CC Anatomy

“The majority of CCE takes a look at what remains of the vast industrial empire that once called the Copper Country home, remembering the past through the ghostly images of those ruins that still haunt the landscape today. But without knowing what purpose ruins once served were or the reasoning for their existence CCE is nothing more then a daily journal of pretty pictures. Our Copper Country Anatomy series attempts to remedy that situation, by presenting an in-depth look at the technology and infrastructure that was an integral part of the peninsula’s copper empire. These posts explain the how and the why, and present a window into the past that simple pretty pictures of ruins cannot do on their own. “

Mine Machines: Air Compressors

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Before the application of electric generation to the Copper Country landscape, all of a mine’s mechanical power was only obtainable from steam. While this form of power was convenient for a mine’s surface plant where ...

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Anatomy of a Mill (Jigs)

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A long line of refining jigs at the Quincy Mill After leaving the final stages of the sizing process, the copper ore that entered the mill as pieces of rock have been reduced to a ...

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Anatomy of a Mill (Final Sizing)

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The process of ore production neither begins or ends at the stamp mill, but instead stretches from the dark drifts of the underground right up to the smelter docks. This process consists of three main ...

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Last Stamp Standing

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&oiDuring the Copper Empire’s peak, over 100 steam stamps were in operation across the peninsula. As mines and their mills succumbed, these massive stamps were quickly sold or scrapped for quick cash. With the arrival ...

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Copper Country Stacks

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The prevalent use of steam power for most of the Copper Country’s history meant the need for a boiler house to provide that steam. That in turn meant the presence of a smokestack. Up until ...

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Brick

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a rare brick structure in the Copper Country. This one belongs to the Atlas Powder Company, at Senter. When mines were first built along the Keweenaw it was done with materials that could be commonly ...

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A Mine’s Remains

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Copper mining across the Keweenaw shared a uniform approach toward surface infrastructure. Specifically, every mine across the copper country had within it surface plant three main buildings: the shaft house, the rock house, and the ...

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Steel Dams

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Steel dams were an experiment in dam construction that had a very short life in the United States. Steel dams work under the premise that steel construction offers substantial savings in material and labor costs ...

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