They don’t mine coal like this in North Dakota anymore.
On September 13, 1965, the first coal from the Glenharold Mine was delivered three miles away to Leland Olds Station, near Stanton, ND.
The Lauchhammer Mining Wheel did the work that is done today by a dragline. It removed the overburden, the dirt, that sits on top of the coal seam.
The Lauchhammer stood 10 stories tall, stretched the length of a football field and used eight buckets which “take great bites out of the earth then dumps the dirt on a conveyor belt to be piled behind the machine,” according to a story in the September 1965 issue of REPORT, Basin Electric’s monthly newsletter.
From the October 1965 REPORT story, “Testing of Plant Components Underway:
The Truax-Traer Coal Companys’ Lauchhammer Mining Wheel is in operation at the mine removing overburden so that a more conventional shovel can come in behind and remove the coal. The coal is then loaded onto 100-ton trucks for delivery to a hopper, thence to a crusher and onto a conveyor for delivery to Basin Electric. Download a PDF to read a full description of the Lauchhammer, on page 4: REPORT October 1965
See more photos by downloading a PDF from the issue of REPORT – February 1965.
See video from the 1960′s on Basin Electric’s YouTube channel, in the playlist: Historical (1960s)