Stripping Anthracite Coal, Penna.

STRIPPING ANTHRACITE COAL, PENNSYLVANIA: When a vein of coal lies near the surface of the earth it is mined in the way shown in this picture. All the dirt on top of the coal is removed by big steam shovels, one of which you can see at work. The dirt so removed is called strippings. The machines which do this work weigh almost fifty tons and remove strips of earth about twenty-five feet wide and ten feet deep. The stripping is hauled away in small cars. Notice that more earth had been removed in the center of the view. There the vein of coal is uncovered and can be taken out from the top. All that great hill of earth on the left must be cleared away, but great as the work is, it is cheaper to do it than it is to sink shafts into the ground and do the mining underground.

By the stripping method all the coal can be mined, but in mining from shafts supports of coal must be left at certain distances apart to hold up the ceiling. Mining from shafts, sunk from the surface of the earth downward, or into the side of a hill, is the more common way of coal mining because most coal is not near enough the surface to be reached by the stripping method.

Which method of mining do you think the miners prefer?

Where are the anthracite coal mines of this country?

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