Robert Strang, in 1920, was a young- fireman, employed at Auchinraith Colliery, who resided at Carrick Cottage, Blantyre and he invented something remarkable!
In July that year he brought out an invention which he claimed would stop a colliery cage going at full speed if the rope snapped, thus saving the lives of any miner caught up in such a disaster. He built a miniature shaft 2 feet by 2 feet, and 8 feet high, with bunting 18 inches apart, and his cage was a replica of that used in collieries. Simplicity and strength, were features of the apparatus, which was worked with lever power, evenly distributed, to hold the great weight.
In an ordinary colliery the width the shaft from slide to slide is 8 feet, and Mr Strang’s apparatus when extended will be 11 feet. The apparatus was on view at the Christian Institute, when the inventor gave demonstration of its working before a large gathering of the members of the Scottish Colliery Firemen’s Association. After passing successfully through the severest tests, the invention got general approval.
The next step was a demonstration for the Home Office, and Messrs Merry & Cunningham have decided to put the apparatus to practical test at their Auohinraith Colliery. The apparatus was also applicable to hoists, and worked equally with both steel and wooden slides.
Roberts excellent invention is remembered here in this article. Pictured exclusively here near a decade later, around the time of its closure is the former Auchinraith Colliery.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Cathy Reilly I had afew family members who worked there in the past.
John Cornfield Fantastic mans a genius and a hero
John Dunsmore Defo. John. Cornfield , genius x hero.
Marian Maguire Yes a genius, they never got much chance to better themselves and were clever men.
Blantyre Project Enjoying researching this one. Found more about Robert. The full story about Roberts invention will be covered within a coming book……watch this space.
Jiae Jiae My grampa was a pit bottomer and apparently the other coal face workers were horrible to him. I only learned this recently. He was the best, happiest Papa in the World who constantly cheered us up never showing us any of his troubles. His mother died young and he also had survived WW1 when he was but a boy!