By Walter L. Dinteman
Walter Dinteman wandered the coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania from 1970 to 1973, photographic the is still of the anthracite coal industry. lots of those structures have lengthy seeing that decayed. Dinteman's pictures inform the tale of good looks amid desolation, recalling the lives the folks who lived and labored within the area in its leading.
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In Freeland so frisky They sell ice cream and whiskey. So whack for old woodside, It's my darling old place. Jack Johnson, coal mining song, 1870s "I started working in the mine at 14. Then miners used hand machines to drill holes. Then they went to jackhammers. Hand machines kept dust down to a minimum, but jackhammers, you really clouded the black dust there that's what got to most of the men. You got the hole drilled in a shorter time and you got your day's pay in less time but it wasn't worth it in the long run.
Perhaps the landscape will soon be dotted with processing plants converting coal to a liquid fuel. But will these plants appear in anthracite country or in areas where bituminous coal is easier and cheaper to mine? While we ponder the future, there remain many abandoned mines and ghostly structures of former collieries and breakers in northeastern Pennsylvania. Viewing these decaying ruins, isolated in their tranquil mountain surroundings, one can easily visualize the activities in a not too distant past, of the hard lives of the men and their families, the stables of mules spending their entire lives underground, the legend of the Molly Maguires, the strike-breakers, and people really getting their heads bashed in.
My youthful days are past and gone, Old age is coming fast. The only thing that is left to me Is a picture of the past. Years have brought on changes To that dear little town; The slopes were drowned out And the breaker was torn down. The grass is growing fresh and green O'er the place where I used to play, And the people who were living there. John J. Johnson, ''Bear Ridge, A Deserted Village," 1890 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 I wandered over the snow-covered coal site. The snow had melted on parts of the culm bank, revealing a thin black outline of the mountainous dump.
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