic feet per minute. There
are, as shown on the plan, two travelling roads to the Pppleton Pits or
Colliery, another division of the colliery, and at which there are separate
and independent downcast and upcast shafts. The communication is
closed by double doors, and these roads are only used for the purpose of
travelling between the two collieries, and which, on this occasion, were
found of great utility, as will be seen by the evidence. There is also
another section of the colliery, called the Elemore Pits or Colliery, at
which there are also separate downcast and upcast pits; but there are no
travelling roads or communication between the Elemore, and the Lyons,
or Eppleton Pits.
Plan No. II. shows the position of the two Lyons Pits, the downcast
or East and West Minor Shafts, and the upcast or Blossom Pit, with
the furnaces, viz., the east furnace, and the west furnace, and the drifts
leading from them to the upcast shaft having a rise of about thirty feet.
The positions of the several engines are also shown, and of the boilers;
the direction of the steam pipes leading from the boilers to the engines
being shown by black lines, and of the exhaust pipes by red lines. All
the boilers are placed upon the level of the Hutton Seam, or of the bottom
of the downcast shaft \ the flues from Davison's engine passing across the
main road near the Albert engine to the two furnaces, where it enters
the furnace drift to the upcast shaft. The flue of the two boilers for the
active and Victoria engines pass up a staple, shown on the plan, near the
boilers into the furnace drift, which is there about twenty feet above the
level of the boilers and downcast drifts. The section A, A, shows the
inclination of the furnace drifts from the furnaces (which are on a level
with the downcast shaft) to the bottom of the upcast shaft. The
longitudinal section, on a large scale, showing the inclination from the
boiler of Davison's engine to the furnace drift at the junction of the two
west furnaces. This plan also shows the position of the stables, which
were set on fire by the explosion; and also the route of the ventilation at
and immediately preceding the explosion, the black lines showing the
ingoing direction of the air from the downcast shaft, and the red lines
the return currents from the different districts of workings to the furnaces
and upcast shaft. Upon this plan, showing the longitudinal section
of the flues from the boiler of Davison's engine to the bottom of the
furnace drift at F, is likewise shown cross sections at A, B, and C, D. It
will be seen by these that nearly up to the crossing of the main wagon-
way, at X, the flue is double, with a passage road, c, c, above the flues,
a, b, a, along the middle of which the smoke from the boiler passed, and
that beyond and at the crossing the centre flue, b, along which such
heated air passed, was of a larger area than between the boiler and the
crossing*. The two smaller flues, a, a, were travelling" roads, along-
which a considerable current passed to prevent the heat of the centre
flue from setting fire to the coal.
Plan No. III. shows the state of the flues, crossings, &c, after the
explosion, and the direction of the blast or explosion as adduced by the
evidence, or shown by the effects of the explosion on the doors and
passages around the shaft. It is unnecessary for me to give any detailed
description, in this place, as it could only be a repetition of the evidence
given at the inquest. I prefer that these particulars, and the effects
of the explosion, should be given by the persons examined, than that it
should be given by me at second hand • and that any conclusion which
may be drawn from the evidence, or other details or particulars, should
result from a free and unbiassed discussion by the members of the
Institute, rather than from any observations of mine, except so far as I
may deem it necessary to offer any opinion at such discussion. I shall,
therefore, only give such explanation as may be necessary to make the
plans clear and intelligible. It will be seen that plan III. is a perfect
copy of plan II., except as altered to show the state of things after the
explosion, and the addition of the two sections of the flues at E, F,
and G-, H, to show the effect of the explosion on the flues at these places.
It will be seen that the darts on the plan are made to proceed from the
red mark through E, F, on the plan, from whence, as a centre, the ex-
plosion proceeded in all directions \ and the thickness of the lines are
made to show, in some degree, approximately, the intensity of the
explosion at the several places, and in the different directions.
Plan No. II. shows different plans of the flues and damper. From
these it will be seen that the dimensions of the flue next the boiler is
three feet by thirteen and a half inches up to the damper, and four feet
two inches by sixteen inches beyond the damper. The damper works in
a recess in the brick work, not in a metal frame. This recess is three
inches in width, and three inches in depth all around the flue, the damper
working up and down within such recess, in the usual manner, by a
balance weight, working over a pulley, the weight working up and down
near the engine fire. The damper was five feet in height and two feet
m width, and half an inch in thickness. On the top of the flues, and of
the recess in which the damper worked, was an iron plate, leaving an
inch m width to steady the damper in working up and down within the
recess, as shown in the plan.
It was given in evidence that the damper, when the fire was damped,
at five o'clock on the evening* of the accident, was left about one and a
half inch from being* shut, this would give an opening of thirty-six
square inches; and supposing only three-eighths of an inch opening into
the flue around the damper within the recess would give about forty-four
inches opening, making about seventy square inches through which the
air would pass into the flue when the fire was damped. I have ascertained,
by experiments made recently, that the velocity with which the air passes
through the opening of the damper with seventy square inches of area
is sixty-six feet per second, consequently, if there were seventy square
inches of opening into the flue at the time of the explosion, or during
the time whilst the fire was damped, there would be about 2000 cubic
feet of air passing into the flue per minute.
I now proceed to give the evidence as adduced at the Inquest, so far
as it bears upon the enquiry before the Institute, and leave the investi-
gation to the members without comment.
Edward Wailes Hall—I am master shifter for the three pits at
Hetton Colliery. On Thursday night last, about half-past eight o'clock,
the head keeper came to me and informed me something serious had
happened at the East and West Minor Pits. I went to the pits, and
found there was no means of getting down. I their proceeded to the
Downs Pit, and went down it, and proceeded in a westerly direction to
the East Minor Pit. When I came to the wagonway, I found the
timber all blown out, and several falls from the roof in the way. I got
over a very large fall, but the after-damp prevented me going further.
The paper writing now given in by me is a correct list of all the men
who have been killed in the pit. (See list on plan No. I.)
George Lowden—I am overman of the West Minor Pit, in which, on
the 20th December last, the explosion took place. It is my duty to
examine the workings before the men go in to their work. I went down
on that day at twenty minutes past two o'clock in the morning. It is
my duty to fix the places where the men coming down were to work.
I had charge of the men and boys in the south way and at its extremity.
They commenced working about half-past five o'clock, and the explosion
took place between eight and nine o'clock in the evening. They were
all killed. They were found in the main way. I left the pit that
morning at eight o'clock, and was in my own house at the time of the
explosion. Before I placed the men, I examined their places about
half-past three o'clock that morning, and found no gas. I came out by
the return to the furnace, and found the return free from gas. I had
no charge of any other part of the mine. I have been down since the
explosion, and my opinion is, that it has gone from the flues. I think
so, because the injury done spreads from that place both north and south.
I have had charge of the West Minor Pit for the last thirteen years. I
have not seen any gas where these men were working for three or four
months. It might be some time before that I saw gas, but it was in
the west way from the furnace. The ventilation was going all right
when I left that morning. If the ventilation was all right when the
explosion took place, I do not think it possible for gas to have come
from these places and explode where it did. I could tell by passing
along that the ventilation was all right. When I came up, the portion
of the pit that I had charge of would be taken charge of by Eobert
Young. That is the whole of the West Minor Pit. When I saw the
gas some months ago, it was in the west of the south way, in the pillar
workings. The return from that portion of the workings does not go
near the flues I have named; it goes to the two furnaces. There has
been no explosion in that part of the pit where the gas was seen.
There has been no gas seen by me in the neighbourhood of the flues.
The gas which I saw was north of the places where the men were
working, and if the ventilation was perfect there could be no commu-
nication between that place and where the men were working. The
men worked with locked Davy-lamps. I had no fear of their working
with naked candles when I left. I found five of the bodies on the
22nd day of December last. I found Robert Hall, James Box, and
William Richardson in the return on the south side of the main
way. They had not been injured by the force of the explosion, but
had died from the effects of after-damp. I also found the bodies of
Anthony Young and John Ferguson in the main way, rather beyond
the bottom of the new bank from the shaft. They had been killed
by the force of the explosion, I think near 600 yards from the fur-
naces. These five men were nearly all together. On the morning
of the explosion I came out along the return, about 500 yards from the
snart, and when I came to the furnace I went into the north-west return
of the two furnaces, and found no gas whatever. I found no tail or cap
upon the flame of my lamp, nor any indications of gas in the places I
examined. It was my duty to examine, and I did so, and found no
indication whatever of gas. From the time I went in until the men
v°l. IX.—March, 1861. o
came down, I was employed in examining- the workings, and had suffi-
cient time to examine them carefully, which I did.
Robert Young, hack-overman-—I was down the West Minor Pit at
nine o'clock in the morning- of the day on which the explosion took
place. The pit was in my charge until five o'clock in the afternoon. •
There was good ventilation the whole of the time. I cannot tell the
quantity of air circulating, I considered there was sufficient for the safety
of the men. I examined the water gauge, which tells the strength of
the ventilation; it was standing at one inch and six-tenths at twenty
minutes before five o'clock. There was no accumulation of gas or foul-
ness in any part of the pit whilst in my charge. The ventilation was
perfect up to the time when I left. I examined the goaves as I went
round, and found they were not giving off any gas. Between the time
I left and the time of the explosion I do not think gas could have accu-
mulated and been carried to the flues. If there had been gas, whilst the
ventilation was perfect it was not possible for it to have got to the flues.
I have been down the pit every day since, and have seen the damage
done, and I think the explosion took place in the flues, but cannot say
what was the cause of it. I should say gas had caused it. I cannot
form any opinion how the gas got there. The last time I saw gas at
the edges of the goaves will be some months since, but I cannot say
exactly. There has never lately been any cap or tail on my lamp in any
portion of the workings. When the furnace was out there was a great
difference in the ventilation, but there was no gas. There was a little
fire in the two west furnaces when the other was not in use. No gas
could have come from the Low Main to cause this explosion as there was
so much air in the pit it would destroy it.
Thomas Smith—I am master shifter under Hall. On the 20th of
December last, I went down the East Minor Pit at half-past five o'clock
at night, to examine the lamps, lock them, and place the men. I
examined the lamp of every man working in the pit that night whom I
had under my care, and found their lamps all right. Lowden had five
of the men in his charge. I placed four men, viz., Thomas Sandilands
and Thomas Wright on the north way, about 500 or 600 yards from the
downcast shaft, and John Jopling and John Gibbon, also on the same
way, about 200 yards further in. I placed no more men in that district.
I placed three men and a boy, viz., William Smith, Bobert Gardiner,
William Gardiner, and William Newman, in the east way, about 800
yards from the shaft. They got out alive. I placed George Gleghorn,
and Bond, William Anderson, Joseph Scott, and Eichard Proud, a boy,
in the same way, further in—600 or 700 yards further in than the
Gardiners. I also placed Balph Hope and Bobert Simpson in the same
way, but in a different direction. These were all saved but Joseph Scott.
These are all the men I placed in the East Minor Pit. In the West
Minor I placed, on the south side, John Ferguson and Anthony Young
on the main way, near the bottom of the new bank. I also placed
William Richardson, Robert Hall, and James Box, through the separa-
tion door into the return. I placed Thomas Mitcheson, John Lowden,
and Robert Wilson in the east south way. They would be about 1000
yards from the shaft. I had not examined the workings of the pit
previous to setting the men to work. It was not my duty. After I had
placed the other men, I went north with the four men that went north.
In setting them to work, I had only to pass the downcast shaft. There
was no indication of gas in any of the places where I placed the men.
I was in the pit when the explosion took place, 800 yards down the east
bank. I was blown away by the explosion. It came from the west of
where I was. As soon as I gathered myself together, I put up my hand
to see how the ventilation was, and which way the air was going-, and
found it was going west. That was the wrong way. In less than a
minute I found the air going in the right direction. I told the men I
had placed in the east way to reconcile themselves. I got them all
gathered together, and some of them told me they could not get up the
engine bank for smoke. We then went up to the north return, and
when we came to the tunnel that crosses the east wagonway, I told the
men to take hold of jackets, and I went first, and proceeded to the
downcast shaft of the East Minor Pit. When I got to the downcast
shaft I found the furnaceman, and I then looked about and found the
pit all blown to bits about there. I then went round to the West Minor
shaft, accompanied by some of the men, and found all was blown to bits
there also. Finding this, I then proceeded north, to make my road to
Eppleton Pit. We proceeded about 300 yards north of the East Minor
Pit, when We found the after-damp. We were obliged to return to the
West Minor Pit, and remained there until seven o'clock next morning,
when some deputies arrived. We then proceeded down the east way,
and so to Eppleton Pit, and were all drawn safe to bank, except Scott
and Hope, who had left us, and proceeded in another direction, the
former being lost. My cabin is about 100 yards north from the furnaces,
and I am down there every night, and near to the furnaces. I had
never noticed any gas in the part I had charge of, nor near the furnaces.
I cannot tell the quantity of air circulating at the time of the explosion;
hut the air was good. I had no fear at all of any explosion taking place.
I have been down six days since the explosion, working. I have
examined about the shaft, and she has gone inbye all over. It would
require the explosion of a large quantity of gas to cause the damage I
saw. I can form no opinion where that gas came from. I do not think
so large a quantity of gas could accumulate from the inbye workings of
the pit without my knowledge. Open lights were used at the stables.
In my opinion, it was quite safe to use candles. It is the first air from
the downcast that goes to the stables. I have no idea where the gas
came from that caused the explosion. I cannot say whether so large a
quantity of gas could be generated in the boiler fires. There is an
upper seam in the shaft, but it is not possible for it to have come from
there. I am aware it has come from the neighbourhood of the shaft,
but from where I cannot form an opinion. The air currents were as
usual when I placed the men. The place I was standing in, when blown
down, might be seven feet and a half by ten feet, and I was blown with
violence about four or five yards. All the men, except three at the south
separation door, were in the main intake. The boiler fire was fed with
fresh air. If the foul air had come away from the west broken, it could
not have got into the engine chimney, and no other foul return could
have got from any other part of the pit to the engine chimney. I am
quite satisfied that the explosion took place near the shaft. I think
there was a sufficient quantity of air circulating through all the ways for
the perfect ventilation of the pits, and safety of the men, up to the time
of the explosion. The four men on the north rolleyway were working
with open oil lamps at the time of the explosion. There were no other
naked lights but Gleghorn and Bond's, who were about 900 yards north,
and 300 yards east from the downcast shaft. Gleghorn and Bond were
saved. The men working upon the north wagonway could not work
with any other lamp, the current of air was so strong. The air was
coming direct from the shaft to them.
John Curry—I am a furnaceman. On Thursday, the 20th December
last, I had charge of the east furnace in the East Minor Pit. At four
o'clock in the afternoon I took charge of it, and remained there until the
explosion. When I took charge I did not see anything particular or
unusual. There was no appearance of gas anywhere about, nor had I
observed anything before the explosion took place to lead me to suspect
any danger. Between eight and nine o'clock the explosion took place.
I was just going in to fire at the time, and the strong wind, from the
force of the explosion, met me. The furnace was in a good state before
that, the fire was good and a strong air coming to it. By firing I mean
supplying the fire with coals. I had supplied the fire with coals about
five minutes previously. After I felt the wind of the explosion, I found
the air come back from the furnace instead of going to it. As soon as
I felt the wind I made my way through the first door coming out to the
downcast shaft. The force of the air was very great before I got through
the door, but after I had got through I did not feel it so much. I got
out by the Eppleton Pit. I thought the air was good when I went in,
and it continued so up to the time of the explosion. I can form no
opinion where the explosion took place. I have not been down the pit
since, but the force of the explosion came from the upcast shaft. The
furnace fire had been out a w^eek before that, when the water was coming
down the shaft. I think it was out about three days, but I cannot
exactly tell. The other two furnaces were at work when mine was out.
I never heard of any gas in the pit. My furnace was lighted two or
three days before the explosion took place, but am not certain. The
furnace was going as usual after it was set away again. I form my
opinion by the force of the draught going towards the furnace. I cannot
say that the gas did not fire at my furnace. I did not see any of the
flame of the explosion. There is only one current of air comes to my
furnace. If it had gone down my return I must have seen the flame of
the explosion. I saw no fire, and was not burnt. I would be five or six
yards from the furnace when I felt the wind. The air that came from
the explosion was not hot when it came to me.
Isaac Lowthian Bell, of Washington, said—I am an ironmaster and
chemical manufacturer. I have not been accustomed to investigate
matters of this sort connected with collieries, but from having between
20,000 and 30,000 cubic feet of gases per minute to deal with as an iron-
master, it has led me to study gases particularly. I went down the
downcast shaft of the East and West Minor Pits this morning, and spent
two hours in examining the flue in which the explosion is alleged to have
taken place. In the first instance, I found a damper within six feet of
the boiler, broken in two, the lower portion resting in its place, and the
upper portion, as one might have expected from the counterbalance
weight, drawn upwards; a jacket close in to the other end of the boiler,
burnt; some wood-work nearly opposite to the boiler, charred; and
wood-work and stone blown in tbe direction from the boiler. I found
doors blown down, all indicating the direction of the explosion to have
been from the boiler. I found thirty feet of the flue between the damper
and the upcast shaft blown out. I found the whole of the lateral flues
(of the pipe drift) opposite the pipe drift blown outward. From that
point for about thirty feet the flues and travelling way were whole,
arising, no doubt, from the greater strength of the flue, or less intensity
of the explosion; then about fifteen feet of the top of the flue blown
outwards, and about ten feet of the covering of the travelling ways also
displaced. At the crossing over the way leading to the downcast shafts,
the flue being unsupported either on one side or another, was burst.
The walls on the north side were blown to the north, and the south walls
to the south, and, generally, the indications of the explosion at the
crossing were as if the explosion had proceeded from the crossing as a
common centre. From there I continued along the flue towards the
furnace, going to the upcast shaft. The soot had evidently been dis-
placed from one end to the other. At the bend next to the furnace there
was a little displacement of brick-work. At the end of the north furnace
a bridge of brick-work was blown over in the direction which an explosion
in this flue would render probable. Immediately opposite, there is a
furnace drift proceeding from another furnace, in which, where it crosses
a road, I found the arch displaced. After seeing all this, the question
arose, could a flue of these dimensions contain sufficient gas to cause such
an explosion ? and, secondly, if it could, where did the gas come from 1
I conclude the gas could not come from the workings, because the boiler
furnace always has been, and is now, exclusively fed by air proceeding
direct from the downcast shaft without going into the coal workings,
assuming that the ventilation was maintained in a proper way. I find,
by computation, that this flue contains 7000 cubic feet, and to fill that
flue with light carburetted hydrogen, leaving a sufficient content for the
necessary atmospheric air to thoroughly explode the light carburetted
hydrogen so contained in the flue, 150 lbs. of fresh coal would furnish
the whole gas necessary. The length of time to do that would depend
upon the heat applied to the coal. I find, to fill the same flue with
another explosive gas, carbonic oxide, leaving space for air, 40 lbs. of
coke would be sufficient. Supposing the flue to be filled with either of
these gases, together with the necessary atmospheric air required for
their explosion, at a time when there was no fire to cause the explosion,
that is, no flame in the furnace to cause the ignition of these gases, which
might readily occur from damping the coals, then the combustion of the
coal at the boiler end or the furnace at the far end, either one or both,
could easily supply the flame for setting on fire this inflammable gas.
Supposing this to have occurred, is the damage which ensued a probable
event ? I may state that, in my own experience, I had a wrought iron
pipe, three feet in diameter and about 100 yards long, filled with an
explosive compound, in which the combustible gas was carbonic oxide—
the less explosive gas of the two. It has about half the explosive power
of light carburetted hydrogen. That pipe fired at one end at a lamp,
blowing the man holding the lamp many yards into the air, breaking every
bone in his body, destroying the whole length of the pipe, and splitting
the blowing apparatus of metal, which was three-quarters of an inch
thick at the far end. My opinion is based upon these facts, and upon
philosophical calculation of the power of such a quantity of gas, or much
less, and I conceive that the results I have this day seen are easily
accounted for. As soon as the contents of the flue took fire, supposing
it to be filled with a mixture of light carburetted hydrogen gas and
atmospheric air, the 7000 feet contained in it would instantly become -
about 56,000 feet. Of course, that increased volume would rush in the
direction of the least obstruction; and, as I understand, the men, or
most of them, were found in the way in a direct line from where the
explosion took place, the contents of this flue would be instantly converted
into after-damp by the explosion, and being taken up by the natural
ventilation of the colliery, would be carried into the workings, and
thus cause the death of every man over whom it passed in its way.
I think it highly probable that the explosion might set fire to the
north stables, which are at a distance of three hundred and fifty yards,
not because flame would travel that far, but because particles of inflam-
mable matter, set fire to by the explosion, would be driven in the direction
of the stables, and besides the temperature of these exploded gases being
about 1500 degrees of Fahrenheit or more, or a very bright red heat,
would of itself, if coming near hay or straw, immediately set fire to it;
and in this way, as far as I have seen, I consider everything can be fully
accounted for. It would take seventy-five quarter casks (of 251bs. each)
of gunpowder to produce the force such as the quantity of gas exploded
as described is capable of exerting. In these calculations I took a ton of
coals to produce 10,000 cubic feet of light carburetted hydrogen, and about
650 feet from 1501bs. of coal, and add about nine and a half times that of
atmospheric air, which makes 6835 of explosive mixture. A quantity of
soot deposited in the flue, assuming that no steam was present, could not
have added to the explosion. Assuming that steam was present, I con-
sider that the explosion might possibly have been increased in intensity.
The flue is ascending, and I think it improbable that the gas would have
lodged in it, but still it is possible. I think it highly probable the gas
might lodge from the boiler fire to and inclusive of the crossing. All
calculations based upon the difference of the specific gravity of gases are
liable to disturbance by differences of temperature, by which means a
cubic foot of heavy gas may be rendered lighter than a cubic foot of lighter
gas, according to the temperature. If the gas was only contained in that
portion of the flue (I mean between the crossing and the boiler) it would
reduce the quantity of the gas to about 3000 cubic feet. The explosion
of that quantity would be quite sufficient to account for what I found.
I think the only explosion took place in the flue. I think that gas over-
saturated, or under-saturated, above or under the proportion of nine and
a half of air to one of gas might have the effect. After the crossing was
blown down, a larger amount of air would be admitted to mix with the
hydrogen gas, but I cannot positively say whether it would increase the
explosion or not. There is no reason which I can give at present to
account for the gas accumulating and exploding on this occasion when
it has not done so for so many years. It is one of those occurrences
affected, to some extent, by the doctrine of chances ; that is, you require
inflammable gas, atmospheric air, and fire, contemporaneously; any one
of these wanting and no explosion ensues. I do not think the state of
the weather affected it at all. If the damper had been hermetically
closed, inflammable gas would not have been found there. Its being
partly open would add to the generation of gas, and also supply air. It
is my opinion the explosion cannot have taken place in any other manner
than I have explained, from the direction in which the bricks have been
throwrn and are lying, and from the other appearances in and about the
flue. If a large quantity of fire-damp had come down the downcast
shaft, going over, not through, the fire, and filling the flue, a similar
explosion might take place, if by any means fired. If no large quantity
of gas came down the downcast, nor from the inbye workings, to fill the
flue, I do not consider it possible to have taken place from any other
gaseous elements from any other place than the boiler fire. If 160,000
cubic feet of air were coming down the downcast shaft per minute, it
would have to meet with 16,000 of fire-damp per minute to make it
explosive to the extent that I have supposed it may have occurred in the
flue; but having to pass two other boiler fires would cause the explosion
to be totally different, and the indications also, to what I found them.
William Gardiner, miner—I was at work in the East Minor Pit on
the day of the explosion, down the east bank, about 770 yards from the
shaft. Whilst we were working, near nine o'clock, a mighty rushing of
wind came upon us—it blew our lights out. I went up the bank first
and met the stythe, and then came back and went by the return to the
furnace, and then towards the shaft, but we were obliged to turn back
again, and then we went back to the furnace and staid till Mr. Daglish
and others came to us; we then went down the return and through to
the Eppleton Pit and got out. We found the after-damp first on going
up the east bank—it was going from the shaft—it was very strong.
Shortly after the explosion, the direction of the air was reversed, and
soon afterwards it was again reversed. I have seen the damage done by
the explosion. I am not able to form an opinion where the explosion
took place, or the cause of it. There was no accumulation of gas in the
workings that I know of. The ventilation where we were working was
in full operation. I cannot form any opinion where the gas came from
which caused the explosion. The air where we were working was good
up to the time of the explosion.
Ralph Hope, miner—I was in the East Minor Pit at the time of the
explosion, at the east bank. After it had taken place, I and William
Gardiner, Robert Gardiner, Joseph Scott, William Anderson, and Thomas
Smith were together. We went first up the east way towards the shaft.
We met the after-damp a good bit down the bank—it was very strong*.
From the effects of the after-damp, I cannot recollect which direction we
took. I was insensible, and was carried out of the pit. The after-damp
was going inbye when we met it, from the shaft. Up to the time of the
explosion the air was good where we were working. There was no gas
there at the time. I have no idea how the explosion took place. I con-
sidered the pit perfectly safe before it.
Robert Simpson, shifter—On the day of the explosion, I was working
down the east bank of the East Minor Pit. After the explosion, I went
up the east bank. We met the after-damp coming from the shaft, a
good bit down the bank, it was very strong. We came back and went
into the return drift, and proceeded to the East Minor shaft. We got
out by the Eppleton Pit. Up to the time of the explosion, the air where
we were working had been very good. There was no gas. I cannot
form any opinion as to where the explosion took place, nor the cause of
it. I had previously considered the pit perfectly safe.
John Bond, wagonway man—On the day of the explosion, I was
Vol. IX.—March, 1861. P
working- in the north cross-cut, down the east bank of the East Minor
Pit. Before the explosion, the air was very g-ood. There was no gas.
I considered the pit perfectly safe. We were working- with two oil lamps.
One of them was blown out by the force of the explosion. We proceeded
to the east bank, and met with the Gardiners and Smith. We first met
the after-damp at the bottom of the bank, where we came out from the
north cross-cut end, about 600 or 800 yards from the shaft. It was not
strong- there. It was coming in the direction from the shaft. It got
stronger as we proceeded towards the shaft up the east bank. We were
obliged to return. We proceeded up the return to the shaft. We re-
mained there eight or nine hours, and then got out by the Eppleton Pit.
It was the main wagonway where I was working in the first of the air.
If I had considered there was any danger, I would not have gone down
that night, but I thought I was as safe as I am standing here. We were
working about 800 yards from the shaft. The force of the explosion
threw me and my mate down. The place where we were was six feet
high and eight feet broad. There was only one blast of wind.
George Gleghorn, pitman—I was working with John Bond in the
north cross-cut of the East Minor Pit, at the time of the explosion. We
had two naked oil lamps. The force of the explosion threw us both
down, and blew out one of our lamps. Before the explosion the air was
very good. There was no gas where we were. I considered the pit
perfectly safe. We met the after-damp nearly at the top of the east
bank, it was very strong, and coming in the direction from the shaft.
I am not able to give an opinion as to where the explosion took place, or
the cause of it.
llobert Gardiner, hewer—On the day of the explosion, I was at work
with my brother on the east bank of the East Minor Pit. Before the
explosion the air was very good—there was no gas. We met the after-
damp a little up the bank. It was very strong when we got about three
parts up the bank. It was coming from the shaft. We got up the
Eppleton Pit. I cannot form the least opinion as to where the explosion
took place, or the cause of it.
William Anderson—I am a stone workman, and was at work in the
East Minor Pit, on the 20th of December last, at the north cross-cut,
down the east bank. When the explosion took place the air was very
good. We found little effect from it, merely a ringing in our ears. We
would be about a mile and a quarter from the shaft. I have heard of no
gas in any of the goaves that could have caused it. My opinion is if it
had come from the goaves to the furnace the furnace would have been
blown to pieces, and it is undamaged.
James Reed—I am master wasteman of the East and West Minor
Pits. I was down the East Minor Pit on the morning of the day of the
explosion. I went down at half-past two o'clock in the morning, to set
my men to work. After I set the men to work, I went in the wagonway
of the East Minor to the bottom of the new south incline, into the return.
I met George Lowden at that point, to arrange about some stores he
wanted, and I then went into the waste, and examined further in than
is shown upon the plan. The ventilation was capital—in a real
good state. There was no accumulation of gas; I do not believe an
inch. I examined every part of the returns of that pit up to the furnace,
and found nothing but well, all ways. I left the pit about a quarter-past
eight o'clock in the morning. I examined all the places that morning,
and they were all clean. I have examined many a time the place where
the explosion is supposed to have occurred. I am of opinion it took
place in the flues. I think it had been gas in the flues, but I cannot
tell how or why it had come there. It could not, I think, possibly have
come down the downcast shaft, and so got to the flues. If the ventila-
tion was perfect, gas accumulated in the workings could not get to the
flues, nor even if it was imperfect. I know no other place where it could
come from, except the coals put on the engine fire for damping. There
were some repairs done in the upcast shaft. They commenced on the
Sunday before the explosion, and concluded on the Tuesday previous.
The wedging of the tubbing had given way, and some water was going
down the pit, which interfered with the ventilation, but not to any con-
siderable extent. The ventilation was perfect again on the Wednesday
morning. These repairs could not in any way have assisted in causing,
the explosion. The principal returns were examined on the Wednesday
morning, but I found not the slightest gas. Whilst the repairs wrere
going on in the shaft, the High Main furnace was going in full operation.
I he two west furnaces in the Hutton Seam were also going, but not in
full operation. The east furnace was out, or nearly so, and the three
boiler fires were on to a certain extent. The dampers were down, but
the fires were not damped. [Mr. Reed then explained the mode of repairing
the tubbing.] During the stoppage we had as much ventilation as before
the furnaces were put out. Before recommencing work the High Main
examined, and there was no gas in any of the edges of the goaves.
. ^xammed the intake and the outtake of the Low Main myself, but not
ye, and I found her clean. I have known the Low Main twenty-
three or twenty-four years, and never saw an inch of gas in her. It
gives off less gas than the other seams. I do not think that gas, during
these repairs, can have accumulated to any extent in any part of these
pits. If it had been, I do not see the possibility of its getting to the
flues with the benefit of the portion of air going to Eppleton from the
Minor Pit, which supplied the east, north, and west districts of the
East Minor Pit, which was a benefit to the West Minor Pit. What the
Eppleton Pit upcast took was a benefit to the West Minor Pit. At the
time of the explosion I think we would have 157,668 cubic feet per
minute going down. That was measured a fortnight before the explo-
sion. It does not surprise me, with that quantity of air, that there has
been so much after-damp from the explosion. I know, of my own
knowledge, that men have been suffocated, at considerable distances, in
all directions from the shaft. I have travelled some distance underneath
after-damp, but not a considerable distance. The furnaces, after the
explosion, did not assist to make after-damp. The burning of the hay
in the stables I think would. It made a serious quantity of smoke. I
do not think any man could have lived where it was very strong for any
length of time. I believe there has been no other gas, except what was
in the flue, to cause this explosion. There was no possibility of gas
getting from the Low Main to the flues, because the flues were shut off
altogether, and it could only get through the damper, and would have
to pass over the fire, and, although damped, would have exploded, and
gone back to the Low Main. Gas generated in the Low Main would
make for the upcast. If gas came down the downcast shaft, and so over
the fire, it was impossible for it to get into the flues. If it did, it would
pass No. 1 and No. 2 boilers before it came to the flues. No. 3 boiler
has flues : the others have none. I do not think it possible for any gas
to come down the downcast, from the quantity of air we had. There
was no goaf to foul from in the east, and the returns were examined in
the west, and no gas found. I think it is possible, with so large a
quantity of air, when the ventilation is broken, to have as much after-
damp as in this explosion.
George Lorvden recalled—After the stoppage, on the Sunday previous
to the explosion, I examined the whole of the driftways, but found no
gas. I examined the waste, and the workings which belong to us, but
not the stables. They are the only part I did not examine, and they
are in the first intake of the air. It would not be possible for gas to
accumulate there.
George Davison, engineman—I had charge of the engine in the east
side of the East Minor Pit. I took charge of it at four o'clock in the
morning, and continued in charge up to about ten minutes to five o'clock
in the afternoon. Up to that time my engine had gone all right, and
the ventilation also. .The fire was damped when I left. I did not
examine the steam valves, but I examined the steam gauge immediately
before I left; it indicated 181bs. on the square inch. It might have been
worked at 331bs. on the square inch—that is the ordinary pressure. The
damper was out a little to take away the smoke. I think it would not
be more than an inch and a half open. I did not see the damper, but
ascertained by the weight and chain attached to it, which I did see.
The fire would be damped by the fireman, William Clennell. After the
fire is damped I think it will give off less smoke than before. I cannot
say that damping would cause more gas. After a time it would give off
more smoke. There was a little scale of fresh air from the top of the
damper. I did not hold my lamp to it that day before I left the pit. A
week after the explosion I saw my boiler and engine. The boiler was
standing in the same place where I had left it. I examined it that day
by looking round it. It had not been displaced. I have not examined
it inside. I had examined the boiler before I left on the day of the
explosion, but there was no leakage. The smoke would go through the
scale left under the damper and so into the flues. The draught was only
sufficient to take away the smoke " cannily" into the flues. The fire was
damped in the usual way. The opening of the damper is regulated by
guess, according to one's own idea of the space required. The damper
could not have been nearly down without my knowing—the smoke
would come out in a contrary direction. If the damper was down to
the bottom there might be a bit scale at the sides, but it would not take
away the smoke. The grooves in which the damper worked were formed
of fire-bricks, and not metal, and there was a small leakage into the flue.
The brick grooves would not fit the damper as perfectly as metal—it
would admit more space for gas to get into the flues. I cannot say
anything about gases. It is the first time I have heard of or seen fire
behind my engine. I have been an engineman twenty-four years, and
had charge of this engine two years. I never knew a case of gas firing
behind the damper, nor in front of it. I have seen a little on the fire—
a bit " flisk." When the damper was in and was lifted it gave a bit
explode. That was at bank. My damper was not broken when I left
it before the explosion, but is so now. I think it might be broken by an
explosion of gas inside the flues. If the damper was put too close, the
draught would have come back. There was always sufficient draught
to prevent back draught through the fire doors. The fire doors were
open when I left, and every thing else was left as usual, and, as I con-
sidered, perfectly safe. No alteration has taken pi ace in the boiler or
the flues for some time. About ten months ago the boiler was repaired
and the side flues built up again in the same way as before. During
Monday and Tuesday previous to the explosion I was at my boiler. I
was driving the engine on these days pumping water. I was pumping
water by the force pump out of the Hutton Seam to the main coal. My
engine worked night and day these two days. Once before, when
cleaning the drift out, about three weeks before the explosion, she went
three nights and days, and nothing unusual occurred. I have examined
my flues since the explosion, and see they are blown up in two places.
I think it was gas in the flues that caused the explosion. I cannot say
where the gas came from. We had plenty of air coming to the fire on
the Monday and Tuesday, and I saw no difference on the Wednesday,
and on the Thursday it was coming just the same. The fire burned
sharper in cold weather. We do not put the damper further down than
in hot weather. Two or three hours after being damped a flame might
play about the fire. The fire is sometimes green when damped. At
the week's end we burn her down to damp. I think there would be
more cinder than green coal on when she was damped. There was a
little flame playing over the top after she was damped that night, at the
backside. There is sufficient flame at the backside to explode fire-damp
if it came back from the flue. If the same gas as is made in the gas
works was in the flues, and had come back upon the fire, it would have
lighted. There was nothing to prevent the damper falling down. I
never cleaned the framework of my damper. Dirt might accumulate,
and dust also. The distance from the firebars to the damper is about
sixteen or eighteen feet. There is a flue with an end door to it at the
entrance to the boiler, on the right hand side. The door was kept open
always. The air might get in there. It had no connection with the
centre or smoke flue. There was no opening into the centre flue that I
know of. If gas was coming in at the door and over the fire, if it came
in contact with the flame it would ignite. I am quite sure my damper
was not left half-way up that night. As soon as the fireman puts the
fire in he damps it, and I see if it is right. One night it might be half
an inch lower than another without my knowing it. I think about a
tub of coals, which is eight cwts., is required to damp the fire. On
returning in the morning, eleven hours after, I cannot say more than a
quarter of it would be burnt. The fire burns more to the back, and in
the morning there is both cinder and green coal. When we commence
to damp, there may be a tubful of fire on the grate bars. The flame at
the back of the fire was not peculiar to that night. There is generally
a little flame there.
William Clennell, fireman—I was employed as a fireman at Davison's
engine, and had been three months previous to the explosion. I went
down about half-past four o'clock in the morning, and left at ten minutes
to five o'clock in the afternoon. All had gone right with the boiler fire,
just as usual, up to the time of my leaving. I damped the fire before I
left. It had been burnt down as usual every night, and about half of it
would be cinders, and half green coal. There would be better than half
a tub—not quite a tub. I put on a tub and a half, or two tubs at the
outside, to damp the fire. I saw the damper put down by Davison.
That was when I had got the fire about half damped. The damper was
usually left an inch and a half open, just to take away the smoke. The
weight attached to it hangs almost against the wall, and I can tell by
guessing what is the space left open. I left the fire doors open as usual
when I left. Gas is a thing I know nothing about. I have never seen
the engine or the boiler since the explosion. I have seen the damage
done by the explosion, but I cannot form any opinion where it took place,
or what caused it. This is the first underground boiler that I have
tended, and that only for three months. This is the first time I have
known an explosion of this sort. When I left, I had no apprehension
of danger. When we come in a morning, sometimes the steam was
blowing off, and sometimes not. Sometimes the fire was well burnt up
at the backside when blowing off, and sometimes black.
