West Virginia State Museum Education

Discovery Room 15: The Mining Life

Discovery Room 15



Today coal mining is an automated industry, but in its early days it was a very labor-intensive job. Miners worked long hours underground and had to hand load the coal into cars after picking it out of coal seams. Look at the tools that these miners used and the equipment they wore for protection. In this Discovery Room you’ll find out what canaries had to do with mine safety. Discover who worked the mine as mule drivers. You’ll also learn that mining was not a discriminatory industry. Once underground, men were miners, regardless of color, creed, or heritage. For that reason ethnic communities grew up around the mine.

Discovery Room 15

Video courtesy of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Videographer/Editor: Janet Kunicki; Narrator: Beth Vorhees

Continue to Explore, or return to the preview homepage:

Discovery Room 1
1: An Ancient Land
Discovery Room 2
2: Prehistoric People
Discovery Room 3
3: Conflict and Settlement
Discovery Room 4
4: Frontier Life
Discovery Room 5
5: John Brown's Raid
Discovery Room 6
6: The War within a State
Discovery Room 7
7: The Case for Statehood
Discovery Room 8
8: The Big City
Discovery Room 9
9: The Family Farm
Discovery Room 10
10: The Company Store
Discovery Room 11
11: Changing Roles of Women
Discovery Room 12
12: Trains and Railroads
Discovery Room 13
13: Boats and Rivers
Discovery Room 14
14: Industrialization
Discovery Room 15
15: The Mining Life
Discovery Room 16
16: The State Capitol
Discovery Room 17
17: It's Not all Work
Discovery Room 18
18: The Great Depression
Discovery Room 19
19: The Mine Wars
Discovery Room 20
20: West Virginians at War
Discovery Room 21
21: Late 20th Century
Discovery Room 22
22: Celebrating West Virginia
Discovery Room 23
23: From Here to There
Discovery Room 24
24: Painting and Sculpture
Discovery Room 25
25: A Legacy of Craftsmanship
Discovery Room 26
26: Traditions of Music