Objects | Industry


Rotary Drilling Machine, about 1885

Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum, Tees Valley


1800 – 1899

The Blackett Hutton Rotary Drilling Machine was one of a number of similar machines developed in the 1880s to replace the chisel pointed “jumper-drill” then in use throughout the Cleveland ironstone mines.

At that time, ironstone was usually mined by two men working together, one drilling the holes, charging and firing the shots, while the other broke the stone up and filled the tubs.

Using a hand powered rotary or ratchet drilling machine, such as the Blackett Hutton, meant that two holes could be drilled compared to just one using the jumper-drill, thereby increasing the output of each pair of men by around 20%.

Output from the Cleveland Mines reached a peak of 6,756,055 tons in 1883; for the remainder of the Victorian and Edwardian periods Cleveland remained the most important ironstone mining district in Great Britain, responsible for between ¼ and ⅓ of the total national production.

By Messrs. Blackett, Hutton & Co., Guisborough

On display at Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum

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