Thomas Richardson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, reader in chemistry in
the Durham University, chemical manufacturer, analytical chemist, and
LL.D., said—I have been down the pit, and have examined it, and am
able to state where the explosion took place. I found considerable
damage to the flues of Davison's engine. I heard the evidence given by
Mr. Bell of the injury done to the flue, and I believe it to be true. I do
not think I noticed any further injury than he has described. I am of
opinion the explosion has taken place between the boiler of the engine
and the crossing of the north rolleyway. From what I have heard given
in evidence, and my own examination, I believe the destructive effects
which I noticed in connection with the damage done, arose from an
explosion of gas in the flue between the boiler and the crossing. There
was about 3000 cubic feet of flue between the boiler and the crossing,
which would contain that amount of gaseous matter. The gas might
be an explosive mixture, which might be a mixture of various gases. It
might consist of carbonic oxide, light carburetted hydrogen, or olefiant
gas, or a mixture of the three or any two of them. These gases might
come from the destructive distillation of the fuel used in firing the boiler,
which would proceed from the fire grates under the boiler, and pass
underneath the damper into the flue, if the damper was open only an
inch and a half. The space between the bottom of the damper and the
sole—the heat of the flue—the draught of the upcast shaft—the tem-
perature of the air admitted to the grates—the quantity and condition
of the fuel used at and previous to the damping—are all points which
would affect the filling of the flue with explosive gas \ and if the com-
bination was favourable, the flue would be so filled. The result proves
that the combination must have been favourable to it. The evidence I
have heard, and what I have seen, leads me to think so. I think there
is no other mode for accounting for the explosion but the one I have
given. Three or four hundred cubic feet of a mixture of these gases in
the flues between the boiler and the crossing would cause, on explosion,
the damage I found. As far as I understand the working of this pit,
I consider it impossible that the explosion could have been from an
accumulation of gas in the workings carried into the flues. If gunpowder
had been in the flue, it might have caused some of the damage I have
seen. It would require seventy-five quarter-barrels of gunpowder to
cause the same effect as the gas contained in the flue. The first effect
of the explosion would be to prevent the usual ventilation of the pit,
and the after-damp would be carried by the current of air. A small
quantity of after-damp would vitiate a large quantity of air; in fact,
ten times its own quantity. It would be impossible to ascertain the
amount of carbonic acid gas after the explosion, without knowing
the composition of the explosive mixture in the flue at the time, and
also the soot in it• and the combustion of the soot would increase the
production of carbonic acid gas, and there would be in the flues
sufficient heat generated by the explosion of this mixture to ignite the
soot. I find, in a work entitled " Bunsen's Gasometry," by a German
chemist of the name of Bunsen, published in 1857 by Walton and
Maberly, that the temperature of the gases I have alluded to, when
exploded, is very much higher than I had previously calculated upon,
and which strengthens the opinion Mr. Bell and myself have already
enunciated. Flame from a gunpowder explosion would not have extended
so far as to set fire to hay in the north stables, a distance of 350 yards
from where, I think, the explosion took place. The soot, if it had been
ignited, would be carried to the stables in the same way, or the hot air
either from a gunpowder explosion or the gaseous mixtures I have
noticed. The stables have been set on fire either by the heated air of
the explosion, or by incandescent particles taken by the air. The
evidence of the burning of the men is very slight, and is nothing more
than can be accounted for by the heated state of the gas or air. I know
the concussion after the explosion at Newcastle was so great as to put
out the lights in a manufactory at Jarrow Slake, a distance of eight
miles, and that is why I consider that, the men being knocked down by
this concussion, a very small quantity of after-damp would then kill
them, when it would not a man in robust health, at the distances I have
heard they were found. I cannot find any other cause for the explosion
than the one I have pointed out. It is a direct and feasible one.
Olefiant gas is a highly explosive gas—much more so than any of the
others. I never met with it in any analysis of fire-damp from mines
that I have made\ but it is said to exist in the mines of the Rhine. It
may be produced from coal by distillation. It might be so distilled from
coal consumed in a fire damped as I have heard the fire at Davison's
engine was. It is a constant constituent of our house gas. Ten per cent,
of carbonic acid, mixed with air, would destroy life, and also put out a
candle, but I cannot say what is the least per centage to put out a candle.
The margin between the destruction of life and a candle being put out
is very little. I have passed up the north rolleyway, and seen the effects
of the explosion, and I believe, when the products of the combustion in
this flue found vent into that north rolleyway by the destruction of the
crossing, they would fill that rolleyway to such an extent as to pass
on and destroy these men, having previously interrupted the usual ven-
tilation. Carbonic acid and nitrogen mixed is after-damp. There is
20 per cent, of oxygen in air. I cannot say what deficiency of oxygen
in air would kill a man. I cannot make any computation. I never
heard of a man out of the flame being burnt by heated air in an under-
ground explosion, but I can quite believe in its possibility. It depends
upon circumstances. I think the explosion would have gone straight
away if it had not been for the obstruction of the crossing, which was
on a rise, and which diverted it north and south. It is possible the gas
Vol. IX.—March, 1861. q
in the flue was in greater proportion than 1 in 10 of air, and that, on
the explosion breaking the crossing down, the unconsumed gas got its
proportion of air from the intake, and so increased the force of the
explosion; but I do not think it probable. The concussion of air might
kill these men in the south and north rolleyways, unmarked by violence,
without any after-damp. If any difficulty arose to account for the
ignition at the damper, it might arise by a tailing back of the gas at the
roof of the arch from the furnace to the seat of the explosion from the
ventilating furnace.
John Daglish, of Hetton Colliery, viewer to the Hetton Coal Company,
said—The Hetton Colliery consists of three distinct collieries, Elemore,
Eppleton, and Hetton. There are two distinct shafts at each colliery,
one used as a downcast the other as an upcast. The Eppleton is con-
nected with the Hetton, but the Elemore is not. The area of the down-
cast shaft of the East and West Minor Pits, after deducting for slides,
brattices, &c, is 98 feet clear, and that of the upcast 132 square feet.
. The intakes and outtakes are considerably larger, I might say four times
that size. That will allow 230,000 cubic feet of air to circulate. We
have measured that quantity in the upcast, and, at the same time, there
was 180,000 cubic feet in the downcast. That quantity of air was cir-
culating in the East and West Minor Pits immediately before the
explosion. The increased temperature in the upcast shaft apparently
increased the quantity of air. The last measurements of air were taken
a fortnight previously. The day of the explosion was the regular day
for retaking them. That quantity was sufficient for the perfect ventila-
tion of the pits. With that circulation, gas could not accumulate in the
workings of the pits. There was no alteration made in the length or
direction of any of the currents, and the water gauge was standing at
the same point at the time of the explosion as at the time of the measure-
ment a fortnight previously. The water gauge denotes the difference in
pressure existing between the downcast and upcast shafts, and is, there-
fore, a measurement of the ventilating power. The water gauge is taken
every hour, and a return made to the master wasteman every night, who
enters it on a diagram, and forwards it to me for inspection every night,
and from these reports I can tell any neglect on the part of the furnace-
men. The greatest variation of pressure during the day of the explosion
did not exceed two-tenths, which is very regular. At five o'clock it was
1*5 \ that is two-tenths beyond what I require—1*3 is the standard of -
that pit. Up to that hour the ventilation had been perfect. On the
Tuesday night before the explosion I examined the water gauge myself.
We have a barometer in use in the pits, one at each colliery, and also at
bank in connection therewith. They are registered daily, both on the
surface and in the pits, as well as the thermometers. If there was a
sudden fall in the barometer, reducing the atmospheric pressure, if there
was any gas in the goaves it might come out. The object of these regu-
lations is to insure watchfulness on the part of those in charge as much
as anything else. The barometer in the pit indicated, on the morning
of the explosion, 30*1, being a rise of three-tenths above the day previous.
It reads higher than the surface barometer, which reads half an inch
below that of the pit. On the day of the accident, I had reports from
all the men in charge. I receive such reports, twenty-eig*ht in number,
every night, besides the water gauge diagrams from each pit. I received
the reports the night previous, but for the day of the explosion I
received them immediately afterwards. They had been made immediately
before the explosion, and the boy was on his way to me at the time of
the explosion. The ventilation of the mine is produced by a difference
of the weight of air in the downcast and upcast shafts. The buoyancy
of the upcast is caused by highly heating the air by means of four
furnaces in the Minor Pits, and three engine fires—the air rushes down
the downcast in order to ascend the upcast. The water gauge may be
explained thus:—A communication pipe is put between the two shafts,
and attached to it is a tube of glass, bent in the form of a U, which is
partly filled with water, and the air of the downcast pressing on one side
of the y raises the water in the opposite leg, and thus indicates the
amount of the ventilating pressure. In this instance, the difference in
the level of the water was an inch and a half, which is equivalent to
about 91bs. pressure per square foot, equal to about ll,0001bs pressure
over the whole area of the upcast shaft. There were 37,000 cubic feet,
anemometer measure, going into the south way, which, making
allowance for the friction of the instrument, would be 40,000 as
measured by gunpowder smoke. That was immediately before the
explosion. In the north way there were, by actual measurement by
gunpowder smoke 46,000, by anemometer 44,000. With air thus
circulating, it is impossible for gas to accumulate in the workings. The
extreme distance the air has to travel, from the downcast shaft to the
extreme portion of the south way, is 1400 yards, and of the north way,
2600 yards. The north way is the furthest the air has to travel. The
reports for the day on which the explosion took place were all good. I
produce the report, marked A, of James Dakers, the person in charge of
the north way, up to five o'clock of the day of explosion, in which he
says "pit all right." I had, also, a report from the witness Young,
which was to the same effect. The master wasteman and his son send
in a joint report. James Reed each day gives a report of the districts
through which he has travelled, and also as to the ventilation of the pit,
which report I produce, marked B, in which he states " all going on as
usual." None of the reports, received that day, indicated the presence of
gas in any portion of the pits. The quantity of air, we consider, we had
in the pit at the time of the explosion was not only sufficient for the
ordinary requirements of the mine, hut intended to be sufficient under
unusual circumstances, such as occurred on the Sunday previous to the
explosion • and as proof, I would state that after the explosion, owing to
the destruction of the stoppings and crossings at the end of the south
drift, and the entire interruption to the ventilation of that part, a large
quantity of gas accumulated, the whole of which has been removed by
the present limited ventilation, without any appearance of it in the
vicinity of the furnaces, although, since the explosion, all the three
furnaces in the lower seam, and the three engine fires are out. The size
of the furnaces are as follows :—the large east furnace, ten feet•. the two
west, eight feet each; and the main coal, between six and seven feet.
These furnaces are for the ventilation of the pit. There is now one-third
of the air circulating (owing to the furnaces not being in operation) that
there was previously to the explosion; but the south way is not getting
its full supply, on account of the contractions in it from the falls.
Therefore, one-fourth of the ventilation, in operation previously to the
explosion, was sufficient to carry off all gas accumulated during the
fortnight since the explosion; not only all that was made, but also what
had accumulated. The diminution of the air in the downcast was two-
thirds, in consequence of the furnaces being out, and from no other cause.
The downcast shaft is now divided into two pits by a brattice. It was
at one time both an upcast and downcast shaft; but the Blossom Pit
was some years since sunk down to the Hutton seam, and made an upcast,
and since then both sides of the brattice have been used as an intercommon
downcast shaft. That was done for the better ventilation of the colliery.
I first heard of the explosion between eight and nine o'clock on Thursday
night, the 20th of December, and I immediately went over to the pits
and tried both engines of the East and West Minor Pits to get down,
but found there was some obstruction which prevented the cages being
drawn up by either of them. The upcast in the Blossom Pit is fitted up
with wire rope guides to the main coal, and is used for drawing the coals
from that seam; but as the guides do not go down to the Hutton seam,
there is no access to it by this pit. There was then no means of getting
down into the pit, so I at once rode over to Eppleton. On my road, I
called on the underviewer of that colliery, and by the time we were
ready to go down, Thomas Reed and Robert Young also arrived, and
with two other men we descended the pit. [The witness then described
the exertions used to get to the Minor Pits from the Eppleton Pit, and
the manner in which the Eppleton air current was diverted to enable the
exploring parties to reach the Minor Pit, and recover the survivors. He
then resumed]:—In company with Mr. Heckels, Mr. John Taylor, and
other gentlemen, I proceeded to examine the boilers, where we had the
idea of the explosion having* occurred. We noticed the direction of the
blast as we proceeded, and on arriving at the end of No. 3 boiler, at the
damper end, we found the entire flue blown away from the damper to
the pipe drift—-the top of the flue had been blown from the inside.
Opposite the pipe drift, the sides of the flue, the whole flue, the travelling-
flues, and the brick work were blown away at that point. Following up
the flue to the north wagonway, we found the arched crossing which
carried the flue over it completely gone—the sides left standing, and the
sole gone—which shows that the force came from above, and that part
of the crossing next to the boiler was completely blown to pieces. On
the opposite side, part of the crossing was left, showing that the blast had
come from the direction of the boiler, and had found full vent at this
crossing. I have also examined the continuation of the flue towards the
furnaces. Here it is solid, and the apparent damage is not so great,
but still following the direction of the blast from the boiler, but with
diminished force. At the first turn, a few bricks were blown out, from
the direction of the boiler; also, at the next turn, near the furnaces, and
a small wall between the flue and the furnaces was overturned, still in the
same direction. We have no further indication of the force of the
blast in this direction, excepting from the witness Curry, at the east
furnace. I have examined the pit in all the parts we have been able to
get into, and in every direction I find evidences that the blast has
proceeded from the neighbourhood of the damper of No. 3 boiler,
which satisfies me that that was the seat of the explosion. Further,
I also find that the blast has acted with diminished force in all
directions from the damper, in some cases entirely ceasing where the
distance is far enough. In the north wagonway we have no evidence'
of force beyond the crossing joining the travelling way to the Eppleton
Pit, a distance of 1600 yards, although it had killed and mutilated four
men at an intermediate point, about 600 or 700 yards from the shaft.
Beyond the crossing no damage whatever was done. In the south part,
beyond the crossing in the old bank, little or no damage has been done.
That is 700 yards from the shaft, and about 100 yards beyond the foot
of the new bank, where Ferguson and another man were found. In the
other parts of this way the stone is so extremely bad that it is difficult
to say where the blast has ceased its violence, such a large quantity of
stone has fallen since the explosion. This we know by the whiteness of
the roof. On the straight road the damage is greater than on the other
ways, on account of the divergence of the blast, and the space allowed
for its expansion. In the direction from the shaft, at right angles to the
north and south ways, the damage done is comparatively slight. The
size of the drift near the shaft being considerable, caused it not to be so
great, but there was damage done sufficient to show the direction of the
blast; and there is also the evidence of the men who felt the blast down
the east bank. From all this, I come to the conclusion that the flue was
the place where the explosion took place. I know, of my own knowledge,
sufficient of chemistry to enable me to account for the violence of the
explosion; and my own views and opinions are confirmed by the evidence
of Mr. Bell and Dr. Richardson, which I have heard. I know that the
coal put upon the boiler fire to damp it during that night, must have
given off the whole of the gaseous matter it contained, which would,
from the evidence of the fireman as to the quantity of coal he used,
amount to 7000 cubic feet of inflammable gas, which requires ten times
that amount of atmospheric air for its perfect combustion; and as the
cubical contents of the flue are about 7000 feet, the gas given off from
the coal mentioned by the fireman was sufficient to fill these flues ten
times with a perfectly explosive mixture. That is how I account for the
gas being there. It might have fired either at the ventilating furnace or
the engine fire. I believe that there is very much greater power deve-
loped than is due merely to the quiet expansion of the gas, owing to the
temperature of ignition. If we take gunpowder, over which we have more
control, an ordinary charge for a rifle is equivalent to fifteen cubic inches;
and taking its expansion due to the conversion both of the solid into the
gaseous, and also the further expansion due to the temperature of ignition,
and both these two at 2000 volumes, we have the ultimate expansion of
a charge of gunpowder to be equivalent to 300 cubic inches. Take the
bore of a rifle to be three-quarters of an inch, the area will be five inches ;
and if you take the length of the barrel to be thirty-six inches, its
cubical contents will be eighteen inches, and as the ultimate expansion
of the original charge was only 300 cubic inches, this is only equivalent
to sixteen times the length of the gun barrel; whereas the ball is sent
a mile and a half. And if so small a charge can project a ball to such
a distance, I can readily believe that so large a quantity of gas collected
in the flues when exploded is capable of doing all the damage which I
have seen in the pit, especially considering that the damage is mostly
confined to two single drifts. The gas could not have come from the
workings of the pits, and I do not think it could have come from any
other place than the boiler fire. The plans produced are correct ones of
the workings, flues, &c, of the Minor Pits. [In explanation of the east
furnace being put out on the Sunday night before the explosion, the witness
described the nature of the repairs made in the Blossom Pit previous to
the explosion in the Minor Pits. That the east furnace, in the Minor
Pit, was put out, and the two West Minor furnaces were damped up; but
the main coal furnace and one boiler fire were kept away in full operation.
During this time, the regulators between the Hetton and Eppleton
Collieries were opened wider than usual, which allowed a larger
quantity of air to pass from the Eppleton Pit into the Minor Pits to
prevent any accumulation of inflammable air. The witness resumed]:—
The alteration in the air at this time could have nothing to do with the
explosion, and could not have drawn any gas from any splits there might
be in the pit. The whole of the south way was not interfered with.
No part of the workings were laid dormant whilst this work was going
on. There is a distance of two or three yards between the fire and the
end of the flue of the ventilating furnace. The air passes all the edges
of the goaves in the East and West Minor Pits, and so sweeps away
any gas there may be. Some of it may be black damp, and some fire-
damp, but it is regularly swept away as it is given off. When carried
away by the air, it would pass over the furnace, and not into the flue.
Gas coming off the goaves could not get into the flues. If the gas was
so given off as to contaminate the whole of the return air-currents, being
all mixed before they arrived at the furnace, and if they had been inflam-
mable and set fire to by passing over the furnace, the explosion would
pass back along the returns to where it came from, and its effects would
have been there seen, and not in the wagonway, as in this case. If this
had happened, the men at the east and west furnaces would have been
burnt. I rather incline to the belief, that the gas in the flues was not
thoroughly saturated with air, and on the blowing down of the crossing
took up a fresh portion of air, and so produced a continuance of the blast
with greater violence. I have never seen the air in the returns in such
a state as to give any indication of the presence of gas by the lamp, nor
have I received any reports from the men in charge that they have done
so. The arching of the flue was in contact with the stone above. The
arch of the fire flue is formed of bricks, but I cannot say they are placed
edgeways, but I think so. Probably two bricks edgeways. There is a
flat brick flooring at the upper flue. The bottom of the flue has a floor,
I think of lime and gravel cement. The arch of the wagonway I believe
to be formed in the same way as that over the small flue. I have no
conception of the weight resting on the crossing at the wagonway.
There is an arch stands over the side flues at this crossing. No fire-
damp could have burst into the flues. The flues are swept at stated
times, but I cannot say how often, or when they were last swept.
Richard Forster Matthews, of South Hetton, viewer, said—I am
viewer for South Hetton and Murton Collieries. I have been a viewer
sixteen years, and have seen four or five colliery explosions, and have
been burnt myself. Since this explosion I was down the pit assisting to
get out the bodies. Everything was done that could have been done to
save the men. I have seen both pits. I believe the explosion took place
in the No. 3 boiler flue. I have not the slightest doubt of that. My
opinion is, that there had been a quantity of gas given off by the boiler
fire, probably about 3000 or 4000 cubic feet, which had lodged in the
flue, between the boiler and the crossing of the north rolley-way, and
had been ignited at the boiler fire, and at first, I think the explosion had
been slight, but sufficient to blow out the crossing into the rolley-way,
and then the whole volume of gas became mixed with the requisite
amount of fresh air, causing the ignition of the whole, and hence I
account for the explosive force from that point being so much greater.
I do not think it possible the gas could have accumulated from the
workings into the flue. I think it could not have come from any other
place than the boiler fire. I was at first rather surprised at this explosion,
but am not so when I have considered the matter. It is of an extra-
ordinary description. I have calculated the quantity of gas there might
be in the flues, and consider, if as much gunpowder as you can put into
a thimble will carry an ounce ball a mile, I see nothing to prevent the
quantity of gas there would be in the flues to do all this mischief. At
Murton we ventilate the flue by a hole five inches square, between the
travelling-way and the smoke flue, to prevent such an occurrence. I
believe that is generally done. I never knew, but have heard of one of
these flues blowing up before this below ground. That was at the
Felling. All the damage may have been done without any fire-damp
from the workings. I have been frequently, years before, in this pit,
and there was always a quantity of air in it. I am aware my opinion is
somewhat different to that of Messrs. Bell and Richardson as to the
mixture of fresh air, that is, I think the great force of the explosion did
not take place until the crossing at the north way gave way. My reason
is, that the boiler and engine which is close bye is not injured at all.
The explosion would be a continuous one. I have seen the arch-way at
the crossing, but have not measured it. It could not be made strong
enough to resist an explosion. I think part of the explosion went through
Davison's engine to the stables, but the main portion went along the
north and south rolley-wrays. The west end of the flue being open would
not ease the violence of the explosion at the crossing.
Thomas Emerson Forster, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, said—I have
been an extensive viewer of collieries thirty-eight years. I have been
down this pit, and have examined it very minutely, with a view to
ascertain where the explosion took place. There can be no doubt that
the explosion took place in the flue of Davison's engine boiler. The
cause was the damping of the fire with a large quantity of coals, and
the damper being too closely put down, the distillation of gas from these
coals oozed through underneath the damper, and filled the flues with
explosive gas, too little air being allowed to pass to sweep it away as it
was made. I think the flue had filled back from the top of the crossing
on the north way tp the damper, and then tailed back on the boiler fire and
ignited; and then the gas between the damper and the boiler fire would
back through the firehole doors and would set fire to the south-east
stables. The larger portion of gas between the damper and the crossing
would ignite at the same time, and the first thing it would do would be
to blow down the crossing. It is quite clear the blast had gone in that
direction, because the wall of the crossing on the east side of the north
rolleyway was blown down, whilst that on the west side was left partially
standing. It is quite impossible the gas could have been generated in
the inbye workings and afterwards get into the flues. There is no other
source, in my opinion, but the boiler fire from which the gas could
Vol. IX.—Mabch, 1861. r
possibly come. In 1847 I was viewer at the Felling, when we had a
similar explosion to this underground. I do not think there was any
difference in the nature of the explosions, but that at the Felling caused
more damage. The flues there were about the same size as they are
here. I built the flues in the East Minor Pit in the year 1826, when I
was viewer for Hetton Colliery. I came as viewer to the Hetton
Collieries in 1824, and was there until 1831, and I have been frequently
down them since that time; and I think it is due to Mr. Daglish to say,
that the quantity of air going down, and the distribution of it, does him
great credit, and has my unqualified approbation. And I further state,
that with that circulation of air in this pit it is impossible that the returns
can ever be in a dangerous state. I would have considered the pit
perfectly safe with a much less quantity of air. It is quite impossible
the explosion can have been caused by gunpowder. If the men were
killed at such distances with after-damp it would not surprise me, but I
think they were killed by the concussion of the explosion. The effect of
the after-damp would extend further than the concussion would kill a
man. If the air at the bottom of the pit was going north and south at
the rate of eight to ten feet per second before the explosion took place,
after the explosion had taken place, and its effects were going on, I have
no doubt that the air would then be forced at the rate of from 80 to 100
feet per second, and the consequence would be, the air would rush in and
carry the after-damp with it, and so kill the men if then alive. That is
the reason there is so much damage done to the rolleyway. The venti-
lation at the Felling at the time of the explosion there was about 60,000
cubic feet per minute, which would be a larger portion of air in pro-
portion to the workings of the colliery than here. There were goaves
in the Felling, but it was quite clear that it was not caused by fire-damp.
The engine stood 700 yards from the bottom of the shaft, and the flue
was level about 350 yards next the engine, and then rose about two
inches to the yard to the upcast shaft—the engine being 600 yards from
the upcast and 700 from the downcast. It had no ventilation except
what it got from the boiler, which was twenty-eight feet long and six
feet diameter. I cannot say whether it was a wheel or a flash flue, but
think the latter. The boiler was lifted out of its seat and all the steam
pipes broken, and 100 yards of the flue was blown down. The flue
there was two side walls, and there were flags over the top. The
travelling-way was between the coal and the flue, but there was a brick
wall next the coal on each side. I would suggest one way of preventing
these explosions—by putting the fires out. The next is by keeping the
damper sufficiently high for the current of air to sweep away the gas as
soon as made. And a third, by making an opening in the flue wall
from the travelling road beyond the damper, and allowing a sufficient
quantity of air to go in and so clear the gas away as made. It is my
opinion that the gas could not ignite at the west ventilating furnace,
and if it had ignited there, the west side of the crossing would have
blown down instead of the east. From the evidence I have heard as to
the ventilation previous to the explosion, I think the ventilation was
quite sufficient, and that it occurred from circumstances that could not
be foreseen. I do not consider the damage done so great as might have
been expected, independent of the burning of the stables and the sacrifice
of life. The masonry of the crossing I consider perfectly strong enough
for its purpose, as it has been there thirty-four years.
Richard Hechels, of Bunker Hill Colliery, viewer to the Earl of
Durham and others, said—I have been a viewer twenty-two years, and
have had charge of extensive collieries. I was down this pit on the
morning after the explosion, and every means were used to save the
lives of the men in the pit. I have been down the pit, and through the
flues, and have examined them four or five times, as well as the neigh-
bourhood of the shaft. The explosion had taken place in the flues at
Davison's engine fire, from an accumulation of gas from the fire to the
crossing at the north rolleyway, which was generated from the coals put
on the furnace fire in damping it, and which got into the flues underneath
and at the sides of the damper. I think, whilst it was accumulating, it
would fill like a balloon, and tail back through or at the sides of the
damper. It would ignite, and pass quietly on underneath, just behind
the damper, and explode the gas inside the flue. I think it is barely
possible for the gas to have been set on fire at the west ventilating
furnaces. The gas could not have accumulated from the workings of
the pit, or any other source, to be brought into the flue, than that I
have named. With this ventilation there might have been gas in the
goaves, but not any in the workings. I have not known of any explosion
of this nature before; but since this explosion I have heard of that at
the Felling, but know nothing of it of my own knowledge. The venti-
lation was amply sufficient for the safety of the men. I would have
considered it safe with half the ventilation. I consider it the best
ventilated pit I have ever seen. I know the Hetton Collieries well,
having* served my time there as a viewer for four years, up to August,
1838. It is possible that it may often have been near an explosion
during this length of time, and yet not happen. An explosion of this
sort requires a certain combination of circumstances, at a certain time,
to cause it, all the circumstances meeting together at the same moment
of time.
George William Southern, of Chilton Moor, viewer to the Mar-
chioness of Londonderry, said—I have been a viewer fifteen years, and
have had the management of extensive collieries. I have been down the
Minor Pits, and have particularly examined them. My opinion is, the
explosion took place in the flue of No. 3 boiler. There can be no doubt
about it. The cause I believe to have been gas in the flue, from the
boiler end to the north way crossing. It could not accumulate there
from any of the workings of the pit, but had done so from the damping
of the fire, the gas being generated from the coals used for that purpose.
The gas had tailed back from the flue to the back of the boiler fire, and
there ignited, and then communicated underneath the damper with the
gas lodged between that point and the crossing; and having blown out
the crossing, and then meeting with a strong current of fresh air, caused
the explosion to be more violent, and to spread both north and south,
and cause the damage done and the loss of life which has been described.
I have had a good deal of experience with underground boilers, and it is
usual to damp them. Before this explosion took place, I would not
have feared damping the fires. This explosion has altered my opinion
as to the probability of an explosion. I now think it more probable that
it might occur again. I do not think it necessary for the fires to be put
out to prevent an explosion. I would think a door from the travelling
way into the flue, in connection with the damper, could be constructed
so as to let in a supply of fresh air when the fire was damped, so that
the damper could not be put down without the door opening at the same
time. I have flues underground in my management, but we have not
ventilated them. It has not been general in the trade in this district to
do so. I would only consider it necessary to ventilate them when the
damper was down. If the damper had been high enough to let in a
current of air to carry off the gas as made, this explosion would not have
occurred. I would not have expected the fireman to have left it further
open than was sufficient to carry off the smoke. The raising of the
damper, more than sufficient to take off the smoke, would blow up the
fire, and make it burn brighter. The act of cooling down the flues by
the admission of fresh air might reduce the temperature in the flue, and
make it more liable to explosion by that means than the other.
Edward Sinclair said—I live at Durham, and have been a viewer
upwards of twenty-two years, and have had the management of extensive
collieries, both in this district and in South Wales, and have seen and
investigated many colliery explosions, and was down the pit when an
explosion at Springwell took place, when thirty-seven men were killed,
I think in the year 1838. I was down the Minor Pit on Saturday
morning, and examined the parts. I think the explosion took place
in the flue between Davison's engine boiler and the crossing in the
north way, from gas collected in the flue between the damper and the
crossing; and, I think, when the boiler fire was damped down it would
then be similar to an ordinary gas retort, and a constant distillation of
the gases, from the coal and coke composing the fire, would be collecting
in the flue behind the damper. I imagine it tailed back, either below or
at the sides of the damper, and had ignited at the boiler fire, communi-
cating that flame to the gas in the flues, and producing the explosion.
I agree with some of the previous witnesses that the explosive force of
the gas would be very much increased when the crossing over the north
way was blown out, and I think there was quite sufficient force to cause
the damage I have seen. I have never known an instance where the
boiler flues were ventilated, but do not think there would be any danger
in doing so. The air in the flue would be rarefied. By the sudden
introduction of cold air, you might damage your flues, but not cause
such an explosion as this. But it is, I think, very easy to warm the
air by passing it over the boiler, before admitting it to the flues. It is
usual, both in this district and Wales and Scotland to damp the fires,
and not to ventilate them. I do not know a flue ventilated in any other
way than this was. I was down this pit previous to the explosion (about
three years ago), and I considered it was then one of the best ventilated
pits within my knowledge.
Matthias Dunn, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, mine inspector from the
Tyne to the Tweed, the northern district, said—I attend for Mr. Atkinson,
the inspector of this district, in consequence of his illness. I have been
fi% years a viewer. I have been down the East Minor Pit once since
the explosion, and have examined it. The explosion took place near to
the damper in the flues, from gas accumulated there, generated from coal
used in damping the boiler fire, which had tailed back from the flue
underneath the damper, and become fired at the back part of the boiler
fire, or had formed an explosive current all the way to the west ventilating
furnaces, and there taken fire. The gas could not have accumulated in
the flue from the workings of the pit. I was viewer of Hetton Colliery,
in 1832, and this engine and boiler was then working in the same
manner as at the time of the explosion, and I considered it perfectly
safe. I do not think any thing could have been done by the parties in
charge of this pit to avoid this explosion. I consider this is similar to
the explosions of boilers which are so difficult to understand, and cannot
satisfactorily be accounted for. I consider it a very peculiar case, and
there must have been a peculiar combination of circumstances to have
produced it. So that if the flues were erected again in the same way as
previous to this explosion, a similar one might not take place for very
many years, or it might take place next week. Ventilation of the flues,
I consider, desirable, and, I think, it could be done with advantage so
as to prevent such an explosion occurring again.
Joseph Dickenson, of Pendleton, near Manchester, mine inspector for
the Manchester district, said—At the request of Mr. Atkinson, who is
too ill to attend to the matter himself, and by the direction of the Home
Secretary, I have attended this enquiry. I have been down the East
and West Minor Pits, and have particularly examined them, and have
no doubt there has been an explosion in the flue of Davison's boiler, at
the part spoken to by the witnesses, between the boiler fire and the
north crossing. I cannot say that I have clearly made my mind up
from what cause the explosion took place. If it has been from gas in
that flue, and in the quantity described, it has been gas of a more
violently explosive kind than any I have hitherto met with in coal mines.
I have officially investigated upwards of a dozen explosions, and upwards
of one hundred killing less than ten persons, and have never met with a
case where the gas has been of so explosive a character as it seems to
have been in this case, that is judging from the small quantity of gas
which we have been able to trace out. Unless it was in a larger quantity
than what that portion of the flue would contain, it could not be ordinary
fire-damp. This is the only explosion I ever investigated without coming
to a conclusion satisfactory to my own mind. I do not think there is
the slightest blame to attach to the viewer, or any party connected with
the pit for this explosion; for although every witness we could get has
been examined and sifted, we have not been able to find that there was
any ordinary fire-damp. I feel quite sure that if the explosion was in
the flue, it could not have its full supply of air, and on knocking the
crossing down, it got its requisite quantity from the intake, and a further
explosion took place, and then it went right along the level.
The examination of Mr. Dickenson completed the evidence, and the
Jury returned the following
Verdict—"That the said John Greaves and twenty-one other persons,
on the twentieth day of December, now last past, came to their deaths,
in the East and West Minor Pits, Hetton Colliery, in the parish ward
and county aforesaid, by an explosion of inflammable gas, accumulated
in the flue leading from the boiler fire of Davison's engine to the upcast
shaft, which gas was not generated in the workings of the said pits."
on the
In considering' the construction of ventilating furnaces, more especially
in reference to the manner in which the supply of air is effected, the
question seems capable of being divided into four general principles.
The first principle is as an open fire fed entirely with the return
The second principle is by contracting the area for the passage of
the air over the fire, and forcing a larger quantity through the bars, thus
supplying the incandescent fuel with a larger portion of oxygen in a
given time, greatly increasing the quantity of coals consumed, and
elevating the temperature in the furnace drift and upcast shaft, but at
the same time increasing the drag of the mine with the contraction.
One of these principles, or an intermediate modification, has hitherto
been usually adopted in underground ventilating furnaces.
It is, perhaps, impossible to lay down any general rule as to the
proportionate area above and below the bars, and that of the side pas-
sages, to produce the maximum effect, so much depends on the depth of
the shaft, the velocity of the current, the size of the furnace, and the
drag of the mine.
Large furnaces are usually fitted up with iron doors, which in some
cases close entirely the space above the bars. These are shut partially
°r entirely, to meet the requirements of the mine. When it is necessary
to raise the fire after being first lighted, or after cleaning, these doors
are very useful in directing the current of air through the fire 5 and as
current increases, owing to the increased temperature, they can be
th^fii aS re5Uired' but the exact Point at which the working value of
rnace is highest, can onlv be ascertained bv actual experiment in
each partioular case.
The following experiment was made at Eppleton Colliery on this point;
and it will he observed that, not only was the air increased largely
(9,450 cubic feet) in the Upper or Main Coal Seam, when all the Hutton
Seam air was forced through the furnace, but that this latter air also
increased (9,240 cubic feet), owing to the increased temperature of the
upcast shaft, caused by the consumption of double the quantity of coals.
It will also be observed that, when all the doors were open, there was
still a contraction of nearly l-10th of an inch of water pressure forcing
the air through and over the fire, and that, when the doors were shut,
this amounted to 3-10ths.
Experiments made at Eppleton Colliery, with Furnace Doors open
and shut. Observations taken every ten minutes.
A similar experiment was made at Elemore Colliery; in this case,
with the doors open, the quantity in the Hutton Seam, in which the
furnaces were placed, was 46,596 cubic feet, and in the Upper or Low
Main Seam 21,145, with a consumption of 6J cwts. of coals; and with
the doors shut, 4:7,775 cubic feet in the Hutton Seam, and 23,420 in
the Low Main, and a consumption of double the quantity of coals.
During the experiments the furnaces were not driven hard, but, as
nearly as possible, an equal amount of fuel kept on the fire during the
whole time.
Experiments made at Elemore Colliery, with Furnace Boors open
and shut.
In cases where more than one seam is worked, or where the currents
pass into the shaft at different points, by placing the furnace in that seam
or current, which either from having the shortest run or other cause can
bear the greatest resistance, and by passing the whole or greater part
through the bars, a higher temperature can be obtained, without injury
to this current, and yielding the full benefit to the other splits.
At Eppleton Colliery the distance travelled by the air underground in
the Lower or Hutton seam, is so much greater than in the Upper or Main
Coal Seam, that a great contraction is required in the Upper Seam to
apportion correctly the currents. Under these circumstances a furnace
could have been placed in the Main Coal and a large portion of
the air forced through the fire without injuring the ventilation of
this seam. Advantage has been taken of this to feed the engine
boiler fires with the return instead of fresh air; by this means the
shaft resistance ^on the quantity of fresh air, which would otherwise
have been required for this purpose, is saved. I would here men-
tion, however, that a boiler fire does not yield equally good results
as a ventilating power, with a well-arranged furnace. Not only is a
very large portion of the heat of the former absorbed by the water in
the boiler, a great portion of which is ultimately dissipated, but the
cooling surface of the boiler prevents the proper combustion of the fuel,
and large quantities of smoke are formed. Again, the action is very
irregular, the firing being either very violent when steam is required,
or, absolutely nil when the engine is not. working, when generally
speaking, the dampers are closed so as almost to stop combustion.
The third principle is by feeding the furnace with fresh air, wThich
permits of a strong blast, without adding to the drag of the mine. As
this method has been so frilly and ably treated by Mr. Armstrong, in
a recent paper, I will only mention what seems to me to be obstacles to
its general adoption.
First.—The great wear and tear consequent on the very high temper-
ature in the furnace.
Second.—When a strong blast is passed through incandescent fuel
and none over it a large portion of the carbon passes off as carbonic
oxide, without combining with its maximum quantity of oxygen.
