Man in hoist box


Slate was discovered in the town of Monson by William Giffith Jones in the summer of 1870 and life changed dramatically for the residents of this small Piscataquis County town. Multiple quarries were opened over the years which were operated by a number of companies. This photo depicts a single worker being "hoisted" in the quarry owned by Monson Maine Slate Company and this quarry was known as the Monson Pond pit. The "hoist" operator located in the small building in the background would raise and lower the box with workers as well as lifting the slate out of the quarries. A series of bells were used to let him know when the load was ready, when workers were ready to come to the top, etc. It was a very dangerous line of work for these mainly Swedish and Finnish immigrants and many workers were killed or injured.

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