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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Drift Mouth: 1908

Drift Mouth: 1908

October 1908. "Drift Mouth, Sand Lick Mine, near Grafton, West Virginia. Bank boss in center, driver on his right, trapper boy outside. Alfred, about 14 years old. He trapped several years during vacation, said he is going to school this year. Asked if it were because school is more fun, he said: 'This year hain't no fun!'" Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

This Year

Or did he say "This here hain't no fun."

History Repeats

Young Alfred, 1908: "This year hain't no fun!"

Me, 2008: "This year hain't no fun!"

Good Timbering

Sand Lick is located in Taylor County off the old B&O main line between Grafton and Clarksburg. ('Lick' being an Appalachian term for small stream.) The mine was located one mile north of Simpson. In 1913 it was reported to employ 150 people. If I ever manage to get caught up on my Washington D.C. Google-map mashup of Shorpy photos (link), I have a mind to do a similar thing for WV.


TAYLOR COUNTY
GRAFTON COAL AND COKE COMPANY.

No. 145. Sand Lick Mine, Pittsburg Seam, Drift.

This mine is located thirteen and one half miles east of Clarksburg on the B. & O. R. R. This mine is opened up on the double entry system. Ventilation is natural, and very sluggish throughout the mine. No explosive gas has ever been discovered in the mine. The top is fairly good throughout the mine and timbering is well looked after. This is a pick mine and the coal is hauled by mules and lowered by gravity plane to the tipple. There are several outlets and inlets to this mine which makes things very favorable for natural ventilation, but I have insisted that a furnace be constructed, there being no power, no other system of ventilation could be considered. The oil used by the miners meets with the requirements of the law, but on occasion of my last visit found that the rules were not posted as per requirements, and several other minor violations of the law, which you will notice by referring to my monthly report. With a full force of men, and with the present equipment this mine is capable of producing 500 tons daily.

J. W. FAHEY, Supt.; JOHN McGRAW, Mine Foreman.

Annual Report, 1908
West Virginia Mines Dept.

Sand Lick

How grim must a place be to be called Sand Lick?

Next to Godliness

The photograph must have been taken at the beginning of their shift. They look too clean.

 
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