VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 6 POSTED ON: 8/31/2012
Outline History of Coal Mining in PA I. Introduction to coal A. What is coal? 1. Coal is a sedimentary rock that forms from the preservation of plant materials over hundreds of years. a. Coal is formed from prehistoric plants that were compressed and heated over time. b. The plant material is encased in the bed of swamps, which prevents it from decaying. c. Coal is composed of carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. d. Different types of coal contain varying degrees of each of these elements. 1). The percent of each element in coal determine its best use. 2). The more carbon present, the more heat produced. e. Coal is formed in layers known as seams. f. It is a fossil fuel much like oil and gas. 1). All fossil fuels were created prehistorically, and we can now remove them from the earth’s crust to use for combustion. II. Uses of coal A. Coal can be used to produce heat. B. Coal is also used in manufacturing many different materials such as plastics, insecticides, synthetic fibers, and even medicines. III. Coal in Pennsylvania A. There are two types of coal in Pennsylvania. 1. Anthracite 2. Bituminous B. Western Pennsylvania is part of the Appalachian Bituminous Coal field C. There are two other types of coal. 1. Sub Bituminous a. Newer than bituminous b. Produces less heat than bituminous coal. 2. Lignite a. This is the youngest coal. b. It contains the least amount of carbon. c. Thus, contains the lowest heat value. IV. Coals’ effects in Pennsylvania and the United States A. Cultural B. Economic C. Overall outcome of these important time periods: 1. Industrial Revolution 2. World War 1 3. World War 2 V. The beginning of coal A. Coal was first discovered by Europeans in Virginia 1. It was not extracted in great quantities due to a lack of technology. B. The first type of coal found in Pennsylvania was bituminous coal. 1. Discovered in 1760 2. Mined in 1761 C. The first coal mine was at “Coal Hill.” 1. This is also known as Mount Washington. 2. It was just across from the Monongahela River. D. Coal was first transported by canoe to Fort Pitt where it could be used. 1. They later used barges to transport coal. E. By 1830, the city of Pittsburgh, alone, consumed 400 tons of coal per day. F. Water transport was useful, but for long distances this was no longer an efficient of feasible method. G. As a result, more industrial technology began to form. VI. Coal’s Role in the Industrial Revolution A. Pennsylvania began to build more railroads, one reason being the need for easier transport of coal. B. Cities began to industrialized and coal was needed for the power of: 1. Factories 2. Steam Engines 3. Machines C. Some industries that relied on coal for production were: 1. Iron 2. Steel 3. Glass 4. Heating commercially 5. Heating homes 6. Electricity 7. Steam engines D. The culture of Pennsylvania and job markets changed due to the need of workers. 8. Steel and iron industries founded in PA because of easy access to coal as a power source. 9. Many jobs were created because of the need for workers in these industries. D. Railroad systems were also created in order to transport coal. 1. Railroads allowed coal and products made in the coal region to be transported around the country. 2. Coal was needed to build the rail system and continue the expansion westward. 3. Many of the railroads we see today were originally made for transporting coal. 4. Without this vital transportation, many other industrial revolution devices and industries would not have done as well including: a. Tobacco b. Rice c. Indigo d. Cotton E. As the demand for coal rose to power industries, there came a need for more efficient ways to extract coal. VII. Cultural Implications During the Industrial Revolution A. The work force of the United States was not large enough to support his rapidly growing industry. B. Instead, companies looked to European countries for workers to support the mines. C. Some common countries included: 1. Poland 2. Germany 3. Italy 4. Hungary 5. Ireland D. These immigrants brought with them all aspects of their culture. 1. Food a. Many of the “traditional” Pennsylvanian foods we eat today were brought by the immigrant workers. 2. Religion a. While many religions were established to some degree, churches began to spring up throughout the coal regions in PA at this time. b. Many coal towns still maintain multiple churches for the same religion. 1). This is due to the fact that each immigrant group established their own church. 2). It was common to see three or four Catholic churches in small towns. 