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 Post subject: Quarry Update
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:08 pm
Posts: 632
Location: Poconos/Lehigh Valley
Here is a link to some photos taken on Friday and Saturday when several pieces of historic slate quarry equipment were moved to Bethlehem, PA.

The items were placed in storage for the National Museum of Industrial History. The new acquisitions are mostly parts for a wire saw, which was used to cut the slate out of the quarry. Popularized in the 1920s, the wire saw enabled quarries to more than double the amount of marketable slate they produced. The device used ΒΌ inch diameter wire (and a sand slurry) to create smooth cuts; thereby reducing the shattering that accounted for up to 85 percent of the slate quarried being thrown out prior to the adoption of the wire saw. The system was probably constructed by the Stroudsburg Engineering Works in Stroudsburg, PA.

Other items moved to Bethlehem included a vertical air hoist. This consists of a cylinder which was hung from an overhead trolley. Compressed air moved a piston inside the cylinder and caused a hook attached to the piston rod to rise. This was used in the mill to move pieces of slate to the saws. Also obtained was an F.E. Reed lathe. Probably dating to the 1880s, this lathe was used inside the blacksmith shop to turn the wood mallets used at the quarry. The other item moved was a belt driven grinding wheel. The rest of the wire saw parts, a wood lathe, mud pump, and at least one steam hoist will be moved in the future.

The moves on Friday and Saturday were completed at no cost to the museum thanks to the services donated by the following:

Dally Slate Company donated and loaded the historic items.

Historic Machinery Services Corporation of Springville, Alabama provided transportation for the grinding wheel. In the future, a couple of items from the quarry will become part of their restoration shop and put to use in the restoration of other pieces of historic machinery.

Lehigh Valley Rail Management donated the time and labor to unload items with their forklift on Friday.

Bill Hazzard generously donated the use of his trailer and gin poles to move and unload equipment on Saturday.

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