Nova Scotia Archives

Men in the Mines

A History of Mining Activity in Nova Scotia, 1720-1992

Museum of Industry

The Museum of Industry in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, is Atlantic Canada's largest — the size of seven hockey rinks, with a collection of over 37,000 artifacts. Built on the site of the Foord Pit at Albion Mines, the MOI chronicles the impact of industrial development and technological change on the people, economy and landscape of Nova Scotia. Its collections represent both traditional industries such as coal-mining and steel-making, as well as new research and service-based industries.

The MOI is particularly strong regarding the history of coal-mining in Pictou County, from the arrival of the General Mining Association in 1827 to the Westray Disaster of 1992. Permanent exhibits feature coal-mining tools and machinery, as well as Canada's oldest steam locomotive, the Samson. Outside is the Cornish Pumphouse, an impressive stone structure and prominent local landmark; built in 1866, it once housed a pumping engine that could extract 700 gallons of water per minute from the Foord Pit coal mine, and was the first facility of its kind in North America.

As a partner in the 'Men in the Mines' project, the Museum of Industry made the Stellarton Mining Museum Collection (I91.32) available for Web presentation. This is the MOI's most significant photographic holding, and is used in their onsite 'Coal and Grit' exhibit to tell the story of Pictou County and its people. The MOI also maintains a significant resource library, built around Nova Scotia's mining and industrial history.

Over 160 images from the Stellarton Mining Museum Collection have been incorporated into the 'Men in the Mines' Website; the photographs are also presented below, in their entirety, to enable Internet visitors to view them as a collection. These images have rarely been seen before outside the Museum of Industry; they are vivid reminders of a community, its people, and their commitment to the coal-mining life.

For more information on the Museum of Industry, its collections, services and programs, please visit their website.



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