Muspratt states the loss at the Alfreton Blast Furnaces to be 81 per cent,
of the fuel consumed, and gives the following as an average analysis of
the mixed gases passing off:—
Nitrogen - - - 60*907 to 57*878
Carb. Acid - 8*370 to 9*230
Carb. Oxide - 26-846 to 24*042
Carb. Hyd. - 2*536 to 2*743
Bi-carb. Hyd. - - - *112 to -392
Hydrogen - 1*126 to 4*972
Sulph. Hyd. - *045 to *035
Ammonia - - . . -058 to *115
Third.—In case of limited shaft room—that is when the quantity of
air passing up an upcast shaft is already so large as to require a velocity
of say thirty feet per second—the addition to it by admitting fresh air
to the furnace, of any quantity not available for the special purposes of
ventilation, is a serious question. For as this increased quantity will
cause an increased resistance in the shaft, a proportionate increase of
temperature will be required, which will not only necessitate a largely
increased consumption of fuel, but will magnify one of the most serious
objections to the use of the furnace at all, viz., the injurious action and
effects of the furnace vapour and furnace heat, especially at elevated
There remains a fourth principle, or rather a modification of the
second. This is to increase largely the area of fire grate, so as to afford
extended surface for contact of oxygen with the incandescent fuel, with-
out adding to the resistance. For it must be borne in mind that unless
the air is brought into actual contact with the burning fuel or gases, it
is valueless for the purpose of increasing or supporting combustion.
If all the air is forced through the fire, a portion of the fuel will pass
off as carbonic oxide as before mentioned, also the drag of the mine
will be greatly increased * on the other hand, if too large a quantity of
air is passed over the fire, its cooling powers will prevent the proper
oxidation of the hydro-carbon gases, which requires a high temperature,
and the formation of smoke will detract from the full value of the coal
used, further combustion will be feeble, and a high temperature in the
shaft will not be attained. By having a large surface of fire grate, and
using a thin fire, thus reducing the resistance, and by allowing such a
quantity of air to pass over the fire as is just sufficient thoroughly to
saturate the resultant gases with oxygen, and cause perfect combustion
without reducing the temperature, the maximum effect will be obtained.
A furnace on this principle has been erected at Eppleton Colliery, and has
given very satisfactory results. It is twenty-six feet long by six feet wide
(one-hundred and fifty-six square feet), and, as will be seen on the accom-
panying' plan, all the air which passes over the fire, passes along the
entire length of twenty-six feet, thus supplying the oxygen necessary
for the consumption of the gases at an elevated temperature, and,
consequently, preventing the formation of smoke.
The advantages offered by this form of furnace, are:—
1. —Economy of construction.
2. —Elasticity of action.—One, two, or more fires can be in operation
3. — Continuance of action.—There being no check when cleaning as
in ordinary furnaces, this being always in operation by moving the fire
from one end.
4. —Consumption of smoke.
5. —Absence of radiated heat, and coolness of passages, &c, near
6. — Capability of extension to any size, to meet the requirements of
the mine.
There can be little doubt that the best position of the furnace, as a
ventilating power, is as near the bottom of the upcast as possible; but,
when the shaft contains any wooden material, especially brattice or
guides, it is necessary to place it at such a distance as to remove all
possibility of any sparks reaching the shaft. If this is done by sinking
a staple at the furnace, some distance upwards, and connecting it at the
top by a drift with the shaft, there will be uttle loss of ventilating* power.
It is necessary, however, to take into consideration the possibility of
wood becoming inflamed without actual contact with ignited matter.
At a colliery in this district, the furnace, which is in the Hutton Seam,
is placed close to the bottom of a staple sunk up to the Main Coal, a dis-
tance of thirty fathoms, and connected at the top by a drift of twenty-
five yards with the upcast. Frequent observations have been made to
detect sparks at the top of this staple, when the furnace was hard driven,
and portions of tar-barrels have been placed on the fire and then stirred
to make the sparks pass freely off, and none could ever be observed at
the top; but the fine dust in the drift into the upcast, wherever it
could accumulate to a depth of a few inches, was always red hot.
Again, during the recent fire in Hetton Colliery, resulting from the
explosion, a wood stopping was built across the wagonway in which the
fire was; this was so warped and injured by the great heat that a brick
stopping was built in behind it, and shortly after this was done the wood
stopping took fire, although it was 100 yards from the fire in the coal.
Further, the soot adhering to the sides, or lodging on ledges, is frequently
observed to be on fire in upcast shafts, where a high temperature is kept up.
This militates against another advantage offered by feeding the furnace
with fresh air. It is a question for very serious consideration whether,
knowing the liability of fire in upcast shafts, it is advisable to pass the
return air into the shaft without passing over the furnace—whether this
supposed security might not lead to allowing the return to be charged
with gas to an extent which could not be allowed if it had to pass over
the furnace, and the same amount of fresh air which would be required
in the former case to feed the furnace, might, in the latter case, be made
available for further diluting the return air.
But whilst allowing the advantage offered by placing the furnace
close to the bottom of the upcast shaft, as the best means of attaining
the maximum effect from a given quantity of coal, there are also advan-
tages of another kind attained by placing the furnace at some distance.
When the furnace is in the first position, and the upcast shaft is wet, as,
for instance, in a bratticed shaft, where it is absolutely necessary to allow
a quantity of water to pass down—on occasions when the shaft requires
repairs, and the furnace is put out, or damped down sufficiently to enable
the men to work, then there is very little reserved heat, and the tempera-
ture falls rapidly. The ventilating power of a furnace so placed and
circumstanced ceases almost with its action; whilst in cases where a
quantity of heat is conserved in a considerable length of furnace drift,
dry staple, or engine flue, not only does heat continue to be given off for
a considerable time after the furnace is put out, but, during its active
state, the ventilating pressure is less fluctuating.
The annexed diagrams of ventilating pressures, as recorded by the
water gauge, will shew this :—
A. is a water gauge diagram, taken every hour for one week, in a
bratticed upcast shaft where a large quantity of water was conducted
down the brattice and slides. It will be observed, that every night from
ten to eleven, the water-gauge fell rapidly during the time that the men
were engaged in examining the shaft, and, that on the "Pay Saturday"
when repairs were being executed, the pressure fell rapidly to about ^
at which it remained pretty regular, this being little above the natural
ventilation of the mine.
B. and C. are water-gauge diagrams of Eppleton and Elemore
Collieries, at both of which there are considerable lengths of engine flue.
Vol. IX.—March, 1861. T
It will be observed that the ventilating pressure is almost constant and
steady, and, that when the shaft was being repaired on the "Pay
Saturday" (B.) the pressure fell slowly and gradually.
At Eppleton Colliery, after the furnaces and engine boiler fires had
been out above a month, the temperature in the coolers or travelling
ways on each side of the flue was 104°, and during the whole of this
time from 5,000 to 10,000 cubic feet per minute had been passing along.
mining engineers.
Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
The Secretary having read the minutes of the Council meetings of
the 6th and 18th inst.,
The President said, relative to the Birmingham meeting, it had
been thought advisable that Mr. Woodhouse, Mr. Blackwell, Mr. Smith,
Mr. Binns, Mr. Matthews, and Mr. Marshall, being resident in the
Midland district, should be added to the committee. He (the President)
had met some of these gentlemen in London last week, when they
agreed to act on the committee. Mr. Smith stated that he would be
very glad to light up the caverns under Dudley Castle, which would be
a very great treat indeed, exceeding even a visit to the far-famed caves
of Kentucky.—The next subject on the minutes of the Council was in
reference to the interview with Dr. Chariton and the deputation from
the Natural History Society. The meeting would no doubt approve ot
what the Council proposed, which was, that the Institute would be glad
to cooperate with the Natural History Society to have a joint museum,
each Society, however, keeping its own property distinct, but having the
specimens so arranged that the public might see them to the best advan-
tage. The Institute would thus save the expense of having a curator.
The Council proposed to appoint a committee to cooperate with a
committee of the Natural History Society, to make the necessary
Mr. Berkley asked if it were possible to get a distinct room or part
°* a room, so as to prevent the two museums being mixed together.
Vol. IX.-Apbil, 1861. u
Mr. Hall said, they might very easily connect their own room with
that of the Natural History Society by a platform.
The President said, they might give instructions to the committee
to keep in view the principle of securing to the Institute the specimens
as their property, by keeping them distinct from the specimens of the
Natural History Society, and that, he considered, would be all that was
The following resolution was then adopted unanimously:—" That a
committee be appointed to confer with the committee of the Natural
History Society, for the purpose of making some arrangements for the
mutual exhibition of the specimens, minerals, models, &c, of each Insti-
tute, that the committee report to the Institute the result of their
conference; and that the President, with Messrs. Eeid, Daglish, and
Berkley, form such committee."
The following gentlemen were then elected members of the Institute :—
Mr. T. H. Murray, Chester-le-Street; Mr. Philip Matthews, Leasowes,
Birmingham; and Mr. Archibald Hood, Whitehill Colliery, Lasswade,
by Edinburgh.
The President said it was his painful duty to communicate to them
the irreparable loss which the Institute had sustained in the death of one
of their Vice-Presidents, the late Mr. Thos. John Taylor. It was unne-
cessary for him to say one word as to the services which that gentleman
had rendered to the Institute, and the loss which not only they, but
every individual member of the Coal Trade had sustained by his death.
It had been his intention, as it was in the case of the late Mr. R.
Stephenson and Mr. Locke, to have said a few words on Mr. Taylor's
career in life, and ihore particularly what he had done for this Institute,
and for the Coal Trade at large -> he had not, however, had time to do
so before this meeting, but he hoped at the June meeting to lay before
them a few observations on the services of one to whom the Institute
owed such a deep debt of gratitude.
Mr. Watson said, since our last general meeting I have made some
few experiments upon one of the blocks similar to those now before you,
which are as follow :— \
The dimensions of one block is twenty-four inches long, twelve inches
high, and ten inches thick, weighing 1 cwt. 3 qrs. 7 lbs., which I placed
in a drying stove heated to 250 degrees, for the purpose of ascertaining,
what change it might undergo, having had an impression that it might
expand and crack. After having been in that temperature six hours,
I had it drawn out and gauged again, but was unable to detect any
alteration in its dimensions, or in any way affected from the extra tem-
perature to which it was exposed, which certainly is so far in favour of
cement over iron, which is known to be very susceptible to change of
Other experiments I made with three small blocks, now produced,
weighing respectively 15 oz. 6| drachms, 15 oz. 6 drachms, and 15 oz.
1| drachm, in solutions, for the purpose of trying the effect upon the
composition, and ascertaining what loss (if any) there might arise.
The results are as follow :—
Time Weight before ^taUeu LoSS
Solutions. Immersed. put into *t f per Gent.
Hours. Solution. solution.
oz. drach. oz. drach.
£ lb. sulphate of iron to 1 pint of water r 15 6J 15 4 1'782
Iron rust.......................... C 95 ^ 15 6 15 4 1 587
1 lb. pyrites, or coal brasses, to pint of do. ) v 15 1£ 15 1 0*407
Sulphuric acid, 1 to 2 of water....... 96 1*465 1 440 2 64
I shall be glad if, from the above results, any discussion may be
brought about that may tend to the adoption of improvements in the
better securing of mining property generally.
In laying down floors in workmen's cottages, cement would, I am of
opinion, be preferable to what is generally used, viz., bricks or flags.
The cost is equally as cheap, and certainly more durable; being (as
previously stated) impervious to water, it naturally will preclude the
damp below rising up through the floor, to the injury of the health of
the occupant, particularly where the dwellings are placed in a low
situation. From its hard qualifications, rats or mice are unable to make
their way through it, consequently such application to a damp cellar or
pantry would be a complete preventative attained at a small cost.
Mr. Johnson then read the following supplementary paper on the
subject, saying that one of the properties of the cement was its power of
not expanding by the degree of heat to which it would be subjected in
coal mine shafts
For some years I have thought that Portland cement might be judi-
ciously and advantageously employed in the formation of segmental
walling stones for lining the shafts of coal and other mines. This idea
was founded on the knowledge of the superiority of cement, in some
particulars at least, as compared with the ordinary building stone.
My notion was, that the cement stones should be used in such situa-
tions where quarried stones are usually employed. Were this only to
be carried out in the formation of new shafts or in the alteration of old
ones, I have reason to believe that such works, so constructed, would
give great satisfaction to all concerned in them, by reason of their
soundness and durability.
The following sketch is intended to represent three blocks in position,
moulded to suit a shaft of 14 feet in diameter. Each of these blocks
have a piece of bent iron cast in the upper side, whereby it can be safely
attached to a pulley rope, and conveniently lowered into its place. Each
of these masses weighs a little more than one cwt.
Mr. Watson, however, with whom I have had some conversation on
the subject, and whose greater knowledge of the appliances necessary in
mining operations generally, qualifies him to form an opinion, conceived
the original idea that, in addition to what I suggest, the cement blocks
would be of great use in superseding iron tubbing. That some material
for this purpose is at the present time a desideratum, is apparent to all
who take even the most superficial interest in this subject.
As Mr. Watson's paper is to be discussed at this meeting, I thought
it would, perhaps, in some measure assist in forming data for observa-
tions, if I gave in this supplementary paper an account of a few experi-
ments, together with their results, which I have made and ascertained,
for the purpose of proving the fact above stated, that in some respects
cement is superior to stone. \
First, in its greater density, and consequent lesser porosity.
I made cubes of one inch, both of cement and of the soundest kind of
building stone. These were accurately weighed and immersed in water,
and remained there until all minute surrounding air bubbles had dis-
appeared. The pieces were then taken out of the water, the surface
water removed with a cloth, and then re-weighed. The results were as
Stone, Cement.
Grains, Grains.
After immersion ................ 506*8 .... 499-1
Before „ ................ 481- .... 496 3
25-8 2-8
By which it appears that the stone had absorbed 5*36 per cent., whilst
the cement had taken up only 0*56 per cent. This property of non-
absorbence appears to me to be exceedingly important, as giving greater
durability \ for it is a well-known fact that many of the building stones
become disintegrated, in consequence of moisture entering the pores,
which subsequent frost converts into ice in winter, causing rupture by
It is true that, in mines where the temperature is, as I suppose, always
above freezing point, disintegration cannot take place from this cause;
yet non-porosity of material employed here is an advantage in other
respects, inasmuch as mineral waters cannot permeate the substance,
thereby confining their action to the surface.
Second, the property possessed by cement of resisting pressure.
Cubes of one inch, both of stone and cement, were made, and placed
under a crushing lever. The stone was crushed to powder with a pres-
sure of seventeen cwts. The cement cubes, which had been moulded
only a few days, bore a pressure of twenty-one cwts., and would have
borne a great deal more had the trial been postponed to give them
greater age. It is evident, therefore, that the blocks are capable of
sustaining a pressure in any direction of more than 2000 lbs. on the
square inch—considerably more than can be sustained by natural stone.
This property also must recommend it for mining purposes, where weight
and pressure come into play.
Third, I notice its power to resist strain. The particles of which the
cement is composed are held together by the force of chemical attraction
m a remarkable manner, and this property seems to increase with age.
The following experiment will show the comparative merits of stone and
cement in this respect. Notched bricks, as shown in sketch No. 1.,
were made both of the former and latter material. These were put into.
iron cramps (sketch No. 2), and suspended in such a manner as that the
strain should he applied to the central section of li x 1J, or area of two
and a quarter square inches.
The stone broke with 560 lbs. suspended to it: the cement required
no less a weight than 1340 lbs. to tear it asunder.
Stone - 248 lbs. per square inch.
Cement - 595 „ „ „
Another property possessed by the cement is that of hydraulicity, or
its power to resist the solvent action of water. These cubes were
immersed in water immediately after having been made, and so far from
that liquid dissolving them, or acting injuriously in any other way, it
tended only to harden them. All persons who have paid attention to
this subject, are aware that the Portland cement becomes a great deal
harder by being exposed to damp or wet situations. This was proved
on a large scale at the harbour works at Dover and at Alderney, where
blocks from three to four tons weight were made, composed of from seven
to eight parts of shingle and rubble stone to one part of cement, and
these blocks were exposed for the space of two years to the constant
action of the sea, and the only effect produced was that of induration.
The same thing was done at the harbour works at Cherbourg, and with
the same satisfactory results. This property, therefore, of perfectly
resisting the chemical and mechanical action of water, I think, renders
Portland cement preeminently suitable for mining works, where this
element has to be contended with.
Portland cement is also capable of resisting alternations of temperature
through a very considerable range—from the most severe frost to 420
degrees of Fahrenheit. I cannot say how much farther; but I have put
it to this test:—By placing bricks made of it into a suitable oven, having
an opening through the top into which a chemical thermometer was
fixed, the mercury stood at 420 degrees for several hours. The bricks
were then brought out suddenly into an atmosphere of 60 degrees
without sustaining the least injury. One of the large segments, also, as
sketched at the beginning of this paper, was introduced into a large
drying oven at a temperature of 250 degrees, and remained there several
hours for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not contraction or
expansion to any extent would be produced. To arrive at a proper
conclusion on this point, suitable iron gauges were made, indicating the
exact length, breadth, and thickness of the block. These were applied
before putting the block into the chamber. After it had been there
several hours, and, consequently, exceedingly hot, and again when
withdrawn and thoroughly cooled, under all these circumstances, no
appreciable diffei 'ence in the size could be detected, and the soundness of
the mass was not in the slightest degree interfered with.
Taking these matters into consideration, I cannot help thinking that
gentlemen having the conducting of mining operations under their
superintendence, will come to the conclusion that, at least, the matter is
worthy of being submitted to the test of actual experiment, practically
and on a large scale; the more so, when they consider that it is now
the custom to line iron ships with this material, in order to preserve the
rivets and plates from the action of bilge water or other matters that
may proceed from cargo, such as molasses, &c. The lower reservoirs of
gasometers, which were originally made of iron, are now chiefly con-
structed of this material.
The President inquired if, in the experiment, there was no expan-
sion whatever.
Mr. Johnson said, it was not perceptible to the gauges.
Mr. Watson said, he tried them with hoop iron, and marked them as
accurately as he could.
Mr. Daglish said, he was afraid there was not a sufficiently large
surface to detect the expansion. They had a higher temperature than
400 de§Te^s m an upcast shaft.
Mr. Watson said he would get a larger piece—four or five times the
gjze—and submit it to a more severe heat, and ascertain the fact
The President said, the cement might, perhaps, form a substitute
for stone, but it was another matter to substitute it for iron tubbing in
shafts. As he understood the mode of using the blocks, it was not
intended to wedge the joints, but to bed them, by means of the same
cement, in the ordinary manner. In that case, very much depended on
the material always presenting precisely the same dimensions. If there
was any contraction or expansion whatever, it would loosen the joints,
and would thus become useless as tubbing.
Mr. Watson said, there were no joints in it: it formed one mass
when properly bedded.
The President said, he was afraid that would not meet the objection,
because there would be a larger area to operate on, by the expansion or
Mr. Bell said, he apprehended there would be a much greater diffi-
culty than the purely mechanical one, and that was the chemical. It
was evidently an earthy matter. It was probably not sulphate of lime,
if it had been decomposed by sulphuric acid. It must be a compound of
lime and some other substance, held together by some force which was
less powerful than that which existed between sulphuric acid and lime.
All other compounds of lime, with one exception, possibly were liable
to decomposition from sulphurous acid. This exception was oxalate of
lime; and he was afraid oxalic acid was too precious to be used in the
composition of Portland cement. The result would be this, that in the
upcast shaft, by reason of the temperature and the presence of moisture,
the cement would ultimately be converted into sulphate of lime. He did
not know how this cement was composed, but he knew that from 400 to
600 parts of water were capable of dissolving one part of sulphate of
lime or plaster of Paris. However effectual Portland cement might
be in the beginning, he had had too much experience as to the exposure
of lime and its compounds to the action of decomposing agents, to believe
that it could be of any utility as a substitute for tubbing.
The President—Mr. Watson admitted that, on putting it into
sulphuric acid, two per cent, was dissolved in ninety-six hours.
Mr. Bell—Then, if two per cent, went in ninety-six hours, how soon
would the whole of it be dissolved ?
The President—They knew from experience that the water running
down a shaft was highly sulphureous, and probably at a temperature of
150 or 200 degrees j so that, he feared, the cement would ultimately be
dissolved. He thought it might be useful as a substitute for stone in
downcast shafts.
Mr. Bell said, nothing was more fallacious than to suppose that, by
a single experiment, they could determine the action of these materials on
one another. He instanced, as a case in point, a trial he had made of
brick instead of lead as a surface for apparatus connected with sulphuric
chambers. From certain experiments he was led to think that brick
would resist the action of the acid; but all the conditions were not ascer-
tained till the apparatus was erected, and in three months the whole thing
was about their ears.
Mr. Atkinson observed, that 2000 lbs. to the square inch was stated
as the crushing force. In a pit of fourteen feet in diameter, 100 fathoms
of water pressure would crush blocks eleven inches thick, so that at the
very least it should be three feet on the bed under such conditions.
Mr. Johnson inquired what was the resisting force of cast iron ?
Mr. Atkinson—82,000 lbs. to the square inch, for the weakest, and
145,000 lbs. for the strongest kinds of iron.
The President said, it appeared to him it could only be applied with
moderate degrees of pressure, and as a substitute for stone.
Mr. Johnson remarked, that he had not himself proposed substituting
it for iron tubbing.
Mr. Dunn—Suppose it were to leak ?
Mr. Johnson—You must wedge it, as you do with iron tubbing.
Mr. Daglish was afraid it would not stand wedging.
The President—Mr. Reid had mentioned, in the original discussion,
that similar material was used in Prussia to tub back water. His (the
President's) knowledge of the use of cement in that country was, that it
was confined to very small depths. It was used in passing through the
tertiary strata above the coal measures, extending from ten to about
twenty fathoms in depth from the surface, and was very thick.
Mr. Reid—Wherever walling was used in Prussia, it was cement.
His assumption was, that the water tank trass of the Rhine was the
same as this. It was laid twenty-two inches thick.
The President expressed regret that Mr. Armstrong was not present.
Mr, Berkley said, Mr. Greenwell, who could not be present, had
sent a few remarks on Mr. Armstrong's paper, which he would read.
Vol. IX.—April, 1801.
Page 75.—Furnaces, as generally constructed, are capable of at least
one great improvement, namely, in the area over the bridge at the fur-
nace back. It is clear that if the bars from front to back are laid level,
and that if the roof of the furnace from front to back is also level, the
area of the passage at the back of the furnace must be diminished from
what it is at the front, by whatever the area of the bridge is above the
level of the bars.
In order, therefore, to have the same space above the bridge that there
is at the front of the furnace, the roof should rise from front to back, as
much as the height of the bridge above the bars, thus : —
Page 77, III.—I submit that if it be desirable to overcome the diffi-
culty previously referred to (" in cases of sudden emergency"), of looking
to a furnace, under ordinary conditions, for any material augmentation of
its power, the first of the true principles for securing the most efficient
action of a furnace is not to maintain as high a temperature as possible
in the upcast shaft, but to have the means, in such cases, of as suddenly
raising the temperature of the shaft, in order to meet the necessity of
the case.
Page 78.—I do not think that " when the upcast is but one section
of a large and single pit," it is necessary or even advisable that the brat-
tice alluded to should be of wood, nor consequently that, on this account,
it should be absolutely necessary that the furnace should be set back.
It is very easy to construct a brattice of brick, the adoption of which
plan would, as an additional recommendation to it, have prevented many
accidents, some attended by fatal consequences. The writer has recently
completed one of 120 fathoms in a 10 J feet pit, the thickness of the work
being four and a half inches. In this case there are oak buntings at
every six feet, nine inches deep and four and a half inches thick, set
edgwise, with a stringing down each angle, composed of half of a nine-
inch batten. The pit is walled with brick from top to bottom.
If the oak of the buntings be objected to, they may be made of cast
iron, and set farther apart, although the object of these buntings is more
to tie the work than to carry the work.
If, as hereafter referred to, iron be inapplicable, arches in the brick-
work may be turned at intervals (though thus the advantage of the tie
is lost), except it be in the case of quarter bratticing.
The lower part of the brattice should be constructed with fire-brick.
The proximity of a furnace to a drawing shaft is, however, objec-
tionable in another point of view, on account of its action on the guides-
and ropes, although, since the introduction of wire for these purposes,,
the objection (as stated farther on in the text) loses much of its force.
It should also be remembered that, with a brick brattice, " the water
which is distributed over the surface of the brattice" is no longer required
to be so distributed, and consequently will cease to be scattered over the
area of the shaft, and to counteract the upward draught and rob it of its
heat; and, moreover, a brick brattice, set with perforated bricks and
cement or good lime, can be put in without any of those numerous
crevices which let in the cold air.
If an objection be taken to the thickness of four and a half inches, a
brick brattice may be put in six inches thick with bricks made specially,
or nine inches with common-sized bricks; and as to the depth of pit
where it is applicable, I am acquainted with an instance of its use,
without buntings but with arches, in a pit 240 fathoms in depth.
Page 78.—The full cause of the rapid loss of temperature in upcast
shafts has not, I think, ever been clearly shown; and I merely throw it
out as an idea, that all the temperature possessed either by air or any-
thing else at any given time, may simply be due to a development of its
own latent heat, consequent upon some exciting cause.
Page 79.—I am unable to see how " a malleable iron brattice, built
of plates, rivetted boiler fashion, <£c," is compatible with " the destruc-
tive action upon all the metal exposed in the pit;" and I should also fear
that the conducting power of the sheet iron brattice would operate much
against the high temperature of the upcast column, previously so properly
insisted on by the author of the paper under discussion.
Page 79.—The setting back of the shaft tubbing, so as to allow of a
lining of fire-brick, is now frequently adopted, and is most advisable in
upcast shafts. I question, however, whether the action of the furnace
upon the tubbing is attributable to temperature : I rather incline to the
supposition that it is the sulphurous acid from the coal burnt, and
therefore think that the introduction of the furnace staple as regards the
tubbing (supposed to be in the pit only towards the top), would be of
little use.
Pages 80 and 81.—The plan of feeding furnaces with fresh air, espe-
cially in fiery collieries, is gradually gaining ground, and in order to do
this most efficiently, the desideratum is to send into the upcast shaft a
small quantity of air at a hig'h temperature.
It occurs to me that, instead of this passing over or through a furnace
of ordinary dimensions, and thence into the large upcast beneath the
exit of the return air into the shaft, the application of three or four small
wind furnaces, kept at a heat sufficient to melt metal, might be a suitable
mode of application; and I would propose that, instead of the air passing
direct into the upcast, it should pass up a small staple or chimney, so
limited as to allow the air in its hottest possible state to pass into the
return current immediately before passing into the shaft. These furnaces
should be fed with coke.
I draw this idea from Mr. Armstrong's description of Mr. Greener's
furnaces at Pemberton.
Mr. Atkinson also submitted some remarks in writing, which were
as follow:—
At page 81, Mr. Armstrong states, "With a furnace of these small
dimensions, the maximum consumption upon the old plan was four tons
of coal in the twenty-four hours ; whilst the simple introduction of fresh
air through a small pipe with retaining doors, required seven tons to
support the waste of coal, with an improvement besides in the working
current of 9 per cent, upon equal quantities of fuel." I would remark
in general that, other things being the same, the only mode in which
a current of fresh air, taken directly from the shaft to a ventilating
furnace, can possibly have the effect of causing an additional quan-
tity of air to pass through the workings, must be by causing an
increased consumption of fuel; and, from the well-known laws of venti-
lation, this increase of fuel must be in a proportion somewhat higher than
the cubes of the quantities of air going through the workings of the
mine before and after the use of such fresh air respectively; because if
even the increased quantity of air passing through the workings arose
solely from the harder firing of the furnace, the increase should be in the
proportion of the cubes of the product of the quantities of air circulating,
multiplied by the volume of a given weight of air in the upcast shaft;
which of itself is a ratio higher than the mere cubes of the quan-
tities ; and this ratio would, to some degree, be enhanced by the greater
per centage of heat lost by cooling, when the increased quantity of air
circulated from an increased upcast temperature. But in the case of
feeding the furnace with fresh air, the necessary increase of fuel con-
sumed must be in a still higher ratio than that just indicated, inasmuch
as there is the fresh air to heat to the same extent as the air that passes
through the workings, and the entire quantity of air is to heat to the
additional extent required on account of the additional friction that has
to be overcome owing to the passage of the fresh air in the shafts,
and in the direct passage between them.
It may, therefore, be regarded as certain, that any given quantity oj
fuel will cause a greater current of air through the workings, when such
fuel is consumed by the return air, than when it is either partially or
altogether consumed by fresh air not going into the workings.
In the case of Gawber Hall Colliery, as mentioned in Mr. Armstrong's
paper, there appears to be some considerable mistake as to the relative
quantities of fuel consumed before and after employing the fresh air.
I think there is a much higher degree of verisimilitude about
the statement that is given on this head in reference to the quantity
consumed after, than to that consumed before the use of fresh air;
and if we adopt it as correct, it is easy to perceive that the quan-
tity given as having been consumed before the use of fresh air
must be far from being so. After the use of fresh air, we have
25,000 feet of air passing through the workings, and 2500 feet
additional passing directly to the furnace and upcast shaft, with a con-
sumption of 10*889 lbs. of coal per minute. Taking, under these
circumstances, 1*5 inches of water gauge as the resistance offered by the
workings only, and assuming the average downcast temperature at 52
degrees, it would require the upcast temperature to have been 220 degrees
to create this pressure alone, apart from the additional temperature
required to overcome the friction in the shafts, and in any passages lying
on the outbye side of the point where this water gauge was observed.
And if we assume the return air to have had a temperature of 60 degrees,
this alone would require 220 — 60 = 160 degrees of heat to be imparted
to 2o,000 feet of return, and 220 - 52 = 168 degrees to 2500 feet of
fresh air each minute.
Supposing the barometer in the mine to stand at 305 inches, and the
return air to be saturated with vapour, the fresh air being taken as free
from hygrometrical moisture, we have 1915*15 lbs. of return air mixed
with 20*55 lbs. of vapour per minute ; and taking the specific heat of
dry air at *238, and that of vapour of water at *475 to that of water as 1,
it would require the furnace to give out 82,397 units of heat per minute
to create this temperature in the shaft, in addition to the heat lost by
cooling in the shaft. But 10*889 lbs. of coal, taken at 14,000 units of
heat per lb., would yield 152,446 units of heat, so that upwards of
54 per cent, of the heat given out by the coals is preserved in the shaft,
besides a further per centage due to the pressure overcoming the shaft
friction, which is not allowed for in these calculations, there being no
data given from which to ascertain its amount; and since we have a
prevailing temperature in the upcast shaft, showing that the loss by
cooling is considerably less than 46 per cent., we may fairly assume the
consumption of coal to have been stated correctly as being seven tons
per twenty-four hours, or 10*889 lbs. per minute during the time when
2500 feet of fresh, and 25,000 feet of return air went up the upcast
If, therefore, we assume the larger quantity of coal to be correctly
stated at seven tons per hour, or 10*889 lbs. per minute, and if we
decrease this only in the ratio of the cubes of the quantities of air, 25,000
and 13,000 feet per minute, respectively, we only get a consumption of
1*531 lbs. per minute, or of 2204 lbs., or less than a ton per hour, instead
of four tons per hour, as stated in the paper; but even this quantity
is too high, because it takes no notice of the increased shaft friction due
to the increased volume of any given weight of air in the upcast shaft
at the higher, as compared with the lower quantity of air; nor of
the heat due to the fresh air, nor yet to the probably higher per centage
lost by cooling with the higher, compared with that lost with the lower
upcast temperature. So that the increased quantity of air obtained by
the use of the fresh air current must have been attended with a consump-
tion of at least seven times the quantity of coals, in lieu of only one-and-
three-quarter times, as given in the paper; or, on the other hand, it
must have resulted in a great measure from changes in the ventilating
arrangements, or enlargement of the airways in the workings of the
mine; otherwise there must have been some mistake as to the amount
of increase obtained by the use of fresh air. Perhaps the consumption
was four tubs, and not four tons, per twenty-four hours, as given in the
By a similar rule, the fuel at Pemberton Colliery should have increased
in the ratio of about one-and-a-half, to increase the air from 57,436 to
65,400 feet per minute, apart from the heat required by the fresh air;
but it is only stated to have been increased in the ratio of about 13 to 16.
The increase obtained at Elemore and Eppleton Collieries by closing
the furnace doors, as given in Mr. Daglish's paper, show plainly enough
that the consumption of coals increased in a ratio higher than the cubes
of the quantities of air, even after allowing for the increase of resistance
arising from closing the furnace doors.
I am of opinion that it is more economical to obtain any given
amount of ventilation from furnace action, by employing a suitable
furnace, and allowing the return air from the workings to pass over
it, than by the employment of fresh air, either partially or totally,
to feed the furnace. At the same time, it must be admitted that there
are cases where it is attended with danger to pass the return air over a
furnace, and perhaps others where it is so vitiated as to render it unfit
to support a sufficiently energetic combustion; and in either of these
cases it may become desirable to use more or less fresh air, either alone,
or to mix with the return air.
The President said, as to the question of the relative economy of
feeding the furnace with fresh air, or allowing the return air to pass
over the furnace, he confessed that he was still of opinion, as he had
been all along, that the proper way of feeding the furnace was to allow
the return air to pass over it. What they wanted was, to produce a
certain degree of heat in the shaft. This was done by simply burning
in a furnace, a certain quantity of coal; and if they could get out of the
fuel all the heat contained in it, by applying the air for that purpose judi-
ciously and properly, he thought they obtained all that they required. He
never could think it was the best way of accomplishing this, by taking
the air through the bars of the furnace, and so upwards through the fire.
It was an excellent mode of producing smoke, but not a good mode of
getting all the heat out of the coals. He believed that he had, in
evidence before Parliamentary Committees and elsewhere, put on record
his opinion that the best mode of working a furnace was to convey the
return air over the furnace, with such a velocity as would keep up com-
bustion at a very high temperature; so that, when the coal was thrown on
the furnace, the gas of the coal should be expelled by the high tempera-
ture, and that this gas should be presented to the action of the furnace in
the shape of carburetted hydrogen, which, when ignited, would impinge
upon the coke of the fire. He fancied that the simple combustion of the
carburetted hydrogen, passing off into the shaft, would not produce so
much heat as if such gas, when ignited, was thrown upon the carbonic
oxide, the red-hot coke. The effect of the flame of the carburetted hydrogen
upon the carbonic oxide of the coke would produce a much higher tem-
perature, than the flame of each of these gases separately; and he thought
if a furnace was worked in this manner judiciously, there would be very
little, if any, black smoke produced. He rejected altogether the idea
that they should carry the air of such furnaces underneath the bars to
produce rapid and perfect combustion. They would effect this more
effectively by taking the air over the furnace with a sufficient velocity
to keep up intense combustion: and, it would not take anything like the
extreme cases put before them by Mr. Armstrong* and Mr. Daglish.
The increased effect shown by the experiments of Mr. Armstrong and
Mr. Daglish arose entirely from the extra quantity of coals consumed.
In the experiments of Mr. Daglish, with the doors open over the furnace,
they got 46,596 cubic feet of air, with six and a quarter cwts. of coals.
They shut the doors over the furnace, and drive all the air under the bars.
They then got an increased quantity of air, viz., 47,775 feet; but it was by
an increase of nearly double the quantity, viz., with eleven and a half
cwts. of coals. Nothing can be more conclusive than these experiments
to show that, to throw the air underneath the bars is not the proper way
of supplying the furnace with air. Eleven cwts. of coals in the latter
case produce very little more air than six cwts. in the other case. All
this, however, is apart from the question—What is the best form of fur-
nace ? Mr. Daglish proposes a furnace of a different construction from
the ordinary furnaces, being fired from the side, and having a very long
range of bars, with two or three separate firing places instead of one. In
some respects this is better than the ordinary furnace : it is questionable,
however, if it comprises the element of economy in the burning of coals,
which, in his opinion, should involve a high temperature of the burning-
Mr. Atkinson—If you obtain an increased quantity of air, it must
be by burning coals in greater quantity, whether this is effected by fresh
or return air; but the increase will be greater with fresh, than with
return air only.
Mr. Daglish said, there was no such thing as economy of fuel, it
did not matter what was the form of the furnace.
The President maintained there must be economy in the consump-
tion of coal, if the whole of the fuel was consumed without the production
of smoke, over cases in which they might drive off the whole of the coal
in smoke only.
Mr. Daglish said, he was supposing that the smoke was consumed.
Mr. Bell said, the mere consumption of smoke had had more impor-
tance attached to it than was due to it. The quantity of solid carbon
taken away in smoke was so small, that the mere consumption of it was
attended with a small amount of economy. The loss of fuel was gene-
rally from want of consuming the carbonic oxide, which was not seen.
That would arise from the air passing through the bars instead of a
portion of it passing over the furnace. As soon as the air entered into
the bars, on which was laid incandescent coal, a portion would be con-
verted into carbonic oxide, which was not only not a supporter of
combustion, but the contrary. There was a double decomposition. The
quantity of smoke was not only due to the light carburetted hydrogen,
but to the precipitation of carbon from the oxides of carbon. He had
seen an instance of this. As soon as air enters into an iron blast fur-
nace, even at the rate of 4000 cubic feet per minute, it combines instantly
with carbon, leaving not a vestige of free oxygen. An iron master in
Belgium proposed the introduction of ground coal at the twyers along
with the blast—by which, of course, light carburetted hydrogen would
be liberated, and this reacting on the carbonic oxide or carbonic acid,
caused the precipitation of solid carbon in such quantities, that, although
only a hatful of coal was projected into the furnace, immense volumes of
smoke, of the densest and blackest description, appeared at the top of the
furnace, although it had passed through the intense heat usually produced
in iron smelting. This could only be attributed to the coaly matter of
the oxides of carbon, as well as that of the carburetted hydrogen, being
precipitated. There was no saving of fuel in this case—rather the reverse.
