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Arthur Havard: 1911

Arthur Havard: 1911

January 1911. South Pittston, Pa. "Arthur Havard, a young (mule) driver. Shaft #6. Pennsylvania Coal Co." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.


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Arthur Havard

This is Joe Manning, of the Lewis Hine Project. I did interview the grandson, and Arthur's daughter. Here is the story.

Arthur's grandson

Did Joe ever interview Arthur's grandson? We'd all like to know what he might have told him about his grandfather!

Arthur Havard: 1911

This is Joe Manning, of the Lewis Hine Project. I just talked to Arthur's grandson. Hine took three photos of Arthur, and the grandson knew nothing about them. I will be interviewing him soon.


There's something really haunting about this image.


My dad was a "mule driver" in a Western Pennnsylvania bituminous coal mine as a youth. His job was to guide the mule and coal cart on tracks out of the mine. On the way out, he would make sure that no clumps of coal would fall off the cart. If they did he would have to pick up the coal, climb to the top of the load and replace the fallen coal on top of the load. The coal company had a bell at the exit tunnel hanging down to ring as it was hit on the way out. If the bell did not ring, the team who cut, dug and loaded the coal would not be paid for a full load. He could never let that bell not to ring. That team of miners were his relatives and neighbors in the same "Coal Patch". (Coal Company Houses)

So Arthur is 14 in the photo

Died when he was 55. What are the odds that it was a lung-related disease.

Thanks for reminding us again, Dave, that our present lives are comfortable in comparison with the lives of our great-grandparents. All of our current 14 year olds, no matter what their economic class, get to go to school. That progress is part of what our great-grandparents wanted for their own descendants, and what they struggled to give us.

Arthur Havard: 1911

This is Joe Manning, of the Lewis Hine Project. According to a brief family history posted on, Arthur was born in 1897, and died in 1952. According to the 1930 census, he married in 1926, had a baby son the same year, and was still working in a coal mine.


Shorpy - I want you to know how much I appreciate you, your work, and this site. This is an amazing image, one of the most moving you've published. I'm grateful for the opportunity you've given me to develop a better understanding of the past of our present. Thank you.


Lewis Hine's work is a good example of why I just abhor the whole "photography as art" thing. Not that an excellent photograph is not, but it being cataloged as "art" by reputation, name and the opinion of those in the know (read: money) just makes me ill. Lewis had a hard time with this himself. He had to die to be (duh) discovered. Pardon the rant.

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