The story behind the cage
Art Zimmerman was a great inventor, he saw a problem and he fixed it. Shortly after the no.3 mine shaft became operational in 1942, the mine was converted to Square Set Mining. This caused the timber usage underground to increase dramatically. The regular daily demand doubled from its regular 250 tons a day to 500 tons a day, causing a great deal of strain on the shaft system. Roughly fourteen board feet of timber was being sent down for every ton of ore hoisted. This is the same as three miles of two by four by eight-foot studs end to end every single day. With each piece being tediously loaded by hand into the cage, there was insufficient time left to hoist ore, men, equipment and other materials needed for mining. This led Art Zimmerman to come up with the idea of the Zimmerman cage. The cage likely influenced by the free hanging gear baskets from his shaft sinking days, was a simple concept like most useful inventions. Essentially, the Zimmerman car is open cage built on a small rail car for moving timber in a mine shaft.
The first Zimmerman car (or Zimm Car) was built in 1943 for use at Normetal Mine
Art’s new invention saved hours of shaft time each and every day.