Coal Mining Terms:
Air Shaft: Small shaft used in ventilation, usually located near the end of the mine workings and may connect with several levels.
Black Damp: Carbon monoxide gas from coal, it displaces oxygen in the air.
Breaker: Building used to sort, size, wash, store, distribute coal.
Chamber: Area of the coal vein being worked
Collars: Horizontal timbers supported by the props to hold up the ceiling and prevent loose hock from falling.
Drift: Near lever opening, slight down grade outward toward the opening for easier movement of loaded cars out of the mine.
Face: area of coal being worked in a chamber.
Flushing: Mixing of fine waist rock and culm with water that is pumped into mined out areas to prevent surface subsidence, and cave inís.
Fan House: Ventilation system used to pump fresh air into the mine or draw bad air and gas out.
Gangway: Main tunnel connecting chambers, usually the main haulage road for mine cars.
Gobb: Flat stone or shale used in the mine to build walls for sealing off mined out areas, or to direct the air flow.
Headframe: Structure above a shaft supporting the sheave wheels. Also the supports built around a drift or slope opening to prevent slides from blocking the opening.
Hoist House: Building that housed the motor and cable drums used to lift the cages in a shaft or pull cars up a slope.
Mine Motor Car: 400 volt electric trolley wire or self contained large battery 24 volt powered locomotive used to haul cars underground.
Monkey Vein: Small cross tunnels between chambers used for air flow and emergency escape ways.
Pillars: Large area or blocks of coal left undisturbed as a means of supporting the roof of the mine.
Prop: Vertical timbers used as supports for the collars, lets miners know the roof is moving.
Pump House: Large water pumps used to remove water from the lowest level of the mine workings. Sometimes located at the bottom of the mine, and piped to the surface.
Rib: Side walls of a gangway, chamber, or pillar.
Shaft: Vertical lifting chamber, may include 2 to 4 cages for lifting cars and men, air shaft for ventilation, and water shaft for removal of water from the lowest levels.
Slope: Inclined opening for hoisting and lowering cars and men. Grade could vary from slight to steep.
Squeeze: Area of the mine that is moving or sinking due to the weight of the rock above and will collapse and crush props and collars.†
Tipple: Structure used to unload mine cars directly into trucks or railroad cars, for delivery to a breaker.
Trip of Cars. Several mine cars hooked together, loaded or empty.
Vein: Layer of coal between rock layers.
Washery: Building used to, size, wash fine breaker coal and re-claim culm banks.