Mining history 1900-1930
By 1900, the Copper Queen was not alone at Bisbee. Many other mining companies held claims at Bisbee, most were of little value, but there were several groups of claims that contained rich ore. The Calumet and Arizona Mining Company owned most of these, but the Shattuck and Arizona as well as the Denn and Arizona mining companies held good ground. Soon, these companies were developing profitable mines and Bisbee boomed, as hundreds more men were working underground.
Good miners were always hard to find and the mining companies looked to mechanization to alleviate the shortage of skilled men. Pneumatic rock drills were introduced, then mules were brought into the mines to improve haulage of ore. Soon trolley motors were added, further facilitating the movement of ore. Mechanization also allowed for the profitable mining of lower-grade ores. Importantly, intensive safety programs became an integral part of the mining operations, as less experienced men needed training to understand the risk that came with working underground and with the new machinery.
Open pit mining came to Bisbee in 1917 with the Sacramento Pit, one of Arizona’s first open pit mines. Now, low-grade ores could be mined in bulk using steam shovels and railroad cars.
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