The sound of piston in the steam winding engine in operation, recorded in the Queen Louise Adit, department of the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze (Poland).
The recorded engine was constructed in 1915 in Prinz Rudolf Hütte plant in Dülmen (Germany). The 2000-horsepower engine was used to power the shaft hoist transporting the extracted material, people and equipment – it enabled moving pit cages down with the speed of 10 m/s and at steam pressure of 12 – 8 atm. Until the year 1990, it operated the “Carnall” shaft with the depth of 503 m. Even if it is no longer used for transporting the extracted material, visitors can watch the engine in operation during shows organized by the museum. At present, it is the oldest working steam engine of this type in Europe. Operation of the machine is accompanied by an intense smell of hot grease and oils as well as high temperature – during hot summer days reaching 50 degrees Celsius.
The coal mine in Zabrze, inaugurated in 1791, was one of two first national coal mines in the Silesia region, belonging to the Kingdom of Prussia. It was named “Queen Louise” after the deceased spouse of King Frederick William III. As a national mine, it had received numerous privileges: big mining field, access to the best specialists and the latest technologies. In 1795, one of first steam engines in the coal mining industry had been installed there; it was also the place where water transport of the extracted material had been introduced for the first time. The mine was in operation until the year 1998, since 1945 within the borders of post-WW2 Poland.
Manufacturer: Prinz Rudolf Hütte in Dülmen (Germany)
Year of manufacture: 1915
Power of the engine: 2000 hp
Diameter of cylinders: 955 mm
Diameter of the “Koepe” hoist: 6000 mm
Diameter of brake rings: 6000 mm
Diameter of extracting rope: 50 mm
Sound recordist: Monika Widzicka
Photographer: Rafał Sworst
Video recordist: Piotr Leszczyński