Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My question now. Nemacolin PA mine quiz.

Ok, Chipper asked his question, now its time for 
mine.  A while ago, we headed to the Nemacolin mine and did some looking around and we ran into this.....

Cool looking, yes, but what exactly did it do and what form of engine powered this behemoth?  I have been doing my duty asking around and showing pictures to all the right people, and while everyone seems to remember this unit, no one remembers it running.  I have gone so far as contacting GE via e-mail today hoping for some answers and we will see where that gets us.  So, if you have any ideas  or better yet old pictures, let us here at the blog know!
Correct answer receives an Italian Hoagie from Stan-Lee's in downtown Crucible.

The good people of the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium
Nott Terrace Heights
Schenectady, NY, who handle all things historic GE, h
ave been looking into this machine as well for me.  They are not sure exactly what it actually did, or what type of motor powered it, but they are still seeking answers and seem genuinely interested.  The below pictures are some of their early speculation.

As always, we welcome your opinions and comments into this little mystery.

10.03.13 update....  A friend, Joe Sokol, recently posted a few shots of this machine at work, as scene below....Thanks, Joe.


  1. Thomas Paci ( 13, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    The one person that would know this is John Burnett as he was the shop foreman at the mine in the 60's. Unfortunately he passed away. I wonder if it was used to pull wagons or motors out of the mine "Bottom". As you can notice, the cables that would have been attached to it looks like they go underground thru the hole in the floor next to the pulley. Just a guess! Tom Paci

  2. Thomas, I contacted GE a few weeks ago and they got right back to be referring me to the Schenectady Museumin NY, who handles most things historic related to GE. Just today I received an E mail back which follows....


    I have not had any luck yet finding anything for the Nemacolin mine. What I have done is located some of the advertising materials that GE published for mine companies from around 1915-1925. Anything from air circulation to crushing machines would have involved generators and motors. If it was the power house, unless it was located in a situation where hydroelectric power was possible, there would have also been a steam turbine or steam engine also. GE often manufactured the turbine-generators connected in series.

    Attached are two documents from 1922 and 1923 about use of synchronous equipment in mines. Following will be a 60-page document, Electricity in Coal Mines, that is going to be sent in 4 parts due to its size. And I’ll keep looking to see if I can come up with something from Youngstown Steel or Buckeye for that site."

    Havent had the time to open the attachments yet, but I will post results soon.

    Thanks for looking at our blog!

  3. looks like a DC generator rotor to me. but what do i know?

  4. It's either a motor or a generator, or a part of either. Perhaps a flywheel to keep motor or generator RPMs up under heavy load.

  5. Or like GE said, a braking system, lol.