History of Rock Crushers

Published: 12th February 2010
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Rock crushers are a staple of modern industries such as mining and construction. These massive machines reduce materials like rock and cement by repeatedly breaking them against several metal plates. The power, output, and crushing capacity of a rock crusher can vary greatly depending on the model as well as the materials being crushed. While rock crushers are so prevalent today, how did they originally come about?

The First Rock Crushers

An early version of the rock crusher appears on a patent filed in America in 1830. It featured a somewhat crude take on the drop hammer that would later become an important device in the development of modern mining. A decade later, a more advanced version of the rock crusher was patented. This crusher featured a large wooden box around a wooden drum that was fitted with a number of hammers and iron knobs. The device was operated by spinning the drum at a rate of nearly 350 rotations per minute; the drum would then shatter rocks that were fed into the box. This machine was the first device to boast some of the concepts still seen in rock crushers today. However, as with many machines from this era, there is no evidence that these crushers ever advanced beyond the patent stage.

The Blake Jaw Crusher

Famed inventor Eli Whitney Blake, nephew of Eli Whitney, made the most significant contribution to the early days of rock crushers. When Blake was appointed to oversee a public works project paving city streets in 1852, he was annoyed by the lack of machines that could efficiently break stone for such an operation. Blake set to work designing a machine capable of easily breaking stone for the project. In 1857, he unveiled the result to the world-the Blake Jaw Crusher.

The Blake Jaw Crusher employed a deceptively simple toggle linkage construction to break up stone. The new invention was so effective that today, the Blake Jaw Crusher remains the preferred machine for industrial rock crushing. It has yet to be surpassed in design, and is still the standard by which other rock crushers are judged.

Modern Rock Crushers

In the modern age, rock crushers are employed in a variety of fields, such as mining, construction, aggregate production, and more recently, recycling.


A variation on Blake's Jaw Crusher, the double-toggle style jaw crusher is a mainstay in mining operations. These machines are great for mining because they are designed to consistently process tough materials, like mineral ores. In addition, the toggle plates on these machines run in an oil bath, keeping them safe from grime, dirt, and other debris encountered in mining.


On one level, double-toggle style jaw crushers are more than capable of handling the rigors of a construction operation. However, since they were originally designed for mining, double-toggle style crushers are basically immobile. In order to combine the stone breaking power of a double-toggle rock crusher with the ability to easily travel from site to site, a mobile variation of the double toggle crusher has been developed for construction crews.

Aggregate Production

When it comes to aggregate production the overhead-eccentric jaw crusher is the machine of choice. These crushers are capable of higher outputs than a double toggle crusher but are also less effective at processing abrasive materials. This makes them well-suited for handling the workload of aggregate production, where the materials are likely to be more uniform and weaker than those encountered in mining and construction.


Thanks to their effectiveness for efficiently processing large amounts of weaker materials, overhead eccentric style jaw crushers are also commonly used in recycling operations.

While rock crushers have continued to evolve in one way or another since their introduction by Eli Whitney Blake, the basic functionality of the Blake Jaw Crusher has remained the same. It's amazing to think that a machine so integral to modern mining and construction has changed so little since it was invented over 150 years ago.For heavy equipment such as rock crushers, visit Crusher-Mills.com online where they supply efficient equipment and the latest technology.

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