from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In mining, a man who has charge of a cable-train for bringing coal from a mine: so called because he frequently rides on the ring connecting the cable to the train.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
"Much blow-up!" said the rope-rider; and when the last empty cars had been shunted off into the working-rooms, and he was waiting to make up a return "trip," he laboured with gestures to explain what he meant.
He was one of those who had charge of the long trains of cars, called "trips," which were hauled through the main passage-ways; the name "rope-rider" came from the fact that he sat on the heavy iron ring to which the rope was attached.
"rope-rider," and got through his physical senses a realisation of the vastness and strangeness and loneliness of this labyrinth of night.