Miner Drilling and Laborer Loading Anthracite, Scranton, Pa.
MINERS DIGGING ANTHRACITE AT SCRANTON, PA.: Here you see a miner and his helper working in a coal mine. The miner contracts with the company to mine the coal for so much per car or per ton. He furnishes his own tools, pays for the powder with which to blast the coal loose, and hires a helper to assist him at so much a day or so much per ton.
The miner in the background is drilling a hole in the solid layers of anthracite, making ready to put in a blast of powder. The helper is busy shoveling the loose coal into a car which will carry it to the elevator. From there it will be taken to the surface where there is a coal breaker. You will observe that each man has a tin lamp fastened to the front of his cap. What looks like candles sticking up from these lamps are the sheets of flame.
This scene was taken with a flashlight, so the mine appears to be very well lighted. As a matter of fact, it is pitch dark in here. The lamps from the miners' cap make just enough light to cast queer-looking shadows in all the corners. How would you like this kind of work, far below ground in the dark?
Anthracite is the coal we call hard coal. The soft coal is called bituminous coal. The anthracite district of the United States is a small area, and Scranton is in the very heart of it. Soft coal is found in many states. Pennsylvania leads in the production of both kinds. In the United States, but little anthracite is found outside of Pennsylvania. West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Alabama are our most important producers of soft coal. The value of bituminous coal in the United States in 1915 was over $500,000,000. The value of the anthracite was $185,000,000.
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