Dr. Steven Berg
The Darr Mine Explosion of December 19, 1907
1907 was the worst year in the history of America for coal miner; over 3,200 men lost their lives. Coal fueled the Industrial Age, and Pennsylvania produced the majority of it; producing over 100 million tons. Sadly, it also made the lives of coal miners and their families very hard. Miners were usually immigrant men and boys. The month of December saw three major explosions rock Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Monongah Mine explosion, in West Virginia, killed 362 miners. The Darr Mine in Jacobs Creek killed 239 miners, and lastly, the Naomi Mine, in Pennsylvania, killed 34. Workers were paid by how much coal was produced, not by how much they worked. Labor and safety laws weren’t what they are today. Management neglect, and in some cases, criminal negligence, resulted in the mass losses of life. During the aftermath of the explosion at Darr Mine, both the Superintendent and the Fire Boss resigned. They reported that they told the owners about the unsafe conditions in the mine, and were ignored. Bad working conditions and the possibility of injury or death, was an accepted part of the job. Miner families were resigned to these conditions, but just hoped that they would be fortunate enough to escape harm or death. The thing that stood out to me during researching this topic is: no noticeable safety procedures came about after these tragedies. The Darr Mine continued operating, and suffered no legal consequences. They eventually closed down, due to lack of coal production. Mining continues to be a dangerous profession, which results in dozens of deaths a year in the U.S.
“12 Bodies Have Been Recovered.” The Washington Penna. 21, December 1907 Dhucas, Keith. “Averting Disaster: Roots of Coal Mining in Pa. Run Deep.” The Times Herald News. 4 August 2002.
“Free Frank Warner.” 3, January 2006.
References: Pitz, Marylynne. “December 1907 Was Most Disastrous Month in U.S. Coal History.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 28 November, 2007.
Herald Standard. 30 November, 2007.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document