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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.

 

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So young, so very young.

So young, so very young. Their eyes have no light left, only reflecting. What a world.

American Dream

Granddad was born in 1870 in poverty-stricken southern Italy and came to the USA in 1894 to Youngstown, Ohio, where he stayed only a very short time. He was then brought to Pittston, Pa., by his father, who had immigrated earlier and was working in the coal mine. Granddad started work there at the age of 14 as a water boy, then as a miner as he got older. He saved enough over the next 18-20 years to open a small grocery and then a private bank in Pittston, lending to new immigrants from different countries. Sort of the "American dream" story.

Pittston Miners

These photos wowed me because my Granddad, an immigrant, went to work in a Pittston coal mine at the age of 14 as a water boy, and lived in Pittston for 18 years before moving to Utica, New York. He "worked his way up," becoming a miner ... Does anyone know if the Pennsylvania Coal Company had the only coal mine in Pittston at that time? Or were there others? These photos may well have been the very place where my Grandfather started out his life here in the USA. Who knows, one of those kids in the pictures might be him!

[Very interesting! What year was your granddad born? - Dave]

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