The displayed horse-powered hauling gear with horizontal rope axle, called “the Pole”, is the oldest and at the same time the largest mechanism for horse-powered transport owned by the Museum. Such mechanisms were installed over the shafts in Wieliczka and Bochnia mines since the half of the 15th century.
Two centuries later they were also installed underground. In the Cracow Saltworks they were used until the second half of the 19th century, and were gradually replaced by more effective Saxon and Hungarian hauling gears. The mechanism presented here was assembled in 1957 from original parts found near the Franciszek and Ludowik shafts on level I, and the missing elements were reconstructed on the basis of iconography. It is big in size: 16.4 metres in length, 11.5 metres in width and 8.8 metres in height. It consists of two sub-assemblies interacting with each other by means of a wooden toothed-wheel gear. The first has a vertical axle, gear wheel and four drawing arms, the other consists of a horizontal axle with a vertical wheel and a rope drum. The mechanism can be stopped by a one-shoe brake.
The hauling gear was moved by four pairs of horses and could lift up to 2 tons of load from a depth of up to 80 metres. Approximate daily performance 80 tons.