Coal- History and Accidents


Evolution of the Coal Industry in America
As the nation deals with questions pertaining to climate change and energy independence, coal remains in the headlines. The coal industry in the United States has a long history, intertwined with the rise of the industrial economy and the emergence of labor unions. learn more>>
– Pre-industrial Use of Coal
– The Rise of Coal
– Coal Before the Civil War
– The Civil War and the End of the 19th Century
– State of the Coal Mining Industry Today

A Brief History of Coal
Posted by: Megan Whitehurst | 14 JULY17
… The origin of humankind’s relationship with coal is, inevitably, sketchy given the simple stark lack of technology or knowledge compared with that which exists today. However, in the Americas some of the first instances of coal utilisation date back to the Aztecs, who used coal for fuel. In Europe, the Romans turned Britain into a 2nd Century A.D. coal hotbed, seeking to exploit as much of Roman Britain’s coalfields as possible. Archaeological excavation over the following centuries has discovered the remnants of coal stores at numerous forts along the famous Hadrian’s Wall. The nearby fort, Longovicium, houses evidence of the Romans having a smelting industry set up in Northern England.

Before the Romans became interested…>>

Ancient Use Of Outcropping Coal
There is archaeological evidence that coal was burned in funeral pyres during the Bronze Age, 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, in Wales. Aristotle mentions coal (“combustible bodies”) in his Meteorologica, and his pupil Theophrastus also records its use. The Romans in Britain burned coal before ad 400; cinders have been found among the ruinsof Roman villas and towns and along the Roman wall, especially in…>>

History Timeline- United States:


COAL- accidents 3 worse

Fairmont Coal Company- Monongah Nos. 6 and 8 Mines,  Monongah, West Virginia, December 6, 1907
Deaths- 362

COAL- accidents monongah   COAL- accidents monogah 2

At 10:20 a.m., December 6, 1907, explosions occurred at the No. 6 and No. 8 mines at Monongah, West Virginia. The explosions ripped through the mines at 10:28 a.m., causing the earth to shake as far as eight miles away, shattering buildings and pavement, hurling people and horses violently to the ground, and knocking streetcars off their rails. Three-hundred and sixty-two men and boys died. It remains the worst mine disaster in the history of the United States…Read the entire story>>     

COAL- accidents monongah3

Stag Cañon No. 2 Mine; Phelps Dodge and Company, Dawson, New Mexico | October 22, 1913
Deaths- 263

COAL- ACCIDENTS stag canon   Dawson Courtesy Samuel W. McWhorter

From the U. S. Bureau of Mines Report by G. S. Rice-  At about 3 p.m. blasts carrying smoke and dust burst out of the main openings. The explosion doors and one side of the fan house were blown out but were repaired in less than 2 hours….Read the entire story>> 

Cherry Coal Mine-  Cherry, Illinois, November 13, 1909
Deaths- 259

COAL- Accidents cherry Abraham Lincoln library

How it happened:
In November 1909 the St. Paul Coal Company, which owned the mine, employed a total of 481 men and boys. So many of them were from the Streator area that Cherry was known as a Streator “colony.” The mine at Cherry was a large one, considered clean, safe, and well run. ….Read the entire story>>