The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser 17 July
The Malay Mail says:- A special telegram from Raub announces that the electric installation is now complete and is working satisfactorily. This may be regarded as the coping stone in the making of the Raub mines. It is sad to think that the late William Bibby did not live to see the completion of the great work to which he so ungrudgingly devoted the remaining years of his life. But his faithful and staunch lieutenant, whose work in the past may have been somewhat overshadowed by the
It was as early as 1893 that William began talking about electrification of the mine by hydro power. He would encounter much resistance from the Brisbane board who were wary of the ‘new technology’ despite it being already in use in South African mines and in America when he put the proposal to the board for the first time in 1895.
The hydro power station on the Sungei Sempam is the only structure surviving from William Bibby’s time and is therefore of much historical importance. It provided 300 BHP (224 kw) by two phase 5000 volt bare copper cables strung on 12 inch square 18 foot wooden posts to the gold mine at Raub. Work commenced in September 1897 and was mostly completed two years later, most of the delay was caused by transportation problems of the heavy machinery.
They built a 8 mile road to the site from the Government Cart Track that ran between Kuala Kubu and Raub, a dam and a flume and pipe track, the power line and track of nearly 7 miles through mountainous terrain, the power station and a bungalow for the electrical site engineer. At the same time they were erecting a 40 head battery and converting from steam all the machinery to run by electrical power and running a gold mine to continue to produce gold.
It was in all a remarkable achievement by a group of local workers supervised by miners who also had a mine to run and produce gold. There was no record found as to when power was switched on but it must have been in early July 1900.
Click on the image below for a description by the resident electrical engineer, a Gerald H. Randell, written in 1920s of the original Johnson and Phillips & Co. equipment and hydro power system.
Inside Power Station 1920 showing original Dynamos
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personality of the master mind, has the satisfaction both of seeing the work brought to a successful issue and of knowing that his dead friend’s as aspirations have been fulfilled to the letter.
Raub as an investment is now about as safe as the Bank of England. Raub has made Pahang from the European mining point of view. Wild-cat schemes and vast concessions might have ruined the country, but one solid, substantial. Dividend-paying gold mine, nursed and worked with infinite care, stamps the State for all time with a genuine mining hall-mark.
|Specimen Hill Mine|
|William's Patent 1873|
|A Gold Field|
|Cricket at Raub|
|The Misses Bibby|
|40 Head Battery|
|Family After Raub|
|Return to Raub|