"Great Disaster at Avondale Colliery, Ruins of the Breaker," Harpers Weekly, September 6, 1869.
flipFlip to William H. Sylvis, founder of the National Molders Union, circa 1868.
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Ruins of the Breaker

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

After the end the American Civil War, mining deaths became increasingly common as the Pennsylvania coal industry surged in production. The funeral procession for the miners killed during the Avondale Colliery Disaster of 1869, like other funerals for the victims of industrial accidents, was attended by large crowds. Indeed, entire towns would to turn out in mourning when mining disasters occurred.

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