SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diamond-tipped drill in operation, historical artwork. Although the hardness of diamond had been known for centuries, the first industrial use of diamond-tipped drills for mining was in the mid-19th century. The machine shown here (including hydraulics and water-cooling systems) is a diamond-tipped coring drill, used to obtain cylindrical core samples from deep inside a body of rock. This sampling enabled miners to decide which direction to mine in to obtain the most valuable ores. Two earlier drill cores are at centre left and lower left. Artwork from the second volume (second period of 1888) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.
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