Object Detail

Cast iron symmetrical pick tool on cast iron universal head, which is broken at top. Wooden handle, splintering slightly at ends.
CH classification MINING Prospecting pick
L780 x W320 x H45 mm
Media/Materials description
Cast iron, wood
History and use
Miner’s picks were commonly used in the nineteenth and early twentieth century for extracting coal from underground mine tunnels. Mining in Queensland was not a large industry until the 1880s, but there were significant mineral resources throughout the state, particularly in the South East. Large underground coal mines were established along the Brisbane River, in and around Ipswich. Miners would pick out the coal and load it into carts which were pulled to the surface, or baskets were used to hoist the coal up the shaft by chain and rope. Machines were not used until the 1930s. Picks like these, with their heavy cast iron heads and timber handles, were the primary means of extracting coal until the 1960s when mechanisation overtook hand-mining as the most common method of mining in Queensland.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
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