For an afternoon set back in time, travel a few miles north of Colorado Springs, Colorado to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. This attraction has been serving the community for more than forty years. It comprises almost thirty acres of indoor and outdoor exhibits dedicated to promoting the rich mining history of the Western United States from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.
A.R. Wilfley and Sons is directly related to this history since our pumps were born in the Colorado Mountains to meet the gold and silver mining needs of our founder in the early 20th century. Included in the museum are a pair of C slurry pumps (circa 1920’s) and two Wilfley concentrating tables that are still functional today. The C slurry pump was the predecessor to the Kpro® slurry pump, introduced in 1949 and still being manufactured today. Here is an excerpt from the exhibit.
The Wilfley Sand Pump
Flotation and Cyanide mills required pumps to move slurry-like solutions of finely crushed ore, water and numerous reagents from one proves to the other. The size of the new machinery made it impractical to rely solely on gravity, a technique used in the earlier stamp mills. Not until the 1920’s did a machinery designer introduce a really satisfactory “sand pump” to transport the gritty products of the new mills without destroying itself.
The design of the Wilfley C slurry pump, like the ones in the exhibit, made it impossible for particles of ore and corrosive reagents to destroy the pump or motor bearings. The C slurry pump was also very easy to lubricate and service.
By the 1930’s, Wilfley’s pump dominated the ore reduction industry. The firm remains in business to this day.
Experience gained from our long legacy of slurry pump experience spawned the new EMW® (horizontal-end suction) Slurry Pump introduced this past January.
If you have the chance to visit Colorado in the near future, we encourage you to include a visit to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in your itinerary. Don’t miss the Wilfley pump and concentrating table exhibits.