Description: The 1877 model of the Lechner air mining machine revolutionized the coal mining industry. This image measures 8.5" by 11" (21.59 by 27.94 cm). In the 1870s, coal mining was slow and dangerous work. In a typical 12-hour day, productivity was only two tons per man. Much of the labor involved under-cutting--a miner had to lie on his side while digging a 6-inch-thick cut 4 feet deep across a 10-to-20-foot wide face. In 1876, a Columbus man, Francis Lechner, designed a chain-driven, air-powered machine that could undercut the coal mechanically, increasing daily productivity by one ton of coal per man. Lechner teamed up with Joseph Andrew Jeffrey and formed the Lechner Mining Machine Company in 1877. The Lechner coal-cutting machine eventually became a standard for the coal industry. The Columbus-based business, which in 1887 became known as the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company, was one of the city's most successful and long-lasting firms of the 20th century. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om1479_1149139_001 Subjects: Business and Labor; Science and Technology; Geography and Natural Resources; Coal mining; Machinery Places: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)
Description: Two 8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm) photographs document coal mining at the Sunday Creek Coal Mine Number 9 in Hocking County, Ohio. Organized in 1905, the Sunday Creek Coal Company operated dozens of mines in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia. Sunday Creek Coal Mine #6 in Millfield, Ohio was the site of one of the worst mining disasters in Ohio's history. On November 5, 1930, a buildup of methane gas exploded when the trolley the miners used to carry coal out of the mine produced a spark on the track. Eighty-two men were killed. Following the explosion, the mine closed for about a month. It reopened and operated until 1945. Tougher safety regulations were instituted in 1931 as a result of the Sunday Creek Coal Mine disaster. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om3093_3735472_001 Subjects: Geography and Natural Resources; Business and Labor; Coal mining; Coal; Coal miners Places: Hocking County (Ohio)
Blue Bell Mine near Strasburg, Ohio photographSave
Description: 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. Image ID: 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)
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