Down Pit

The preparation of plans is approached like a clock but should really be appreciated as a cloud ?


The coal mining industry of post-Second World War Britain might not be the most obvious of places to seek ideas for how to address contemporary issues of digital transformation but, hey, go with me.

The coal industry in the 1940s had barely changed since the turn of the century. Although coal was a primary source of power for a number of industries (and domestic use as well), the processes of extracting it from the ground revolved around TNT, pick axes and brute force. It was hard, dangerous work, to a large extent untouched by methods of automation.

In the austerity of the post-war United Kingdom, something needed to be done. Technology would be the saviour of this low productivity. And so the newly-formed National Coal Board started to invest in technology. In particular, the technology surrounding a technique called Long Wall Mining which had been industrialised in the United States.

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