Hauer (mining)

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Hauer mining coal, 1957

The hewer , also known as the chipper , is a job in mining and describes a miner who loosens mineral resources and rocks. The term Hauer is derived from "cut", an activity of the miners, where they by means of a pointed and sharp gezähe had cut in the rock. A miner who had successfully passed the Hauer test was later referred to as a miner .


In early mining, before he could do his job as a chipper, the miner first had to learn as a shovel boy to differentiate between ores and to separate the ore from the dead rock. Then his training continued in the pit. He first had to learn other skills as a dog pusher, that was a transport worker . Only then could he learn as a teacher the skills that he would later need as a tusker. This form of training, the acquisition of knowledge through experience, was practiced in mining until the First World War .

From the 1920s the training of the cutter was regulated by law due to union demands. Since many jobs now also required special knowledge, there were gradually craftsmen in the mines, initially locksmiths, and later also electricians. After training and passing the exam, the skilled worker first had to gain further practical experience in order to then be able to take the tusk test. This consisted of a theoretical and a practical part.

The tusk test could be taken at the earliest when they reached the age of twenty. So there were at least two years of professional experience between the squire's examination for the divorcee and the tusk examination. After passing the tusk test, the solemn absolution took place.


Miners, 1952

The lowest in the hierarchy of tusks was the teacher. Lehrhauer, also called Lehrhauer, were prospective not yet fully trained tusks. They were subordinate to the cutter and had to work according to the instructions of the cutter. Skilled tusks who received full wages were called full-hewn or double-hewn. In the preparation of the mine, old, former tusks supervised the divorce boys and miners. Supervisors of Hauer were the Steiger , in some mines also called Ding Hauer, or in smaller mines in the hat man . The tusker was particularly respected by the other miners in the pit, although he actually had no authority over them. The Steiger, civil servants at the beginning of the state mining industry, were later employees.

Career advancement opportunities

Depending on their diligence, skill and suitability, Hauer could be promoted to Hutmann or Steiger. Even an appointment as shift supervisor , mountain jury or mountain supervisor was possible. At the end of the eighteenth century, civil engineering training at a mining academy or school was required by law for mine and company officials. For this reason, the training of the Steiger could no longer take place via in-company training.

Hauer, who possessed many years of professional practice, which also had the ability to lead people and enough mining and technical skills, had to have supervision Hauer or upper tusks are transported. However, they were not supervisors in the sense of mining law, but had the function of a foreman.

If a hammer had particularly proven itself in its function, he was appointed a master hammer . His job was to provide technical training for the next generation of miners. The master carvers were specially trained for this task in a preparatory course, which ended with an in-house examination. Master carvers were reported to the mining authority. In the GDR there was the honorary title of “ master craftsman ” as a state award.

If a particularly experienced contractor worked underground for more than 10 years and was at least 35 years old, he could be appointed as a driver if he was qualified . He had to be suitable both personally and professionally. The technical suitability was proven in a so-called driver's course, which was considered a certificate of proficiency. Drivers are responsible persons within the meaning of the Federal Mining Act and received an order letter.

Working hours and wages

The working hours of the tusks differed from region to region and were between 10 and 12 hours, but the time for driving was not included. For a week of memorial work , a tusker received just 18 Mariengroschen in 1617 . At the time, you couldn't even buy a pound of butter for that weekly wage . Until the beginning of the 1950s there was a 5-1 / 2-day week with 50 hours, with breaks on the 5 days; today the tusker works 7 hours a day without opening.

Around 1800 a drill was earning around a week's wages of 20 Mariengroschen, plus a penny of 6 Mariengroschen. In order to improve this merit, the tusks often carried out so-called secondary shifts. In order to get a secondary shift, an application had to be submitted to the plant management. The possibility of getting a secondary shift was dependent on the number of children of the tusker. With the working shifts, a tusker could earn 8 additional Mariengroschen and an additional 8 Mariengroschen for secondary shifts. As a result, the tusks sometimes stayed in the pit for 13-16 hours. A week of 60 to 70 hours was the norm at that time. In total, a tusker with 3 children earned around 42 Mariengroschen per week. These conditions only changed in the middle of the 19th century.

Professional change

While in the early days of mining the actual work of the cutter was very diverse and not only consisted of extracting the ore, over time the work of the respective cutter specialized. So there were drill tusks, gang tusks, bench tusks, chisel tusks and carpenters.

Drill bit

Drill tusks were responsible for drilling and shooting. They had to drill shooting holes in the rock to a certain depth. To do this, they used drill rods which they drove into the rock by hand with a hammer.