There was one remark he w^ould make as to the temperature of the upcast
shafts. The higher you heat the chimney the greater the effect, within
certain limits, taking the ordinary law of expansion. If you refer to the
elaborate work of Mons. Peclet, you will find some extraordinary tables
with ^reference to the efficiency of chimneys. You vary the parabola
of the curve till it gets to a flattened space. Then, if you heat the
chimney to 1500 or 2000 degrees, the effect is not equal to a chimney
Mrd S°mewhere Ween 500 and 700 degrees,
r. Atkinson—The reason is this :—The air being more expanded,
owmg to the increased heat, there is an increase of friction due to
VOL. IX.-Apbil, 1861.
its increased velocity, and this friction increases so much more
rapidly, than the increase of pressure arising* from the increased heat,
that it, at a certain point, becomes equal to it; and any additional
temperature beyond that at which this equality of the increase of
friction to the increase of temperature takes place, only serves to
lessen the weight of air passing in a given time. The greatest weight
of air circulates in a mine or a chimney in any given time, when
the temperature in the upcast or chimney is equal to 375*2° added to
twice the temperature of the downcast shaft or outer air respectively, on
Fahrenheit's scale; or, if t;=the upcast, and t° the downcast tempera-
ture, the maximum draught, in weight of air, takes place when
tv=375*2° + 2t°. The weight of air circulating in a given time being
t' t°
(1 + 002171')2 ' dePendm§>> ^or ^s ac^ua^ amount, upon
the frictional resistances met with. When the downcast temperature is
32°, the maximum draught takes place when 439*2° is the upcast tem-
perature ; and at 495*2° when the downcast temperature is 60°.
Mr. Berkley said, Mr. Armstrong seemed to have the idea of a mine
laid out beforehand. If he increased the airway, he would get more air
by this plan, though the air might be driven off as gas. He said in one
of his mines there was a great deal of stythe and carbonic acid mixed.
He could not get the consumption carried to such an extent as he would
like, and therefore he drove the air through the bars. Though some of
his gases were lost, a greater quantity was consumed than had been
Mr. Atkinson said, in all cases where it was practicable, it was better
to consume the necessary quantity of coals by return air, than by fresh
air, to obtain the greatest inbye ventilation. There must be friction in
the air coming down one and going up the other of the shafts.
Mr. Marley said, he had reason to know that Mr. Armstrong had
found it impossible to be present at this discussion.
The President—The question of furnace ventilation will be brought
before us at the Birmingham meeting.
Mr. Atkinson suggested that the Birmingham Committee should
endeavour to have experiments of the result of the different ventilating
machines, to lay before the Birmingham meeting.
Mr. Daglish submitted the following observations:—At the time of
the steam jet experiments at Hetton Colliery, in 1852, the Blossom Pit
was the upcast for the Eppleton Jane Pit also, and there were about
80,000 cubic feet per minute passing over the large furnace (including
above 60,000 from Eppleton). At this time the area over the bars was
very large, viz., eight feet high.
Area above = 32 feet.
Area below = 22 feet.
And taking the velocity below and through the bars to be one-sixth of
that above, which I have found, by experiment, to be the case, the
(18 \
z= 3 ft., which, added
to that above makes in all sixty-seven feet; and taking the quantity at
say 80,000 cubic feet per minute, the velocity is about 1195 feet per
minute, or twenty feet per second.
When the Caroline Pit was sunk, the Eppleton air was taken off this
furnace, and the quantity at present passing over it is not one-third of
what it was, say 27,000 feet. Now, in order to keep the temperature of
the upcast and the quantity of coals consumed the same, this being
required for the ventilation of the Hetton Pits, the velocity of the air
passing the furnace must be the same, that is, equal increments of
oxygen must be brought into contact with the burning fuel in a given
time. It would be necessary, therefore, to reduce the area above the
bars to nineteen feet (the area below being still three feet for a uniform
velocity); and I find that this has actually been done. I observe that,
five feet above the bars, an iron bearer has been put in, and built with
bricks, and this not having given sufficient draft, another, two feet lower,
has been put in, making the area over the bars about twenty-five feet;
showing that, in practice, it had been found necessary to contract the
air over the fire very considerably.
Mr. Bell states, that it was a well-ascertained fact that, one foot
above the twyers, where the air enters the blast furnace, it was all
converted into carbonic acid (CO^), combustion being perfect, and the
heat most intense at this point, but that in ascending it is robbed
again of a portion of its oxygen by the burning fuel (C), and ulti-
mately passes off at the top, principally as carbonic oxide (CO) and
nitrogen (N).
The action may be expressed thus—One foot above the twyers C + 2
(4 N + O) = C02 + 8 N; and higher ,up, C02 + 8 N + C =
2 CO + 8 N.
In an article in last week's Mining Journal the same views are put
forth, and it is stated that " perfect combustion is attained by passing a
strong blast through a thin fire."
In Juke's patent furnace, in operation at New El vet, the consumption
of smoke is perfect, the fire is very thin, and no air passes over the fire
at all.
The greatest heat that can be obtained from a given quantity of fuel,
is by converting it all into carbonic acid (C08) and water (HO), thus—
C + OH2 + 60 = 2 C0.3 + 2 HO
where the fuel is represented as a combination of coke (C) and gas (CH2),
and the residue, after combustion, as carbonic acid (C08) and water (HO).
But if the gas be volatilized and passed over the carbonic acid formed
by the perfect combustion of incandescent coke, in all probability large
quantities of smoke would be formed, thus—
CH2 + C02 = 2 HO + 2 C
for the affinity between the hydrogen (H) and oxygen (0) being stronger
than between either the hydrogen and the carbon (C) or the carbon and
oxygen, the hydrogen in the carburetted hydrogen would leave the
carbon to combine with the oxygen of the carbonic acid, and the carbon
(or smoke) both of the carburetted hydrogen and the carbonic acid would
be deposited.
The discussion was then adjourned.
Mr. Reid said he understood Mr. Maynard, the Coroner, had pub-
lished a book of the accident.
The President said, he had a copy of it in the room. It was a copy
of the whole of the evidence, and extracts from some newspapers on the
subject; also the evidence taken at the Felling inquest; and likewise an
epitome of the discussion at Manchester.
Mr. Daglish read the following letters received from Mr. Longridge,
Secretary of the Steam-Boiler Insurance Company; also a letter from
Mr. Wood, who had charge of Tursdale Colliery, and others, all relating
to accidents in flues.
" Steam Boiler Assurance Company,
Offices, No. 1, New Brown Street, Market Street,
Manchester, Jan. 28, 1861.
" Dear Sir,—I have been prevented sooner replying to your letter
of the 23rd inst., relative to the late explosion at Hetton, of which I had
already received some particulars from Mr. Reid, of Pelton.
" Explosion of gas in the flues of boilers has occurred occasionally in
boilers under my inspection. One of these boilers was multitubular,
with a large internal furnace; but as boilers of this construction always
leak and corrode in the underside. Owing to the unequal expansion,
when there is no heat underneath, a flue had been made below this
boiler, so that the products of combustion would pass along one side
towards the front, and then back by the other side to the chimney.
Owing, however, to some contraction where the flue descended, the
draught was injured, and to remedy this, a few bricks were pulled out
of the wall that had been built to stop the direct communication with
the chimney. This opening would be about nine inches square, and had
the desired effect; but every now and then, when the fireman opened
the fire door to throw in fresh coal, an explosion took place, and on one
occasion he was so severely burnt that the brick wall was entirely pulled
down to allow direct communication with the chimney, and there has
been no trouble since.
" It appears that the flues below the boiler became filled with carbu-
retted hydrogen, and in opening the fire door the air entered, and on
becoming mixed with the gas, an explosion followed.
"In another case, the boiler was of similar construction, with a
smoke-box at the back end, in which was a small door. The flue passed
down and along the underside of the boiler to the front, where was a
damper working in a spindle, like a common wing-throttle valve. The
owner of the mill had gone with another gentleman to the smoke-box
end, and opened the small door to let his friend feel the temperature of
the gases passing through the tubes. The fireman, meanwhile, threw
on some fresh fuel, and shutting the fire door, went to the adjoining
boiler to do the same. He, however, observed that the smoke was
coming out from the fire he had just left, owing to the damper having
swung to. He therefore opened it again, one of the gentlemen at the
same time having his hand in the smoke-box to feel the heat, when
immediately there was an explosion of gas, the flame rushing out at the
smoke-box door, and scorching both the gentlemen rather severely.
ere, also, you will see the flues had become charged with the gas, and
on opening the damper the gas ignited.
with fi lerSlmilar exPlosions occurred in a Cornish or two-flued boiler
ies m the flues; but here sawdust was used with the coal, and it
appears that the gas mixed with the sawdust, which almost filled the
ues, and thus excluded the air; but on opening the fire door and
isturbmg the sawdust, so as to allow the air to mix with the gas, a
sheet of flame would rush out.
" These are all the instances I recollect at present; but there have
been others. From the account I read in the papers of the Hetton
explosion, I can readily believe that the cause was the same as in the
instances above given.
" I am, dear Sir,
" Yours truly,
" John Daglish, Esq. " ROBT. W. LONGRIDGE."
" Steam Boiler Assurance Company,
Offices, No. 1, New Brown Street, Market Street,
Manchester, Feb. 2, 1861.
"Dear Sir,—I had intended being present at the next meeting of
the Institute of Mining Engineers, to hear the discussion on the Hetton
accident, but I fear my other engagements will prevent my doing so.
Since I wrote you on the 28th ult., I have seen a plan showing the
position of the boilers, shafts, &c, of the Hetton Colliery, and can
perfectly understand how the explosion must have occurred.
" The arch in the flue where it crossed the roadway would facilitate
the accumulation of gas between this point and the boiler, and as there
appears to have been an opening where air could enter to combine with
this gas, the presence of the explosive materials is fully accounted for, as
a large amount of carburetted hydrogen was certain to be produced by
the damping of the fire, and it only required its equivalent of oxygen (to
be obtained from the air) to render it explosive on coming in contact
with any fire or flame. After an hour or two, I have no doubt the front
part of the fire, or that nearest the damper, would have burnt up so as
to be in a condition to communicate a flame to these gases, and then the
explosion would take place.
" The remedy is simple, and on this account I now write to you. If,
in damping the fires, instead of filling up the doorway with coal so as
to exclude the air, according to the usual practice, air were freely
admitted above the fuel, any gas which might be evolved would either
be consumed or be so diluted with air as to render explosion impossible.
u Yours truly,
u John Daglish, Esq. " ROBT. W. LONGRIDGE."
"Tursdale Colliery.
" On Monday, the 4th of January, 1858, a slight explosion in the
boiler flues at Tursdale Colliery took place, the facts of which I submit
in connection with this inquiry.
" There were four boilers, with wheel flues arranged into the stack, as
shown on the accompanying drawing. Only No. 1 boiler was in use,
the other three not having either fire doors or fire bars fixed. At a
point of the main flue, as shown at S, also at F, a temporary stopping
of 4Jin. brickwork, and, as it appears, not airtight, was fixed, to make
the draught to the stack steady from No. 1 boiler fire. A damper at D
in the main flue regulated No. 1 fire. This was working in a metal
frame, and formed a tight joint at the sides.
" The fire of No. 1 boiler had been damped, as usual, on the Saturday
night previous, the damper being lowered to within about 1\ inch of the
bottom of the frame. On the Monday morning, steam was got up at
one o'clock, and it was not till five o'clock, all having to this time gone
forward as usual, that, as the fireman opened the doors to throw on coals,
the explosion occurred. A sheet of flame flashed in his face, and a loud
report followed. The buttresses between 2 and 3 boiler and 3 and 4
were injured, and partly blown out, and it was found that the top of
the flue at E was completely lifted off—the flues between 2 and 3 and
3 and 4 being also lifted in the parts shown by the blue line in drawing.
" When the flues were uncovered, the stopping S was found to have
been thrown down towards No. 2 boiler: the stopping F was standing.
The explosion had taken greatest effect at E, and along this flue towards
the fire door end, producing the results explained.
" The flame from No. 1 fire seems to have communicated itself through
the temporary stoppings to an accumulation of gas in Nos. 2 and 3 flues.
This accumulation may, I think, be accounted for by some particular
direction of the wind preventing the regular escape, by the stack, of the
gas disengaged from No. 1 fire when damped, and thus allowing it to
work through the stoppings. It is difficult, however, to understand why
the draught towards the stack, which would necessarily set in from
Nos. 2 and 3 flues, when the No. 1 fire was set away, did not carry this
gas back through the stoppings, and cause the explosion at 1 a.m., when
the fire was first raised.
The President said, with one part of the subject every gentleman
present was conversant^that was, the ventilation of the colliery. It
was important to know whether they thought that, by any possibility,
the explosion could have occurred by gas coming from the workings.
On this point he should like very much to have the opinion of any of his
friends around him who had heard or read the evidence. Mr. Daglish
was present, and could give any further explanations. It had been
stated in some of the papers that it might have come from a particular
quarter of the pit, viz., from the north way in Charlton's Pit—the East
Minor Pit.
Mr. Atkinson—That was simply ridiculous. There was no means
of the gas getting ignited in the return, had gas been there. There was
no symptom of any blast coming that way. What there was, looked as
if it had gone inwards instead of outwards.
Mr. Reid—Comparing this with the Felling accident, there was much
greater improbability of any gas coming from the Hetton workings.
He was aware that there were goaves in all directions round the boiler
at Felling, having been present at that inquiry. The Hetton case was
a much clearer one than the Felling \ but to say there could be no
communication would be tantamount to saying that there were no goaves
in the pit.
The President had read the evidence given at the Felling inquest.
The air went direct from the pit to the boilers. There was no commu-
nication between the boiler and flues, and the return air.
Mr. Reid—But there was an apparent likelihood, in any fall that
took place in the workings, that the air might back to the furnace.
The President—Did the return air enter at all into the flues ? His
impression was, it went in a separate course to the upcast shaft.
Mr. Reid—There was gas in the Hetton pit, though it might not
have anything to do with the accident.
Mr. Daglish would not admit that there was gas in the pit.
Mr. Reid said, he knew that was the feeling of those who had heard
the evidence. However, as compared with Felling, there was no possi-
bility of the explosion being from gas in the workings.
The President would like the question to be considered on its
own merits. If there had been any communication with the gas of the
workings at all, and that such gas had come off from the goaves, it
would have come along the return. It would not go back and face the
ingoing air: it would have come out at the returns at the furnaces.
Now, you have these facts at both returns. At the one return, viz., the
east furnace, you find the blast coming from the furnace to the furnace-
man—directly in the opposite direction to that which it would have come
if it had occurred from gas in the return air. The gas could not like-
wise have come in that direction, unless it had come past the two west
furnaces, and in that case it would have exploded at these furnaces.
But you have the fact of the men about these furnaces not being burnt
at all. The men were clearly suffocated by the after-damp, and not
burnt. Then, as to the east furnace, the furnaceman said, when he got
up to put coal on the furnace, he met the blast coming from the furnace:
and he was driven away in the opposite direction and saw no flame.
This was a proof that no air from the furnace in a state of inflammation
had passed him. It would have burnt him; but this man was not burnt.
It was clear, therefore, that there was no explosion of gas in the return
air passing to the furnaces—the only direction in which gas from the pit
or goaves could by possibility have come.
Mr. Daglish—A hundred yards from the north side of the flue the
greatest apparent result of force was exhibited. The end of the shaft of
the engine was broken, and the whole of the trams were moved six
inches inbye. That was the focus of the greatest violence.
The President—Can you show this locality on the plan ?
Mr. Daglish—It was called the Victoria engine.
The President—That is in the main north way.
Mr. Daglish—About fifty yards north of the crossing of the flues.
Mr. Dunn said, he had not the least doubt or difficulty, after hearing
the evidence and seeing the plans, in coming to the conclusion that the
accident could not have arisen from the state of the mine. It was
certainly an unexampled state of the chimney.
The President—Then, supposing it to have occurred in the flue,
how did it occur ? Mr. Bell had stated in his evidence, very fully, how
he supposed it had occurred. What was the opinion of the gentlemen
present ?
Mr. Berkley inquired if there had been a discovery of any symptoms
of burning in any other part. As far as he had learned, there was not a
single man burnt in the pit.
Mr. Daglish —One man was said to have been burnt; but he had
examined his dress with a microscope, and could find no traces of
Mr. Bell said, Mr. Daglish got upon his high horse when any one
aunched an observation against the possibility of the colliery containing
gas. btill, he believed no mining engineer present would be deterred from
expressing his opinion : their object was to get at the truth of the matter.
vol. ix.—April, isci. * y
He went down the pit unaccompanied by Mr. Wood, who invited him to
make the inspection. Though he was not a colliery engineer, he was
sufficiently acquainted with analogous cases to enable him to form an
opinion. There could be no doubt in the mind of any one who carefully
examined the subject, that in the flue, and there alone, the explosion
occurred. He did not go far into the workings, but he went far enough to
satisfy himself that there had been no explosion in a contrary direction from
the flue. Why give themselves the trouble to ask whether the gas came
from the goaf or not. The gas when exploded was in the flue. He thought
it was proved in evidence that it was impossible for it to have come from the
interior workings, because the furnace of the engine was exclusively fed
from the downcast. The issue from the furnace was in equally close proxi-
mity to the upcast shaft. Then, if they started from the admission that
the explosion took place in the flue, they would simply have to inquire
whether the gas so collected was sufficient to produce all the phenomena
so as to avoid such accidents in future. He remembered, immediately after
the accident, meeting some gentlemen in the railway train, and the matter
was discussed. He utterly scouted the idea of any quantity of gas lodged
in such a flue being sufficient to cause the explosion. But we might come
to a hasty conclusion. A great deal of misapprehension had arisen from
the comparison of an explosion from gas under circumstances totally dif-
ferent from those which are exhibited here. Whenever you set fire to gas,
there is the production of heat by the union of this gas with oxygen ; but,
at the same time, there is this antagonistic fact, that by the expansion of
the gases, which are the resultants of this combustion, you have a cooling
effect. For example—We all know how easy it is to hold the hand in high-
pressure steam. Also, when you condense carbonic acid to a certain
point, and let it out, the expansion is so rapid and the cooling influence
so great, that a portion of the carbonic acid is thrown down in a solid
state. Now carbonic acid does not freeze till it has reached 125 degrees,
and yet this depression is thus produced by the exit of gas at an ordi-
nary temperature, freezing itself by its own expansion. This is the effect
in all flame-.—heating, the effect of combustion; and cooling, the effect
of expansion. The balance between the two is the result of the heating
power. If you alter the circumstances—if you put a stop to the expan-
sion—the results are totally different from ordinary combustion. In one
of the latest works he had examined, this was brought out. This was
the work of Gay Lussac, who died some years ago. Burning light
«arburetted hydrogen, the temperature of the combustion was represented
Mr. Atkinson—This is in pure oxygen.
Mr. Bell—Yes. This is burning under pressure; but burning freely
it is 14,331—a difference of 4198, or 23 per cent, loss by burning the
gas where expansion is permitted. At the inquest he had mentioned inci-
dentally a tube which exploded. Since then he had got accurately the
dimensions of this tube. From the investigations of late years, particu-
larly those of Mr. Wm. Fairbairn, we get a tolerable notion of what the
power is that can rend asunder boilers of all dimensions. The tube in
question was three feet in diameter, and 200 yards long. It was filled
with carbonic oxide. According to the formula given by Mr. Fairbairn,
it would require 472 lbs. to the square inch to rend it asunder. But at
Hetton we have light carburetted hydrogen, which producing a greater
temperature, gives a greater expansion. One end was open; so it was
in this flue. If you took one-half of the expansive power, it would act
as a magazine of powder. This is pretty much the condition of things
which prevailed at Hetton pit. In the evidence which he gave at the inquest
he kept a long way within the mark. He had seen since, from the expe-
riments of Bunsen, that the expansion due to gas burnt in this way was
very much higher than lie had anticipated. He wrote to Dr. Michael
Faraday to ask his opinion, and he replied that, " not having examined
the scene of action, he would not commit himself;" but he did say that,
" assuming the premises to be correct, he saw no difficulty of conceiving
that the effects described were due to this cause assigned by me." The
Manchester gentlemen saw no reason to find fault with our conclusions;
and the more he looked into it the more he was convinced that the flue,
being filled with gas, probably from a fracture in the damper, an ex-
plosion would take place, which would be quite equal to all the effects
The President—You observe that necessarily the explosion was very
much confined. It seemed to have been confined to the four main roads
proceeding from the two shafts. These were the leading waggonways
from the pit. It was clearly shown that the explosion terminated at
a certam distance along these lines of road. You have the evidence of a
man 800 yards from the shaft: it knocked him down. You have the
kdid1106 °f another man 200 or 300yardsfartheroff: he felt £t> but
in k1100^ mm down. Then you have the evidence of a man farther
in si . Here the effect was so trifling that, though he heard it, he
ardly knew what it was. In all the directions from the locality of the
exp osion, looking at the effects, it seemed to terminate at the distance of
a °Ut ^® yards. It seemed to have been a force terminated by the
resistance to its velocity by the friction of the passages, and brought
to a standstill at a certain point. The effects extended over the space of
about 1400 yards in each direction: beyond that the explosion was not
felt. That appeared to have been the limits of the explosion. It did
not appear to have been a force continued for a length of time, and
spread over a continuous extent of space. It was a smart explosion,
emanating from a specific point, which drove the current of air in the
mine in all directions with great force from the locality of the explosion
as a centre, and gradually diminished to a certain point, which would
be the effect of a sharp sudden explosion, and would not require a large
quantity of gas to produce such an effect. If it had been an explosion
of a pit filled with gas, the explosion would have gone through the whole
of the pit, filling the returns along which the gas would be passing,
and the effects would have been seen in the workings and in those
returns. But the workings and return passages were never touched;
there had been no explosion in them. It was only in the main ways,
where the air direct from the downcast was passing, where the explo-
sion and its effects appear. What surprised him was, that the men were
killed at such great distances from the centre of the explosion. It
might be they were killed by the after-damp; but they found men
struck down and killed instantaneously where they were standing.
It must have been sudden, as some of the men could not have
moved, even for a yard or two, before they were struck down dead. At
Lundhill the same thing happened. One man was struck down dead
before his arm could be relaxed from the blow he was giving the coal
with his pick. He was found dead, sitting in the attitude of striking
the pick into the coal. This may have been done by the sudden con-
cussion of the air. His own notion was, that generally the men were
killed by the concussion, and not by the after-damp, except in some
cases. He would not here repeat the observations of the g*entlemen at
the meeting of the Geological Society of Manchester, where the subject
was discussed, as it had been published in the " Transactions" of that
Society, and also in Mr. Maynard's publication.
Mr. Daglish, in reference to an observation made by Mr. Bell, said
he hoped no private or friendly feeling towards himself would prevent
any gentleman from pointing out any difference of opinion he might hold
respecting this accident. No one was affected by the question more than
himself, for he was down the pit constantly, and therefore exposed to
any danger that might exist.
Mr. Hall said, there was one thing he wished to say. Mr. Bell did
not go into the workings to see whether the goaves were highly charged
with gas, or slightly charged, or not at all.
The President said, the evidence at the inquest of the men having
charge of the goaves, was, that they travelled the goaves during the day
on which the explosion occurred, and did not see any gas at all. There
was one thing mentioned by Mr. Bell in reference to what might be
supposed to have ignited the gas, viz., the damper, that there were symp-
toms of its having been cracked, and the possibility that it might have
given way immediately before the explosion, and so thrown into the flues
a large quantity of air rapidly, and thus produce an explosion. He
had been making inquiries since, and although it did not seem certain
that such was the fact, yet it was the opinion of some of the engineers
who examined the damper, that it did show symptoms of a crack. He
had sent for Mr. Hedley, who was the person Mr. Forster named, and
he was of that opinion.
Mr. Daglish—We did notice it, but could not tell whether it had
been recent or not—whether it took place after the accident or before.
Mr. Bell said, he did not make the observation from having heard
that the damper was cracked; but from the fact that this flue had
existed thirty-four years without an explosion, he was led to ask whether
there was something in the thirty-fourth year which had not occurred
previously. It then occurred to him that the damper might have cracked.
After this, Mr. Forster came and told him that there were some symp-
toms of an old crack. Mr. Berkley had put a question as to the stables
being set on fire. There was no difficulty in assigning satisfactory
reasons for this. Assuming that the gases did not lose their heat imme-
diately, which they had no reason to do, this gas itself might set fire to
the stables; but whether or not, they knew that a common gun would
send a piece of burning wadding a hundred yards or more. They might,
therefore, readily imagine that matter originally incandescent, taken
along with this extraordinary quantity of heated gas, would be sufficient
to set hay or straw on fire. They might remember that, in the great
explosion at Gateshead, parts in Newcastle took fire in nearly 100 places
at oncev from the embers being projected across the river, 200 yards
wide, and we may easily assume the same thing happened here—
The President—The stables were not a great distance from the
explosion—about 300 yards.
Mr. Bell—In the case of boiler fires, we have seen that there is an
ignition of inflammable air under boilers, and that would be extended
into the flues. The difficulty in one case is, that these flues seem to have
lasted upwards of thirty years, and no explosion has taken place until a
particular occasion.
Mr. Atkinson—There was one at Spennymoor a few years ago',
when four people wrere killed.
The President—This case would, no doubt, excite the attention of
all professional men, and they would, he thought, ventilate the flues
more extensively than they had done hitherto; but it had staggered him
as to whether it was advisable to place the boilers underground or at
bank. Unless the pits were very deep, he thought the boilers should be
placed at bank, and the steam conveyed underground. He had made
some experiments of the difference between boilers placed at bank and
close to the engine, and boilers placed underground, the steam being con-
veyed down the pit, and there was nothing like that diminution of
effect which he had at first anticipated. He had made experiments at
one pit at He worth, 130 fathoms deep, and he had found that the
same effect was produced by the same fuel in engines placed underground,
the steam being conveyed down the pit from boilers placed at bank, as
with engines and boilers both at bank and with the boilers close to the
engine. There was, therefore, practically no waste of steam, and no dimi-
nution of pressure. He did not think, therefore, there was much gained by
having the boilers underground; and if they could prevent such like
accidents by having the boilers at bank, it was worth looking at as a
practical question, especially as the boiler fires of the underground
engines abstracted a large portion of the air required for ventilation.
Mr. Daglish—When you come to multiply the boilers, the abstrac-
tion of a quantity is felt. 40,000 feet per minute, required for four
boilers and flues, leaves very little for the ventilation of the mine.
Mr. Atkinson—That is an additional reason for placing the boilers
at bank.
Mr. Daglish—The cost of the various flues and boilers underground
was also a serious question.
Mr. Bell—There must be a great loss of heat in conveying the steam
so great a length as your shaft. The question was not only as to the
quantity of water, but the quantity of coal consumed. It was important
that they should not rob the heated air of any of its effect, which they
did in heating the boiler.
Mr. Atkinson said, it was partially returned again. The watery
vapour lightens the upcast column.
Mr. Bell—When it condenses it gives off the latent heat again.
Mr. Atkinson—The air will generally hold it all in the form of
invisible vapour.
The President—The reason why there was not so much condensa-
tion in the pipes conveying the steam down the shaft was, that the upcast
shaft was generally used, and was pretty warm. More than this—the
boiler being close to the engine, they found a quantity of water thrown
off into the cylinder; whereas the pipes conveying the steam underground
acts neither more nor less than as a large reservoir, and prevented much
of the mixture of the water with the steam, which was the case when the
cylinder was placed near the boiler.
Mr. Hall said there was a remedy by having the steam engine at the
top of the pit, with a boiler or receiver for it, and to force high-pressed
air into the mine to work the engines underground, and to a certain
extent this would increase the ventilating air rather than diminish it.
The President—There was a case of this description at a colliery
near Glasgow, but the result was doubtful.
Mr. Atkinson—Its effects upon the ventilation would not be felt,
The discussion here closed and the meeting adjourned.
mining engineers.
Mr. Hurst in the Chair.
Notice was given that the meeting in June would be special for the
election of officers.
Mr. Berkley read a paper, by Mr. J. J. Atkinson, on "The
Strength of Tubbing in Shafts, and the Pressures or Forces it has to
Mr. Johnson was not present, and there was no discussion.
The Chairman remarked, that the paper was not merely theoretical,
but practical, and it settled the point as to the utility of cement for
The meeting then adjourned.
In the discussion, which took place at the last general meeting of the
members of this institution, relative to the proposed employment of
Portland cement in lieu of cast iron, for tubbing back the water in the
shafts of mines, I made a few remarks as to the thickness of such cement
that would be destroyed by the crushing force arising from the pressure
of 100 fathoms of water, in a shaft fourteen feet in diameter; and also
as to the minimum thickness of cement that it would be necessary to
employ for safety, under the same conditions as to pressure and size of
Since that time I have received a letter from Mr. I. C. Johnson, from
which I gather that that gentleman believes me to have made some
mistake in the hasty calculation upon which I founded my remarks,
calculated to have an unfairly damaging effect upon the proposed substi-
tution of Portland cement in lieu of cast iron, for the purpose in question;
and desiring me first to satisfy myself that I had made such a mistake,
and then to convince the gentlemen who heard my remarks, of the true
state of the case.
I wrote to Mr. Johnson, in reply, that I believed that what I had
stated was correct, but that I should be happy to render any explanation
on the subject at the present meeting.
Under these circumstances, I beg leave to lay before the members, the
following remarks on the strength of tubbing in shafts; and the forces it
ias to resist; in which j haye taken ^ particular conditions, as to the
depth of water and size of shaft, upon which were based my remarks at
the last meeting; as examples of the application of some of the rules now
The remarks which I made at the last meeting, in reference to this sub-
ject, were to the effect, that if Portland cement would only bear a pressure
of about twenty-one cwts., or 2352 lbs., per square inch, before being-
destroyed by the crushing force, blocks of this material, eleven inches
thick on the bed, would be destroyed by the crushing force due to 100
fathoms of water pressure, if employed as tubbing in a shaft fourteen
feet in diameter; and that, in order to ensure safety, it would be neces-
sary that the material should be not less than three feet thick on the bed,
under the same conditions as to water pressure and size of shaft.
Although these statements are considered by Mr. Johnson as being
calculated to have an unfairly damaging effect upon the proposed intro-
duction of Portland cement, as a substitute for cast iron to form shaft
tubbing, I think I shall be able to show that they are within the truth;
and that, for an ordinary degree of safety, it would be necessary to
employ a considerably greater thickness than three feet of the material,
under the conditions stated, as to pressure and size of shaft.
Before giving formula for calculating the greatest crushing force to
which the material forming the tubbing of shafts is subjected, owing to
the pressure of water behind it, I will investigate formula relative to the
average crushing force to which it is exposed \ because their investigation
are much more easily comprehended, while, at the same time, they give
results which are perfectly reliable for practical purposes, in all cases
where the thickness of the material is small in comparison with the
inside diameter of the shaft \ and this is always the case where cast iron
is the material employed.
Let the accompanying figure represent a horizontal ring of tubbing in
a vertical shaft, with a column of water pressing upon its outer surface.
It is manifest that the whole of the horizontal pressure acting upon
the outside of the half ring A B D, will be counteracted by a similar
horizontal pressure in the opposite direction, acting upon the other half
rino- A C D • but the sectional area of the solid substance of the ring at
A and B will have the whole pressure (resolved into> a direction at right
angles to the diameter A B) due to the half ring to sustain—such pres-
sure tending to crush the material of the ring at A and B, in a circum-
ferential direction, as shown by the darts.
If we view fthe pressure of the water as acting in a horizontal direction,
from the circumference towards the centre (in a radial direction), and
resolve the whole of the radial forces into a direction at right angles to
any diameter, we shall find their sum to be the same for a half ring as
if they acted directly upon a plain surface equal in length to the diameter
itself, and of the same depth as the ring.
From what has been stated, it follows that the material of the ring at
each of the points A and B, and, indeed, in every part of the circum-
ference, has to sustain a crushing force equal to the pressure upon a
plane surface, having the outer radius for its length, and the same depth
as the ring itself—such crushing force operating in a circumferential
direction, all round the ring. If we let
t == the thickness of the material, in inches;
d = inside diameter of shaft, in inches;
p — water pressure in lbs., per square inch;
then the pressure on each half of the ring of tubbing, resolved into a
direction at right angles to the diameter of the ring, supposing the ring
to be one inch deep, is
p (d + 2 t)
But the area of the material, or substance of the ring, which has to
sustain the crushing pressure, is only 2 t; and on the average, therefore,
each square inch has to sustain a pressure of P + 2 an(j calling-
<o t
this crushing force L we have the equation
z-'(rt + 0.............................«
But if we substitute I as the inside diameter of the shaft in feet, in place
of d, its diameter in inches, we get
_., v + (3)
1X1 ° tms formula we introduce F for the depth of water, in fathoms,
at has to be sustained by this tubbing; since each fathom in depth of
water produces a pressure of 2-6 lbs. per square inch, we obtain
p = 2-6P; and this, substituted in (2), gives the following equations :—
L -2-6f(y + i) ..........................(3)
t = /* ..............................(*)
-J=- _ i
2-6 F
F = —jJ=--............................(5)
2-6 (? + l)
Where the thickness of the material of the tubbing is small in comparison
with the diameter of the shaft, any of the equations (3) (4) (5) or (6)
may be employed, without material error, in making calculations as to
the strength of the tubbing; and by assuming the value of L as the
crushing force in lbs. per square inch, the equations will give the condi-
tions under which crushing will ensue; or, if we assume the value of Z
at a safe working load per square inch, the results will come out, from
the use of the equations, as the conditions for safe working.
The resistances of materials to crushing by a direct thrust, in lbs.
avoirdupois per square inch, are as follow:—
Resistance to Crushing.
Brick—Weak red .............................. 550 to 800
Strong red .............................. 1100
Fire,.................................... 1700
Granite........................................ 5500 to 11,000
Limestone—Marble................I............ 5500
Granular............................ 4000 to 4500
Sandstone—Strong".............................. 5500
Ordinary............................ 3300 to 4400
Weak .............................. 2200
Portland cement, per Mr. I. C. Johnson .... «*..... 2352
Metals—Brass (cast) ............................ 10,300
Iron (cast), various qualities............-. 50,499 to 130,860
„ average...................... 91,059
„ wrought, about.................... 36,000 to 40,000
Timber—Dry, crushed along the grain: green timber
being much weaker in resistance to
Ash .......................................... 9000
Beech ........................................ 9360
Birch ........................................ 6400
Elm.......................................... 10,300
Fir—Red pine................................. 5375 to 6200
American yellow pine...................... 5400
Larch.................................... 5570
Oak—British .................................. 10,000
Dantzic .................................. 7700
American red......t........................ 6000
Let it be required to find what thickness of cast iron tubbing would be
destroyed by the circumferential crushing force, in a shaft fourteen feet
diameter, and at a depth of 100 fathoms below the surface of the water,
assuming the cast iron to be crushed under a force of 90,000 lbs. per
square inch. By (4) we have
6 x 14 . , , , . ,
t = qq qqq-- = *243 inch, the thickness. '
2*6 x 100."" 1
But if we take the safe working load upon the metal as l-6th of the
force required to crush average cast iron, or at 15,000 lbs. per square inch,
and allow l-8th of an inch for wear, tear, and corrosion, the safe working
thickness becomes—
6 x 14
* == 15 qoq- + i = 1-607 inches.
2-60 x 100 "" 1
In practice, I should not consider it safe to load the cast iron of tubbing
at more than 15,000 lbs. per square inch of sectional area, or about l-6th
of the force required to destroy ordinary cast iron by crushing; and I think
a constant thickness should be added to that which is required to reduce
the working load to this amount, in order to allow for loss of thickness
and strength, by wear and tear and chemical action; such extra thickness
depending for its amount upon whether it is intended for a downcast or
an upcast shaft, and whether or not smoke and gases from furnaces and
boiler fires are intended to pass up it; as well as upon the quality of
the water behind the tubbing.
The rules just given are based upon the assumption that the circum-
ferential crushing force acting upon tubbing is equal at all parts of its
thickness, which is nearly true where the thickness of the tubbing is
small in comparison with the diameter of the shaft; but departs more
and more from the truth as we increase the ratio of the thickness of the
tubbing to the diameter of the shaft; and they will be considerably in
error in their application to such a material as Portland cement, at the
depth of 100 fathoms of water, because the thickness of that material
must necessarily be considerable, in proportion to the shaft diameter,
under such conditions. Applying (4), however, to a fourteen-feet shaft,
under 100 fathoms of water pressure, and taking the force required to
crush the Portland cement at 2,352 lbs. per square inch, we have
6* 14
t = "~2352-------= 10,44 incnes as tne tnickness of cement that
M^TWO "~ 1
^ould be crushed under such conditions.
Applying the same rule, and taking the working load at as much as
one-third of the load that would destroy it by crushing, we have
6 x 14
t =-^--= 53*7 inches or about four feet, five and three
2-6 x 100 ~
quarter inches, as the thickness of such cement required to reduce the
average working pressure per square inch, to one-third of the crushing
It is, however, shown in " Rankine's Applied Mechanics," that when
a thick hollow cylinder is exposed to pressure from without, there is
a circumferential thrust round it, whose greatest intensity takes place at
the inner surface of the cylinder; so that the ultimate strength of the
cylinder does not depend upon the mean or average circumferential
thrust, but upon its greatest amount, as exerted at the inner surface of
the cylinder ; and that, supposing the material just to give way by
direct crushing, the ratio of the internal to the external radius of the
cylinder is given by the equation
Where r = inside radius of the cylinder.
R = outside ditto,
p = outside pressure on each unit of surface.
Z. = the greatest thrust or crushing force on the unit of
area of material, as prevailing at the inner surface
of the cylinder.
Taking a ring of tubbing, one inch deep, as the cylinder, and substituting
the symbols previously employed, this formula conducts to the following—
d F 2 x 2-6 F
and hence come the following rules for tubbing composed of Portland
cement, or any other material requiring a considerable thickness in
proportion to the diameter of the shaft, to render its employment safe—
I1 + 62/
F =-V2-............................(n)
* = -5^-r....................'...........(12)
Applying (10) to determine the thickness of Portland cement which
would be destroyed by crushing under the pressure arising from 100
fathoms of water column, if employed as tubbing, in a shaft fourteen
feet in diameter, we have, on taking the crushing force at 2352 lbs. per
square inch—
t = 6 x 14 / j==l- ) « 11-18 inches.
L 5-2 x 100
H 2352 /
I stated the thickness at about eleven inches, under these conditions, at
the last meeting, which was, it will be seen, close upon, but rather
within, the true thickness.
If Portland cement were, under the same conditions as to pressure and
size of shaft, only loaded at ^jp = 784 lbs. per square inch at the
inner surface, where the greatest force prevails, that is to say, at one-
third of the load required to destroy the material by crushing, it would
be necessary, by the same rule, to employ the material
t = 6 x 14 / * ==m~- l\ = 60-7488 inches,
Mi— —x J
or 5 feet 0J inch in thickness; while, without going into the calculation,
1 said it should not be less than 3 feet, which is upwards of 2 feet within
the thickness required, in order to reduce the load to l-3rd of the pres-
\m that W°Uld deStr°J the cement by crushing: so that Mr. Johnson
as not any cause to be dissatisfied; at least as regard these statements
^I should d°ne M1^UStice t0 the merits of Portland cement.
that f0U bowever> consider it safe, in so important a position as
thV a flaft"tubbin^ to load such a material at so much as l-3rd of
altoo°7h W°Uld deStr°J {t hj ^k^g: nor do 1 think [t would be
l-6°th fer,PrUdent to load ^ at more than one-half of this pressure, or
0 the force required to crush it: and on this principle, if we take
Vol. ix.-may, 1861.
a 14-feet shaft, and a depth of only 50 fathoms below the surface of the
water, we obtain by (10)
t = 6 x 14 / -*-¦-=--. l\ = 607488 inches ;
5-2 x 50
\4 ~ 392 /
being 5 feet Of inch nearly, at the depth of only 50 fathoms, if only
loaded at l-6th of the force required to destroy the cement by crushing.
Taking Portland cement as loaded at l-6th of the force required to
crush it, being —^— = 392 lbs. per square inch, the following table
gives the thickness the cement must be on the bed, at different depths
below the surface of the water, in shafts of different sizes, according to
formula (10):—
8 I 10 I 12 I 14 I 16
g :-!-!-!-!-
5 Thickness of Cement Tub on the Bed in Inches.
h !_.-——
flO J 3-538 4-422 5 306 6 191 7'076
20 8-002 10 002 12-002 14 003 16*004
30 13-862 17-328 20 794 24-259 27*724
Depth below the Sur-
face of the Water^J 40 22-061 27-576 33-091 38 606 44*122
in Fathoms.
50 34-714 43-392 52-070 60-749 69 428
60 58-248 72-810 87'372 101-934 116 496
.70 131-572 164-466 197-359 230-252 263-144
Note.—None of this tubbing1 should be less than 9 inches on the bed, and
some allowance for wear, tear, and chemical action should be added to the
thickness given in the table.
When the depth of water exceeds 75*38 fathoms, it will be impossible to
put in tubbing that will have to sustain only 392 lbs. per square inch at
the inside of the tubbing; so that the cement, if used at all below that
depth, would require to be pressed or loaded at more than this, which
is l-6th of the force required to crush it: being the load at which the
above table is calculated.
Although the above table gives some of the thicknesses near the sur-
face of the water at less than nine inches on the bed, in practice it would
not, I consider, be prudent to have even the uppermost courses of less
than that thickness, or they would be liable to be broken, by accidental
and other blows, to which tubbing is liable in shafts.
I will conclude by giving a table of what I consider to be proper
thicknesses to give to cast iron tubbing in shafts, in order to ensure a
proper degree of safety; but suggest that even the uppermost courses
should, in no case, be less than half or five-eighths of an inch in thick-
ness, for, although less would bear the mere pressure of the water, there
would be, otherwise, too great a liability to fracture from other causes.
I will, in constructing the table, take 12,000 lbs. per square inch as the
greatest compression to which the inside of the tub has to be subjected,
being about l-8th of what will crush ordinary cast iron. According to
formula (10):—
8 10 12 14 16 18
"S Thickness of Metal Tubbing in the Plate, in Inches.
r 10 0 106 0*132 0*158 0*185 0-211 0*238
20 0 211 0-264 0*317 0*380 0*422 0*475
30 0-317 0-396 0*475 0*554 0*634 0*713
40 0*422 0-528 0-634 0*739 0*844 0-950
Depth below the Sur- 50 0-528 0-660 0*792 0 924 1-056 1*188
face of the Watery
in Fathoms. 60 0*638 0*798 0*958 1*117 1*276 1 436
70 0749 0-936 1*123 1-310 1-498 1-685
80 0*854 1*068 1*282 1 495 1*708 1-922
90 0*965 1*206 1-447 1*688 1*930 2*171
^100 1*090 1*362 1*634 1*907 2*180 2*452
Note.—The uppermost courses of tubbing should, in all cases, be at
least half an inch thick in the plate; even in shafts of very small dia-
meter ; and 5-8ths of an inch thick in shafts of large diameter, or they
would be liable to fracture from blows. It seems also to be desirable
that a constant thickness should be added to the thicknesses given in the
a ove table, to allow for wear and tear, and for corrosion or other
chemical action on the metal.
M. Coombes gives the following rule for finding the proper working
strength of cast iron tubbing for shafts :-
w H R
1 - E i
Where t = the thickness of the tubbing- in French metres.
w = the weight of a cubic metre of water = 1000 kilo-
H =c height of head of water in metres.
R = the radius of the shaft in metres.
E i = 6,000,000 the product of the coefficient of elasticity into
the greatest shortening, in proportion to the length, to which it is in-
tended to subject the material.
This rule reduced to English measures, according to the notation pre-
viously employed in this paper, becomes
t == -00183 FS...........................(13)
It is based upon taking the average load upon the metal at somewhat
less than 1-10th of the ultimate strength of cast iron. This rule is
further based upon the somewhat erroneous supposition that the
average circumferential thrust is the same as the greatest, and it gives
results much higher than those given in the above table, which is
founded upon taking the greatest, and not the average circumferential
thrust, as the ultimate strength of the material, as well as upon loading
it higher than Mr. Coombes proposes. According to the latter prin-
ciple, the thickness of the tubbing requires to be increased in thickness,
in a ratio somewhat higher than the mere increase of depth below the
surface of the water it has to sustain.
The thickness of tubbing, it may be observed, varies in the same ratio
as the diameter of the shaft in which it is employed; so that, for a double
diameter, we require to employ tubbing of twice the thickness, to obtain
equal strength at similar depths below the surface of the water.
How far Portland cement, if used for tubbing in shafts, would be able
to resist the forces due to the expansion and contraction, arising from
changes of temperature in a hot upcast, I have not taken the trouble to
investigate; but I should be inclined to entertain very grave doubts as to
its safety on this score, if even it were of sufficient thickness to resist the
mere pressure of the water.
I have not taken any notice of the additional strength imparted to
cast iron tubbing by the brackets and flanges, so that any strength due
to them will be additional to that calculated for.
By E. F. BOYD.
Having been on more than one occasion called upon professionally to
report on the probable mineral contents of portions of this district, and
having for some years had an opportunity of becoming acquainted with
its northern division as proprietor's agent, I have conceived that such a
description of its principal features as I could further collect, accompa-
nied by a plan and section, might not be uninteresting as a paper of
which to beg the acceptance of your Institute.
Premising, however, that I do not put it forth as an unerring guide to
the geologist, but more with that feeling with which all pioneers in un-
trodden ground are supported, viz.:—That the fact of their jotting down
and introducing to the notice of others actual facts which have occurred
to them, however vague and unconnected, or undigested, may at some
future period assist the more scientific enquirer, or even that flattering
sensation which arises from the hope that the opening of a few clearances
through the wood may induce others to explore what they may hitherto
have deemed impracticable and unapproachable.
Three or four papers have appeared in the " Transactions of the Natural
History Society of Newcastle-on-Tyne," which have reference to this dis-
trict, viz.:—
1st, in Vol. I.j No. 15—" Remarks on the Geology of the Banks of
the Tweed." By T. M. Winch.
2nd, in ditto, No. 19—" On the Red Sandstones of Berwickshire."
By Henry Witham.
3rd, in ditto, No. 28—" On the Geology of Part of Northumberland
and Cumberland." By Nicholas Wood.
4th, in Vol. II., No. 6—" On the Stratiform Basalt associated with
the Carboniferous Formation of the North of England." By William
None of these exactly embrace the district I propose:—
No. 1 being confined to the area immediately north of, and geologi-
cally underlying it.
No. 2 treating also of the geological succession immediately beneath.
No. 3 confining its remarks entirely to the coast line of this part of
Northumberland; and
No. 4 confining its remarks to one feature of the group.
The scene of my paper may be considered, then, as laid on the line of
outcrop of the lower portion of the mountain limestone or carboniferous
series, and is classed by Professor Phillips as the lowest portion of the
" Upper Palaeozoic Strata," in his general classification of British strata.
In my endeavour carefully to track out and delineate the line of out-
crop of the several strata forming this, group, their general rise to the
west and north, enable me to particularize these in pretty regular suc-
cession, and as the lowest of them rest throughout upon a very thick
stratum of red-coloured sandstone or freestone, described by Mr. Witham
as above-named, I have limited the extent of my remarks to the sea coast
line and to the points to north, west, and south-west, where the red
sandstone appears, which is nearly defined by commencing at the south
bank of the Tweed, about three-quarters of a mile south of Berwick,
and continuing by the edge of the high ground before descending to the
river Till, past Berwick Hill, Shoreswood, and Felkington, through
Greenlawalls, Gatherick, Etal, Ford, and Ford Moss, to Doddington,
Hetton, Hoiburn, Middleton, and Belford. And at Belford I leave it,
in the hope that, as the necessarily minute attention paid to the alterna-
tion of the various strata in the lead-mine districts has long ago clearly
developed, through the instrumentality and arrangement of Westgarth
Forster and others, the same formation at the head of South Tyne and
Weardale, so the advance of railroad communication into North Tyne and
Reedwater may call forth the same efforts there, and my humble endea-
vours may form a link, however small and imperfect, in the exploration
and classification of the north-west outcrop of this interesting geological
feature, and in registering its development of the mineral value of the
northern portion of Northumberland.
Although displaying almost all of the ordinary characteristics which
distinguish the mountain limestone series proper, those aspects wherein
this division of it so markedly differs from the same series as witnessed
in Derbyshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, may be noticed, as occurring
in two remarkable points^ viz.:—1st. That, whereas in these counties, as
far north as Craven in Yorkshire, it appears as an immense calcareous
mass, nearly undivided, and reaching in several cases to 100 and 150
fathoms in thickness, here, in North Northumberland, its limestones
become divided by beds of sandstone and shale, partially accompanied by
ironstone and fossil plants, and extensively with coal.
And secondly, again it differs from the before-named instances, in con-
taining numerous and valuable seams of coal, and those useful not only
for lime-burning application, but also for household and other purposes.
This development of coal deposit is, however, by no means uniform
throughout the district, neither as to quality nor quantity, its northern
and western outcrop of the lower strata being more rich in seams of a
bituminous and household quality, and supplying, as it does at present,
and has done for many past years (probably 200 since its first opening),
the fire coal demand for the borders of Scotland; whilst its southern
and south-western basset yields a carbon of inferior quality, yet sufficient
to burn the extensive lime-beds there so largely apparent.
It, however, assimilates with other members of the carboniferous
limestone series, in other respects :—
In the alternation of fossil remains; the limestones producing and even
largely composed of marine shells and animals; whilst with the shales
and coal beds are discovered the plants and vegetable reliquiae so univer-
sally found to accompany the coal formation proper, leading us to the
unmistakeable marino-lacustrine nature of its formation, and to the con-
clusion that, whether the coal beds were formed from the forests and
plants on the site where they vegetated, and were once nourished by the
dews and vapours of a surrounding atmosphere, or were the result of
deposits from periodical internal fresh water lakes and estuaries, carried
there by the waters that held them in suspension, yet these must have
been at frequent intervals subjected to violent, extensive, and long-con-
tinued inundations of marine floods holding in suspension and again
depositing calcareous matter, shells, and debris of marine animal life,
broken and disturbed by wide, extended, and violent forces.
The fossil remains observable in other districts of the carboniferous or
mountain limestone, are here met with in considerable abundance: the
peculiarity, as before remarked, being the alternation of sandstones,
coals, and shales, containing sand and fluviatile remains, with limestones
containing numerous specimens of, and even itself largely composed of,
marine animals and shells. It preserves, also, the distinctive feature
which belongs to the series—that both the terrestrial and marine remains
are more unlike the modern productions of nature than those of more
recent rocks.
Leaving, then, the difficult question as to the then peculiar state of the
atmosphere, and the conditions of land and sea, with the extraordinary
inroads, which their entirely different deposits lead us to consider that
they must have been permitted to practise upon each other, to more scientific
geologists, I may state generally, that the amount of fossil plants met
with, is by no means of the same extent as in the coal measures proper,
and that they are more narrowly confined to specimens of calamites,
stigmaria, sigillaria, and lepidodendra, of which the stigmaria are the
most abundant. And that the limestones of this district afford as fine
specimens as any others, of encrinites, terebratulae, spirifirse, producta,
and orthocerata, of corals of various character, and crinoidal remains in
The Low Dean Bed would seem to have furnished the most remark-
able both as to numbers and character, and particularly as to orthocerata,
sketches of two kinds of which, extending to two feet in length, I beg
to introduce, they being now preserved by Mrs. Johnson, of Scremerston
Sea House, and obtained from her extensive quarry recently opened out
in the said Low Dean bed of limestone, at Sand Banks, near the sea-
shore, two miles to south of Scremerston. Tbe roof of the Cooper Eye
Seam being composed of about a foot of coarse limestone, furnished to
Mr. George Bailes, agent at Scremerston and Shoreswood Collieries, and
to whom I refer in another part of this paper, a rather uncommon spe-
cimen of the tooth of a large fish or saurian: it is noticed by Professor
Phillips in his work on geology as that of a megalichthys hibberti.
An extensive and beautiful collection of these marine fossils has been
made by the Rev. Mr. Jenkynson of Lowick, which have largely assisted
to illustrate Professor Sedgewick's different papers contributed to the
Geological Society; and they were presented by him and are now pre-
served in the Woodwardian Museum at Cambridge.
There occur two thin layers of soft shale-like strata, though probably
highly calcareous, immediately underlying- the Low Dean Limestone,
which contain very perfect specimens of encrinites, and amongst the
friable material of the matrix, in which they are imbedded, they can be
procured of considerable length and very perfect, even to the display of
the short branches of this beautiful coral. When broken into short
lengths and penetrated in the centre, they form the St. Cuthbert's Beads
of the Holy Island fishermen.
Entire layers of limestone are formed of the crinoides and the syrin-
Again, this district assimilates to others, in the numerous and exten-
sive faults, dykes, or dislocations of the strata to which it is subject.
The circumstance of the course of these Slip Dykes being found in
general to be at right angles to the main axis of elevation, being here
varied to that of being at right angles to the lull dip and rise of the
strata at the particular part of the district, under consideration, where
they occur; and as this varies by slow gradations from due north in the
direction of Scremerston, to west and south at Etal and Ford until it
becomes due south at Lowick, the whole area assuming, and being
thereto somewhat assisted by the occurrence of the Large Dyke at the
bottom of the basin, very much the appearance of an upturned shell or
fan, fringed by the edging of red sandstone, except at the part where
the line of outcrop begins to diverge to its more permanent and unvaried
course of south-west throughout the county.
Under the head of Slip Dykes, one very remarkable fact must not be
omitted to be named, viz., that (with the exception of a small one of
four and a half fathoms, from the line of which the strata on the sea
coast between Scremerston Sea House and Tweedmouth dip thence to
the east, at a much greater inclination than heretofore, and approaching
an angle of 45° due east), the whole of these dislocations numbered on
the general plan, up to a point where No. 6 occurs, and near Felkington
south boundary, are Rise Dykes to the south-west • and thence to south-
west the rest of them are downcast, or depress the strata in that direc-
tion—the latter influences elucidating strongly the beneficial result to
the dwellers on the surface of what are customarily termed "faults" and
" dislocations," and what in common phraseology has been branded with
the name of " difficulty" or trouble in this and other similarly situated
districts; but which ought rather to be construed to evince the wonder-
ful provision of the Creator in making the earth's surface more beneficially
useful for the habitation and comfort of the creature, by multiplying the
edges of outcrop of valuable strata, through the frequent occurrence of
these Dip Dykes (as at Berrington, Licker and elsewhere), thus again
and again exposing their otherwise hidden products to the energy and
enterprise of man.
A short enumeration and description of such principal Dykes as I was
enabled to introduce on the plan may not be uninteresting at this stage.
Commencing then at the northern extremity adjoining the sea coast:—
1st.—We have a four and a half fathom downcast to west; course
N. 30 W.; being the point from w^hich the strata (hitherto rising nearly
due north) begin to dip heavily towards the sea; its course and dimensions
are determined by the Scremerston sea level passing through it.
2nd.—Rise Dyke to west of 15 fathoms; course N. 20 W.; deter-
mined by the west workings of Scremerston and east workings of
Unthank Colliery in two or three of the seams.
3rd.—Rise Dyke, south-west, of about nine fathoms; course N. 22
W.; determined by the Murton Colliery workings, also seen in the ravine
near Allerdean Mill, where limestones are observed thrown back to west,
and deeper.
4th.—Rise Dyke, south-west, of about three and a half fathoms; course
N. 33 W.; proved in Shoreswood Colliery workings, and between it and
Thornton. In the former towards the east and north it takes the form
of a "nip" or "baulk," extending for a long distance (250 yards);
the top coal of Cooper Eye Seam being removed and the bandstone and
grounds remaining.
Mem.:—These "baulks" or "nips" are very frequent in this class of
rocks, two or three being seen to west of Scremerston Shaft, in
Caldside and Main Coal Seams.
5th.—Rise Dyke to south-west of fourteen fathoms ; course N. 33
W.; apparent in the Felkington workings of Cooper Eye Seam, and has
been drifted through recently at Felkington, prior to sinking a new pit
6th.—Rise Dyke to south-west of seven fathoms; course N. 58 W.;
described by the old plans of Felkington Colliery in rise workings of
Cowper Eye Seam.
7th.—Downcast Dyke of twenty fathoms : the first downcast of the
series, except the four and a half fathom Scremerston Sea Coast Dyke,
and determined by the necessarily changed position of the pits in the
Greenlawalls Colliery, and likewise the outcrop of the lower seams of coal
being extended farther west into the country (nearly 400 yards), and close
up to the boundary between Felkington and Duddo.
The Upright Basaltic appears. Its characteristic and
igneous features have been described in another place. The usual width
between its perpendicular sides is from six to eight yards—its mineralo-
gical character not differing as to colour, nor in its composition of
hornblende and felspar, from other specimens of a like nature. This is
the dyke, the course of which appears described on the plan as from
Lennel House to Holy Island; and that it must be also a Slip Dyke to
south, or have interfered with such a dyke, is clear from its throwing the
outcrop of the seams still farther out to the south and west (nearly half
a mile). Its surface workings for road material are observable (as
indicated on the plan by red ink shading) at Duddo, Mattilees, Licker,
Kentstone, Mount Hooly, and on the coast at Fenham.
8th.—Downcast Dyke to south, of at least 109 fathoms, called the
Longy Heugh Dyke; course N. 67 W.; determined by tracing the
three items of obvious bearing-, viz., the workings of the Cooper Eye
Seam underground, and of the Ten-Quarter Freestone and Wood End
Limestone on the surface; the former of these forming a bold western
basset, of thirty or forty feet, throughout the whole of Duddo (the tower
standing very high upon it), Greenlawalls, and part of Etal, up to the
range of the dyke; and these accompanied by the identification of the
unerring guide of the outcrop of the Woodend Limestone being thrown
out to the west nearly one and three-quarter mile, where the inclination
of the strata is nearly at the rate of 1 in 4, altogether admitting of an
admeasurement of 109 fathoms between the rise and dip side of this
extraordinary dislocation.
Next in course anoears the south-west fork of the Basaltic Upright
Dyke, described in its place under Trap Dykes. It has already been
named that, from the fact of three seams of coal having been pursued
continuously throughout the panel occurring between No 8, Longy
Heugh, and No. 9, Slainsfield Dyke, without the interruption of this
Whin Dyke, it is concluded, either that its influence discontinues here
to the west, or that it does not extend to the surface. Its direction,
however, is sufficiently clearly indicated by workings in two places,
marked on the plan. At the point where our section crosses it, it does
not appear to interfere with the level of the adjoining strata, hut imme-
diately on its coming in contact with the Slip Dyke of Longy Heugh, it
continues eastward to mark the line of downthrow to south of all the
strata in contact. Neither does this influence leave it on its junction
with the main fork at Bowsden, this being proved by the second
" input" and working of the Rough Coal and Licker Seams with the
Dryburn Limestone, on the south side of this dyke, by Mr. Steavenson,
at his Licker Colliery ; whilst the same seams, and various other lime-
stone and underlying strata, had already cropped out to the surface at
Berrington, one and three-quarter mile to the north of this dyke.
Its effects on the strata further to east, and forming the accompani-
ments to the great Whin Sill, I have attempted to describe in another
place under that head; and whether the frowning battlements of Holy
Island Castle are indebted for the sharp-edged and undecaying nature
of their foundation rock, to the Whin Sill, or the Upright Basaltic
Dyke, may be left for discussion, which discussion may likewise, perhaps,
include the question as to the centre of operations of this outpouring
of the molten lava, whether at the Fern Islands, the Lammermuir Hills,
or at High Teasdale in Lunedale Forest.
No. 9, called Slainsfield Dyke, downcast to south of nearly seventy
fathoms j course N. 76 W.; its extent being proved from the circum-
stance that, on the road between Berry Hill and Watchlaw, and
including the space between Dykes Nos. 8 and 9, the outcrop of the last
of the seams, viz., the Cooper Eye and Wester Coal is found to have
taken place before arriving at No. 9 Dyke, but that, immediately on
crossing it to the west of Watchlaw, and at 250 yards to west of last
outcrop, the Cooper Eye Seam requires a shaft of fifty fathoms to
reach it.
No. 10, Ford Common Dyke, downcast to south; course S. 63 W.
No. 11, Ford Moss, ditto ditto course S. 63 W.
No. 12, Rowten Lynn, ditto ditto course S. 43 W.
No. 13, Doddington, ditto ditto course S. 47 W.
No. 14, Hetton, ditto ditto of ninety fathoms;
course S. 75 W.
The exact extent of throw or dislocation of these several dykes, I have,
except in the case of the Hetton Dyke, no means of ascertaining. That
they do occur, and very nearly in the position and courses described,
and that they are, without exception, downcasts to south and east, is
sufficiently determined by an inspection of the limestone quarry workings
on the surface, and such coal outcrops and workings as were capable of
being examined and traced.
This district again assimilates itself to others of a like geological
period, in being intersected by the already noticed Upright Basaltic
Dykes, and by the extensive exposure on the surface of the Great Whin
Sill, or stratified Basalt. This latter has been so minutely and inge-
niously treated by Mr. Hutton, in his paper before the Natural History
Society of Newcastle-on-Tyne, vol. II., page 187, that it renders any
particular description of mine unnecessary. But in remarking on its
entirely igneous character, and its occurrence on the same plane of
regular stratification between beds of marine and fluviatile deposition,
I am very much inclined to agree with the theory advanced by that
writer, that although an intruder amongst such strata, there is little
evidence to prove that it was actually protruded between beds already
consolidated, but that the appearances, so far as I have been enabled to
observe, rather favour the idea promulgated by Mr. Hutton, in contra-
distinction to that of Professor Sedgewick, viz., " that this bed of basalt
was produced by an overflowing of lava during the deposition of the
Mountain Limestone, after those beds which are found below it, and
prior to those above it." The specimen produced, from the lime quarry
near Middleton, of the Whin Sill in contact with and overlaid by a lime-
stone bed, does not show that great evidence of the influence of heat
upon the limestone, which, in other instances of such contact, becomes
whitened and highly crystallised. The non-intrusion of any of the whin
or basalt into any fissures or cracks of strata, either above or below (so
far as I have had opportunity to observe it), also favours this view of
the question.
The course or line of direction of this Whin Sill through the district
is matter of interest. It is traced by Mr. Hutton from Helton, in
Westmorland, by Cross Fell, Croglin, Tindale Fell, Tyne Head Smelt
Mill, Thirlwall, Wall, House Steads, Sewing Shields, Tepper Moor,
Gunnerton, Thockrington, Divot Hall, West Harle, Whelpington, Elf
Hills, Hartington, Gallow Hill, Forest Burn, Rugley, Alnwick Moor,
Ratcheugh Crag, and Craster, to Dunstanborough, where it disappears
by east dip and denudation into the sea, to appear again forming the
Fern Islands, having hitherto preserved a nearly N.N.E. direction; but
on its re-appearance at Bamburgh (where, in the castle well there, it is
about ninety feet thick), after permitting the lower limestones and coals
beneath it to appear at Beadnell, North Sunderland, and Monk's House,
194 s
it assumes a nearly west direction by Spindlestone to Belford, its course
being- marked by bold escarpments and irregular edges, as at Raven
Crag and Boggle Houses (see sketch). At Boggle Houses it presents
the longest and loftiest exposed surface, being nearly a mile in length,
and displaying on its western face fifty perpendicular feet, showing the
prismatic and columnar arrangement; below which the large blocks and
debris extend at an angle of 45°, more than 110 feet farther, making its
perpendicular height here probably about 130 feet; and being again
underlaid by thick beds of reddish sandstone, which, together with the
basalt, by these sudden denudations, abut to west, in shape of a conti-
nuous north and south escarpment, enclosing the rich lands of Holburn,
Hetton, Chatton, and Chillingham. At Kyloe its basset would appear
to vere nearly due north ; and although its northernmost extremity has
been connected, both by Mr. N. Wood and Mr. Hutton, with the Basaltic
Rock at Holy Island, yet I find great difficulty in making out a conti-
nuous course for it from Kyloe to Holy Island, because the immediate
overlying of it by successive beds of limestones, coals, shales, and free-
stones, as at Kyloe Church, Fenwick Colliery, and Fenwick Steads,
lead one to the opinion that its further progress north was intercepted
by the interference of the Great Slip Rise Dyke to north (numbered 8 on
the plan) into the fissure, and direction of which I conceive the Whin or
Basaltic Upright Dyke, running from Holy Island to Lennel on the
Tweed, to have obtruded itself.
The line of direction of the latter, or Upright Basaltic Dyke, is much
more easy to trace. Running from Holy Island Castle slightly north of
west to the village of Bowsden, where it is found to separate into two
forks, the course of the south branch being denoted by its extensive
working for road material at Woodside and Woodend as nearly due west,
although I have been unable to identify it farther west than to a planta-
tion on the road leading from Woodside to Hay Farm, the long day-level
driven from Berry Hill and between No. 8, Longy Heugh, and No. 9,
Slainsfield Dykes, to unwater the western edge of three Etal coal seams,
not having recorded its passage through it, and thereby the possibility
is suggested of its having ceased to rise at this point to its present sur-
face, as I conceive it to have been joined by, or itself obtruded into the
channel of the Berry Hill or No. 8 dyke, it being identified with the
downthrow of the strata to south of 100 fathoms. The northern fork,
from Bowsden, runs N. 42 W. nearly to Mattilees, where it has been
extensively wrought for the roads, nearly west to Duddo Tower, a
little to north of which it is also extensively wrought as road material,
and thence leaves our district at a point a little south of Grindon Ridge,
crossing the Till a little north of Tiptoe, and the Tweed at Lennel
House, to north of Coldstream. The remarkable circumstance of its
uniformity of appearance, its uprightness, and preservation of its per-
pendicularity through all descriptions of rock—its not altering the level
of those through which it passes, (except as before described, where it
appears to have joined the course of a Slip Dyke)—the fact of its invariably
reducing the coal into charcoal, the limestones into a sort of marble, the
sandstones to vitreous jasper, and depriving the shales of their bitumen,
and their wonderful stretch across country with so slight a variation
in their courses, render them to the eye of a geologist one of the most
remarkable phenomena he is called upon to witness.
A feature of great interest connected with this upright Basaltic Dyke
I must not omit to record, because it may lead to further consideration
regarding the relative ages of the Whin Sills and Basaltic and Slip
Dykes, and it is this :—That near the point where the Duddo Basaltic
Quarry is wrought there is known to exist a set of three Slip Dykes or
troubles in the coal workings adjoining, and exactly at this place in the
quarry the basalt is found to be shifted or removed sideways from its
course, but without alteration of the width of the basalt, and, according
to the influence or power of the interfering Slip Dyke, to the extent of
eighteen feet or as far as thirty feet, pursuing immediately after its original
direction. If then the epoch of the upheaving of the Upright Basaltic
Dyke may be conceived to be more recent than the deposition of the
Whin Sill, which its extra igneous effect on the adjoining strata lead one
to imagine, and if coeval with, or very recently subsequent to the date
of the other Slip Dykes around it, it would indeed be interesting to have
been allowed the opportunity of seeing whether it would have, in a
similar manner penetrated through the Whin Sill, or what other effect
it would have produced upon it.
At this point it may be well to refer to, or introduce the general
section of the whole series, as taken from admeasurements in successive
layers of limestone, freestone, &c, apparent in quarries, ravines, <fec, and
and from colliery sinkings ranged in the order of their superposition.
Craving indulgence, however, as to its perfect accuracy, from the diffi-
culties presented in so wide a field by the want of local data of observa-
tion, and from the necessary variableness in thickness and relative
position of the several strata of which it is composed, in the different
parts of the district embraced.
The enumeration of strata which I first prepared commenced only at
a point a short distance above the Rough and Licker Coal Seams; this
was done so under the impression that the district to be embraced would
be confined so far to the north as to have been limited to those beds as
the uppermost of the group, and so properly described, but the including
of the Kyloe Hills requires that it should commence at the sea shore,
near Fenham, and so extend westward by the basset of the Whin Sill and
thick freestone below it, forming the lofty Heddon Hill, beneath which
the Rough and Licker Coals shortly appear (see the general section). But
owing to the thickness of the rich alluvial matter which overlies the
outcrop of these strata from the seaside up to Detchant, and reposing,
as it were, on the back of the Whin Sill, together with the highly
cultivated condition of the surface soil there, I experienced great difficulty
in distinctly classifying the series upwards from this point. I have,
however, by a careful observation of the several bassets, the sinkings at
Fenwick and Detchant, and the notice of such denudations or escarp-
ments as presented themselves by rivulets, quarries, &c, been enabled
to complete the section upwards to within a short distance of the sea
shore (see the upper part of general section).
Not omitting to record another difficulty in such classification, viz.,
that under the impression that the thick sandstone or freestone of Heddon
Hill were identical with those represented in the general section as
underlying the whole series, as at Tweedmouth, &c., and thrown up in
this locality by a huge Upcast Slip Dyke, the neighbourhood has
designated the seams of coal overlying the Whin Sill by the same successive
catalogue of names as those immediately reposing on the red sandstone
Within the series overlying the Whin Sill, I have been enabled to
identify five layers of limestone. Two of these cross near the village of
Kyloe, and so southwards through the thick woods of Fenwick and
Detchant; other two beds of limestone overlie the Fenwick Coal Seam
near Fenwick Granary—passing near to Smeafield, to west of Easington
Mill, and so to Warrenford Mill; and the fifth observable in the mill
race, at Ross Mill, and largely quarried and burnt at the opposite side
of the water in Budle Bay.
A small seam of coal is likewise met with in the Mill Race, at Ross
Mill, underlying the above-named limestone bed.
The whole of these are intersected and altered in their outcrop by the
interference of the large Ninety-Fathom Hetton Dyke.
The further exploration of those beds overlying the Whin Sill is hindered
by the sand banks forming the sea coast line to the east, by the curve
to the south-east which here occurs in the Whin Sill, forcing the overlying
strata east back into the sea at Budle Bay, and to the north, as before
stated, by their being intersected and thrown out by the Upright Basaltic
Dyke, conceived by me to be a Rise Dyke of considerable magnitude to
the north.
The rich and valuable character of this tract of land between Belford
and Fenwick, skirted by the whinstone to west and south, and the sea
to the east, clearly evidences how the geology of a country (particularly
if composed of debris from basalt, lime, freestone, and shale—here inti-
mately combined) affect the quality and quantity of the agricultural
produce of the surface, almost irrespective of climate and aspect.
^ r>^ Calcareous Other Aggregate
Remarks. ^0£u- Deposits. Deposits. Depths.
Commencing at point marked G on General Plan and Section, where the Basaltic Dyke is crossed Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In, Fms. Ft. In. Fathoms,
by Section line from E to F.
Alluvial Matter, Soil, &c................... ---- • ••• 1 3 0
Shale.......................................... •••• 3 0 0
Limestone.................................. •••• 0 4 0 ....
Freestone.................................. •••• 7 0 0
Shale.......................................... • ••• 4 4 0
The road from Fenhana to Fenwick is constructed on this panel ............»...............Red Sandstone ............................ — ft • ••• 12 3 0
Limestone.................................. •••• U rf U ....
Shale and Freestone........................ .... •••• 15 0 0
Formerly quarried to south-east of Fenwick Village, runs to east of Smeafield near Easing-1 Limestone . ....... 2 2 0 .... 47
ton Mill, and so to Wairenford Mill........................................................) .................................. . . n
Shale ...................................... .... ••«• 6 2 0
Observable in Brook crossing turnpike road from Fenwick to Belford............................ Freestone .................................. ---- 11 4 0
Passes near to Smeafield, to west of Easington Mill, and thence to Warrenford Mill............ Limestone.................................. .... i \ M
Shale .......................................... .... 4 0 0
Wrought at present working Pit, Fenwick Colliery .............................................. Upper Coal—Fenwick Colliery ............ 0 2 1 .... .... 71*
Freestone.................................. .... •••• 6 0 0
Shale.......................................... .... 2 4 0
Freestone with layers of Shale and 1 Thin ) 0 1 6 14 0 6
Limestone ............................) ""
Wrought by perpendicular shaft at Fenwick Colliery, depth 32 fathoms: unwatered by day level) Lower Coal—Fenwick CoUierv . 0 2 6 .... 0 0 5 954
in the Ravine at Mount Hooly, and used as household coal in the district..................j J
J Shale .......................................... .... 15 0
Quarried near to Kyloe Village, to south, from whence it ranges southward through Fenwick | Limestone (Unper Woodend Stone) . 2 0 0 .... 99
and Detchant Woods........................................................................J ' *y ' *" „ „ „
Red Sandstone ................................ .... 3 8 0
Shale.......................................... .... 12 0
Passes to south-east of Kyloe, and trending southwards, is quarried to east of Holburn Wood) Limestone (Urroer Dunstone).............. ____ 3 0 0 .... 107
Freestone...................................... .... 0 3 0
Wrought years ago in front of Holburn Wood Houses............................................. Upper Fawcett Coal........................ 0 2 6 .... 108
Grey and Blue Freestone............ .... .... 4 3 0
Varying considerably in its thickness in different situations, and still more so in its exposed)
basset. It is at Boggle Houses, 132 feet,—Presents the most bold escarpments at Dunstan- V Whin Sill.................................. .... .... 22 0 0 134
berough, Bamburgh, Spindlestone, Ravencrag, and Kyloe ..................................J
Shale and Limestone.......................... 1 4 0 1 2 6
Hard and gritty, and from the friable nature of the underlying strata is generally seen standing) Yfhite Freestone with Layers of Shale .. .... .... 24 5 0
out in naked escarpments ..................................................................) . "*' ' " . ,
4 Limestone.................................. .... 0 18 ....
Sandstone (soft white) and Shale .......... .... .... 6 0 0
Two layers of Limestone intermixed with) 0 4 6 1 0 6
Carried forward.............. Ill 13 3 8 155 2 11 170
^^^^^^^^ ENUMERATION OF STRAT A.—Continued.
/ _ r,„„. Calcareous Other Aggregate
i Remarks, ooai. Deposits. Deposits. Depths.
Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft In. Fms. Ft. In. Fathoms.
Brought forward.............. Ill 13 8 8 155 2 11 170
(Upper Scremerston Coal .................. 0 2 7 .... 0 0 4 171
Sandstone, with two layers of Shale ...... .... .... 34 0
Bursting Bags Coal ........................ 0 10 .... ....
