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Documenting 'Dirty' Jobs: Miners At Work

Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va. at the end of his shift. At age 36, he had worked 26 years underground. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57. correction after new info: Jennings Harvey Howes,, taken `48 to 1951 when his brother Joe died from a coal mine accident 1951.

35 Incredibly Powerful Hugs

Alexander Khudotioply / Reuters Two miners embrace after being rescued from a collapsed mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Snezhnoye.

Builder Levy~ Intertwining social documentary, art and street photography, Builder Levy has been making photographs for almost fifty years. In 2008 Levy was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. His two books are Images of Appalachian Coalfields, and Builder Levy Photographer. Levy is currently completing a book, Appalachia USA, spanning 40 years in that American mining region.

A coal miner with the last canary to be used down underground, 1987. Early coal mines did not feature ventilation systems, so miners would bring a caged canary into new coal seams since canaries are especially sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide (they could detect any dangerous gas build-ups). As long as the bird kept singing, the miners knew their air supply was safe. A dead canary signaled an immediate evacuation. ...