Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Snapshot: Disneyland! - Big Thunder Mine

Much of the set pieces that surround the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland are authentic. This particular contraption certainly looks like an original. If any 2719 reader is an expert on mining equipment, please feel free to educate us to its name and purpose.


pglatz said...

It's a stamp mill - the cylinders move up and down to crush rock containing gold or silver,

Jeffrey Pepper said...


Reader John Y. also sent me the following description:

"A stamp mill consists of a set of heavy steel (or later, sometimes, metal-faced wood) stamps, loosely held vertically in a frame, in which the stamps can slide up and down. They are lifted by cams on a horizontal rotating shaft. Since the cam is on one side of the stamp, as it lifts it causes the stamp to rotate. This is important to ensure even wear to the shoe of the stamp. As the cam moves from under the stamp, the stamp falls onto the ore below, crushing the rock, and the lifting process is repeated at the next pass of the cam."

Mike said...

The old stamp mill at BTM was built in 1880 and was trucked to Disneyland from the deserted Silver Queen Mine in the Mojave Desert of California.

Pat Burke and Lee Congiardo were part of the team Disney used to locate items to "dress the set" of Big Thunder. The authentic cogs, gears, ore buckets and lamps were brought in from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming.

As the other posters have already noted, the object in your post is a stamp mill.

Mike - former BTM ride operator