Sandstone and Shale ...................... .... .... 3 0 5
Main Coal, or Upper Bulman seam ........ 0 2 0 .... .... 178
Red Sandstone ................................ .... 10 0 0
Shales.......................................... .... 7 3 0
/ Upper Cooper Eye Coal.................... 0 19 .... .... 196
The line of little pits to west of the Moss at Detchant, show the outcrop of these two Beams.. J T™e\Xn°f.S^ •••> 7 4 0
( Upper Wester Coal"..0 2 0 .... ---- 204
Sandstone................................. .... ____ 12 9
Old Lime Kilns to west of Detchant Coal Houses show that it has been wrought there.......... Limestone.................................. .... 1 2 6 .... 206£
Shale .......................................... .... 4 2 0
Forms the bluff and lofty hills immediately to east of Lowick Village, which trending south ( T^SS£ S^SdhJdS?^? I 44 2 0
ward, leave the rich lands of Holbuxn, Hetton. Chatton, and ChilLngham to west..........\ ggj g^, andhig ^af^J^d ^ } 44 2 0
Limestone.................................. .... 0 4 0 ....
'The uppermost coal seam in Lowick district____ Coal........................................ 0 2 0 ---- .... 256£
Freestone.................................. .... .... 1 0 0
Not fit for lime burning.......................... Coal (Coarse Parrot) ...................... 0 2 6 .... —
In this panel occur the Pits of Lowick Sagger Clay—Metal........................ .... .... 0 2 6
Forest, ranging nearly north and south,! Freestone.................................. .... .... 0 3 4
which, when in operation,probably worked | A coarse coal, only consumed for lime burning:) nn»nv, nn„i a««m n i q
the Licker and Bough Coals.............. worked at Licker Colliery....................) Bough Coal beam.......................... 0 18
Freestone and Shale.....................,.. .... .... 2 3 6
WC°hfwU°^ Licker Main Coal.......................... 0 2 6 .... .... 262
In this panel is situated the "Cook House Freestone," of 20 leet thick, wrought at Hagger-) ¦™1,naBLnv>a q o n
stone Quarry, and of which Haggerstone Castle is built....................................J freestone...................................... .... y a u
The uppermost limestone at Lowick, where, and at Licker and Bcwsden, it has as yet only) twt™™ t*™,oation o^i
been developed.-ColourJ light brown......................................................} Dryburn Limestone............................ 3 2 0 .... 274*
Reddish Brown Freestone.................. .... .... 4 3 0
Has been wrought at Dryburn .................................................................. Dryburn Coal.............................. 0 1 3 — ---- 2794
White Freestone................................ ---- 4 0 0
Small Limestone .......................... .... 1 0 0 ....
Freestone.................................. .... .... 8 4 0
Wrought at Sand Banks, Scremerston, and has in it the finest and rarest specimens of marine") TA^«onTim01,i™a o q n oa-i
fossils.—Colour,bright blue ................................................................) ^owciean .Limestone............................ & 6 o .... Mot
"iSiffi^ Freestone.withtwothinlayersofSoftShale .... .... 1 5 0
Varies much in thickness, and only found' in some parts of district.............................. Berrington Limestone...................... .... 0 4 0 ....
Freestone.................................. .... .... 2 3 0
SmallCoal.................................. 010
White Freestone............................ .... .... 10 0 0
Carrried forward.............. 4 3 4 23 1 2 282 5 9 310 4 3
<»"¦ SSSSSS* A$X6
Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In. Fathoms,
Brought forward.............. 4 3 4 23 1 2 282 5 9 310 4 3
Best limestone in the series;—Ir> the upper section, generally of pale yellow or dun colour.)
Yields specimens of Encr nites, Producta, Orthocera, and Bivalve Shells in great abun- [ Acre Limestone ............................ .... 3 3 0 .... 314
dance, particularly at Ancroft Stead Quarry................................................)
Coal........................................ 0 0 10
Sandstone and Shale ...................... .... .... 3 0 0
Acre Coal .................................. 0 2 0
Freestone, with thin layer of Shale ........ .... .... 4 3 0
Lower Small Coal.......................... 0 1 2 ---- ----
Freestone .................................. .... .... 3 4 0
Limestone.................................. .... 1 2 0 ....
Freestone, intern ixed with Bands of Shale) 10 0 0
and Ironstone ........................j '"* *"**
Its principal place of working is Saltpanhow; ranks next to Acre in quality, and like the Acre) pAiw-n Ti'mwrtnuA q 0 0 qioa
partakes or a dun colour in higher section of the deposit ........™.........................J EelwellLimestone ............................ 3 0 u .... 340*
Freestone...........................,...... .... .... 0 5 0
Eelwell Coal (No. 1)........................ 0 18
Freestone.................................. .... .... 1 5 0
Limestone.........................,........ .... 0 5 0 ....
Shale ...................,...................... .... 0 2 0
E.lwell Coal (No. 2).................. 0 2 0 .... .... 845
Freestone.................................. .... .... 4 4 0
Shale .....................,.............,...... .... 15 6
Crossbill Limestone, with Coal Seam over-1 n 1 n ion nifi a«o
lying it, but separated by Shale Band../ U1U * * « uio 353
White Freestone..................,............. .... 3 0 0
Shale.......................................... .... 2 2 6
Limestone .„............,,.................. .... 1 0 0 ....
Shale .......................................... .... 0 5 0
Coal............................,........... 0 0 10 .... ----
White Freestone..........................•••• .... 4 3 0
Limestone...............,.................. .... 1 2 0 ....
White Freestone................................ .... 2 2 0
Limestone.................................. .... 10 0 ....
Shale and Freestone........................ .... .... 12 0
Coal........................................ 0 12
Shale .......................................... .... 15 0
Quarried largely by Mr Sibbit at Greenses, and is one of the most extensively worked in the ) 0xford Limestone or Greenses .... 2 8 0 .... 8754
district; ranges from 12 to 18 feet in thickness........................,.....................j uxlom -limestone or ureenses.................. * » u B70*
Red Sandstone ..................*.............. .... 6 10
Limestone.................................. .... 0 0 9 ....
Wr£^^y Mr- siblbit> at Allerdean, for household landsale; and elsewhere for burning Oxford) Greenses or Allerdean Coal................ 0 2 6 .... ____ 882
Shale .......................................... .... 3 2 0
White and Brownish Freestone, interstra-1 ia n n
titled with thin layers of Shale ......../ "•' "" 10 u u
Shale ...................................... .... ....__60 0
Carried forward................ 6 4 1 39 0 11 363 4 3 409 3 3
t» n^oi Calcareous Other Aggregate
Remarks. ^oai. Deposits. Deposits. Depths.
Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In. Fathoms.
Brought forward.............. 6 4 1 39 0 11 363 4 3 409 3 8
Wrought at Woodside, Biteabout,and Hetton; quality pretty good ............................ Muckle Howgate or Woodside Coal........ 0 3 0 .... .... 410
Freestone .................................. ---- ---- 21 3 0
Shale .......................................... .... 3 0 0
, Where wrought, consumed chiefly for lime burning.............................................. Little Howgate Coal........................ 0 2 2 .... .... 435
Shales.......................................... .... 11 0 0
Ranges in section from 14 feet (at Allerdean) to 7 feet............................................ Woodend or Biteabout Limestone.............. 1 4 0 .... 447£
Shale and Sandstone, with two little Coal I n 1 0 6 5 0
Seams ................................J
Increases to 2feet 2 inches, at Biter Bit Colliery ................................................ Biteabout (or Biter Bit) Coal .............. 0 1 8 .... ....
Alternations of Freestone and Shale........ .... .... 9 0 0
Variable in thickness—reaches 12 feet at Hetton—quality, inferior as compared with the lime-) -pv n -Limestone 1 3 0 465£
stones higher in the series ..................................................................j ............................
Almost universally accompanies the Dun limestone.............................................. Dun Coal .................................. 0 1 3 .... ....
White Freestone, interlayered with thin 1 0 2 0
Bands of Shale........................J.
Quarry in it on the Sea Coast.................................................................... Freestone, Soft White...................... — .... 13 1 0
Robies Coal................................ 0 1 7 ---- ----
Shale .......................................... .... 7 2 0
Richardson Stead Quarry carried on in this freestone............................................ Freestone. Hard White .................... .... .... 3 2 0
Shale .......................................... .... 2 0 0
Varies in thickness from 4 inches, to 2 feet 6 inches, and 3 feet; is of a fair bituminous though) r-oi/=i0i^0 nr tt.™^ rrtQi <j*q™ n o a 501*
not rich household quality, and has been wrought in almost all parts of the district ......j 0dldsiae or * awcett coal beam............ u z 4 .... ....
Shale, with layers of Coal and Sandstone .. 0 0 3 .... 8 2 0
Red Sandstone ................................ .... 2 4 0
Shale .......................................... .... 4 1 0
Limestone and Coal........................ 0 0 4 0 1 2 ....
Shale, interstratified with Beds of Smdstone .... .... 10 2 0
Three thin Seams of Coal, divided by) a q q 0 8 0
Bands of Shale................ :......J 0 8 6
Alternations of Shale and Sandstone, in-)
termixed with 10 layers of Coal, the \ 0 8 11 .... 16 4 1
total thickness of which amount to.... j
Dark Red Sandstone .......................... ---- 4 1 0
Shale, with layer of Limestone and of Coal.. 008 008 130
Three layers of Limestones and two of) oir n « i 043
Coals with Shale intermixed..........) 0 1 6 0 5 1 u 4 6
Called also the" Black Hill Seam," at Ford Moss and other places. Is four, d in finest condi-) c„roTrif>Ta+nT1 Main rnai n i n 0 0 3 554
tion at Scremerston Colliery, where the produce from it is on an extensive scale ........../ bcremerston Main Coal.................... 0 4 0 .... » u o
Shale .......................................... .... 2 4 0
Only a moderate seam, being coarse burning and difficult of working by reason of its thick) xrardv nr <Unnv Cnal 027 006 008 557*
band and hardness of the kirving ..........................................................j u v™uy ^M ......................
Sandstone and Shale, with layers of Lime-) nin n i o a q in
stone and of Coal....................../ 010 012 42 10
White Sandstone .............................. .... 8 0 0
Shale .......................................... .... 1 5 0 _
Carried forward................ 11 4 7 43 4 6 516 2 4 571 5 5
Dtn.iTii/ii r™i Calcareous Other Aggregate
Remarks. Coal. Deposits. Deposits. Depths.
Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In. Fathoms.
Brought forward.............. 11 4 7 43 4 6 516 2 4 571 5 5
^^^^^^^^re&Mnofi^^d^lin^ n&twe' 0nly atpresent workingat} Bulman, Cancer,or Main Coal.............. 0 4 6 .... 0 1 8 673
| White Freestone, with six thin seams of 1 n » A n Q n inn
! Coal and three of Limestones ........J 0 •> * 0 3 0 8 0 0
Shale, Sandstone and Coal ................. 0 0 6 ---- 2 4 5
Called the Ten-Quarter Stone. Forms the bold escarpments to west in Greenlawalls and Etal | Hard Red and White Freestone .... 4 2 0
Estates ..................................................................................../ ' ...........
Shale and Limestone...................... .... 0 1 0 1 1 2
Coal........................................ 0 10
1 Shale.......................................... .... 0 2 9
Not at present in operation at any Colliery in the district, but has previously been wrought to) n„artpr Pnal w1th-r>aT1(i 0 2 S 0 0 4 591*
some extent in almost every one of them ..................................................j -L^ee-quarter coal, witn liana............ u & a .... u u 4 5j13
Shale .......................................... .... 2 0 1
Largely composed of Marine Shells.............................................................. Limestone.................................. .... 0 16 ....
Best household coal of the district; worked most extensively at Shoreswood and Felkington I Cooper Eye Coal 0 2 7 0 0 10 594J
Shale, with one bed of Freestone, five) n 1 n ion quo
layprs of Limestone, and four of Coal.. J" u A " 1 *¦ u y a t
( Wester Coal Seam, with Bands of Lime-)
Lowest coal seam of the series. Worked at Etal and Ford....................................1 stone and Shale, making total thickness [ 0 3 4 0 1 6 0 8 2 607
{ 8 feet..................................j J
Total...................... 15 0 0 46 1 6 | 545 3 6 | 606 5 0
Fms. Ft. In. Ft. In.
Of Coals .. .. .. 15 0 0 or 90 0
Of Calcareous Deposits .. .. .. 46 1 6 „ 277 6
Of other Deposits .. .. .. .. 545 3 6 ,, 3273 6
Aggregate Thickness .. .. 606 5 0 or 3641 0 Feet
1. —Rough Coal.—Roof, strong free- The Rough Coal.—The highest workable
stone. seam in the series of the Lowick district. It
~ , 0 Jn- is wrought by Mr. Steavenson at his Licker
General Section, about.......... 1 8 Colliery, being, as its name denotes, coarse in
A coarse coal, only fit for lime burning. quality> and on]y wroug;ht to prolong, the
duration of the seam below it,
2. —Licker Coal.—Roof, strong blue This seam forms the principal produce of
metal. Mr. Steavenson's Colliery, situated at Licker,
general section. where he disposes of it as a landsale coal.
^ . Ft. in. Tbe extent between the dyke to north and its
Coal with partino-s............2 6 south outcrop is very limited. It is highly
This is the only seam of any import- bituminous in some of its iayers, but leaves a
ance overlying the thick strata of upper j residium of white ash after burning.
limestones of the general section, and lies It wag once d at Chiswick and drained
about 13 fathoms above the uppermost b a day.level from the sea.
of them. * J
3. —Greenses Coal, called also Al- Although there is almost universally a
lerdean.—Roof stone, red freestone, small seam of coal underlying each limestone
Ft. in. bed, more or less adjacent to it, and that the
Coarse Coal.................. 2 6 extensive beds of limestone, viz., the Dryburn,
Lies about 6 fathoms below the Oxford Lowdean, Acre, and Eelwell, are each of them
Limestone. so underlaid, yet this seam called the Greenses,
and underlying the Oxford Limestone about
6 fathoms, is the first of sufficient thickness
to have been wrought for household use,
which was done on the Allerdean estate by
Mr. Sibbet.
4 & 5.—The Muckle Howgate and These seams wherever opened at Scremer-
Little Howgate. ston, Felkington, and Woodend, have always
The former about 3 feet and the latter been so because of the demand for burning
2 feet 2 inches in thickness, and respec- the rich deposits of lime found to accompany
tively about 12 and 40 fathoms above them; and this happy distribution may in
the well-known Woodend Limestone, part account for the favourable improvements
Have both been wrought to south and in agriculture suggested in these districts, as
to the east of the present Scremerston compared with similar limestone deposits un-
Pit, in Mr. Thompson's farm. accompanied by coal seams.
6.—Caldside or Fawcett Coal. This seam, though wrought at the older
Usual Section, about 2 feet 6 inches shafts in Scremerston, has not been found in
to 3 feet, and occurring about 40 fathoms good condition at the present pit. It was
below the Woodend Limestone. The won by means of a water-level drift carried
Dunstone Lime being the only one up from the seaside, through the entire of
between. Scremerston estate, on to Unthank, a distance
of fully 2 miles. For many years this seam
continued to supply the landsale vend require-
ments of Etal Colliery, in that district of it
called the Longy Heugh Cut, and there called
the Fawcett Coal. It likewise was wrought
near the Woodend Limestone Quarry, and
on the east side of Fawcett Moor, whence it
takes its usual name : and its working is con-
tinued through Ford, Doddington, and Bite-
about, there supplying a fair bituminous,
though not very rich coal, for household land-
7. —Scremerston Main Coal (gene- The top coal of this seam, at Scremerston
rally except at Scremerston and Un- and Unthank Collieries, has for nearly a cen-
thank),termed the BlackHillSeam, tury supplied the large blocky coal fit for the
usual section. distant carriage of the borders of Scotland,
Ft, in. Ft. in. having been drained for that purpose by a
Good Coal ............2 4 to 2 8 Jong-level, commencing at the sea-side, on the
Ground Do............. 0 6 „ 1 3 Scremerston estate, a little to north of the
-- - Sea House there. Beyond these it acquires
Near the bottom of the seam is some- the name 0f the Black Hill Seam, from a
times found a brassy band, and occasion- place of that name on ^ord Moss. It has
ally a coarse or danty coal between the als0 been wr0Ught at Felkington Old Lime
top and ground coals, increasing to band Kiing. near tne whin Dyke on Mattilees
of 6 to 9 inches thick. estate. near the Etal Plantation Houses; at
It occurs about 90 fathoms below the siainsfleld, Blackhill, and Doddington. It
Little Howgate, and at the last deep js> however, in finest condition at Scremer-
winning at Scremerston it is, from the ston Colliery, where the annual output reaches
surface, 113 fathoms. auout 25,000 tons.
8. —Stony Coal or Hardy Seam.— At Greenlawalls and Slainsfield, where it
An indifferent seam, being hard and has been wrought, it takes the name of Hardy
coarse burning, not more than 2 or 3 Coal, and that of Kiln Coal at Ford. The
fathoms below the last-named seam. thickening of the band and hardness of the
usual section. kirving are strong objections to its extensive
Ft. in. rt. in. -working.
Coal...................... 0 9
Stone Bands ..........0 9 ----
Middle Coal, good.......... 1 2
Bastard Limestone Bands 1 2 ....
Bottom Coal, rich and bi-
tuminous ..........•..... 0 9
1 11 2 8
Hard thill for kirving.
9. —Cancer Coal, of Berwick Hill; or By reason of its splinty character, this seam
Bulm an Coal of Murton; and Main produces an excellent Steam -raising coal,
coal of Thornton, Shoreswood, &c. they binding and hardening it so as to render
usual section. it of good endurance.
Tender shale roof. It is now exhausted within the ordinary
Ft. in. Ft. in. drainage of the engine power hitherto em-
Top Coal.................. 1 0 p]oyed at Ford and Etal, where, but for its
Chalkstone............ 0 1 .. • • difficult roofstone, its winning on a more ex-
Fine Splint................ 1 0 tensive scale would be resorted to, it being
Rough or Coarse Coal........ 0 7 considered of the best sample of steam and
Band ................ 1 8 ... household coal, some parts of the seam greatly
Good Coal ................ 1 o resembling" in hardness and durability the
Chalkstone............ 0 1 ---- Cooper Eye Seam.
Bottom or Smithy Coal...... 0 4 jtg working at present is confined to the
- Greenlawalls Colliery.
1 10 4 7
Shoreswood............ 10 4 9
Murton .............. 1 0 4 0
Gatherick ............ 1 0 3 3
Ford.................. 0 9 3 5
10. —Three Quarter Coal.—Usual Although not at present being wrought at
Section, where in best order. any of the already-named collieries of the
Blue shale roof. district, it has borne its part in the workin°-
Ft. m. of almost every one of them, and particularly
Top Coal .................... 1 1 at Slainsfield and Ford Common ; and but for
Black Danty Band ............ 0 4 its heavier labourage payments and difficult
Coarse Grey Coal.............. 0 6 roofstone, would, by reason of its coal bearing
Bottom Coal.................. 1 1 well the effects of weather and carriage, prove
- a valuable adjunct to the household and steam
3 0 purposes of the district.
The kirving is made in the shale be-
low. It lies about 18 fathoms below the
Bulman Seam.
11. —Cooper Eye Seam.-Formerly This forms the supply of the Shoreswood
Stony Coal, and at Ford Common and Felkington Collieries, to the extent of
Lady Coal. Lies about 3 or 4 fathoms about 21,000 tons annually.
below the Three Quarter Coal. It is admitted to be the seam of the district
usual section. from which household coal of the richest and
Roof, bastard limestone. best quality is obtained, as well as most ad-
Ft. in. vantageously to the enterprizer.
Top Coal, splinty ........ 1 3 Its appearance when wrought is large and
Macker, which will burn, but with square : is highly bituminous, and, although
large residium ..........,... 0 9 leaving, as all the coals of this series do, a
Ground Coal.................. 1 3 white residium, still burning with a bright
- flame and lasting properties.
3 3 This seam is found in more or less perfec-
- tion in all the collieries of the district, being
This seam is very liable to undergo the most extensively exhausted at Sboreswood.
process of " nip out" or " nither," some- The so-described "Macker" increases in
times to the disappearance of the seam those to the north, as at Berwick Hill, from
for 250 yards—as to north of Shores- the thickness quoted in the general section up
wood Pit. to 2 feet 6 inches and 3 feet, and in the col-
The " conglomerate" freestone, which lieries further south it somewhat diminishes,
takes the place of the seam (see speci- It has not yet been sunk to at Scremerston
men), appears composed of rounded peb- New Pit, but is fully expected to be in good
bles, broken vegetable remains, and even condition there, as it is at present being
shells, the latter beir^g often surrounded worked at Berwick Hill to its rise,
with a brilliant envelope of " iron py-
rites," which substance it is not unfre-
quent mother instances of this forma-
tion to find attracted to, or forming the
nucleus of, a group of vegetable or animal
matter, once floating in the mud or sea
prior to its undergoing the hardening in-
fluence of internal heat.
12. —Wester Coal, lying about 10 This is the lowest seam of the series, over-
fathoms below the Cooper Eye; and lying a considerable mass of shale, and that
General Section as at Felking'ton New resting on the red sandstone, and during the
Pit. Roofstone, blue shale. exhaustion of those of more profitable work-
p Ft. in. Ft. in. iQ£> has not been extensively sought after.
~?a'...................... 2 2 It has lately been sunk through within the
imestone Band.......,1 Q .... workings of the recently-commenced colliery
. j»° • • •................... 0 7 of Felkington, and in former times had been
£]ue shale Band........3 0 .... wrought at some of the rise pits of Shores-
...................... 0 10 wood, and more extensively at those collieries
-- - more immediately situated at, or nearer to,
4 6 3 7 the outcrop of the series, such as Etal and
- -. Ford : won by extensively driven day-levels
obtained from the rapidly-descending surface
to their west.
It is almost needless to conclude these remarks on the different coal
seams by adding- that, notwithstanding, the antiquity of the working* and
partial exhaustion of the various beds, the gradually increasing powers
of communication to more distant points of disposal will eventually
introduce winning's on a more enlarged and expensive scale to accomplish
the drainage of the various seams of coal and other minerals in their
gradual dip to the east, and after the working out of the natural drainage
afforded by day-levels; but this period will, of course, be guided in its
event by the process of supply of the rest of the district, and this again
influenced by the approach of railroad communication urging the tide
northward of the coal-field proper of South Northumberland, and east-
ward of the districts being explored in Liddlesdale and elsewhere.
The mode of working adopted is universally the same throughout the
district, and has been handed down from very ancient usage, viz., that
of the long wall system. The explorations of " levels" at the dip side
laying dry a certain panel or width of " wall face" at right angles to
the said levels, and wide in proportion to the requirements of the daily
" out-put," or of the powers of the perpendicular engine-lifts or day-
drifts employed. This wall face is divided amongst the workmen to the
extent of ten, twelve, or fifteen yards to each man, according to the
thickness or hardness of the seam. The means used of transmitting the
coals being generally by round tubs capable of being transferred from
the framework or sledge on which it is placed, and drawn on the sliding
and often moistened floor of the seam by one pony along and from the
face to the "gateway" or "rolley-road," planned at convenient distances
of 100, 120, and 150 yards apart, and there elevated to the economical
and improved transit of rolleys drawn in sets of six, eight, or ten, as
circumstances admit, by a pony or horse of greater power \—hauling
engine power having been already introduced on the rolley-roads of the
more advanced collieries, or where the employment of shafts or exits
occur to the rise of the lowest drainage or water level.
It may readily be imagined that the very general existence of strong
limestone bands in the sections of seams enumerated, and which, to a
manager of "board and pillar" working, would be a marked and almost
insurmountable difficulty, is here hailed as a powerful ally in forming the
front edge, even with considerable intervals of the pillar behind (about
four or four-and-a-half feet) the workmen around, between and behind
which pillars the stouring or "gob" is effected, as best it can, by the
other refuse or kirving material made and met with in the working.
Where these bands are absent or not strong enough wherewith to form
pillars, then recourse is frequently had to a portion of the roofstone for
the same, the last alternative being the employment of strong timbering
not expected to be again drawn or used. I need scarcely add that the
heaviest item in the cost of production is the correct pillaring and keeping
open of the branch rolley-roads or "gateways" which necessarily are
preserved as access to the face by well selected and neatly finished pillars.
The requisite preserving of the height after the squeeze or crush occurs
of the superincumbent strata, the effect of which to the eye of a stranger
is a matter of surprise and curiosity, being effected by cuttings made in
the altered floor or roof of the rolley road, as is found most.convenient.
The moistening of the particles of iron pyrites stowed together with
the rubbish is sufficient to alter its condition from the state of sulphuret
to that of sulphate of iron, the decomposition of which frequently causes
considerable increase of temperature, and the discharge of strong and
stifling perfume, otherwise the ventilation under this system is not diffi-
cult to maintain, the extent of run or traverse of the air being in no
case very great, and that portion by the face and water-levels easily
To investigate the particulars already described, let the tourist com-
mence at Tweedmouth, on the south side of the Tweed, and proceed
southward, and he will find himself travelling on the ascent of the
thick freestone underlying the coals and limestones, and so particu-
larly described by Winch in his paper on the Red Sandstone of Ber-
wickshire.—Natural History Society's Publication, vol. I., page 117.
The new cemetery, and the extensive quarry behind it, show its enormous
thickness, its unvarying characteristic of red colour and gritty hardness,
and its outcrop to the north. (See Mr. Winch's section already quoted,
and see also Major Johnson's section in the cut made for the Great
North Road, and the details of which occur in my general section.) In
this cutting is developed very clearly the resting of the shales and the
lowest or Wester and Cooper Eye Coal Seams, and the lighter freestones,
with their full rise here nearly due north, at a rate of not less than 1 in
6, on the aforenamed red sandstone. The latter seam (the Cooper Eye)
occupies Berwick Hill Colliery, at a depth of forty fathoms from the
surface; but explorings in it have recently been urged still farther to
dip. This coal is not here quite in as great perfection as at Shores-
wood, but supplies a large portion of the trade of Berwick and sur-
rounding* district. This seam is unwatered by means of a long level
brought up from behind Spital.
Between the Cooper Eye Seam and the Bulman above it, the same
road cutting passes through that strong and nearly white layer of sand-
stone, forming the remarkable escarpment afterwards named, on which
Duddo Tower stands, and ranging south and west through Greenlawalls
and Etal estates.
In travelling west from this point, the tourist for some distance con-
tinues nearly in a line parallel with the outcrop of strata. Having
crossed the range of No. 1 Dyke (alluded to under that head), at the
approach to the Etal and Berwick Turnpike near Etal and Billy Law,
No. 2 Dyke is likewise passed (the first of the series of rise troubles);
and here the Unthank Square and Old Engine Houses evidence the
extensive colliery operations in former times, although not at present in
action, in this neighbourhood.
On the Murton and Thornton estates are appearances of a similar
nature, with remains of old shale heaps following each other so closely
as to denote accurately the line of water level through these properties,
even to the occurrence of a Dip or Eise Dyke—the next shaft sunk varying
from the line hitherto preserved, either "out" or "in," according to
whether the dyke is upcast or downcast in the direction taken. On
the former of these estates, the frameworks of pumping engine houses
evince that recourse was had to perpendicular pumping engine power
for the drainage, and the greatest depth explored thereby was usually
about forty fathoms, the seams wrought being the Scremerston Main
Coal, Bulman, and Cooper Eye.
On entering Thornton, you pass the line of No. 3 Dyke, described in
its place.
The ravine crossed by the turnpike at Unthank, Miller's Bridge,
discovers the heavy feeders of water which continue to serve out of the
old free water levels, by which the upper rise portion of the workings in
the three seams mentioned were unwatered in Unthank, Shoreswood,
and Felkington estates, and which feeders, but for the preservation of
barriers, would have proved a serious burthen on the opening and
working of the lower or dip workings.
Ascending the hill to Camp Houses and Allerdean, you come in sight
of the present working at Shoreswood Colliery, here engaged in the
finest sample of the Cooper Eye Seam, and supplying household coal to
that portion of West Berwickshire and part of the border county of
Roxburghshire, which extend beyond the influence of the carboniferous
Nos. 4, 5, and 6 Slip Dykes are now passed, and are all downcasts to
west and south (the range of old water level pits describing them). All
occur within the next adjoining estate of Felkington, and nearly at its
southernmost extremity, may be observed the first, and here the farthest
north-west, working of limestone, in the Woodend Limestone (so called
from having been extensively wrought at a place of that name), although
the so-called Dunstone Limestone is below it, and is the first workable
bed above the aforenamed coal seams. Their relative thickness may be
quoted at seven feet the Dunstone, and fifteen feet the Woodend.
Near here, No. 7 Slip Dyke, and the Upright Basaltic Dyke, occur
within a quarter of a mile of each other (see their description in their
place). The towering situation of the remains of Duddo Tower, elevated
on the headland here formed to the west and south by the Ten-Quarter
Freestone, being a good landmark of the line of direction of this intrusion
of igneous matter perpendicularly, and in a straight course through the
carboniferous deposits. The fact of the basalt (of a dark blue colour)
having been here extensively quarried for road material (at Mattilees
and Duddo), affords a good opportunity of minutely observing its struc-
ture, width, and perpendicularity, and its burning effects on the adjacent
strata, together with the peculiarity already noticed of its being shifted
or altered in its course for a space greater than its own width, by the
simultaneous side action of a u slip fault," observed here in the coal
seam workings — a circumstance that is corroborated by a similar
influence exerted on a Whin Dyke at Cockfield Fell.
Within this panel the Greenlawalls Colliery is wrought, the rise
portions of the Main Coal and Cooper Eye Seams having furnished its
supply for more than a century.
It is at this point that attention may be drawn to the basset of the
Ten-Quarter Freestone, lying between the Cooper Eye and Main Coal
or Bulman Seams, the ground, wherever it occurs, assuming a lofty and
naked appearance, and frequently a bare escarpment, as it does here for
nearly a mile in length, and particularly where suddenly terminated by
No. 8 Dyke—the softer stratum of shale on its south side being worn
away by external influences, leaving the freestone as a bold cliff of
twenty-eight or thirty feet in thickness.
Throughout the continuance of the three estates of Greenlawalls,
Gatherick, and Longheugh (part of Etal), and prior to the occurrence of
No. 8 Dyke, the seams of coal continue to range pretty regularly at a
water level of S. 45 E., and the full rise about 1 in 7.
The effects of No. 8 Dyke is next remarkably apparent in descending
from Gatherick Village to the ravine to its south. The two opposite
high-topped, though rounded hills, bespeak sufficiently the disturbing
influence of the One-Hundred-and-Nine and Seventy-Fathom Dykes,
which has opposed the upreared edges of the strata to whatever subse-
quent denuding effects they have since been subjected,- and all this
suddenly terminated by the rapid descent of country towards the Till,
as at Berry Hill, sufficiently abrupt to allow a water level day drift to
be introduced on the hill side, and driven in the opposite direction to
the sudden rise of strata, so as after a drifting of nearly one and a
half mile, to unwater the coal seams at a point forty fathoms geologically
deeper than where the said seam outcrops to the surface.
Between Nos. 8 and 9 Slip Dykes the observer may again have the
opportunity of examining the appearances and influences of the Upright
Whin or Basaltic Dyke, and satisfy himself that this limb, whose course
is here N. 73 E., must be a fork from the Main Whin or Duddo Dyke,
and must join or come in contact with the latter at or near the village
of Bowsden—its extensive quarrying for road material, on the road from
Bowsden to Ford, affording again the means of inspecting its effects on
the adjoining strata, and its igneous and protruding characteristics.
For reasons already stated, I have not ventured to draw its course much
farther west, but have no doubt that, if it were desirable, it might be
traced in the vicinity of Etal and Crookham Villages.
We now approach the farthest south-west edge of our plan and section,
for after the influences of Nos. 8, 9, and 10 Slip Dykes—all downcasts to
south—have tended to widen the breadth of our district at this point,
by detaining the lower portions of the carboniferous strata longer within
the surface, and the rough and jagged escarpments of the harder sills
(the Ten-Quarter and other freestones) seem to have preserved the
elevated and barren character of the Ford Common, before the descent
to the richer land around Ford Castle. We find that the outcrop of
the different strata at this point suddenly change their direction, varied,
however, at certain intermediate positions, by the tortuous curvings
observable in the different limestone quarries of ancient date at the back
of Ford Common.
Between Nos. 12 and 13 Dykes the outcrop of this panel runs nearly
east and west, and by the regularity and fine development of the different
limestone beds in the vicinity of the village of Lowick (worked chiefly
by Mr. Steavenson of Lowick), as well by their rapid rise towards their
outcrop here, present the most favourable deposit, within the shortest
space, of this valuable mineral, no less a number than seven or eight
different limestones being traceable within the space of one and a quarter
mile, varying in thickness from eight to eighteen and twenty feet each,
and embracing a total section of mountain limestone of between 130 and
140 feet. Almost without exception, each limestone is underlaid by a
small seam of coal, but most of them at this point are too thin to be
workable; and Mr. Steavenson and Mr. Salisbury derive their coal for
lime burning principally from the Licker and the Rough Coal, the two
little seams forming the highest of the series of the Lowick district
adjoining the East and West Whin Dyke, but their near approach to
exhaustion would seem to indicate the propriety of a railway being
introduced into this part of the district shortly, in order to the delivery
of a cheap coal for the more extensive opening out and disposal of that
valuable fertilizer, the mountain limestone.
As my third line of section, from E to F, follows very nearly in the
course of the last of the dykes (No. 14 or Hetton Dyke), I may conclude
my remarks by a few observations in tracing its course to the high water
mark at Fenham Flats.
I need scarcely remark that this is the most interesting of the sections,
because it is nearly at right angles to the line of outcrop of the whole of
strata included, and because it is the only one which crosses the lofty
range formed by the Whin Sill.
In keeping with the other parts of the district, this partakes of the
usual surface characteristics, viz., a cold, wet, and boggy surface where
the coals and shales are prevalent, as at Biter Bit (or Biteabout) and
Doddington, improved by the crossing of the limestones as substrata, as
evidenced by the good Northumberland farms at Laverick Law, Holburn,
and Hetton. This feature, again altered by the lofty rounded range of
hills formed by the thick red sandstone of Heddon Hill and Cuthbert's
Cave, on the surface of which, for the space of nearly a mile and a quarter
in length, the " heather," " lichen," and " ling" reign supreme, the
summit level having here reached nearly 590 feet above the level of the
sea, and these again capped by the overhanging cliffs of the Dark Blue
Whin Sill, which, though bare on their summits for want of soil covering,
and nearly perpendicular on their western escarpment for two miles in.
length, with an average height of 125 or 130 feet, evince the productive
character of their debris, by the luxuriance of the growth of the fir trees
studded around their base, and the rich character of grass land wherever
affected by the material washed from their sides.
The scene at Boggle Houses may be described as the wildest in the
entire district embraced, being in the nature of a ravine or " bight,"
enclosed to the north and east by the aforesaid escarpment of Whin Sill;
to the west by the still higher outline of the sandstone hills of Heddon;
and to the south and east by the deep woods of Detchant and Fenwick
(see sketch), and presenting a sterile and gloomy picture, more like some
of the dark glens of Scotland than any portion of Northumberland might
be expected to contain.
I have had much difficulty in accounting for the appearance of a
portion of this Whin Sill on the high ground near Buckton Farm House,
and marked on the general plan, and can only accommodate its appear-
ance there as being of the same " Sill" as the rest, by considering it a
distinct fork or separate intruded layer or bed as a branch from the
main body of the Whin—such^an appearance being noticed by Mr.
Hutton in his paper in " Natural History Society's Transactions," Vol.
II., page 98, as at or near Hartington and Little Swinburne.
The two queries of importance in reference to this " Whin Sill," and
to which I should very much like to have had opportunity of procuring
replies, are—
First—Whether throughout the whole range of its appearance, from
Kyloe to Cumberland, it is always invariably overlaid and underlaid by
the same strata, or geologically occupies the same position relative to
the district in which it occurs ?
And secondly—Whether the perpendicular Basaltic Dyke to the north
of Kyloe penetrated through and severed the " Whin Sill," as it did the
other strata, or whether their protrusion was coeval, and that they
amalgamated together in the fused state ?
From this lofty position, down to the sea-side at Fenham, the obser-
vations have already been recorded, under the head of " Enumeration of
Strata," and, as there stated, by reason of the thick alluvial soil covering
the substrata, and the paucity of borings and sinkings, quarries or
ravines, the data whereon to found geological deductions, are muc|
more difficult to acquire.
The appearance of two limestones, with their full rise to the south-
west, in Holy Island, and the Basaltic Dyke, chosen as fit foundations
for the Castle there, sufficiently attest its connection and relative position
with the main land. The mouldering nature of the freestone, of which
the ancient Holy Abbey has been constructed, also showing the necessity
of care in the selection of material proposed to be used for so enduring
a purpose.
I do not propose describing the outline of strata northward from this
point along the coast lines, however beautiful and instructive it may be,
because it has already formed the subject of a very interesting paper for
the same purpose, by Mr. Nicholas Wood, in the 2nd Vol. of " The
Transactions of the Natural History Society."
But I may conclude by referring to that paper as amply corroborative
of the sectional detail I have ventured to introduce into this paper.
I may be allowed to use this opportunity of expressing my obligation
and sincere thanks to Mr. George Bailes, of Allerdean, agent to the
Scremertson, Shoreswood, and other Collieries, for the able and ready
assistance with which he has furthered my enquiry, by aiding in the
sections and general exploration of the district; and to Mr. Steavenson,
of Lowick Lime Works, and Mrs. Johnson, of Scremerston, for the
sections of lime and coal strata more immediately connected with the
localities in which they are interested.
No. 1.
Section of Strata sunk through to the Main Coal Seam in the
Jack Tar Pit, Scremerston Colliery.
~ Fni3. Ft. In. Fms, Ft, In.
