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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • BACK UP THE FIGHTING FORCES, WWII

Mining

Been a Miner: 1939

Been a Miner: 1939

January 1939. "Unemployed miner. Herrin, Illinois." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

        Williamson County, Illinois, once produced 11 million tons of coal per year, and led the state in output. Since 1923, output has steadily declined until now it falls short of 2 million tons. At one time, sixteen mine-whistles blowing to work could be heard from the center of Herrin. Now only two mines are running and those will probably be abandoned within the next year. The Herrin office of the United Mine Workers of America was once the most active in the state. Today it is no longer self-sustaining. These pictures were taken in the Herrin UMWA office on a day when the mines were not working. They show the type of miners still employed in Williamson County but faced with the almost certain prospect of being discarded by the industry when the last mine is closed. (A.R., Jan. 1939)

 

Alabama Stop: 1937

Alabama Stop: 1937

April 1937. "Coal miners' housing in Birmingham, Alabama." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Potential Pennies: 1939

Potential Pennies: 1939

September 1939. "Copper mining and sulfuric acid plant at Copperhill, Tennessee." Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.

 

Big John: 1942

Big John: 1942

Every mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn't give no lip to big John

November 1942. "Pittsburgh (vicinity). Montour No. 4 mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company. Coal miner waiting to go underground." Medium-format nitrate negative by John Collier for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Pennsylvania Lines: 1900

Pennsylvania Lines: 1900

Circa 1900. "Anchor Line docks and Penna. R.R. coal & ore docks, Erie, Pennsylvania." Also represented: Cars of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Industrial Tableau: 1900

Industrial Tableau: 1900

Lake Erie circa 1900. "Harbor entrance at Conneaut, Ohio." Where ore from the Lake Superior iron ranges was unloaded for transport by rail to the smelting furnaces of Ohio and Pennsylvania. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

Iron Ore on Erie: 1900

Iron Ore on Erie: 1900

Circa 1900. "Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway ore docks, Ashtabula, Ohio." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 
 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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