The Effects of Coal Mining, Visualized: Social

  • Photograph of a West Virginia Coal Mining Family, 1974
    Photograph of a West Virginia Coal Mining Family, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Wayne Gipson Family, Which Lives on a Plateau in Southeastern Tennessee, 1974
    Jack Corn - Wayne Gipson Family, Which Lives on a Plateau in Southeastern Tennessee, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Two Young People on Their Way to a High School Function in Brookside, Kentucky, 1974
    Jack Corn - Two Young People on Their Way to a High School Function in Brookside, Kentucky, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Three Generations of Coal Mine Wives and a Baby, All Residents of Cumberland, Kentucky, 1974
    Jack Corn - Three Generations of Coal Mine Wives and a Baby, All Residents of Cumberland, Kentucky, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Retired Coal Miner Ed Austin with Some of His 20 Children in Fireco, West Virginia, near Beckley, 1974
    Jack Corn - Retired Coal Miner Ed Austin with Some of His 20 Children in Fireco, West Virginia, near Beckley, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Miner in the Black Lung Laboratory at the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, Undergoing Tests While on a Treadmill, 1974
    Jack Corn - Miner in the Black Lung Laboratory at the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, Undergoing Tests While on a Treadmill, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Jack Smith, 42, a Disabled Miner in Rhodell, West Virginia, Is Wheeled Down the Street by His Daughter, Donna, 16, to the Beer Joint He Operates, 1974
    Jack Corn - Jack Smith, 42, a Disabled Miner in Rhodell, West Virginia, Is Wheeled Down the Street by His Daughter, Donna, 16, to the Beer Joint He Operates, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Company Flag in Front of the Headquarters of the Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company, 1974
    Jack Corn - Company Flag in Front of the Headquarters of the Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company, 1974
  • Jack Corn - Coal City Club in Coal City, West Virginia, a Part of Beckley All of the Men Are Coal Miners, 1974
    Jack Corn - Coal City Club in Coal City, West Virginia, a Part of Beckley All of the Men Are Coal Miners, 1974
  • Erik Calonius - This Sign Read 'Ban Strip Mines' before Being Painted Out. Local Opposition to Stripping Is Mild Because Most People Look to the Coal Companies for Employment Since the Farm Economy Is Crumbling, 1973
    Erik Calonius - This Sign Read 'Ban Strip Mines' before Being Painted Out. Local Opposition to Stripping Is Mild Because Most People Look to the Coal Companies for Employment Since the Farm Economy Is Crumbling, 1973
  • Erik Calonius - There Is Some Local Opposition to Stripping the Land in Southeastern Ohio. Most People, However, Are Employed by the Coal Companies and Are Afraid Any Demands for Reform Will Cost Them Their Jobs, 1973
    Erik Calonius - There Is Some Local Opposition to Stripping the Land in Southeastern Ohio. Most People, However, Are Employed by the Coal Companies and Are Afraid Any Demands for Reform Will Cost Them Their Jobs, 1973
  • Erik Calonius - The Head of A Huge Coal Company Strip Mining Shovel Is Seen in the Background of This Picture of A Street In 1974
    Erik Calonius - The Head of A Huge Coal Company Strip Mining Shovel Is Seen in the Background of This Picture of A Street In 1974
  • Erik Calonius - Mary Workman Holds A Jar of Undrinkable Water That Comes from Her Well, and Has Filed A Damage Suit Against the Hanna Coal Company, 1973
    Erik Calonius - Mary Workman Holds A Jar of Undrinkable Water That Comes from Her Well, and Has Filed A Damage Suit Against the Hanna Coal Company, 1973
  • Erik Calonius - Many People in Southeastern Ohio Are Never Far Away from the Sight of Strip Mining. The Resident of This Farmhouse Off Route #800, 1974
    Erik Calonius - Many People in Southeastern Ohio Are Never Far Away from the Sight of Strip Mining. The Resident of This Farmhouse Off Route #800, 1974
  • Carrie Arnold - Black Lung Diease X-rays
    Carrie Arnold - Black Lung Diease X-rays
  • A Miner at the Black Lung Laboratory in the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia
    A Miner at the Black Lung Laboratory in the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia

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 Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

How do these images tell a story about the transition from underground mining to surface mining?

What do they reveal about the consequences of these two types of extraction?

Do you see connections between the human, environmental, and technical aspects and impacts of coal mining in these images?

 
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