Nr son..........010
2 Clay .. •• 0 3 0
3 Soft brown freestone .. .. 0 3 10
4 Blue metal .. .. . • • • 14 8
5 Limestone (Woodend) .. .. ..110
6 Blue metal .. • •• 2 2 0
7 Coal .. - .. ..006
8 White metal .. .. .. 12 0
9 White freestone .. .. ,.040
10 Blue metal .. .. 0 16
11 Coal .. .. ..006
12 White freestone bands .. .. 110
13 Tills .. - ..046
14 Freestone bands .. .« .. 0 2 0
15 Coal (Biteabout seam) .. ..018
v --113 2
16 White freestone .. .. .. 114
17 Blue metal, mixed with freestone bands .. 0 5 1
18 Coal ........ 0 0 2
19 Soft Grey freestone ..033
20 Freestone bands . • .. .. 3 2 4
21 Hard tills ........3 3 0
22 Limestone (dun) .. .. .. 110
23 Coal—Found generally below dun stone
throughout the district .. ,.012
--10 5 4
24 Grey metal .. .. .. 0 4 4
25 Hard freestone .. .. .. ..122
26 Grey metal .. .. .« 0 3 0
27 Freestone mixed with tills .. ..550
28 Soft white freestone.—Quarry in it on sea-coast 13 5 6
29 Coal (Robie's coal) .. • • .. 0 15
-- 22 3 5
30 Black metal, mixed with freestone bands .. 3 0 0
31 Light blue metal .. .. .. 2 0 9
32 Hard blue metal .. .. .. 2 3 10
33 Hard white freestone beds.—Richardson Stead
Quarry in these .. •. • • 3 0 0
34 Blue metal .. .. .. ..100
35 Bastard blue metal .. .. .. 112
36 Coal (Caldside seam.)—Nearly nipped out here
over an extent of 300 yards east and west,
and from outcrop to dip •. ..008
--13 0 5
37 Dark brown metal .. .. • • 0 14
38 Hard freestone .. .. . • ..0011
39 Blue metal .. .. .. • • 0 19
40 Hard white freestone .. . • ..030
41 Blue metal .. .. 0 16
42 Hard white freestone band .. ..008
43 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 0 5 6
44 Coal ,. .. .. ..003
--2 2 11
Carried forward •. m ,. 60 3 3
No. Fms. Ft. In. Fms Ft. In.
Brought forward .. .. 60 3 a
45 Soft light blue metal .. .. .. 14 2
46 Hard freestone band . • • • ..005
47 Soft light blue metal .. .. -. 0 0 7
48 Hard brown stone .. .. ..022
49 Hard blue metal .. .. .. 0 2 3
50 Soft blue metal .. .. .. ..021
51 Hard flinty girdles .. .. .. 0 19
52 Soft light blue metal .. .. ..031
53 Dark blue metal .. .. 13 1
54 Soft blue metal .. .. .. ..019
55 Red freestone .. .. .. 2 2 7
56 Soft blue metal -.. .. .. .. 0 0 11
57 Coal .. .. .. 0 0 2
58 Dark grey whin .. .. .. .. 0 0 3%
59 Soft blue metal .. .. .. 2 18
60 Soft light blue metal .. .. .. 2 2 1J
61 Limestone .. .. .. .. 0 12
62 Coal (splinty) .. .. .. ..004
63 Soft light blue metal .. .. .. 0 4 11
64 Hard white freestone .. . • ..038
65 Soft blue metal .. .. • • 10 0
66 Dark grev freestone .. • • ..121
67 Hard dark blue metal .. .. 3 2 8
68 Coal .. .. .. .. ..001
69 Black metal .. .. .. 0 0 2\
70 Hard grey freestone .,118
71 Dark blue metal .. .. • • 12 9
72 Coal .. .. .. .. .. 0 0 6
73 Dark blue metal, ironstone band | inch .. 0 2 0*
74 Coal .. .. .. .. ..008
75 Black dant .. .. .. .. 0 0 3
76 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 0 11|
--— 23 5 0|
77 Brown metal .. .. .. 0 0 8£
78 Coal .. .. .. .. ..011
79 Soft dark blue metal .. .. .. 0 12
80 Coal .. .. ..002
--0 3 H
81 Soft dark blue metal .. .. 0 0 7
82 Hard white freestone .. .. ..105
83 Soft dark blue metal .. 0 13
84 Hard grey freestone • • • • ..036
85 Dark blue metal .. .. 0 4 10
86 Coal {splinty) .. .. ..003
87 Hard tills and metal .. .. .. 114
88 Coal .. .. .. .. .. 0 0 2i
89 Hard dark blue metal .. 0 2 4
90 Coal .. .. ..004
91 Dark blue metal .. 0 0 6
92 Coal .. .... 0 0 5
93 Hard tills .. 0 5 4
94 Limestone .. •• ..006
95 Soft blue metal .. 0 2 2
96 Hard freestone .. ..005
97 Soft blue metal .. .. 0 0 9
98 Hard white freestone .. • • ..143
99 Blue metal .. .. 0 12
100 Hard white freestone •• ..033
101 Dark blue metal .. .. 0 5 2 __
Carried forward .. 9 2 11* 84 5 5
Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In.
Brought forward .. 9 2 11£ 84 5 5
102 Coal.......... ° ° J
103 Blue metal .. •• n n t
104 Coal.......... n n o
105 Soft dark metal JJ 0 9
106 Hard white freestone .. ## ? *
107 Dark blue metal •• J J J
108 .. - ••
109 Soft light blue metal .. .. • • 0 1 7
110 Hard grey freestone • • ' * ni o
111 Daik blue metal .. • . 0 \ j
112 Coa*..........0 0 4
113 Dark blue metal .. •• I Z %
114 Red freestone .. " n *
115 White freestone 0 0 7
116 Soft dark blue metal .. ..031
117 Coal ........ 00 ™
118 Soft dark blue metal .. .. ..011
119 Coal 1AJ) 16 0 10
120 Dark blue metal .. ..048
121 Dark red freestone .. .. 4 0 4
122 Light grey whin .. • • ..010
123 Dark brown limestone .. 0 0 8
124 Tills and metal .. .. ..0311
125 Coal •• *• 0 0 2
126 Blue metal and dun post .. .. .. 0 2 10
127 Coal •• •• •• 0 0 3
128 Soft blue metal .. • • ..002
129 Coal .. 0 0 3
130 Hard dun metal .. .. •• ..038
131 Coal and 1 inch of metal 0 10
--7 0 11
132 Soft blue metal .. ..110
133 Hard freestone girdle .. 0 0 4
134 Coal (coarse) .. •• ..007
135 Limestone—Roof of seam .. .. 0 12
136 Top coal \ScremerstonS VI
Grey stone band .. £ ^ ^ 0 3
Ground coal .. J v. 1 6
- 0 4 4
137 Blue metal thill .. .. ..042
--2 5 7
111 0 9
No. 2.
Section of Strata sunk through to the Cooper Eye Seam at Shoreswood
Nft Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft, In.
1 Soil..........0 0 3
2 Soft white freestone .. .. 10 3 3
3 White freestone .. .. ..740
4 Soft tills .. .. .. - 116
5 White freestone .. .. • • ..026
6 Dark blue metal .. • • • • 2 2 3
7 Coal..........0 0 8
8 Grey stone—Roof of seam .. •• 0 0 8
Carried forward .. •. 22 3 1
No. Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft In.
Brought forward .. .. 22 3 1
9 Top coal .. .. \ / 1 4
Chalk stone .. 0 1
Splint coal .. I Main cml Qr 1 10
Grey stone band .. R^ 1 4
Ground coal .. \ 0 8
Chalk stone .. 0 1
Smithy coal .. / \ 0 11
- 1 0 3
--- 23 3 4
10 Blue metal thill .. .. .. ..010
11 Hard tills .. .. .. .. 0 2 2
12 Soft tills .. .. .. ..014
13 Coal .. .. .. 0 12
14 Limestone .. .. .. ..013
15 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 0 11
--1 i io
16 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 0 3 11
17 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 0 11
18 Grey stone .. .. .. ..012
19 Blue metal .. .. .. 12 0
20 Limestone .. .. .. .. 0 2 10
21 Coal .. .. .. 0 0 9
22 Blue metal .. .. .. - ..024
23 Grey stone .. .. .. 0 0 8
24 Coal .. .. .. 0 10
25 Grey stone .. .. .. 0 8
26 Coal .. .. .. .. 14
- 0 3 0
--3 5 5
27 Metal .. .. .. .. 0 5 8
28 Freestone .. .. .. ..121
29 Dark blue metal .. .. .. 0 4 0
30 Soft white freestone .. .. .. 0 2 1£
31 Dark grey iretstone .. .. .. 0 4 9
32 Dark blue metal.. .. .. ..010
33 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 0 5
34 Dark blue metal.. .. .. .. 0 1 10
35 Limestone .. .. .. .. 0 0 5
36 Hard grey freestone .. .. ..131
37 Dark blue metal .. .. .. 2 0 0
38 White freestone .. .. .. ..039
39 Soft Tills .. .. .. .. 0 10
40 Hard white freestone •. .. ..030
41 Light blue metal .. .. .. 12 2
42 Limestone .. .. •• ..0111
43 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 10
44 Soft grey stone .. .. .. ..004
45 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 0 8
46m Metal .. .. .. ..005
47 Grey stone .. .. .. 0 2 1
48 Coal {Three-quarter siam) .. ..021
V * - 12 1 9{
49 Black metal .. .. . • 0 3 1
50 Brown limestone .. • • ..014
51 Metal and Coal .. .. 0 4 1
52 Limestone—Hoof of seam .. • • ..010
68 Top coal .. )Cooper Eye <> \ *
54 Grey stone band .. J Seam i
55 Ground coal .. j v. 1
- 0 3 3^
_-- 2 0 9§
Carried forward •. .. .. 43 1 2
No. Ft. In- Fms. Ft. In.
Brought forward .. 43 1 2
56 Soft blue metal thill .. ..032
--0 3 2
Total .. .. 43 4 4
No. 3.
Section of Strata sunk through in Felkington New Pit, and in a
Staple from the Cooper Eye Seam on the Fourteen-Fathom
Upcast Dyke south-west, to the Wester Coal Seam.
No. Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In.
1 Soil and clay .. ,. •• ..130
2 Freestone bands .. .. •• 0 5 0
3 Red sandstone .. .. .. ..600
4 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 0 2 5
5 Goal .. .. .. ..009
6 Hard bastard limestone .. 0 2 6
7 Coal .. .. .. .. ..010
8 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 0 2 10
9 Limestone .. .. •• ..027
10 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 0 2 10
11 Top coal., -> Scremerston mainr 2 6
12 Band stone .. >- coal, or Black -J 0 2
13 Ground coal 3 Hill seam C 0 10
- 0 3 6
--11 2 5
14 Soft blue metal .. .. .. ..020
15 Limestone .. •• .. •• 0 0 3
16 Strong grey tills .. .. ..020
17 Freestone .. .. .. .. 0 18
18 Metal .. .. ..002
19 Coal .. ,.\ (09
20 Band, blue metal I Hardy, or 0 9
21 Coal .. .. / stony coal I 1 2
22 Band, limestone.. | seam | 1 2
23 Coal .. ../ I 0 9
- 0 4 7
--1 4 8
24 Strong tills, mixed with freestone •. ..012
25 Grey tills .. .. .. .. 0 10
26 Coal .. .. .. ..014
27 Tills .. .. .. .. 020
28 Freestone bands.. .. ..040
29 Limestone .. .. .. .. 0 16
30 Coal .. .. .. .. ..004
31 Tills .. .. .. .. 0 2 6
32 Blue metal .. .. ..250
33 Freestone bands .. .. 10 3
34 Blue metal .. .. .. ..140
35 Coal .. .... .. 0 0 3
36 Freestone bands.. •. .. ..010
37 Top coal .. \ / 1 2
88 Chalk stone .. / 0 1
39 Splint coal.. J 1 1
40 Bough coal . Main coal or ? £
442 Sr", Bulmanseami J g
43 Ground coal, parrot 0 11
44 Chalk stone I 1 0 1
45 Smithy coal.. ' V 0 4
- 1 0 7
--9 0 11
Carried forward .. .. ,. 22 2 0
No. Fms- Ft- I"- Fnm Ft. In.
Brought forward .. .. 22 2 0
46 Strong grey tills .. •• ..007
47 Soft light blue metal .. .. .. 0 0 9
48 Freestone band .. .. • • ..006
49 Metal .. 0 0 3
50 Limestone • • • • • • ..011
51 Black metal.. .. .. .. 0 0 10
52 Limestone .. •• •• ..003
53 Coal .. .. 0 0 11
54 Limestone .. .. .. .. 0 0 11
55 Coal ........ 0 0 7
56 Strong tills .. .. .. ..046
57 Soft blue metal .. .. .. 0 1 11
58 Tills .. .. .. ..026
59 Strong grey tills .. .. .. 3 0 0
60 Freestone bands .. .. #,620
61 Blue metal.. .. .. .. 0 5 0
62 Grey freestone .. .. .. ..120
63 Coal .. .. 0 0 6
64 Hard red freestone, Ten-Quarter stone .. 3 0 0
65 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 0 2 0
66 Grey freestone, Ten- Quarter stone .. ..230
67 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 2 0 0
68 Limestone .. .. .. ..020
69 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 10
70 Metal .. .. .. .. ..006
71 Grey tills .. .... 0 2 0
72 Coal } r 1 2
73 Band stone.. [ Three-Quarter coal \ 0 6
74 Coal J I 1 0
- 0 2 8
-- 23 2 3
75 Metal .. .. .. 0 3 0
76 Coal .. .. .. ..003
77 Blue metal .. .. .. .. 0 16
78 Freestone .. .. .• ..026
79 Blue metal .. .. 0 2 0
80 Coal .. .. .. .. ..003
81 Limestone .. .. •• •• 0 12
82 Splint coal .. -\ ( 1 3
83 Band stone .. \ Cooper Eye seam J 0 9
84 Ground coal v. 1 4
- 0 3 4
--2 2 0
85 Soft blue metal .. .. .. 0 3 0
86 Limestone .. .. .. ..016
87 Tills .. .. 0 2 0
88 Hard bastard limestone .. .. ..030
89 Blue tills .. .. .. 0 5 0
90 Limestone .. ..010
91 Blue tills .. .. • • • • 0 16
92 Freestone .. ..020
93 Blue tills .. .. 0 3 6
94 Freestone .. •• ..010
95 Coal .. .. .. 0 0 6
96 Metal .. .. .. ..010
97 Grey freestone • • • • • • 0 2 9
98 Red freestone .. .. ..029
99 Limestone .. .. .. • • 0 14
100 Metal .. .. .. ..016__•
Carried forward .. 5 3 4 48 0 3
No Fms. Ft. Tn. Fms. Ft. In.
Brought forward 5 3 4 48 0 3
101 Limestone • • •• •• 0 18
102 Freestone band .. • • •• ..020
103 Tills .. 10 0
104 Limestone .. •• •• ..026
105 Metal .. • • •• 0 14
106 Limestone .. ..010
107 Metal .. • • 0 2 6
108 Coal .. .. \ / 2 2
109 Limestone .. \ Wester coal j \ %
110 Coal .. .. / \ U 7
111 Blue metal band / 3 0
112 Coal .. .. / 0 10
- 1 2 1
--9 4 5
Total .. .. .. ... 57 4 8
No. 4.
ection of Strata from the Thill of the Scremerston Main Coal to the
Bulman, Cooper Eye, and Wester Coal Seams, at Scremerston
and Berwick Hill Colliery.
No Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In.
l' Blue metal .. .. ..155
2 Freestone .. .. • • • t 0 0 5
3 Blue metal .. .. •. ..034
4 Freestone .. .. .. •• 0 0 6
5 Blue metal .. .. .. ..003
6 Freestone .. .. .. •• 0 0 11
7 Coal .. .. | g r C -.0 2 3
S foil .. " .. Ua^eam.1- J °0 10
--3 2 5
10 Blue metal thill .. .. 0 16
11 Freestone .. .. .. ..004
12 Metal .. .. .. 0 0 1
13 Freestone .. .. ..005
14 Brown metal .. .. 0 2 9
15 Coal .. .. .. .. ..005
16 Brown metal .. .. -• 0 15
17 Coal .. .. .. ..007
18 Brown metal .. •• 0 19
19 White freestone .. .. .. ..110
20 Red freestone .. .. .. 110
21 White freestone.. .. .. .. 11 0 5
22 Parting .. ., .. 0 0 3
23 White freestone .. .. .. ..010
24 Coal—Bulman seam here reduced to 2 feet,
but is 4 feet thick at Berwick Hill .. 0 2 0
-- 15 2 11
25 Blue metal .. .. .. ..020
26 Limestone .. .. .. •• 0 19
27 Grey metal .. .. • • ..010
28 Limestone .. .. •• 0 10
29 Metal .. .. .. ..030
30 Freestone .. .. .. »• 2 4 0
31 Freestone (slaty) .. .. ..030
Carried forward 4 3 9 18 5 4
N Fms. Ft. In- Fmg. Ft. In;
Brought forward .. .. 4 3 9 18 5 4
32 Coal ........ J J f
33 Tills .. - " a i a
34 Freestone band .. • • a 1
35 Grpy metal .. •• " a I a
36 Freestone (slaty) .. . • • • n a 2
37 Coal.......... 0 0 6
38 Freestone .. •• •• •« J J ]"
39 TillS.......... a q a
40 Freestone (slaty) .. .. • • JJ JJ «
« «^ ?10
42 Freestone .. •• U i V
43 Tills.......... 0 0 4
44 Coal ........ 0 0 7
45 Grey metal ........ a n I
46 Black tills........ aqp
47 Grey metal........ n n q
48 Coal ........ 0 0 3
49 Limestone .. ••• " " £
«0 Coal ........ 0 0 5
51 Blue metal .. • • •• " ^ t t
52 Coal ........ 0 0 7
53 Freestone .. • • •• *' n k a
54 Metal .. •• •• 0 5 O
55 Coal ........ 0 0 7
56 Blue metal.. .. " * "
57 Freestone .. \ Ten-Quarter < ..219
58 Freestone .. i freestone. { .. 3 0 0
59 Metal........ 0 4 0
60 Coal—Three-Quarter U *S u 18 2 8
61 Limestone .. J 0 3
62 Freestone .. .. •• P 3 o
63 Metal.......... 043
64 Coal ........ 0 0 2
65 Metal.......... S ? 2
66 Coal ........ 0 0 3
67 Blue metal .. • • Jj 2 O
68 Grey metal.. .. 0 2 O
69 Limestone .. •• 0 1 b
70 Coal (splint) .. ") Cooper Eye ( ° \ %
71 Grey freestone slate .. \ £oal/
72 Coal (ground) .. ' ___! 3 5 11
73 Blue metal .. .. •• •• 0 4 0
74 Limestone .. .. «. 0 1 6
75 Blue metal .. .. •• ..023
76 Coal .. .. - •• 0 0 8
77 Limestone .. .. ..026
78 Grey metal .. .. .. • • 0 1 0
79 Blue metal .. .. •• ..028
80 Freestone band •• •• 0 16
81 Blue metal .. 0 j> *
82 Blue metal........ 0 2 0
83 Coal.......... 0 0 3
84 Grey metal.. .. 0 3 JJ
85 Limestone ........ 0 ? 2
86 Blue metal .. .. • • • • 0 \ _
87 Freestone band .. .. • • 0 2 JJ
88 Coal ........ 0 0 9
89 Freestone band .. .. • • 0 4 q___
Carried forward .. .. 6 0 5 41 1 H
Vol. IX.—May, 1861. F F
w Fmi. Ft. In. Fml. Ft. In.
Brought forward .. 6 0 5 41 1 11
90 Grey metal........ 0 4 0
91 Metal.......... 0 2 *2
92 Coal ........ 0 0 6
93 Slaty band .. ' t A
94 Blue metal .. • • • • • • 0 0 4
95 Grey metal - " S S ?
96 Blue metal .. • • • • • • 0 0 4
97 Coal.......... 0 0 6
98 Limestone •• no
99 Blue metal .. 0 0 3
100 Black metal 2 2
101 Grey metal • • - ..042
102 Freestone .. - 0 2 2
103 Grey metal .. •• ..008
104 Limestone .. - 0 0 6
105 Metal .. - ..014
106 Coal - •• 0 0 3
107 Freestone .. ..024
108 Coal ........ 0 0 4
109 Blue metal - - •• ..031
110 Limestone .. •• •• 0 16
111 Grey metal ..006
112 Coal .. \ / 0 0 J
113 Blue metal / ..016
114 Coal .. - 0 0 7
115 Grey metal I Wester I ..008
116 Coal .. ) coal ( .. 0 0 3
117 Black metal seam. \ ..008
118 Coal .. 0 0 6
119 Black metal / ..006
120 Coal .. / \ 0 0 6
--12 2 5
121 Blue metal .. ..140
122 Slaty stone.. .. 0 3 0
123 Limestone .. ..016
124 Blue tills .. 0 0 10
125 Coal..........0 0 6
--2 3 10
Total depth ...... 56 2 2
No. 5.
Section of Strata sunk through to the Cooper Eye Seam, Greenla-
walls Colliery.
Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In.
1 Ked gravelly clay .. . • ..100
2 Blue metal .. 0 5 0
3 Coal .. "J C 0 1 2
4 Limestone .. \ Hardy, or stony coal < 0 0 10
5 Coal .. S t 0 0 6
--2 16
6 Grey tills .. .. 0 13
7 Coal......... ..011
8 Blue Tills ...... 0 0 7
9 Freestone •• 0 0 10
10 Coal .. - 0 11
11 Light blue metal .. .. 0 3 6 __
Carried forward .. 12 4 2 16
v Fmi. Ft. In. Fmi. Ft. In,
Brought forward .. .. 1 2 4 2 1 6
12 Grey freestone .. 0 1 3
13 Blue metal ' * 2 2 1?
14 Coal ........ 0 0 4*
15 Grey metal ........ 12 2 0
16 Grey freestone •• n i q
17 Top coal .. -\ ( o 2 5
18 Hard brown metal .. \ Bulman or n 1 0
19 Good coal, splinty .. main coal \* • " f "
20 Grey metal, with limestone / I ni n
21 Coal, mixed with dant ../ v ,c c *
--15 5 o
22 Grey freestone .. 0 0 3
23 Black metal .. .. • • 0 " %
24 Coal ........ 0 0 3
25 Dark brown metal .. • • * * 2 a q
26 Coal ........ nil
27 Limestone, very dun .. • • "no
28 Good coal...... 0 0 6
29 Blue metal .. .. ''2 n 7
30 Limestone, with freestone . • • • no
31 Coal, with black dant .. .. 0 0 J
32 Limestone .. 2 2 q
33 Blue metal .. .. • • 0 U 9
34 Coal, mixed with dant . - • • in
35 Brown freestone •• •« J J ,?
86 Grey do....... 1
37 Blue metal .. •• " ni i
38 Grey freestone .. • • ••• 2 i n
39 Black metal .. .. "no*
40 Grey freestone .. •• n i 7
41 White do. .. •• 0 1 /
42 Grey do....... 0 3 9
43 Coal..........2 2 q
44 Grey freestone • • 2 n a
45 Coal, mixed with metal .. • • • • 0 0 »
46 Hard grey freestone .. • • • • 2 n ^
47 Blue metal .. .. " ni 7
48 Hard white freestone • • •» 0 1 /
49 White metal .. .« *' 2 n *
50 Hard white freestone 2 2 o
51 Blue metal ........n o in
52 Freestone .. .. v J * 'J
53 White metal .. .. " 2 l li
54 Hard white freestone • • • • 2 n o
55 Blue metal .. ## 2 n n
56 White freestone .. .. • • 2 2
57 Blue metal .. • • •• 0 Z 5
58 Limestone .. •• 0 ? X
59 Coal..........n o v
60 Blue metal •• Z 7
61 Grey ireestone band .. " 2 o q
62 Three-quarter coal .. 0 2 3 Q g
63 Bluemetal " n n Q
64 Grey freestone band • • • • 2 2 2
65 Grey tills ........ nil
66 Limestone •• •• 0 1 *
67 Cooper Bye coal .. • • • • 0 2. 2 1 0
IN0. O.
Section of Strata sunk through to the Bulman or Main Coal Seam at
Gatherick Colliery, Ihth September, 1819.
No Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In.
l' Soil and clay .. •• •• •• 1 3 0
2 Freestone bands .. 2 5 0
3 White freestone .. ..250
4 Grey do. •• 4 4 b
5 Coal (rough) .. v BUcmil or ( " n r> 8
6 Bastard limestone \ Scremerstm » 0 0 °
8 Blue tills .. / seam. \«. 0 2 0
9 6™ - 7 ^ " JLL!l2 5 3
10 Freestone .. .. •• 0 2 4
11 Coal (coarse) .. •• •• 0 1 4
12 Freestone band .. •• 13 0
13 Coal (slaty) ..005
14 Black tills .. .. 0 1 4
15 Limestone .. • • 0 1 »
16 Blue tills .. .. 13 0
17 Hard freestone .. .. ..035
18 Tills (strong) .. • • • • 0 2 Jj
19 Freestone .. • • ..020
20 Tills .. 0 3 0
21 Metal (soft and white, like marl) .. ..036
22 Tills, mixed with tender freestone bands 0 2 0
23 Top coaly generally left on .. \ / 0 1 0
24 Chalkstone .. 0 0 1
25 Splint coal (strong) --\ Bulman or] lit
26 Blue metal .. ) main coal. \ ° ? *
27 Splint coal .. \ 0 1 0
28 Chalkstone .. .. 1 0 0 1
29 Smithy coal .. / -733
30 Soft metal .. • • 0 0 10
Total ...... 20 3 4
No. 7.
Section of Strata sunk through to the Hardy Coal, Main Coal Three-
Quarter Coal, and Cooper Eye Coal Seams, at Gatherick Colliery,
No< Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In.
l' Soil and clay .. .. .. ..130
2 Freestone bands .. .. ..250
3 White freestone .. • • • • • • 2 5 0
4 Grey freestone . • • • • • 4 4 ®
5 Coal (rough) .. Hardy or T .. 0 1 5
6 Bastard limestone > stony coal I ..
7 Coal (good) ) seam ( 006 Q x
8 Blue tills .. •• 0 2 0
9 Coal (splinty) .. | Diamond ( "ait
10 Freestone band seam i 0 2 4
11 Coal (coarse) ^ 1 "^Lj i 0 10
Carried forward .. 13 2 11
No. Fms. Ft. In. Fms. Ft. In.
Brought forward .. .. 13 2 11
12 Freestone band .. .. .. 13 0
13 Coal (slaty) .. .. .. ..005
14 Black tills .. .. .. 0 14
15 Limestone .. •• •• ..010
16 Blue tills .. .. .. .. 13 0
* 17 Freestone .. .. .. ..035
18 Tills (very strong) .. .. .. 0 2 6
19 Freestone .. .. .. ..020
20 Tills .. .. .. .. 0 3 0
21 Metal .. .. .. .. ..036
22 Tills .. .. .. .. 0 2 0
23 Top coal .. \ / ..010
24 Chalkstone .. .. 0 0 1
25 Splint coal .. .1 Main or ..014
26 Blue metal band .. ) Bulman /.. 0 0 4
27 Splint coal .. / coal seam .. 0 10
28 Chalkstone .. .. 0 0 1
29 Smithy coal .. ) \ ..007
--6 5 7
30 Soft blue metal .. .. .. 0 0 10
31 Strong white tills .. .. ..040
32 Black metal .. .. .. 0 3 8
33 Limestone .. .. .. ..020
34 Black metal .. .. .. 0 2 0
35 Coal .. .. .. .. ..008
36 Freestone band .. «. 0 0 3
37 Coal .. .. .. .. ..006
38 Tills .. .. .. 0 4 5
39 Freestones bands .. •. ..026
40 Coal .. .. .. .. 0 0 5
41 Dark blue metal .. .. ..050
42 Light grey metal .. .. • • 13 10
43 Dark grey metal • .. .. ..128
44 Dark grey freestone .. . • • • 2 5 8
45 Black metal .. .. .. ..023
56 liimestone .. .. .. 0 2 8
47 Coal .. .. .. ..002
48 Black metal .. .. .. 0 4 6
49 Coal .. .. i Three r .. 0 0 10
50 Brassy band .. V Quarter ¦].. 0 0 3
51 Coal .. .. y Coal C ..007
- 12 1 8
52 Dark grey metal .. .. • • 0 3 6
53 Hard brown limestone .. • • ..013
54 Dark blue metal .. .. .. 0 3 8
55 Limestone roof .. .. .. ..012
56 Cooper Eye coal • • .. . • 0 2 2
57 Thill .. .. .. .. ..005
- 2 0 2
Total depth .. .. .. 34 4 4
mining engineers.
Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
The Secretary having read the minutes of the proceedings of the
The following gentlemen were elected members of the Institute:—
Mr. John Fletcher, of Clifton Colliery, Manchester, and Mr. Wm. Blow
Collis, The Platts, Stourbridge, Worcestershire.
Several gentlemen were then proposed for election, after which,
The President said, the first thing upon the minutes was the
circular from the Council calling* upon members to communicate either
by letter to the Secretary on or before Thursday, the 6th of June, or
personally at that meeting, their intention to visit Birmingham on the
occasion of the approaching gathering of engineers. They had got a
list of several gentlemen who proposed to attend the meeting, but he
was sorry to find there were not more members of the Institute from
this district; he hoped, however, before the time arrived, they should
have a longer list. There was a considerable list of members at a
distance, and from what he had heard, he hoped they should have a con-
siderable number of outlying members at that meeting. The meeting
seemed to be rather popular in the Midland Counties, and he fancied they
should have plenty of work to do.
I Mr. Potter hoped the people from this part of the district would
countenance the scheme.
Ihe President went on to say, the next subject was that he (the
president) should endeavour to procure a meeting in London with
Vol. ix—June, 1861. gg
some members of the Local Committee, to discuss the particulars of
the July meeting. In accordance with that request, he had summoned
a meeting on Monday last, in London, which was attended by those
gentlemen who were in town, and some from the Midland Counties, who
came up to town to that meeting. The matter was fully discussed, and
it was arranged that there should be a meeting of the Local Committee
in Birmingham on Monday next. It was considered desirable that one
or two members from Newcastle should attend that meeting, with a
view of cooperating with the Local Committee, and making the best
arrangements for promoting the object in view. The committee seemed
very much inclined to advise that persons, not members of the Institute,
might send papers through the members to be read at the meeting.
Of course, he could give no opinion on that individually, but he said he
thought it would be a proper subject for the Local Committee to discuss
at the meeting on Monday next; and as the Institute would have a
general meeting on the 4th of July, before the meeting in Birmingham,
they could then decide on what they thought most desirable, more espe-
cially as by that time they should have a list of all the papers proposed
to be read, and might select such papers as they thought desirable to be
read. Mr. Blackwell had erected, he believed, one of the largest air-
pumping machines yet in use; it was partially at work, and Mr. Blackwell
promised to give them plans of that machine. Mr. Woodhouse would give
them a paper on the system of working " long wall" in Derbyshire and
Nottinghamshire; and Mr. Blackwell would give them a paper on the
mode of working the Thick Seam in Staffordshire. Unfortunately, the
meeting came off in the week when the ironmasters met at Birmingham,
and it appeared to be questionable if the meeting of the Institute could
be held the same week. The Local Committee would, however, take
that into consideration, and submit their opinion to the Council of the
Institute. The committee seemed to think that it would be very
desirable that the meetings should be open to all the managers of mines
of every description ; and they thought that the inferior managers might
obtain useful information in the discussions that might take place.
Individually, he thought it very desirable that their arrangements
should be such as would admit the inferior as well as the higher grades
of managers of mines, so as to make the meetings as useful as they could.
Mr. Matthias Dunn supposed reporters-would be admitted?
The President supposed so. They had not, however, arranged about
that. The Institute must have a reporter there to take notes for them.
He did not himself see any objection to reporters generally being there.
It was not like a private meeting of the Institute, but was more of a
public nature. He supposed the Local Committee would make some
recommendation on the point, and then they would finally determine on
the 4th of July what was to be done. The next proposition was the
issuing of a circular, to be addressed to the Inspectors of Mines through-
out the kingdom, directing their attention to the proposed meeting and
soliciting their support. In that circular the inspectors were asked to
communicate with the members of any local mining associations in their
several districts, and to ask if they wished to be present and to take part
in the proceedings, and if so, that tickets would be at their service.
After some further conversation with reference to the Birmingham
The President went on to say, the members would recollect that at
the last meeting he mentioned to them a decision of the Council, which
w^as confirmed by the general meeting, that a memorial should be presented
to the Government, to ask them to allow the Institute to give evidence
before the Commission which was proposed to be issued to inquire into
the University of Durham. That memorial he had sent to Sir George
Lewis, Bart., and after some short time he had a letter from that gentle-
man acknowledging the receipt of the memorial. He likewise sent copies
of the memorial to the Bishop of Durham, Lord Granville, and some other
gentlemen, whom he knew took great interest in promoting the views of
the Institute in the formation of a Mining College, and he had from all
of them letters acknowledging the receipt thereof, and expressing their
readiness to do everything in their power to aid the views of the Institute.
He had seen in the paper of that morning that the subject had been
brought before the Town Council of Newcastle at their meeting on the
previous day. He saw that Dr. Headlam stated that a commission was
likely to be issued to inquire into the state of the University of Durham,
and that he believed certain members of the commission had been ap-
pointed. Dr. Headlam went on to say, it was very important the Univer-
sity should be placed on a sound and comprehensive basis, and he gave
notice to move that the Council should recommend certain gentlemen of
general acquirements and education to form part of that commission.
The Institute had not in their memorial made any representation as to
who was to form the commission; they thought it better to satisfy
themselves with merely asking to give evidence before it. He observed,
that afterwards, at the Council Meeting, Dr. Robinson made a proposi-
tion that a sub-committee be appointed for inquiring* into the most
efficient means of promoting* the establishment in Newcastle of a School
of Mines and Industrial Science. Mr. Lowthian Bell, one of the
members of the Institute, mentioned that that idea had been brought
forward and had failed. The Duke of Northumberland had come very
handsomely forward and made certain propositions, they were, however,
such as the Institute could not carry out, and therefore they failed. And
certainly, so far as their experience went, it would be extremely difficult,
if not impracticable, to establish a University in Newcastle. Dr.
Eobinson then withdrew his motion, on the advice of Mr. Bell that it
should stand over till Dr. Headlam had brought forward his proposition.
That was the way in which the matter seemed to stand as regarded the
Town Council of Newcastle. He (the President) had thought it desira-
ble to mention this circumstance to the meeting, inasmuch as it became
incumbent upon them to decide one way or another. They must either
promote the establishment of a Mining College in Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
or they must select the University of Durham. They had, on the
occasion alluded to by Mr. Bell, despaired of being able to establish,
(even with the munificent proposition of the Duke of Northumberland,)
a Mining College at Newcastle, and he therefore fancied their only hope
was withtthe University of Durham. It would be very desirable, how-
ever, if the members of the Institute would consider this very seriously
before their next meeting, because he had been told that the Commission
would be issued very shortly- and as, probably, he should be examined
as to the views of the Institute respecting the locality of the Mining
College, he should like to have it clearly understood that he was
speaking the sense of the Institute, if he said that their opinion was in
favour of the connection with the University of Durham. They had,
in their proceedings, an outline of the mode in which the establishment
of a Mining College was proposed to be arranged with the University.
He made these observations at this time, with the view of directing
their attention to this important subject. They would have a meeting
on the fourth of next month, and he should like that the Institute
should come to some decision at that meeting as to the plan which
should be pursued.
Some conversation then took place with reference to Mr. Armstrong's
paper, and it was agreed, that as Mr. Armstrong himself was still absent
the discussion on the subject in question should be again postponed.
Mr. Berkley said, the Finance Committee had not found themselves
possessed with sufficient powers to examine the accounts which they
thought it necessary to be examined, and therefore they had, in their
report of August last, proposed certain alterations, giving the Finance
Committee the requisite powers. He would, therefore, with the consent
of the meeting, read the Report, which is printed in the " Transactions,"
Vol. IX., pages 65-6-7.
Mr. Reid—We urge in this report that we should endeavour to make
our proceedings more public—to make the fact known that there is such
a society existing in Newcastle, and that more than once a month we
should have some one here, so as to show what is doing in the Institute.
We are gathering an extensive and valuable library, as well as models
and specimens of different kinds, but they are only visible once a month.
The meeting having decided to go into the Finance Committee's
The President said, the first recommendation was, that in future it
should be made a rule that no duplicate copies be issued of any numbers
of the " Transactions," unless by a written order from the Council, and
that any alleged neglect on the part of the Post-Office in forwarding
papers, or elsewhere, be fully inquired into.
Mr. Berkley then proceeded to move the Committee's first recom-
mendation as a resolution :—" That in future it be made a rule that no
duplicate copies of papers be issued to any of the members unless by
written order direct from the Council, so that any neglect on the part
of the Post-Office, or elsewhere, be fully enquired into."
After some conversation the resolution was put from the chair and
carried unanimously.
The President said, the next recommendation was, " that in future,
all loose parts of numbers of the proceedings be stitched together that
none be kept in sheets \ and that two months after the whole were issued,
they should be bound either in the permanent style as those already in
stock, or in cloth, as the Council might decide." The first part of this
recommendation was easily done. The second would cause them to
bind the whole of the parts some time before they sold them. Was that
desirable ?
Mr. Berkley—It would cost the Institute a certain expense in
Mr. Crone—On the other hand they would be ready for sale if
Mr. Daglish—-They would be equally ready for sale wrapped up.
