7. Early European Coal miners…
These are Italian immigrants working in a Belgium coal mine during the early 1900’s.
6. Tight Squeeze…
Modern day German coal miner in a tight squeeze.
5. West Virignia African-American Miner
September 1938: In the generations following the American Civil War, many African-Americans escaped the South to find work in West Virginia’s coal mines. Here, a West Virginia coal miner, his wife, two children and company home are featured.
4. Miner Dying of Black Lung
June 1972: Following long exposure to coal dust, black lung is caused after inhaled coal dust progressively builds up in the lungs and cannot be removed by the body. After the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 became law in the United States, the percentage of American miners suffering from black lung disease decreased by about 90 percent.
3. Chinese Coal Mining, a century ago
Before 1898: Taken more than a century ago, these 19th century Chinese coal miners were practicing an early form of strip mining. Today, China accounts for 47% of global coal consumption—almost as much as the entire rest of the world combined.
2. Children of Kentucky Coal Miners
September 15, 1946: Coal miner’s children attending grade school in Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky. Notice none of the children have shoes.
1. Appalachian Child Miner
January 7, 1922: A 13-year-old boy waits all alone in the dark for a trip to come through. “It was so damp that Willie said he had to be doctoring all the time for his cough. A short distance from here the gas was pouring in so rapidly that it made a great torch when the foreman lit it. Willie has been working here for 4 months 500 feet down the shaft. Walls have been whitewashed to make it lighter… Jan. 16 I found Willie at home sick. His mother admitted he is only 13 years old, will be 14 next July. She said that 4 months ago the mine boss told the father to take Willie to work, and they obtained a certificate from Squire Barrett. (The only thing the squire could do was to make Willie out to be 16 years old.) Willie’s father and brothers are miners, and the home is that of a frugal German family. S. Pittston, Pa.” – Diary of Lewis Hine
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