This is an example of the first type of chain coal-cutter made by Anderson, Boyes & Co of Motherwell. It was supplied new to the Summerlee Iron Company for one of the pits which supplied the ironworks with coal. An overjib cutter, it is the earliest surviving chain coal cutter in Scotland.
Scotland pioneered the effective use of mechanisation in coal winning, starting with the Gartsherrie coal cutter which was invented in 1871 by John Alexander of William Baird and Company. Although relatively unsuccessful at the time, the chain cutter principle was revived by Anderson Boyes in 1906 and it became one of the most commonly used types of coal cutter, exported world-wide.
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