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Robert E. Cannon

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Robert E. Cannon was a renowned inventor of many products used in the mining industry, the Raise Drill and the Underground Blast Hole Drill being the most notable. In March 1962, while employed by Security Tools as North American Sales Manager, he visited the Homer-Wauseca mine in Northern Michigan. Asked for advice on putting out a fire that had developed in an open stope four levels underground, Cannon came up with the idea of creating a larger raise hole, thus using the dirt from the hole opening to put out the fire.  To increase the diameter of the raise, he obtained a large rock bit, known as a hole opener, had the bit welded upside down to a section of drill pipe and reamed the hole larger from a level below.  The fire extinguished without any injuries to the workers. A few years later, he invented another drill using down-the-hole hammers as the method of drilling a larger diameter blast hole than a top mounted drifter type of drill.  Both types of drills are used in virtually every underground hard rock mine in the world.  Not only have both pieces of equipment increased production in the mining industry, but the Raise Drill also eliminated one of the most dangerous jobs in mining, the raise driller, saving countless lives over the years.  Mr. Cannon's full biography will be available online after his official installment into the hall of fame on September 14, 2019.


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