Mr. Re id—The object is to keep the property of the Institute
Mr. Berkley moved, in the first place, " that for the future all the
loose sheets be stitched and stored," which was seconded by Mr. Reid,
and agreed to.
With regard to the question of binding the numbers
The President suggested—Why not stitch them together with a
loose back ?
This idea seemed to meet with general acceptation, and the Committee's
recommendation was ultimately adopted in the following modified form :
"That in future, all loose parts of papers be stitched together and stored,
and that none be kept in sheets, and that two months after the last part
of the volume is issued, the whole should be stitched together."
On the next three paragraphs of the report,
Mr. Berkley moved—" That heads be kept at the printing office, in
a proper book for this purpose, showing the numbers and distribution of
each part; and that the number of sheets entered to stock be carried to
a ledger account under a proper head for each volume—the loose num-
bers being debited to the volume, and the sales and distribution credited;
and that the Secretary take the requisite steps for carrying the above
resolutions into effect."
This resolution having also been adopted,
The President called attention to the second part of the report,
embodying the proposal to have a paid Secretary. He said he should
be glad to have the assistance of any one, and said that proposal would
meet his views entirely.
Mr. Berkley—It was the opinion of the committee that the enor-
mous amount of work thrown on the President was not fair, and that
the proposed Secretary would take the first part of the work off his
shoulders. After the Secretary had looked over the reporter's notes, and
put them into form, they might go to the President. It was not
proposed by the committee to interfere with the present Secretary's
The President—What shall we say about the appointment of a
paid Secretary ?
Mr. Berkley—Are the funds of the Institute sufficient for the pur-
pose ? You could not get a good Secretary under £100 or £150 a-year.
Mr. Reid—I would not name any figure. When it becomes known
that the Institute are ready to appoint such a man there are some young
members who would come forward and who would lay themselves out
to work the thing to the best advantage. I think you will find it is
only following in the wake of other societies to do it.
Mr. Berkley—Our intention was that Mr. Doubleday should con-
tinue. We have no wish to interfere with him at all.
Mr. Southern thought the whole matter should be left to the con-
sideration of the Council.
Mr. Berkley said, the chief thing was as to the funds. If it was
thought advisable to leave it till the passing of this year's accounts they
would see what interest they got from the Stephenson fund. It might
then be a subject for settlement. There might be a further statement as to
how the funds were to be disposed of against the meeting in August.
It was a subject of very great importance to the Institute, and perhaps
it might be as well to leave it to the annual meeting to decide whether
they would have it carried out. He proceeded to move—" That it be
referred to the Council to consider and report to the annual meeting in
August on the question of engaging a paid Secretary."
The President asked if the Council should not also take into
consideration the subject of rooms, and arrangements for keeping the
property of the Institute.
Mr. Berkley thought that should be a part of the resolution.
The meeting accordingly agreed to request the Council to report to
the general meeting in August, the best means of carrying out the
proposition with reference to a paid Secretary, and the subject of rooms
and arrangements for the safe, keeping of the Institute property.
The President said they then came to the following observation in
the report:—" We cannot help saying* that the arrangement with the
Coal Trade Association, so far as it has gone in the infancy of the Mining
Institute, has been a most beneficial one*; yet still looking at the magni-
tude of the interests which will be discussed as the Society becomes
older, as the growing necessity for publicity in all its proceedings be-
comes more felt, as well as the fact that it ought to a certain extent be
a self-supporting institution, we feel prompted to the conclusion that
that arrangement now demands the attention of the Council as to its
Mr. Berkley said that was included in the resolution they had just
The President said they were under great obligations to the Coal
Trade Association for allowing them to occupy the rooms without pay-
Mr. Reid said they knew they had the rooms for nothing, but they
did not know what liberties they might take with them as regarded im-
provements and alterations. But as they got things gathered together
they might want further arrangements; but they had not the liberty to
alter the property as they might think fit, and the better show they made
in that Institute the better they would succeed with the Mining College.
Mr. Berkley said the idea was to get rooms adjoining these as a
museum and library, and keep the present room for lectures. The pre-
sent library would be shortly filled—where then were they to put their
books ?
Mr. Southern thought it would be time enough to consider that
when they required the room for the books.
Mr. Berkley said these matters can be brought before the Council
when they consider their report to the Annual Meeting, which was
agreed to.
The President said they then came to another suggestion—" That
the books and accounts in the hands of the Treasurer, as well as all
accounts, should be closed to an earlier period than hitherto, say 30th
June in each year, and that the whole lie on the table from the 15th
July to the Annual General Meeting in August, for the inspection of the
members.'7 He saw no objection to that suggestion.
A resolution embodying this recommendation was accordingly passed.
It was then agreed that the election of officers be postponed till next
meeting, and that proper notice be given accordingly.
The President stated that it now became his painful duty to notice
the great loss the Institute had sustained in the lamented death of their
late Vice-President, Mr. Thomas John Taylor. It had been his melan-
choly duty, within a very short period, to have to notice the death of two
of their Vice-Presidents, both gentlemen eminent in science and literature,
both of whom, during their brief sojourn in this world, had done much,
very much, few more than they had, towards the promotion of a system
which, more than any other, had contributed to the social comfort,
convenience, and prosperity of this, and, he might add, of future gene-
rations. The names of Mr. Robert Stephenson and of Mr. Joseph Locke
would go down to posterity as gentlemen who, though they did not
originate, had aided most materially in the establishment of the system
of railways, which had made such a revolution in the internal economy
and celerity of transit in almost every country in the world. These
gentlemen, though comparatively young in years, and in vigour of
mind, have been taken from us by an inscrutable Providence, and we
have very recently indeed had the melancholy duty to record the
great loss which this Institute, in common with the public at large, have
sustained. We have now to record the irreparable loss of a third Vice-
President of this Institute, Mr. Thomas John Taylor, who, though he
may not have moved in so prominent a sphere, as regarded the public
at large, as the former two gentlemen, yet in the sphere in which
he did move, in the locality in which his labours extended, and which
was by no means of trifling extent, his career was equally eminent,
useful, and successful; and as regards this Institute, his loss is most in-
adequately expressed by being said to be irreparable. In accordance
with my duty as President, and with the assistance of our Secretary,
Mr. Doubleday (who, as we all know, was upon very intimate
terms of friendship with our late lamented Vice-President), I have
drawn out a short memoir of the prominent features of Mr. Taylor's life,,
and of his labours in his profession, which I now take the liberty of
laying before you, and which I feel is far beneath the merits of him to
whom it seeks to honour.
great strength of imagination, he was through life a hard-working
student, and, as a consequence, always noticed by men who were
themselves studious.
Mr. Thomas John Taylor lost his father when about fourteen years of
age, an event which put him under the guardianship of his uncle,
Mr. Hugh Taylor, of Newburn, and subsequently of Earsdon, a gentle-
man well known as Chairman of the Coal Trade of Northumberland and
Durham. Mr. John Taylor, who was himself connected with the Coal
Trade, had, it is understood, always destined his eldest son, Thomas
John, to mining pursuits*. This wish of his father was complied with
by his uncle and guardian, who then filled the situation of mining agent
to the Duke of Northumberland, and who gave such a direction to the
studies of his nephew as might be of most use to him as a viewer of
collieries, and a practical, as well as theoretical, mining engineer.
Young Taylor, in accordance with this view of his future life, directed
his energies principally, therefore, to become a proficient in Mathematics,
especially as applied to practical pursuits, as well as in Mechanics, in
Mineralogy, in Geology, as the science was then developed by Jameson
and others, and in Chemistry, as then taught by Hope, Davy, Wollaston,
and the other leading men of that department at that era. In these
branches of science his comprehensive mind and extraordinary power of
application, which was its leading characteristic, soon enabled him to
become well versed. Nor was this all. Those who were intimate with
him knew that to the departments of knowledge above particularised, he
by no means confined himself. Whilst at school and at the university,
he had mastered the Latin language, and acquired a competent if not a
critical knowledge of Greek j and to classical reading he was partial
throughout the whole of his active and laborious career. When the
topic on which he was conversing suggested an apposite quotation from
some classical author, he rarely missed it, especially if its application-
partook of the ludicrous or witty. Nor had he recourse only, as has
been the case with others remarkable for this habit, to those authors
commonly put into the hands of a young man at school or university.
With the more obscure and less read classic writers he was by no means
unacquainted. He put the genius of Lucan on a level with that of
Virgil r, and esteemed the epigrammatic style of Tacitus before the more
diffuse periods of Livy and Cicero. In fact, had his leisure allowed it,
Philology would have been one of his most cultivated as it was always
one of his most favourite pursuits. To trace the more modern dialects
up to the more remote tongues of antiquity, would have been to him,
had he commanded time to follow it up, one of the most delightful of
mental exercises, especially as connected with the remote history of the
various races that now compose the living world. He had also paid
great attention to Natural History properly so called, especially as
connected with and bearing upon geological investigations and con-
Such were the acquisitions which formed the basis or standard of the
active life of Mr. Thomas John Taylor. They were certainly neither
few nor unimportant; and he had almost bought them too dearly.
When he had arrived at the period for entering upon the more toilsome
business of life, his health showed symptoms of giving way. With his
powerful frame and great muscular strength, his constitution did not
accord; and so serious were the symptoms of delicate and impaired
health at this period, that his medical advisers recommended a temporary
residence in a warmer climate, and a voyage up the Mediterranean.
This advice he adopted, and went to Malta for a short period of absence,
which he lengthened by passing some time in Italy, and also in the south
of France, in the vicinity of Bordeaux. This bourse seems to a certain
extent to have re-established his health, though he always showed symp-
toms of liability to pulmonary attacks, as well as to quinsy, against
which, through life, he had occasion to guard.
Mr. Taylor was, under the guardianship of his uncle, brought up as a
colliery viewer. In this character he was first employed in the super-
vision of some of the smaller collieries of that period with which his
relative was connected. He then undertook, after Mr. Thomas E.
Forster, the management of Haswell Colliery, a large and successful
coal mine, in the parish of Easington, in the county of Durham, in
which his uncle was one of the principal partners. At Haswell,
however, he did not long continue. His health, which was still some-
what precarious, appeared to suffer from his residence in that locality;
and a change in the position of his uncle, Mr. Hugh Taylor, opened out
for him a field of occupation more congenial to his habits of various
application and multiform pursuit. At this time the late Hugh, Duke
of Northumberland, died, and was succeeded by his brother, the present
noble holder of the title and estates. By him Mr. Hugh Taylor was
appointed sole commissioner of the estates, and to enable him to execute
the onerous duties connected with such a position, he naturally sought
the able assistance of his nephew.
Mr. Thomas John Taylor, as one of the results of this change,
accordingly succeeded his uncle in the post of mining agent to the Duke.
He had previously acted in the capacity of chief viewer for his Grace.
Mr. Taylor had, from his early years, taken a deep interest in the
progress and advancement of the coal trade of the North of England,
to the history and statistics of which he paid great attention. This had
obtained for him the friendship and confidence of the late Mr. Buddie,
then one of the leading mining engineers of the North of England.
Mr. Buddie's vast practical experience in all pursuits connected with
coal mining led to his being extensively consulted on such subjects, and
he, in turn, had frequent recourse to the geological science and me-
chanical and chemical knowledge of his young friend, Mr. T. J. Taylor,
whose acquirements he well knew and entirely and fully appreciated.
These varied acquirements, connected, as they were, with both the theory
and practice of his profession, naturally led to Mr. Taylor's frequent
employment in difficult and complicated mining cases; amongst others
was a dispute between the Government and the Earl of Lonsdale as to
certain rights of royalty, which involved several mining questions of
great difficulty and intricacy. To settle such a question in a court of
law was impossible. Arbitration by practical and, at the same time,
scientific men was the only resource; and to Mr. Thomas John Taylor,
in conjunction with some others of the principal viewers of the district,
the settlement of the matter was accordingly left. The satisfactory
manner in which this was effected led to his being consulted upon similar
difficulties; and by the Welch coal owners especially he was often called
upon for advice or adjudication where legal knowledge was of no avail,
and where mining science and mining experience, combined with strong
powers of mental discrimination and reasoning, could alone give hope
of a satisfactory result.
Whilst engaged in these pursuits, his diligence in compiling scientific
and statistical records was unremitting. Nothing was omitted, because
nothing was unobserved that was worthy of observation. The consequence
has been, that his indefatigable pen has enabled him to leave behind him
numerous MS. volumes, containing records, calculations, remarks, and
recommendations, on the various and recondite matters connected with
coal and other branches of mining industry, the value of which it would
be in vain to attempt to compute, so varied and so multiform are the sub-
jects treated of. Amongst other points of interest, the history of coal
mining in the North of England, where it had its origin, had early
attracted his attention; and such information as to the ancient methods
of digging for and raising coal, as his assiduous research had enabled him
to collect, he published in the shape of a Treatise, which takes date in
the year 1843, and embodies in a condensed form the bulk of what is
known as to the earlier practice of coal mining. On the occasion of the
Archaeological Society holding their annual meeting in this town, he
read a Paper on the same subject, which forms part of the printed
" Transactions " of the society.
As a coalowner, mining agent, and mining engineer, Mr. Taylor's com-
prehensive mind was necessarily engaged upon two collateral branches
of engineering,—the construction of railways and river engineering;
especially as the latter was directed to the improvement of tidal river
harbours, and their adaptation to the purposes of a rapidly growing
commerce. Of the phenomena of river currents, and their various effects
upon the varied strata, of which their beds are composed, he had taken
very early notice. Indeed he has been sometimes heard to say that he
might date his attention to river engineering and his consideration of
the natural laws which regulate the action of streams or river currents
from his early days of angling, a sport of which he was passionately fond.
He generally, however, contrived to combine with amusement the pur-
suit of useful knowledge. Few men ever possessed a more varied capa-
city for observation in every direction that was open to him. Such was
the case in this instance. Whilst apparently engrossed with the trivial
pursuits of a fly fisher, or an angler with the worm, he was at the
same time gathering facts which, when occurring in large rivers,
form the basis of all river engineering science. His knowledge of
dynamics enabled him to calculate, under all circumstances, the forces of
moving water; and the result was a long series of careful observations,
and of calculations founded thereon, which were embodied in a succinct
but most able treatise on the improvement of tidal harbours and river
engineering generally. The amount of scientific knowledge, given in a
condensed form in this lucid tract, can, of course, only be appreciated by
those to whom the study is familiar. So clearly and graphically, however,
are the natural phenomena upon which the scientific portions are based,
described, and distinguished, that an ordinary reader may comprehend
the principles to which they lead, without being able to test the precision
and accuracy of the calculations upon which they are based. Of this
tract, which was published about ten years ago, it may be safely said,
that it not only exerted a material influence upon the discussions and
consequent measures as to the improvement of the river and harbour of
the Tyne that have since taken place, but that, upon the general conclu-
sions, therein developed the management and improvement of tidal
harbours in general have been to a considerable extent based. That the
subject is complicated, and, in many of its bearings, extremely intricate,
must be admitted by all. To Mr. Taylor, however, this difficult and
arduous branch of engineering science is indebted, probably, for some
of its clearest ideas and least assailable conclusions. Having been
unambitiously and unostentatiously put forth, they may have been less
prominent to the public eye than treatises and lucubrations of less merit
may possibly have been; but of their intrinsic value no candid inquirer
into this difficult question can doubt.
After the formation of the body of Conservators, known as the Board
of Commissioners for the River Tyne, their attention was naturally drawn
to Mr. Taylor, as one whose practical as well as theoretic knowledge, as
to the arduous duties that now devolved upon them, might be of great
importance. He was, accordingly, consulted by them, on various occa-
sions, on different points connected with the improved treatment of the
River and Port of Tyne. In the plan and subsequent formation of the
Northumberland Dock, he took a considerable share. In the projection
and execution of the works now in progress at the mouth of the river his
advice had also its weight; nor was anything of importance decided
upon in this department, until his opinion was first ascertained. On the
death of Commander Purdo, who was one of the original commissioners
of the River Tyne, it was expected by most persons that he would be
succeeded by Mr. Thomas Jolm Taylor. In this, however, public expec-
tation was disappointed. On being applied to, he declined to hold an
office for which, in the opinion of all, he was eminently fitted. His
apprehension appears to have been that his duties, as a River Commis-
sioner, might, occasionally, have been found not to be compatible with
some of the obligations which his various agencies entailed upon him.
This with him was an insurmountable obstacle; nor would it cost him
much to yield to dictates and considerations which the rectitude that
ever governed his actions easily taught him were such as ought to be
As a railway engineer he had not, very fortunately, this obstacle with
which to contend; and, hence, in the case of the Border Counties' Rail-
way he was not prevented from putting forth the whole energies of his
mind to ensure success to an enterprise which, but for him, would pro-
bably have turned out one of those well-intentioned but ill-fated schemes
which seem only born to die. The project of this railway did not, from
first to last, find much favour with the public. Its principal originator and
talented advocate was never a slave, however, to public opinion, in this
or in any other matter. Mr. Taylor thought differently; and he thought
for himself. To those who knew him intimately it was not unknown that
Mr. Taylor deemed that the real and great value of the locomotive steam
engine and railroad, in a commercial point of view, resided in the power
they possessed of expeditiously carrying ponderous articles, which could
not have found a profitable transit through any other means. Acting under
this conclusion, he looked less at the passenger traffic, which by ordinary
calculators is made the primary consideration, than to the opening out of
the seams of coal and the other mineral products, in which that district of
country which borders upon the northern branch of the River Tyne and
its tributary, the Reed, are known to be rich. That coal of good quality
is associated with the carboniferous or mountain limestone of that part
of the county, is a fact no longer doubtful; although its extent remains,
and may, for some time to come, remain unascertained. It is also
certain that iron ores of value abound towards the river Reed; although,
hitherto, the expense of carriage has precluded their being worked to a
profitable purpose. The completion of the Border Counties' Railway,
now in course of formation, and amalgamated with the North British
lines, will no doubt render these available, and it cannot be doubted that
the power of cheaply obtaining supplies of the Plashetts coal must prove
a valuable auxiliary to the prosperity of the manufacturers of Hawick
and all that portion of the Scottish Border; and that, in time, the iron-
stone of Reedwater will be turned to advantage. Mr. Taylor has,
unhappily, not been spared to witness the success of a speculation which
he tasked his powers so greatly to advance; those who survive him may,
however, probably witness the period, when the traffic, and most espe-
cially the mineral traffic of this line of railroad, will, like that of most
other lines, far exceed the original estimates of its projectors.
The last project to which the great practical talent and engineering
sagacity of Mr. Taylor were applied was that for the drainage of that
basin of coal along the northern bank and immediately underneath the
bed of the River Tyne which is at present inundated with water, and
which, having St. Peter's as its centre, will embrace a radius of
six or seven miles every way. To minutely describe Mr. Taylor's
plan for draining this basin, which was brought under the consideration
Vol. IX.—June, 1861. 11
of Parliament during" the earlier part of the present session, would
require more space than can be afforded for that purpose. Its objects,
and the means by which they were to be secured, were lucidly
detailed and explained in the bill brought into the House of Commons,
and in other explanatory documents drawn by the able hand of its
originator and chief advocate. Like most other bills of a similar
character it met with opponents, and since Mr. Taylor's lamented
death it has been withdrawn, at all events for the present session of
Parliament. To the principle upon which it is based, however, little or
no opposition has been ventured. The time may possibly not have arrived
for carrying it into execution. In some particular cases its operation
might seem to press somewhat hardly upon individuals. But, as a gene-
ral principle, the idea of a system of combined drainage must always be
one of deep import to all concerned in raising coals, as well as to all
owners of royalties having mineral coal as a portion of such royalty.
Nor is it a question which, however little understood by the public at
large, does not interest that public, Great as are the riches of England
in the form of her coal seams, these seams are not inexhaustable. By
the isolated method of working and draining collieries, which is now
followed, it is quite undeniable that much waste of coal is involved.
Every distinct colliery is under the necessity of leaving a barrier all
round of considerable thickness and value. When the rest of the coal
is taken away these barriers cannot be rendered available, and are there-
fore lost; and this loss, when calculated, amounts to a total startling in
the extreme to persons unacquainted with the subject. It may be safely
assumed, therefore, that, in merely enunciating this principle, and em-
bodying in a bill the details necessary for securing the results, Mr.
Taylor has rendered a most valuable service, not only to those interested
in coal mines, but to the public at large, and that the time will arrive
when that service will be appreciated.
This was the last considerable project in which he was engaged; many
minor operations, however, of very great importance in their probable
consequences, might be enumerated, in which his advice and suggestions
were sought and acted upon by those most directly concerned.
To Mr. Taylor's reasonings and investigations, also, with regard to
explosions in coal mines, so destructive to life, may be in some measure
attributed the opinion, now becoming very prevalent amongst persons of
all grades employed in coal mining, that without the safety-lamp there
cannot be much safety for those employed in fiery coal mines. This Mr.
Taylor has shown in his essay "On Explosive Gas in Situ," which is
printed in Vol. I. of the " Transactions" of this Society. It follows from
what is there laid down that no ventilation can guard the miner from
those sudden irruptions of explosive gas which arise from his coming
upon a cell or bag of gas in a highly condensed state, which, on being
liberated, immediately expands and fills the mine, the first naked light
that it meets exploding it as a matter of course.
Amongst the many subjects for regret arising out of the premature
decease of this gifted man, it is to be deplored that, during his lifetime,
he had prepared for the press and published so small a portion of his
writings. It is understood that he has left behind him manuscripts on
various subjects, not only connected with engineering, but with various
departments of literature and general knowledge. In what state of
completeness these may have been left cannot be at present stated; but
it is earnestly to be hoped that they may not be finally lost to the world.
Mr. Taylor married, in 1839, Miss Eliza Taylor, a daughter of Thomas
Taylor, Esq., of Whitley, and afterwards of Earsdon, whom he early
lost after she had given birth to a daughter, who survives him.
At the period of his death he was mining agent to the Duke of
Northumberland and to Lord Hastings, and had under his supervision
the estate and coal mines of Stanley and Stella, belonging to Colonel
Towneley, in this vicinity. He was a director of the North British
Railway after its junction with the Border Counties Line, and lastly a
Vice-President of this Society, to whose recent losses by death his
premature demise makes another melancholy addition.
In fine, it may be safely said of the subject of this Memoir, that his
accomplishments as a gentleman were fully commensurate with his
virtues as a man. A ripe scholar, a good linguist, and well versed in a
variety of scientific research, his conduct was distinguished by urbanity
of manner, combined with integrity of purpose. Like most men who to
power of intellect unite purity of intention, his judgments were some-
times stern, and his criticism occasionally severe; but so well was his
keen perception of the character of others attempered by the amiable
qualities of his own, that as he never made an enemy, so he never lost a
friend, and such of human infirmity as fell to his own lot was only
observed to be forgiven and forgotten.
He died, after a few hours illness, and without suffering, from rapid
congestion of the lungs, at Bellingham, in Northumberland, in the
fifty-first year of his age.
mining engineers.
Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
The President said this was the regular meeting, but in conse-
quence of the approaching meeting at Birmingham, the usual routine
business only would be transacted. It was, however, also specially
summoned for the election of officers of the Institute, in accordance with
the general rules of the Society.
The following gentlemen were then elected members of the Institute,
viz.:—Mr. Francis C. Gillett, Derby, Derbyshire; Mr. George Fowler,
Moira Collieries, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire; Mr. John Kenyon
Blackwell, 73, Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park, London; Mr. William
Henry Beckett, Pina, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire; Mr. Thomas E.
Forster, 7, Ellison Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne; Mr. Maskel Wm. Peace,
Solicitor, Wigan, Lancashire; Mr. John Lancaster, Hindley Hall,
Wigan, Lancashire.
The President said there was a vacancy in the office of Vice-Pre-
sident, in consequence of the death of the late Thomas John Taylor,
and he begged to propose Mr. Thomas Emerson Forster to fill the
Mr. Hall seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.
The President, after referring to the meeting to be held at Bir-
mingham the ensuing week, which he expected would be a good one,
said he had received a plan and paper from Mr. Thomas H. Watson, of
Hawthorn Cottages, Forth Banks, of an underground engine, which did
not seem to differ from one of the engines working at Black Boy Col-
liery. It was a copy of a machine that was in use in America. The
paper would be referred to the Council to say whether it should be
printed or not. He would propose that Mr. Watson's communication
be received, and that he be thanked for the same.
The motion being seconded, was agreed to.
A conversation ensued as to the arrangements for the meeting at Bir-
mingham ; after which the meeting broke up.
mining engineers.
Nicholas Wood, Esq., President of the Institute, in the Chair.
Mr. Marley, in the absence of the Secretary, read the minutes of
the Council; after which the meeting proceeded to the election of new
The President said, that as it was proposed to print the proceedings
at Birmingham in a separate volume, it appeared desirable that the
names of the gentlemen elected members at the Birmingham meeting
should appear in the "Transactions" of the regular meetings of the
Institute. He would, therefore, propose that the names of these gentle-
men be read over for the purpose of being inserted in the proceedings
of this meeting.
The names of the gentlemen were then read as follows :—Mr. Charles
Edward Appleby, Derby, Derbyshire; Mr. William Buxton, Staveley
Colliery, Chesterfield, Derbyshire; Mr. Thomas Carrington, Jim., Derby;
Mr. William Dunn Gainsford, Derby, Derbyshire; Mr. John Jackson,
Derby, Derbyshire; Mr. Robert Heath, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staf-
fordshire ; Mr. James Lindop, Bloxwich, Walsal, Staffordshire; Mr.
John Brown, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire; Mr. Colin Napier, West-
minster Colliery, Wrexham, Denbighshire; Mr. Henry Jackson, Astley
and Bedford Collieries, Leigh, Manchester, Lancashire; Mr. Robert
Aytoun, 3, Felton Row, Edinburgh; Mr. Thomas Knowles, Ince Hall,
Wigan, Lancashire; Mr. James Darlington, Chorley, Lancashire;
Mr. Henry Dennis, Byn yr Owen, South Wales 5 Mr. Thos. Dunn, C.E.,
Winden Bridge Works, Manchester, Lancashire; Mr. Howard/Staveley
Works, Chesterfield, Derbyshire; Mr. J. P. Hunt, Corngreaves, Bir-
mingham, Warwickshire; Mr. William Bryham, Rose Bridge, Wigan,
Lancashire; Mr. Thomas Livesey, Chamber Hall, Hollingwood, Brad-
ford Colliery, Manchester, Lancashire; Mr. Joseph Harris Smallman,
King's Hill, Wednesbury; Mr. Richard Barrow, Ringswood Hall, Ches-
terfield, Derbyshire; Mr. Silas Bowkley \ and Mr. Jacob Higmore.
The Report of the Council was then read.
Mr. Boyd having read the Treasurer's Account, it was resolved that
the same be adopted and printed.
The President said the first subject of importance which he would
take the liberty of bringing before them, was the recent explosion at
Monkwearmouth Colliery, owing to an alleged insufficiency of the Davy-
lamp. It was of very great importance to the trade, and especially to
to the lives of the workmen, that a clear understanding as to the
safety of the Davy-lamp should exist. The explosion seemed to have
taken place in a bord where the Davy-lamp alone was used. The ex-
plosion killed a man, and his lamp was found a short distance from him
in a perfect state. The verdict of the coroner's jury was—" That the
air inside of the lamp fired, and by a sudden jerking the flame came
through the gauze, fired the gas, and so caused the deceased's death."
It was a serious matter, if the lives of the workmen were dependent on
a person using a safety-lamp being so careful as not to give it a jerk,
or attempt to blow it out. He might state to the meeting that some
years ago he made a great many experiments on the safety of the Davy
and other lamps ; the result of which was published in the first volume
of the " Transactions" of the Institute in 1852. It was well worth the
consideration of the members of the profession how far these lamps
were perfectly safe. He had, therefore, thought it his duty to bring this
circumstance before the Council, who resolved that it should be referred
to the general meeting of the Institute. There seemed to be in some
quarters a doubt whether the accident could have happened by the
explosion of a lamp in a perfect state, or if the gas was the ordinary
inflammable gas of the mine; and he thought it would be very desirable
for the Institute to make some further inquiries. He had, therefore, in
the Council, proposed that the subject should be brought before the general
meeting, so that further steps might be taken to ascertain the facts of
the case. He believed the evidence was very fully reported in the
Colliery Guardian of July 27th; and no doubt they could obtain from
the Coroner a full statement of the evidence, as well as his official
Mr. Atkinson said it would be well to appoint a committee ; and he
begged to move " That a committee be appointed to communicate with
Mr. Smith, the viewer of the colliery, to ascertain all the particulars
relating to the accident, and to make any necessary examinations either
of the lamp or of the mine, that they may deem necessary to elucidate
the subject." That would probably produce a report for the next
meeting of the Institute.
Mr. Greenwell seconded the motion.
Mr. Daglish said that Mr. Smith might be requested to give them
a paper on the subject.
Mr. Armstrong said it would be well for the request to be made by
letter from the President.
Mr. Greenwell said if Mr. Smith and the gentlemen forming this
committee were to act together, it would not compromise any person.
There was one point as to the gas itself. They should give the com-
mittee power to get the gas analyzed. There might be something in the
composition of the gas that caused the explosion through the meshes of
the lamp.
Mr. Atkinson agreed in the propriety of getting the gas analyzed.
It was then put to the meeting, " That the President be desired to
communicate with Mr. Smith, and arrange with him as to the best way of
bringing the subject before the Institute." This was carried by show of
The President said the next question which he had to bring before
them was that of the Mining College. The report of the Council pre-
sented to-day first referred to what had previously been done, then as to
what had recently taken place, namely, the Commission which had been
appointed by Parliament to enquire into the constitution and manage-
ment of the University of Durham. If gentlemen had seen the Act
of Parliament appointing a Commission, they would find that it included
the promotion and cultivation of practical knowledge, as well as of
divinity. The Institute (as was stated in the report) had presented a
memorial to the Home Secretary—the substance of the prayer of which
was, that they should be heard by evidence before the Commission.
It was proposed to lay before the Commission such evidence as he
trusted would induce them to incorporate with the University, a
practical Mining College. In the Proceedings of the Institute the
members would see the sort of arrangement that was proposed to be made
with the University. This had been accomplished by the late Mr. Thomas
John Taylor and himself. He supposed every gentleman was conversant
with the arrangement proposed. The Council recommend that the Pre-
sident, with Mr. John Thomas Woodhouse and Mr. Isaac Lothian Bell,
be appointed to give evidence before the Commission, with power, if they
think necessary, to call in any members of the Institute. He now sub-
mitted this proposition to the meeting for their approval.
Mr. Potter said, he heartily responded to this proposition. The
President had already paid great attention to the subject, and it could
not be in better hands, than in the gentlemen proposed.
Mr. Boyd said, there was a necessity for making a representation
from this Institute on one point. It had been said that some portion of
the funds now belonging to the Durham University were to be trans-
ferred to the University of Oxford or Cambridge. If there was any
such intention, the opportunity should now be embraced of having these
iunds retained, if possible, for the use of the Mining College.
The gentlemen named were then appointed,
The President said, the next subject was the proposed connexion
with the Natural History Society. It seemed very desirable that there
should be some arrangement made to deposit in the museum of that
society the specimens belonging to this Institute, so that strangers
might see the whole at one glance. There would also be the advantage
of having a person in the Natural History Museum to show them. The
arrangements were not yet finally concluded; he therefore proposed
that the negociation with the Natural History Society be continued,
and that the Council report to the general meeting as early as possible.
Agreed to.
The President said, the appointment of a Secretary, as recom-
mended in the Finance Committee's report of last year, was the next
business before the meeting. Their proposed connexion with the
Natural History Society might lead to some changes, and the
Council had, therefore, passed this resolutionThat the office of
secretary requires revision, so that all the duties may be efficiently per-
formed, especially such as are not included in the duties of the present
Mr. Berkley, one of the Finance Committee, moved, «That
the Council take the necessary steps to appoint a secretary, defining his
duties and the salary of his office, and to nominate an efficient person, and
that their report be brought before a general meeting of the Institute."
Mr. Tone—You assume that the office requires to be revised ? If the
curatorship of all your specimens is put into the hands of the Natural
History Society you will not have much work for your secretary.
The President—There would, in that case, be other duties supple-
mentary to those performed by your present secretary. Then the
question arises whether for the ordinary duties of the office you should
retain the present secretary and obtain the assistance of another person
to perform the supplementary duties, or whether you should have one
secretary to perform the whole of the duties. This had scarcely been
sufficiently considered. If you gave the Council power to fix the duties
the whole subject could be discussed at a future meeting of the Institute.
He would beg to add, that on the subject being discussed by the
members of the Council at their last meeting, he (the President) stated
that Mr. Doubleday, who was unfortunately from home for the benefit
of his health, had written to him a letter stating that if the retainment
of his services was inconsistent with any arrangement that was thought
desirable, he would place his resignation in his (the President's) hands
to be used as the Council thought proper.
Mr. Marley seconded the motion of Mr. Berkley.
Mr. Potter said, the former resolution would suit the case better.
The Council had not had sufficient time to discuss the subject, or to
ascertain whether Mr. Doubleday could not take a more active part than
he had hitherto done. Mr. Doubleday had many qualifications, but he
had not devoted as much time to the Institute as was desirable, so that
much of the work had been placed in the President's hands. He (Mr.
Potter) preferred that the whole subject should be referred to the com-
mittee before they nominated.
Mr. Tone said, it would not be right to ask Mr. Doubleday to perform
more duties without giving him a larger salary. He begged to second
Mr. Potter's amendment.
On a show of hands the original motion was carried.
The President said, the next matter was the proceedings at the
Birmingham meeting. The members of the Institute who visited Bir-
mingham had been received in a way they could scarcely have expected,
and the step taken, of having occasional meetings of the Institute in the
different localities was highly applauded. Several papers were read,
sufficient in fact to constitute a volume, and highly important discussions
took place. It was thought desirable that the proceedings at Birming-
ham should be printed in a separate volume. He thought that this
would be the best arrangement, inasmuch as it was the rule of
the Institute that all papers should be before the members a month
before they were discussed. The discussion at Birmingham necessarily
took place immediately after the reading of the papers. Two or three
hundred people were present, and a good many could not hear the
papers read so clearly as to enable them to take part in the discussions,
and impromptu discussions on intricate scientific questions was not the
best mode of elucidating the different subjects. If the papers were
printed as a separate volume, and sent in that state to the members, the
further discussion might be taken at some future meetings to be specially
appointed for that purpose, and embodied in the supplementary volume.
Mr. Greenwell said, he was glad it was proposed to print the
papers in a separate volume, and he thought as they had been received
with such great civility and respect they should print a few extra copies
to present to the Mayor of Birmingham and others who had treated
them so well.
The President said, that was a very proper suggestion. The
Mayor and other gentlemen had done them great honour, and there
were several other gentlemen who had thrown open their works to
them, who were well deserving that compliment.
Mr. Boyd seconded the motion, and said it would be a substantial
vote of thanks.
The motion was carried unanimously.
Mr. Daglish said, there was one subject which he would like to
bring forward, viz., the propriety of having an increased number of
vice-presidents. There were many gentlemen living in other parts of
the country who were not able to attend the council meetings whose
countenance was of great importance.
The President—You must give notice of such a resolution, and it
would then have to be discussed at a future meeting.
Mr. Atkinson said the hands of the Institute would be strengthened
by such a step, it would cause gentlemen of great eminence to take an
interest in the Institute.
Mr. Armstrong suggested that the appointment of more vice-presi-
dents would tend to dilute and weaken the honour.
Mr. Marley thought they would gain strength by an increase of
Mr. Bell said he was led to think that the office of vice-president
was an honour; if they conferred honour on gentlemen who had done
them no service, he thought that was scarcely a right principle to go upon.
Mr. Atkinson said he never thought of selecting people who had
done nothing.
The subject then dropped.
Mr. Greenwell suggested that there ought to be some improvement
in the method of getting up the diagrams. He found that there was a
want of uniformity in the colouring. In one map the coal was coloured
black, and in another it was coloured pink. He thought that all the
geological maps should be coloured in accordance with the maps of the
ordnance survey.
The President thought this was a very excellent suggestion. All
the maps should properly come through the hands of the Council as well
as the papers. Such an uniformity of colouring could, therefore, be very
easily enforced, but he apprehended it would only be necessary to adopt
the rule and gentlemen producing maps or plans would readily conform
to such a very obvious improvement in the illustrations.
The motion having been seconded was carried by show of hands.
After some conversation respecting a bust of the late Mr. T. J. Taylor
which had been brought into the room,
The President directed the attention of the meeting to a safety-
lamp composed of the new metal, aluminium, which was not liable to
corrode, and which appeared worth their consideration, as an excellent
quality of material for a safety-lamp.
Mr. Bell, who presented the lamp, said that probably the cost of the
material would be something like two shillings and sixpence or three
shillings. He thought it was worthy of a little notice. There was one
particular property he would mention, and that was its power of
absorbing a large quantity of heat, the specific heat of aluminum being
very high, so that it might be long exposed to heat before it became red hot.
Though the melting power was some degrees below that of silver, if
they put silver in one crucible and aluminum in another, they would find
the aluminum would be longer in melting than the silver. Then it was
also incorrodible. Another property was, its not obstructing so many
rays of light. Iron became black much sooner than aluminum. By
mixing with it three per cent, of copper, they would get it strong
enough. Any member might take it to the pit, and submit it to any
trial he liked.
Mr. Atkinson said it might be tested at the same time with Mr.
Hall's lamp at the Eyhope Pit; which was arranged.
The officers for the ensuing year having been elected, the meeting then
broke up.
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