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Salmo River Valley Historical Mining Exhibit
BLOWER site #4
Blowers operate like a large vacuum cleaner, using airflow through pipes to move dirt from the face of the drive to the surface. Blowers were a radically new technology in mining. They performed many functions – moving dirt along drives to the shaft, lifting dirt to the surface, separating fine clay particles from the dirt, and ventilating the drives – which had previously been done by other machines. Blowers could be set up more quickly and move much greater quantities of dirt compared with other mining machinery. Unlike many previous inventions, blowers were not adopted by all miners. They used huge amounts of fuel and demanded considerable mechanical skill to operate them efficiently.
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