Coal Mines and Houses near the Railway and Coal Mining Site, Connellsville, Pa.
Credit: Collection of John Gates, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh
"In our home we never used wall paper; we used paint. I would get up on a chair; I couldn't trust a ladder, because I didn't want the thing creaking under my feet. I'd paint the walls before Thanksgiving; we had coal stoves you know … [You] can imagine how your walls are going to get. They would get smoked up. [Sometimes] I would get some Spic and Span … and I'd wash my ceilings, wash my side walls down. I kept them clean. I had my furniture. I washed my chair [throw] covers every week. You know you have little kids, you have to do that. I washed my own walls and my own windows … We used to buy curtains. I could buy curtains from the Company Store. I tell you, those were expensive curtains. I had a coal stove, it was a Majestic, and it had a hot water tank on the side so you could keep it full of water. So you had hot water at all times. The milkman used to bring milk to your house … I always had to buy in gallons I had a lot of kids . By the time I got through washing clothes and cleaning up … oh my goodness. But it was still a good life, you know." Reconstructed and adapted from an oral history of Vera Mitchell