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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Actually Eckman: 1938

Actually Eckman: 1938

September 1938. "Coal mining town of Welch [i.e., Eckman], in the Bluefield section of West Virginia." Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.

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Flatiron South

It seems one of Shorpy's favorite buildings had a son who settled in West Virginia. He is not as tall as dad but you can see the resemblance.


As Walter’s post would indicate and ex-N&W voices state, this photo location is of Eckman, WV.

Going BOOM!

About this time, a Mr Nobel realized that if you mixed highly volatile nitroglycerin with clay (or other inert substance) you created, what came to be named dynamite, which is so safe it take a strong primer to set it off. The E.I. duPont company began production and promoting it. The rest is safe blasting history.

[Check your facts. Alfred Nobel died in 1896. Dynamite was invented in the 1860s. - Dave]


Stunningly beautiful country up that way.
Absolutely dangerous and difficult way to live.

Bluefield section of Welch

Fatal Powder Blast
The Washington Post, District of Columbia
December 15, 1906

Bluefield, W. Va., Dec. 14. — An explosion at Eckman today of 10,000 pounds of powder, which was being transported on three mine cars from a freight car to the powder house of the Pulaski Company, resulted in the death of one, the fatal injury of two, and the serious injury of eight others. Three of the injured are women whose homes, near the scene of the explosion, were wrecked.

The dead:
Joseph Steel, 19, died on the way to the hospital
Fatally Injured:
Alex Finney, 36
Mrs. George Johnson
Seriously Injured:
Edward Mullin, 22
Felix Harduett
Mrs. Mary Forbes
T. Hairston
George Bland, 22
Oscar Cowns
C. W. Case
Mrs. Mary Rhoads
Wrecked Houses Take Fire

The wrecked houses took fire, and the scene was soon thronged with people. Timbers and empty powder cans were scattered over a large area.

The men were on the powder-laden cars and the women were in the houses nearby. The powder was in tins, and was moved from a freight car to the magazine, when sparks from the motor wheels or current from the motor set it off. The houses nearby were torn into splinters, and the detonation rocked the entire village. In a few minutes hundreds had congregated and engaged in fighting the fire, which broke out as soon as the explosion occurred. Some of the wounded were horribly burned, several of them lost their eyes, and the flesh hung in tatters from their bodies.

Note: According to the web site of the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training, this explosion killed 4 employees and 2 individuals on the surface near the mine.

SHORPY OLD 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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