Andrew Lamb, Foundryman
Messrs. Andrews Lamb, James Coakley and James Hickey, have formed a co-partnership to carry on the Foundry and blacksmith business, in the establishment recently occupied by Mr. John Watson, from whom they have leased it. They intend to carry on the foundry business in all its branches as heretofore, and will furnish stoves, mill, ship, and railroad work, ploughs and other farming implements of modern style and well finished, at as low prices as can be had elsewhere. As a mechanical genius, Mr. Lamb has no superior in the Province, Mr. Coakley has had charge of the moulding ship and smelting, for several years, and Mr. Hickey has a general knowledge of the foundry business. We bespeak for the new firm an extensive patronage, as we desire to encourage home industry. The firm have made several changes and improvements in the foundry, and are prepared to fill orders at short notice, on reasonable terms. We wish them abundant success.
Town welcomes back Andrew Lamb, after absence of 15 months in Kimberley Diamond Fields, South Africa. Brief visit to native Scotland. Son Herbert still at Diamond Fields. Lamb’s description of fields in next issue.
Feb 8, 1878
South Africa Diamond Fields
In last week’s Standard we mentioned the return of our townsman Mr. Lamb from Kimberley, South Africa, were he was employed at the diamond mines; we since had the pleasure of obtaining a description of the country, mines, etc., are indebted to him for the following information, which is but an outline of his graphic and interesting description. He is not favorably impressed with that part of the country through which he passed, the greater portion being an arid desert without a shrub. The first known of diamonds in Africa in 1867, when it was discovered by a Dutch settler in the hands of a child. He offered to buy it but the mother of the child gave it to him, it was afterwards examined and found to be a genuine diamond weighing 21 carats, and was sold to the Governor of the Cape for 500 pounds. Afterwards several diamonds were found, which led to the commencement of diamond digging in 1872 in the district of the Vaal River. The down of Kimberley, which is built round a small hill called Colesberg Kupie, is but a village, with four thousand. The top of the eminence has been cut off and a mine sunk, about 200 feet deep. The drift or stuff is raised on serial tramways in boxes, which contain upwards of a bushel. The mine is divided into a number of “claims,” and is not owned by one company. The area of these claims is nearly 9 acres, but the pit including the slope of the reef will cover 12 acres. The pit or mine is shaped like an immense bowl; and is divided into upwards of 400 claims.
The method of obtaining the diamonds he describes as follows. When the ? as it is called is brought to the surface, it is carted away to the ground of its owner (all diamond diggers having a space of ground) and left to crumble or decompose; should there be a good rain fall the ? stuff quickly decomposes, but if there is no rain it has to be watered, which costs a large sum. It is afterwards placed in a trough which moves round, and is separated by stationery rakes; the stones fall to the bottom. The mud is then examined and carted off. The stones are washed several time sand examined, when the diamonds are found. The larger ones which are of greater value, are usually picked up while putting the earth into the buckets.
There are other mines in Gilqua Land West which was taken possession of by the English in 1871; they are Old Beers, Buttontom and Du forts Pass, in which the labor work is principally done by Kathirs, but the New Bush Copie or Kimberley mine is reported to be the richest spot on the globe. We could fill several columns with Mr. Lamb’s vivid descriptions, but must content ourselves with this short notice, thanking him for kindly furnishing us with his interesting account of the mines and country.