Salle des Compresseurs
THE ABANDONED COMPRESSOR HALL IN BELGIUM
This is the ‘Salle des Compresseurs’. It was the compressor building of the Puits Parent mine in Marchienne-au-Pont, Belgium. Accordingly it was part of the Pays Noir in Charleroi.
The machines in this building supply compressed air to miners and machines underground. In fact each extraction pit has a building with compressors. These halls were part of the ‘Le puits Parent ou n°18‘, owned by the Monceau-Fontaine company. It is located near the ‘Cokerie de la Providence‘ and along the canal.
Most of the mining equipment works with compressed air. Like jackhammers, portable tools and turbine lamps. Because of firedamp, the use of electricity was limited and required anti-explosion devices. Compressed air had no dangers. The compressors also powered the ventilation system. Fans replaced dangerous damps with fresh air. The miners, working in 1.291 meters deep, depended on the machines in this hall.
The mine closed in 1968 and eventually the buildings were demolished in 1991. Only this ‘Salle des Compresseurs’ is still standing on the once enormous industrial site. I visited this abandoned compressor building of the ‘Le puits Parent ou n°18’ in 2018. Also check my reports of the local powerplant, coke factory and blast furnace in Charleroi.