Miners Going into the Slope, Hazleton, Pa.
MINERS GOING INTO THE SLOPE HAZLETON, PENNSYLVANIA: You see here a crowd of miners on a car ready to be lowered into a Pennsylvania coal mine. Inside the shaft, running directly down into the earth, there is a tunnel, or slope, as it is called, leading into the mine. On cats such as the one here shown coal is brought to the surface from far back in the mine. A stationary engine furnishes the power to drag the cars up the steep incline.
The scene is rich in suggesting the life of coal miners. On top of the caps of the men are lamps, some of which are already lighted. Oil is burned in these little tin lamps. One of the miners has on rubber boots, because there may be water in certain parts of the mine. Most of the men seen here are foreigners. The overseer or "boss" of the mine is easy to find.
If you were to go with these miners you would likely find that the slope was built through a vein of coal. Sometimes, however, the vein is tapped by cutting through dirt and rock. At any rate, when the slope comes to the coal vein, it winds about in the heart of the vein. Leading off from either side of it are long tunnels in which switches have been built so that the cars can be run off to the various rooms and there loaded.
The life of these miners is not east. They are well paid, the amount they receive annually depending on the amount of coal they mine. But it is lonely work. All day long, with drill, pick, and shovel, they labor steadily. Sometimes an accident happens. Gases form in some of the mines, and these are set on fire by the lights on the miners' caps. An explosion occurs. Sometimes many miners are cut off far below ground. Rescue parties may work for days in an attempt to save their lives.
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