Chiseling Marble, Proctor, V.T.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Marble is taken from the quarry in great slabs or blocks. These are broken loose from the layers, lifted on cars by electric cranes, and brought to the bottom of the quarry shaft. They are then lifted to the surface by big derricks, placed on other cars, and taken to the sawing mills. At these mills, great bands of steel lying side by side move back and forth on top of the slabs. Water pours down over the saws and rocks so as to keep the stone moist. Sand is also poured into the grooves. The bars have heavy weights on them, so that their constant moving back and forth, by the help of the sand, gradually wears a narrow path through the stone. It is slow business, but it is a great saving in time and in stone over the older processes of hand chiseling the blocks to pieces. After the stones have been sawed to the thickness required, they are sent from the mills to the departments for which they have been made. The scene here shows a corner of the architectural department. That is, the stones seen here are to be used for building purposes. Here they are finished off. This finishing may consist only in the smoothing up of the stone to the proper size. It more often means that the blocks are to be carved in beautiful designs. This is done, as you see, by a compressed-air chisel operated by skilled workmen. The one nearest you is finishing a beautiful Greek design. This stone is likely to be used at the base or at the top of a great pillar. The compressed-air chisel is a big step in advance over the old-fashioned hand chisel which is driven by a mallet. The hand mallets are still used in finishing up some of the nicer work. You see some of these mallets and chisels lying about in this room. Keystone ID: 13706 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.