The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Drainage and Ventilation

Steam Pumps Used in Pits (Yama) in the Chikuho Region
March 1967

Chikuho no Yama no Joki Pompu
[Steam Pumps Used in Pits (Yama) in the Chikuho Region]
37.8 x 53.9 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

Text at the Bottom Right
The largest steam pump in coal pits in the Chikuho region in the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1926) eras was used in the Sumitomo Tadakuma Coal Pit in Honami Village, Kaho County, in Fukuoka Prefecture. The extra-large pump was installed in the shaft bottom called tsuboshita (1st stage). The pistons in the cylinders of this pump were about 70 inches in diameter (about 1.75 meters). It was said that this pump quickly and easily drained about 200 cubic meters of water. This pump was seen in the late Taisho era, and I am not sure whether it was also used in the Showa era (1926-1989).

Text at the Top Right
Boilers had to be high-pressure types. Tadakuma Coal Pit and Kamimio Coal Pit in the Kaho and Iizuka areas were well known as pits which used a lot of steam power for pumps. When miners say, "joki ga katai'' in their dialect, it means that "the pit uses a lot of steam." Both pits had a few boilers made in Germany, which were called hakurai gamas (imported boilers). Even some water-tube boilers made in Japan after 1907 were high-pressure types.

Text at the Top Left
The largest and the most powerful steam pump was this Worthington Pump. This pump was a double-cylinder type and its main rods automatically opened and closed the slide valves. This type of pump with a double piston was used for supplying water to high pressure boilers on the surface.

Text at the Bottom Left
Mr. Sumitomo bought Tadakuma Coal Pit from Mr. Aso in 1894, and it became the biggest coal pit in Kaho County. This pit was closed in 1964.

Words under the Pump
shirinda: steam cylinders
otoru: water suction cylinders

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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