Corf (mining)

A corf (pl. corves) also spelt corve (pl. corves) in mining is a wicker basket or a small human powered (in later times in the case of the larger mines, horse drawn) minecart for carrying or transporting coal, ore, etc.[1] Human powered corfs had generally been phased out by the turn of the 20th century, with horse drawn corfs having been mostly replaced by horse drawn or motorised minecarts mounted on rails by the late 1920s. Also similar is a Tram, originally a box on runners, dragged like a sledge.

A hurrier and two thrusters heaving a corf full of coal as depicted in the 1853 book The White Slaves of England by J Cobden.

Origin of termEdit

A basket style corf held at the National Coal Mining Museum for England

1350–1400; Middle English from Dutch and German Korb, ultimately borrowed from Latin corbis basket;[1] cf. corbeil.


The National Coal Mining Museum for England has a hazel basket type Corf from William Pit near Whitehaven.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Jamieson, John (1840). An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (2 ed.). W. Tait. p. 245.
  2. ^ "Tools of the Trade". National Coal Mining Museum. National Coal Mining Museum. Retrieved 28 March 2020.

External linksEdit

  •   The dictionary definition of corf at Wiktionary