3. Language/Dialect a. Common Pennsylvania dialects and phrases remain from this immigration. b. Western PA, and the anthracite region each have distinctive dialects. E. Coal Towns 1. Companies built coal towns because immigrants had nowhere to stay. 2. Were located close to the mines and other industries. 3. Common facilities within a coal town: a. Churches b. Schools c. Stores d. Homes F. Conditions 1. Miners were underpaid. 2. They generally had no means of travel to purchase supplies at a store not owned by the company they worked for. 3. Because of this, companies could overcharge for needed supplies. 4. This kept many miners and their families indebted to the store and unable to leave. 5. Conditions in the actual mines were horrible. a. Miners faced many dangers. 1). Mines would collapse. 2). Underground explosions could kill workers. 3). Black lung and other health concerns were common. 6. Cultural implications occurred due to these factors including: a. Wives would pack extra lunch in case of a cave in. b. Labor Unions were to some degree started in coal towns. 1). Workers demanding better working conditions and better pay often staged bloody and deadly strikes with the coal company. 2). Molly Maguire’s was famous in the East. 3). Women played key roles in the strikes by providing food from hidden gardens because the companies would often cut off food supplies in effort to break strikes. VIII. Coal’s Role in World War I A. World War I lasted from 1914-1918 B. The fighting was mainly limited to Europe 1. US involvement was in support of our Allies 2. US provided many of the supplies needed in Europe a. Arms and artillery b. Fuel c. Supplies to rebuild bombed areas C. Coal was in HIGH demand during these years. 1. This was because Europe was not able to mine their own coal. D. 1918 saw the most coal removed from Pennsylvania. 1. 330,000 miners removed 277 million tons of coal. IX. Cultural Impacts of World War I A. The dynamics of many industries changed as young men were drafted into the war. 1. This included the coal mining industry. 2. Most miners were typically in their 20’s. 3. Now, older men were prevalent in the mines. 4. While many industries allowed women to step up and take the place of men in these industries, coal mining did not. 5. Women played support roles for mining, as they were not allowed underground in the mines. a. This support from women helped to highlight the need for equal rights for women. B. After the war 1. Coal remained in high demand directly after the war as Europe rebuilt. 2. However, after rebuilding Europe was able to mine and use its own coal again. a. The demand for US coal dropped. 3. In addition, new technologies made coal mining more efficient. a. More coal could be mined with fewer workers. b. Companies fired many miners because they were not needed. 1). This loss of jobs contributed to an overall loss of jobs in the country and added to the Great Depression. 2). As the depression hit companies, they either needed to cut their work force drastically or face bankruptcy (which many did). 3). Many small companies could not afford the new technology and were soon taken over by more advanced companies. 4. As coal companies went bankrupt, the towns they supported were left with no industry or source of income. a. Many immigrants looked to relocate, however they had little money and it was often times impossible for them to move. b. These immigrants were forced to stay in these towns and look for work in those areas. c. Mining during the depression was very limited due to low demand. d. Many miners went back to the mines they had been employed in and took coal to heat their homes. 1). Their tools only allowed them to extract this coal in very small quantities. X. Coal’s Role in World War II A. World War II took place from 1939-1945. 1. The US became involved in 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. B. This was truly a World War as fighting took place all across the globe. C. New technology allowed for more advanced fighting. D. Coal was still the dominate fuel to be used for the fight. E. The demand for coal rose once again as the US joined in the war effort. 1. Coal was used in much of the same ways as in World War I. 2. Coal mines that had just recently shut down reopened so coal could be extracted from them again. 3. New companies sprang up in Pennsylvania. 4. A second surge in coal production was seen as 209 million tons of coal was extracted in 1944. F. The war had pulled the country out of the Great Depression, and the coal mining industry benefits from the need for coal. G. However, once the war was over, mining decreased once again for several reasons: 1. New mining technologies lead to a decreased need for workers. 