Friday, September 16, 2016

Coal mining in Appalachia

Before the coal-mining era, people in rural Appalachian lived on subsistence farming, producing enough food for survival but not enough to sell for profit and living wage.

Settlement patterns in the Appalachian regions were originally constrained by the dominant topographic features of the areas such as stream, mountains and valleys. Primarily for transportation and agricultural purposes, communities settled along rivers and within valleys.

Appalachia had the largest percentage of self-sufficient farms in the United States from the early 1800s to the early 1900s, and as late as the 1930s Appalachia had the highest concentration of low--income farms.

Industrialization, via coal, the railroads and other industries, transformed the society and economy of Appalachia following the Civil War.

Immigrants played a big part in both the development of the industry and the ensuing labor struggles. Right off the boat from Europe, immigrants provided cheap labor for the coal bosses.

The industrialization period from the 1870s to the 1920s, basically from the Reconstruction era through World War I, saw the metropolitan areas of America send workers of all ethnic types into Appalachia.

Salt and iron were among the first industries in the era, and they contributed to the development of the coal industry: coal was used to fire the salt brines in the early nineteenth century and after the salt industry declined, coal mining took it place.

Approximately 152 million tons of coal were produced from 1,369 surface mines in Appalachia during 1985.

In 2009, West Virginia accounted for about 43 percent of the surface coal mining production in Appalachia.
Coal mining in Appalachia

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The most popular articles

Other posts

  • The sweet taste of cyclamates was discovered serendipitously by Sveda in 1937 and they were introduced commercially in the 1950s. Today, cyclamic acid in t...
  • David Buick, a plumbing parts producer has started the company bearing his name, but was unable to make it profitable. In 1903, he built his first car in D...
  • In the mid 1880s the United States of America was not a naval power. After the cessation of the Civil War, ships were allowed to rot as the national focus ...