: Dated ca. 1930-1943, this photograph shows two men shoveling coal into minecarts at the Blue Bell Mine near Strasburg, Ohio, in Tuscarawas County. A note on the reverse of the photograph reads "Close up surface coal mining. Blue Bell mine near Strasburg. S. H. Green. West High Ave., New Phila, N.K."
The first European settlers recognized the value in Ohio's natural coal resources and in 1837 the first Geological Survey of Ohio studied the mineral resources of the state, especially coal. Ohio's canal system allowed for easy coal transportation for mining, and by the mid 1800s railroads and more advanced mining technologies advanced coal mining output in Ohio. Eventually, coal became the primary source of energy for electricity and fueled the many steel mills in the upper Ohio River Valley.
This photograph is one of the many visual materials collected for use in the Ohio Guide. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a sector of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the primary goals of which was to complete the America Guide series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939.
View on Ohio Memory.
: SA1039AV_B08F02_030_001 Subjects
: Coal mines and mining--Ohio; Coal miners; Charcoal industry--Ohio; Blue Bell Mining Company; Photography--Ohio Places
: Strasburg (Ohio); Tuscarawas County (Ohio)