Camborne - Redruth axis was the centre of Cornish mining, with around 350 tin and copper mines in the area, employing 50,000 people underground. Camborne area at its height, in the 1850's, produced around 70% of the worlds copper output.
Camborne's most famous son is connected with the mining industry - Richard Trevithick, a renowned inventor, who did more to develop the steam engine than any other man. His first steam road carriage ran along Camborne's streets in 1802. His steam pumping engines enabled mines to be sunk deeper into the water table.
The Camborne School of Mines, responsible for the training of miners throughout the world, has a mining museum, which tells you all you need to know about mining
To the north of Camborne, at Pool, are the working beam engines owned by the National Trust. You will find there two Cornish Beam Engines preserved in their imposing engine houses. A 30in winging engine at St Michell's shaft, can be seen working. The other is a 90in pumping engine at Taylors shaft, the largest engine in Cornwall, which last worked in 1954.
Richard Trevithick, is the most famous of the mining engineers from the area. The cottage where he spent his childhood at Penponds is owned by the National Trust and is open April to Oct, Wed 2-5, free of charge. Born in 1771. In February 1804, Trevithick produced the world's first steam engine to run successfully on rails. And did a lot of innovative work with steam engine use for working in mines. His statue stands outside the town library. The inventor is celebrated by the annual Trevithick Day.
Camborne and Redruth were transformed by the mining boom in the eighteenth century from villages into one of the the richest mining areas in the world. At its height the whole countryside here was covered with engine houses, and some still remain today. Recession struck in 1873, and many emigrated from Cornwall to mining fields overseas began. Camborne was saved from total desolation by the Dolcoath mine - the so called Queen of Mines. It was the deepest and most productive of all the Cornish mines, but that too closed in 1921.
Camborne has a legacy of the mining boom in some fine buildings from this period. The Town Trail will lead you a journey to past. The town has struggled since the demise of the mining industry, as it is not coastal and therefore has had difficulty attracting the tourist industry.
Camborne, Cornwall Genealogical information from Genuki