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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

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.


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.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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