"The Avondale Colliery Disaster–Bringing Bodies out of the Tunnel," Harpers Weekly, September 25, 1869.
Close Window

Men bringing Bodies out of  the Tunnel

Credit: From Harper's Weekly, 1869 courtesy the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

The death of 111 men and boys in a mine cave-in in Avondale, Pennsylvania, on September 6, 1869, attracted national attention and resulted in the passage of the pathbreaking mine safety legislation. In the decades that followed, however, the state left control of the mines in the hands of the coal companies, which often treated their properties and workers as private fiefdoms. Between 1869 and 1900, more than 10,000 mineworkers lost their lives and more than 24,500 were injured in Pennsylvania’s anthracite district alone.

Back to Top