A headframe is a metallic (or timber frame) structure, placed on the shaft head of an underground mine -- and used to support the pulleys on which the cables of the different lifting devices are held (elevators, bucket, electrical cupboards, and flooring). It holds the sheave wheels for the cables used to raise and lower the cages and skips from the underground mine taking place far below. Once the ore is brought to the surface it is dumped into cars in the second part of the headframe. A typical headframe is designed to handle loads of more than 30 tons.

If this interestes you, you can purchase a fantastic scale model of a headframe from Western Scale Models for under $300 U.S. Dollars.

There are many headframes still standing today including the Bruce Mine headframe, constructed in 1926 near Chisholm, Minnesota, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Sites.

Headframes are also referred to as gallows frame, hoist frame, shad stocks, and headgear.

For some incredible pictures of headframes see:

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