Mine Phones

Early model, oak Western Electric mine phone

Mine phones were used to communicate between levels and the surface, they were installed at each shaft station, some bosses desks and other important areas in the mine.  Phones were first installed underground in the Campbell and Junction mines in 1932. Before this time phones were located in the hoist houses on the surface. Emergencies were reported there and then relayed on.  Various styles of phones were used in Bisbee mines starting with wooden cased hand cranked phones .

The most common phones were the cast iron cased western electric which were later replaced by the Yellow Femco pager phones.  To use the hand crank style phones, codes were sent using the hand crank. One crank of the handle is equal to a number on the chart .  An example the hoistmans code is 1-4 to ring this, do one crank of the handle followed by a long  pause followed by four individual rotations with a very slight pause between each rotation

Western Electric phone circa 1913

Phone signal sign from inside phone case circa 1970’s

Cast Iron Phone note signal sign in case.

Phone on top landers deck of the Denn Headframe

John Palomino using mine phone

Phone with case open  on top landers deck of the Denn Headframe

Femco Phone near  770 level Junction Shaft Station

Femco phone inside the escapeway Queen mine tours

References

 

Henry Hernandez 2010, pers. comm., 2 February

Mills, C.E. 1958 notations from annual reports (Phelps Dodge) Corporation years 1909 to 1950 unpublished p.42

Richard Graeme IV 2010, pers. comm., 8 February

Richard Graeme III  2010, pers. comm., 2 February

 Pete Oller 2010, pers. comm., 8 February

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© 2013 by Doug Graeme