Miners used a variety of tools to complete their job. Historian Thomas Andrews describes the process of mining coal in the early twentieth century as,
"Colliers, once they could see through the smoke and dust the charge had thrown into the air, returned to the room
to load the coal and rock broken off the face by the blast. If necessary, miners split large chunks into more manageable
pieces, then used crowbars, shovels, and even bare hands to pack cars tightly with several tons of coal, then pushed the cars
along iron or steel tracks to the side entry. Next, the young men or recent immigrants who performed the comparatively unskilled
work of driving mules or locomotives collected these cars and took them either to a shaft, where they were lifted up to
the surface, or directly out of the mine to scale outside; in either case, a car's journey might cover over hundreds of yards
in a new or small mine, but upwards of five miles in larger collieries. Company officials weighed the cars and recorded each collier's
tonnage in a ledger. From the scale, the mine cars proceeded either to the coke plant or to a large wooden-framed structure outside the
mine mouth known as the tipple, where mechanical devices dumped coal out of the mine cars and into railroad cars." [1]

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Coal car. Photograph taken inside Frederick Mine

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A miners pick. c. 1940














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A Mine Dusting Machine at the Frederick Mine

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Miner using Mine Dusting Machine in Frederick Mine







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An example of an augur





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Schematic of coal car in Frederick Mine

All images used on this page, otherwise where noted, were used with permission from the Bessemer Historical Society. Reproduction or redistribution is allowed only with permission from the Bessemer Historical Society. Please contact the Bessemer Historical Society at:
©Bessemer Historical Society, 215 Canal Street Pueblo, CO 81004
Phone: (719) 564-9086 Fax: (719) 564-9681
  1. ^ Thomas G. Andrews, Killing For Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010), 128.