Whitesburg KY
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Coal mining is very dangerous, hard work




Jim Cornett sent in this photograph taken at Dry Fork on Aug. 9, 1930. The names on the back of the picture are Woodrow Cornett, Elmer Lucas, Mae Lucas and Evelyn Brown.

Jim Cornett sent in this photograph taken at Dry Fork on Aug. 9, 1930. The names on the back of the picture are Woodrow Cornett, Elmer Lucas, Mae Lucas and Evelyn Brown.

My topic this time is about the lifeblood of Appalachia, which is coal.

Our economy is depending on coal, either directly or indirectly. Our very existence revolves around this non-renewable and valuable resource. But even with all the safety regulations in force, it is still dangerous and hard work.

Rock dusting is one of the best innovations ever put into practice. Coal dust, like asbestos, fiberglass and others, is harmless until it becomes airborne.

In a coal mine, other factors may cause the initial ignition and when combined with coal dust the explosive force is magnified. The finer the coal the more dangerous it is. As a matter of fact, the electric power plants reduce the coal to dust before it is ever used, and I do mean dust, too, as fine as flour and very dry.

The coal dust literally explodes when blown into the combustion chamber and this explosive ignition turns the turbines to create or generate the electricity we use every day, with no radiation to worry about.

But there is much work and expense involved in getting the coal to market. Since we had a milder winter than usual so far the demand for coal has declined drastically.

People from other areas seem to enjoy downing the lowly coal miner, but they should give them a pat on the back instead. A lot of the things the outsiders enjoy are related to coal or are byproducts of coal, and yet they give no thought as to the origin of many of the materials used in the making of the things they enjoy.

But to the people of this region it is a way of life with many ups and owns and good times and bad.

And that’s all for now from here at the funny farm.


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