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Home > History of Development > Early Industry: Case Studies > Edmonton Coal Mining > Coal Boom

Early Industry Case Studies

Coal Boom!

Star-Key Mine, Ed, 1948.By 1907, Edmonton was producing more coal than it could market, due to a proliferation of mines, and a box car "blockade" on the railways. Twenty-six mines were producing 2620 tonnes per day (including the Tofield mines). Edmonton began to investigate buying local coal operations, but nothing came of this move.

The Rosedale Mine was a typical small mine opened during the local "coal boom" preceding the arrival of the two transcontinental railways. R. B. McIntosh operated this on River Lots 28 and 30. A sixty-foot shaft reached the 4–5 foot seam. Four men produced about fifteen tonnes per day shortly after Mine No. 128 opened in 1907.

The shaft had a manway provided with a ladder for the ascent and descent of the workmen. The cage was raised in the shaft by means of a horse gin.

When the air grew stale, ventilation was induced by lighting a fire in the return compartment of the shaft. The following year an engine hoist was apparently installed. However, poor pay and very wet working conditions led to the mine's early closure in 1909.

Kenneth Tingley. Coal Mining in Alberta: An Introduction to Changes in Coal-Mining Technology in the Plains and Parkland Areas, 1872-1955. n.p: Reynolds-Alberta Museum. With permission from the Reynolds-Alberta Museum.

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