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Coal miners picking out "impurities" before the coal is processes. Before the child labor laws, much of this work was done by boys.

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Kingston, Pennsylvania, circa 1900. "Breaker boys, Woodward coal mines." Detroit Publishing Company

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Women Coal Miners, 1890. I'm surprised, my father told me in the 60's that everyone believed women were bad luck in the mines.

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Protect ponies from misery and toil down the mines

A young Welsh miner sitting in a mine, feeding a pit pony. Reminds me of my dad whose first job was down the mine as a blacksmith shoeing the ponies.

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The fact that there were accidents all the time back when the coal industry was in full-swing. Estimates put the number of dead from coal mining accidents in Kentucky to well in the thousands. This is why there have been a lot of rumors of hauntings and occult activity in the areas around the caves. In other words, proceed with caution if you plan on exploring. You never know who could be in there.

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Rare early flash photography images of Cornish miners digging for tin in 1890s reveal the perilous conditions in which they toiled

Work: A bare-chested man works at a mining shaft On link: Rare early flash photography images of Cornish miners digging for tin in 1890s reveal the perilous conditions in which they toiled.

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Kentucky Coal Mining Museum this is where I am from. The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is in Benham, Ky.

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