Central Water Shaft

From the Coal Trade Journal, 1905. “ The Problem of Water in the Mines.”

One of the most interesting experiments in the application of electricity to mine hoisting is now being conducted at the water shaft of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western company near the Sloan mine in Scranton. The shaft is sunk to the depth of 535 feet and is expected to drain all the collieries of the company in the Scranton division of its operations. The water will be hoisted by large tanks which have a capacity of 5000 gallons a minute, but the chief interest in the operation lies in the fact that electricity is to be applied as the hoisting power. The new idea in the work is the effort put forth to have this hoist work automatically. A man will be there to watch the machine in action, but if the hope of the builders in realized he will have nothing to do save sit and keep watch, so as to throw on the brakes in case an accident of some kind takes place. The tanks are expected to go and come their way by an automatic arrangement attached to the motor which will reverse the direction it revolves when the tank will be emptied of its load, without the hand of man touching the lever. If this feat is accomplished, it is the first of its kind known to the engineering world and the attention given to it is great. The coal company, however, has taken all necessary precaution against accidents which may happen to the water shaft by installing a huge pump at the foot of the shaft, Which is also to be operated by electricity, with a capacity equal to the water shaft’s tanks.

Photos around 1908 showing the shaft soon after construction, Bunnell Photos.

Clark Vein Sump and Pump Room

State of the hoist house foundation in 2022, near Sloan Park. The shaft is located under the warehouse in the background.