Dörell, Georg Ludwig Wilhelm

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b. 17 December 1793 Clausthal, Harz, Germany
d. 30 October 1854 Zellerfeld, Harz, Germany
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German mining engineer who introduced the miner's elevator into the Harz Mountains.
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After studying at the Freiberg Mining Academy he returned to his home region to serve in the mining administration, first at Clausthal. In 1848 he became an inspector of mines in Zellerfeld. He had become aware that in the early nineteenth century, when 500 m (1,640 ft) shafts were no longer unusual, devices other than ladders were needed for access to mines. Dörell found out that miners, in terms of physical strength, had to consume almost one-third more of their energy to climb up the shaft than they had to spend at work during the shift in the mine. Accordingly, in 1833 he constructed the miner's elevator. Two timbered bars, similar to those used for pumps, were installed in the shaft and were driven by water-wheel and moved in opposite directions. They were placed at such a distance from each other that the miners could easily step from one to the other in order to go up or down the shaft as desired.
Dörell's elevators worked with great success and their use soon became widespread among Central European mining districts. Their use is particularly associated with Cornish tin-mines, where several such elevators operated over considerable distances.
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Bibliography
1837, "Über die seit dem Jahre 1833 beim Oberharzischen Bergbau angewendeten Fahrmaschinen", Die Bergwerks-Verwaltung des Hannoverschen Ober-Harzes in den Jahren 1831–1836, ed. W.A.J.Albert, Berlin, pp. 199–214.
Further Reading
C.Bartels, 1992, Vom frühneuzeitlichen Montangewerbe zur Bergbauindustrie. Erzbergbau im Oberharz 1635–1880, Bochum: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, esp. pp. 382–411 (elaborates upon the context of contemporary technological innovations in Harz ore mining).
WK

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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