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Underground Railroad: 1942

Underground Railroad: 1942

November 1942. "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (vicinity). Montour No. 4 mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. Mine car operating off a trolley cable." Medium-format nitrate negative by John Collier for the Office of War Information. View full size.


Aptonymical? Yes!

I read your comment because I was intrigued by the word "aptonymical". Though I haven't found a real definition for that term, I sense its meaning and when I looked up the word "Collier" I was amazed. I live in a suburb of Pittsburgh, in a state ripe with coal mining history and continued industry. Nearby is Collier Township, yet I never looked up the word! Thanks for pointing out the photographer's name. Simply amazing.

Office Guy

Maybe he's in administration or perhaps a safety inspector - when it's time to go into the "field" he opens the trunk, retrieves a helmet and steps into his coveralls. I would schedule my visits to the job site toward the end of the day so I could go straight home and into the shower.

[Or maybe he's the guy who drove the train. - Dave]

What Dad was talking about...

Now I know.


The photographer has a perfect last name for this job.
I wonder how many mine shoots he was assigned to.

Clean Cut Guy

WWII has been on for almost a year. The mines must have been considered essential work places and that would bring with it deferment from the draft. I just get the feeling he's management and not labor.

Don't lean back

I hope that trolley wire is a safe low voltage, as it's just the right height to brush against or even use as a handrail.

Dress for the job you want.

This boy gets bonus style points for wearing a necktie in a coal mine.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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