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About the Photos

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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Mining

Drivers and Trapper: 1908

Drivers and Trapper: 1908

September 1908. Young mule drivers and trapper boy at the Brown Mine near Brown, West Virginia. Underground from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. View full size.

 

Serafino and Chub: 1911

Serafino and Chub: 1911

January 1911. "Serafino driving Chub, his mule. Shaft #7, Pennsylvania Coal Company mine at South Pittston." Bright spots are open flames of lamps on the boys' hats. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Pasquale and Sandy: 1911

Pasquale and Sandy: 1911

A young leader and a driver, Shaft #6, Pennsylvania Coal Company mine at Pittston. Pasquale Salvo and Sandy Castina. January 1911. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

A Lonely Job: 1911

A Lonely Job: 1911

January 1911. A lonely job. Waiting all alone in the dark for a trip to come through. Willie Bryden, a nipper, lives at 164 Center St. in South Pittston. It was so damp that Willie said he had to be doctoring all the time for his cough. A short distance from here, the gas was pouring into the mine so rapidly that it made a great torch when the foreman lit it. Willie had been working here for four months, 500 feet down the shaft, and a quarter mile from there. (Shaft #6, Pennsylvania Coal Co.) Walls have been whitewashed to make it lighter. January 16, I found Willie at home sick. His mother admitted that he is only 13; will be 14 next July. Said that 4 months ago the mine boss told the father to take Willie to work, and that they obtained the certificate from Squire Barrett. (The only thing the Squire could do was to make Willie out to be 16 yrs old.) Willie's father and brother are miners and the home is that of a frugal German family. View full size. Photograph (5x7 glass negative) and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Willie the Nipper: 1911

Willie the Nipper: 1911

January 1911. Willie Bryden holding the door open while a trip goes through. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

South Pittston: 1911

South Pittston: 1911

Shaft No. 6 workers at the Pennsylvania Coal Company's South Pittston mine. January 1911. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Quitting Time: 1911

Quitting Time: 1911

December 1910 or January 1911. At the close of the day, just up from the shaft at the Pennsylvania Coal Company's South Pittston mine. Smallest boy, next to right hand end, is a nipper. On his right is Arthur, a driver. Joe on Arthur's right is a nipper. Frank, boy at left, is a nipper, works a mile underground from the shaft, which is 5000 feet down. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 
 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | 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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