2. Oil became the predominate fuel a. Refining oil became cheaper as technologies improved. H. By 1961, coal production had slumped to 80 million tons. 1. At this time, coal production stabilized around this level. XI. Mining Practices: How They Changed With Time and Technology A. Initial mining was drift mining 1. This form of mining allowed coal to be removed without using large equipment or advanced technology. 2. This form of mining utilized a coal seam that was close to the surface of a hill or mountain side. a. The over burden was cut vertically, revealing the coal seam. 3. There were problems with drift mining. a. They were inefficient. b. Could not be used in all cases. c. Many coal seams could not be reached. d. They were unstable and there were often collapses. B. Then, deep mining done in a room-and-pillar fashion became the predominant form of mining. 1. This shift was a result of evolving technology. 2. Miners removed the coal from “rooms” in the coal seam, leaving “pillars” of coal. 3. Wooden timbers and later steel beams were also used to support the roof of the mine. 4. Often times the pillars were robbed after the mining in an area when complete. a. Removing more coal from pillars made them less stable. b. Robbing the pillars was a dangerous job. 5. Underground rail systems were made. a. The carts were pulled by mules or horses. b. These animals spent their lives in the mines. 6. Problems with deep mining. a. Deep mines were vulnerable to explosions. b. Methane and carbon monoxide would build up. c. Early deep mining was labor intensive. 1). Very early mining required miners to remove coal with picks and hand load the coal into coal cars. 2). Later miners would “shoot the coal” which meant they would drill holes into the coal to be removed and use explosives to blast out the coal. 3). To improve the yield of coal from each blast, a cutting machine was developed to undercut the coal, which allowed for more coal to be blasted away. 4). Later, the advent of electric motors and conveyer belts removed the need to load coal into carts to be removed from the mine. d. Later continuous mining machines were made. 1). These devices were redesigned cutting machines that allowed all the coal to be removed in one step. 2). Even loading was no longer required as the machines placed coal on a conveyer belt. 7. Despite these advances, pillars of coal were still left to support the roof. 8. Much later the practice of bolting the roof or strengthening it reduced the need for pillars to be left. C. Longwall mining was developed to allow even more coal to be removed. (1950s) 1. This form of mining allows all the coal to be removed and does not leave pillars of coal. 2. This allows the mine to collapse behind the machine and can lead to surface disturbance. a. For this reason longwall mining is not allowed in all areas. D. Surface Mining is a very old form of mining. 1. Early surface mines that utilized shovels and picks to remove overburden were not efficient. 2. Later large equipment was used to remove overburden and access more coal. 3. As equipment became more efficient surface mining allowed large quantities of coal to be removed with very few workers. 4. Because the over burden was removed the risk of collapse was little to non-existent. 5. Also gasses did not build up making surface mining much safer for miners. 6. This kind of mining has many variations to adapt to land contours and geology of the area. XII. Problems with historic coal mining A. Prior to 1977 coal mining was not regulated federally. 1. This lead to many deep mines being left open, and surface mines were left as open pits with sharp cliffs. 2. Rock and unusable coal was left piled at deep mine openings and piles of overburden were left near strip mines. a. These are called GOB piles, refuse piles, Boney piles, or culm banks. 3. Water that flowed through or over these mines becomes acidic and metal laden. This then flows into nearby streams and rivers leaving them dead. B. In 1977 congress passed the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMACRA). 1. This requires that coal companies return the land they mine to the condition it was prior to mining. 2. Companies must undergo extensive permitting to beginning mining. 3. This permitting requires Companies to make plans for how to remediate the mine prior to beginning mining, 4. Companies also must pay large bond to the state. a. If the company fails to clean up the mine the state keeps the bond money and remediates the land.
Pages to are hidden for
"History of Mining outline"Please download to view full document