The Effects of Coal Mining, Visualized: Scope and Tools

  • Boyd Norton - Strip Mining in Montana, 1973
    Boyd Norton - Strip Mining in Montana, 1973
  • Boyd Norton - Peabody Strip Mining, 1973
    Boyd Norton - Peabody Strip Mining, 1973
  • Boyd Norton - Peabody Coal Company Strip Mine, South of Colstrip, 1973
    Boyd Norton - Peabody Coal Company Strip Mine, South of Colstrip, 1973
  • Erik Calonius - One of the Coal Company Power Shovels Digs for the Solid Fuel at the Left. At the Right a Machine Is Probing the Location of the Coal Seam Off Route #800, 1974
    Erik Calonius - One of the Coal Company Power Shovels Digs for the Solid Fuel at the Left. At the Right a Machine Is Probing the Location of the Coal Seam Off Route #800, 1974
  • Erik Calonius - Bulldozer Pulling A Seeding Machine over Recontoured Land That Had Previously Been Strip Mined by the Coal Companies Off Route $800 near Edgewater Park, Ohio, and Barnesville, 1974
    Erik Calonius - Bulldozer Pulling A Seeding Machine over Recontoured Land That Had Previously Been Strip Mined by the Coal Companies Off Route $800 near Edgewater Park, Ohio, and Barnesville, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Miners Waiting to Start Their 4 P.M. to Midnight Shift at Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine #4, 1974
    Jack Corn - Miners Waiting to Start Their 4 P.M. to Midnight Shift at Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine #4, 1974
  • Jack Corn - A Portion of the Rail Yards at Danville, West Virginia, near Charleston Loaded with Coal Cars Ready to Be Hauled to Customers in Various Parts of the Country, 1974
    Jack Corn - A Portion of the Rail Yards at Danville, West Virginia, near Charleston Loaded with Coal Cars Ready to Be Hauled to Customers in Various Parts of the Country, 1974
  • Mile After Mile of Land Has Been Stripped of Vegetation and Eaten Away by Gigantic Coal Shovels
    Mile After Mile of Land Has Been Stripped of Vegetation and Eaten Away by Gigantic Coal Shovels
  • Erik Calonius - A Bulldozer Prepares A Path for One of the Huge Coal Shovels, Off Route 70 and Belmont, Ohio, and Steubenville, 1973
    Erik Calonius - A Bulldozer Prepares A Path for One of the Huge Coal Shovels, Off Route 70 and Belmont, Ohio, and Steubenville, 1973
  • Jack Corn - Cleaning Plant at Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine #1 near Richlands, Virginia, 1974
    Jack Corn - Cleaning Plant at Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine #1 near Richlands, Virginia, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Aerial of a Typical Mine in Southern West Virginia near Williamson, 1974
    Jack Corn - Aerial of a Typical Mine in Southern West Virginia near Williamson, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Shift of Miners in the Elevator Which Will Take Them Down to Work in the Virginia-Pocahontas Mine #4, 1974
    Jack Corn - Shift of Miners in the Elevator Which Will Take Them Down to Work in the Virginia-Pocahontas Mine #4, 1974
  • Erik Calonius - The Silver Spade Shovel, Owned by the Hanna Coal Company at Work near Cadiz, Ohio, 1974
    Erik Calonius - The Silver Spade Shovel, Owned by the Hanna Coal Company at Work near Cadiz, Ohio, 1974
  • Boyd Norton - Strip Mining Montana, 1973
    Boyd Norton - Strip Mining Montana, 1973

Between 1972 and 1974, an Environmental Protection Agency photography initiative called Documerica sought to capture areas of environmental concern in the 1970s. The photographs in this slideshow were taken primarily in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, Ohio, and West Virginia, but also feature surface mining sites in Montana.

What do these images tell us about the changing scope of surface mining tools in the late twentieth century?

What do they suggest about labor needs for mining during this period?

Citation: 
Environmental Protection Agency, DOCUMERICA: The Environmental Protection Agency's Program to Photographically Document Subjects of Environmental Concern, 1972-1977. Record Group 412: Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, 1944-2006.
Library Item date: 
1972