The guide tour – a daily miners´ route
A miner´s shift began at the entrance into the checkroom (there is a box office situated nowadays). Everyone, who worked underground, picked up here one´s personal metal check (the checks can be seen on the panel in the cloakroom). Colours and shapes differ shifts and specialisation.
After entering the cloakroom the miners changed into the miner´s clothes. Every worker got two chains (in miners´ slang called hooks) - the first for civil-clean clothes, and the other one for dirty clothes. In comparison with later used lockers the chain cloakroom had an advantage. The working conditions in the mine were really hard. Heat and ubiquitous water caused that the miners´ clothes were wet, sweated etc. In the chain cloakroom the clothes were hung in the well-aired space, which was even heated in winter. Therefore it got dry easily.
Ventilation of bathroom was designed as a natural by means of ridge ventilation superstructure, which from an outside view forms an interesting silluette completed by a turret. A part of this cloakroom was a department of technical staff members equipped with a baths, so-called steiger baths.
Zeichenhaus - the second evidence room
Everyone who worked underground had to be twice registered before lowering into the mine. At first the miner was registered in the checkroom just by picking up his check and then he had to register with his surveyor, called steiger. Steiger registered all the workers belonging under his surveillance and gave them daily working orders. After a shift the miner had to report to his steiger he had hoisted and the stage of workplace, eventually whether he did or did not fulfil set instructions, returned his lamp in the lamproom and a personal metal check in the checkroom.
There was also placed a small altar for believers in this room. St Barbara is the patron saint of miners.
In this room the miner picked up his personal light fitting called lamp. The lamp (so-called miner´s eyes) had to be recharged in order to be able to light for 24 hours. Workers in the lamproom always had to verify the lamp on return, whether it did not suffer any mechanical damage and keep it on a stand where it was recharged up to the required capacity. The lamps were numbered and the lamp numbers were mostly consistent with miners´ checks.
Head-gear tower and building
A 41.5 m tall steel head-gear tower is a dominant of Michal mine. In the top part of the tower the hoisting sheaves are situated. These sheaves lead ropes from the winding machines into the pit. The head-gear tower is equipped with a safety equipment, which prevents overdriving of the cages into the hoisting sheaves and the failure of a hoisting device. Over the top operational cage position two types of end switches are located. They switch off the power supply into the winding machine and actuate a safety brake of the winding machine without an engine operator´s intervention. Electrical end switches should react in the case that the cage overdrives 1 ½ m. Mechanical switches (situated on the depth gauge) should react in the case that the electrical switches do not react and the cage continues in motion and overdrives 2 ½ m from the top transport cage position. Another safety precaution in the tower is so-called funnelled cage guides which stop the cage by „drawing tight“. Devices, which secure the cage against the return motion (= down; if the rope breaks after the impact into a protecting grid) are „tiltings“. They are slid out into the limit profile of the cage and this sit down on the return motion.
An important part of the head-gear tower are the loading platforms, both for miners and tubs. There is a three-deck cage for miners and a four-deck cage for tubs in Michal mine. Number of people in the cage - 42, that means 14 in each deck of the cage.
The first loading platform is called shaft „landing“. Here are the tubs loaded into the cage. Large mine material (such as pipes, mine locomotives etc.) could not be placed in the cage and were hung under the cage. There were 19 levels in the Michal pit. The depth was 670 m from the surface including a pit sump.
Three bridges enter the head-gear building: the first bridge is used by pedestrian workers to go from the administration building into the shaft landing, the other two connect head-gear building with the coal separation plant. Fully loaded tubs go over a „full bridge“ from the pit to the coal separation plant. They are unloaded there and empty tubs travel back over an „empty bridge“ towards the shaft landing.
The climbing department is also a part of a pit. That is a ladder system from the bottom level up to the pit bank (the place where the pit opens on surface), which is used as an escape way for the miners in a case of an extraordinary event.
At present the pit is filled in the full depth with a mixture of cement and light ash.
Coal preparation plant
The first coal separation plant was built here probably in early 1860s after connection to the Mining Railway in 1862. A single system of sieves and movable chutes sorted automatically a rough coal, nut and lump coal. These separated products were either stored on a tipping or loaded into the trucks (especially small coal) for distribution. However, the old system of coal separation was not perfect. More than 10 per cent of rough and cube coal dropped out under the movable chutes and had to be picked up manually and transported by means of wheel-barrows. A new building of coal separation was built within the reconstruction of the whole complex. Larger part of this building was situated in the space of the railway and the sorted coal could be loaded directly into the railway trucks. After some changes and extensions in 1920s and 1940s the capacity of the coal separation was 130 ton of coal per hour. The operations of the engines, movable sieves, separators and transport bands were fully electrified. It separated and produced lump coal, cube coal, nut, rice, dust, banded coal and stone. The fans were used for the coal dust exhaustion.
In this engine and compressor house the stationary engines necessary for the mine operation are located. The engine-house was built during the reconstruction of the whole area between 1912 - 1915 and presents that time idea of modern model mine operated on an electric power. At the first time in the Ostrava district history all the important surface stationary engines were fully electrified and placed in a large glazed building. Because of its size and threat of mining subsidence the whole object was built on a great reinforced concrete foundation.
There are two winding machines is separated compartment, two piston compressors, two turbocompressors and two electrical convertors in this building (most of them manufactured in 1912). Two bridge cranes from 1912 were manufactured by Vítkovice Ironworks and especially the manipulation is worth mentioning.
The extraordinary historical value of the Michal mine refers not only to the architectonical quality of original buildings and electrification, preserved in original, authentical stage including the technical equipment and nice craftsmen details (e. g. the door fittings, paving, lining, glass lubricators with relieves, name plates).
Other machines important for the mine operation are compressors. They are two turbocompressors and two piston compressors in this hall. All of them were installed for the same purpose: to produce the compressed air necessary for the mining machine drives such as belt conveyers, drills, pneumatic picks, mine hand lamps and ventilators for separate ventilation. These compressors differ in a type of construction. Piston compressors comprise the air by motion of the piston, turbocompressors comprise air by bringing the sucked air through a guide blades, rotary wheel and diffuser. The piston compressor reaches higher pressure but lower capacity.