Mining shaft towers and
their connection with fortress architecture
When the surface coal deposits were more or less depleted around 1850, the collieries had to turn to deep mining. The economic mining of large quantities of coal from ever increasing depths required shafts with large diameters and the use of high-capacity headgear. The winding towers erected over the shafts had to withstand huge pulley loads which were too much for the wooden constructions previously used. As cast iron, which had been used for construction of bridges and buildings since the beginning of the 19th century, was too brittle for the changing loads, bricklined shaft towers were built. In the second half of the 19th century, these Malakow towers became complicated building structures both for technical and prestige reasons.
The article first gives an outline of how many Malakow towers still exist and analyses five different types of construction taking examples of towers in the Ruhr area. It then shows that Malakow towers were used in various branches of mining throughout central Europe between 1850 and 1875. In the second part of the article, the author describes the fortress architecture of Sevastopol which became so important during the Crimean War of 1853 to 1856 and which led to the name Malakow being used for the mining shaft towers.