The Ganghauer, also called Gänghauer or Gänghäuer, used to be a Hauer who had to win the ore veins in . There were also earlier mountain areas in which the Ganghäuer was a Hauer who owned a mountain loan or parts of a mountain loan and then had to work independently on it. Later the term Gänghäuer was used for a subordinate overseer. The Gänghäuer was hierarchically between the double tusk and the descender. He had to give instructions to the miners and to assign the tusks their respective work. He also had to distribute the gunpowder and supervise the endurance of the ores.


The Strossenhauer was a tusker whose job it was to tear down strokes.


The Schrämmhauer, also called Schrämhauer, or Schramhauer, was a Hauer whose task was the Schrämmhauer . The Schramhauer cut a scrape into the rock using a skewer . They then cut further slits in the rock, all of which were exactly the same depth as the scratch.


Carpenters, also known as carpenters or woodworkers, were carpenters who were mainly trained in the construction of pit rooms . Their job was to make the pit room.

Other distinction

After payment one differentiated:

  • Thoughts
  • Herrenhauer
  • Lehnhauer

The Gedingehauer (Gedingehäuer) mined the ore in certain pit sections for a fixed amount. The men’s tusks worked on a weekly basis for the mine owner, the mine owner. The Lehnhauer acquired the prospecting right in a certain section of the mine for a certain period of time. They then sold the ore they won to the trades .

Differences in modern mining

In today's modern mining industry, the craft of the cutter has become even more specialized. In the mining sector, a distinction is made among other things:

  • Strebhauer
  • Hauer in the route expansion
  • Drill bit
  • Shaft carpenter
  • Pile carpenter

For the promotion to the Hauer, a Hauer examination is no longer required, but the passed skilled worker examination and a certain professional experience. In addition to the mining sector, there are also electric contractors and machinists.

Picture gallery


  • Johann Eduard Heuchler, Hanns Freydank (Hrsg.): The miner's curriculum vitae . 2nd revised edition with an afterword by Hanns Freydank, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen 1940

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Walter Bischoff , Heinz Bramann, Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse Bochum: The small mining dictionary. 7th edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen, 1988, ISBN 3-7739-0501-7 .
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Heinrich Veith: German mountain dictionary with documents. Published by Wilhelm Gottlieb Korn, Breslau 1871, pp. 267–270.
  3. a b c d e f g Moritz Ferdinand Gätzschmann: Collection of mining expressions. Second substantially increased edition, Verlag von Craz & Gerlach, Freiberg 1881.
  4. Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon, fifth edition, Volume 1. Leipzig 1911., p. 186 (last accessed on January 30, 2013).
  5. Hans Toussaint: The organization of work and wages in German and English mining. University Press of the University of Cologne, Cologne 1926.
  6. Example of examination regulations for a machinist ( Memento from February 21, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on September 13, 2012; PDF; 13 kB)
  7. DIETER SCHULZE-ELVERT: My absolution ceremony in the Duisburg City Theater (last accessed on January 30, 2013).
  8. ^ A b Carl Langheld: The conditions of the miners in the Saxon shelf mining. Verlag von JG Engelhardt, Freiberg 1855, pp. 22-26, 32-33, 42-46.
  9. a b c d Explanatory dictionary of technical terms and foreign words used in mining, metallurgy and salt works. Falkenberg'schen Buchhandlung publishing house, Burgsteinfurt 1869.
  10. a b Mining in the Mansfelder Land ( Memento of the original from March 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (last accessed January 30, 2013).  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.mansfelder-seen.de
  11. a b c A German citizen: To a German chamber president. Second section. From the income of the state from the domains, two forestry from the mineral kingdom, bey Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, Riga and Leipzig 1777, pp. 1769–1770.
  12. Helmuth Trischler: Steiger in German mining - On the social history of technical employees 1815-1945. Beck, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-406-32995-0 .
  13. Chronicle of Wildemann Part V ( Memento from February 6, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on September 13, 2012)
  14. a b c d Ullrich Märker: Der Studied Bergmann (accessed on June 10, 2016; PDF; 122 kB).
  15. ^ European Community for Coal and Steel (ed.): The vocational training in iron ore mining of the countries of the community. Luxembourg 1959, pp. 40-60, 87.
  16. Wilfried Ließmann: Historical mining in the Harz. 3rd edition, Springer Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-540-31327-4 .
  17. ^ A b Carl Hartmann: Concise dictionary of mineralogy, mining, metallurgy and salt works. First section A to K, printed and published by Bernhard Friedrich Voigt, Ilmenau 1825.
  18. Medieval Lexicon: Miners ( Memento from September 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on September 13, 2012)
  19. Collective agreement regulating the minimum conditions for the employees of special mining companies in the German hard coal mining industry. Online (last accessed January 30, 2013; PDF; 36 kB).
  20. ^ Tilo Cramm, Joachim Huske: Miners' language in the Ruhr area. 5th revised and redesigned edition, Regio-Verlag, Werne 2002, ISBN 3-929158-14-0 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Häuer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations