Teach PA History
Edible Coal Mining
Further Reading

Binder, Frederick M. Coal Age Empire: Pennsylvania Coal and Its Utilization to 1860. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1974.

This book is a detailed history of coal in Pennsylvania before 1860. Binder looks at production, uses, and marketing of both anthracite and bituminous coal.

Brestensky, Dennis and others. Patch/Work Voices: The Culture and Lore of a Mining People. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh, 1978.

This gem is a collection of oral histories from many people that worked in the bituminous coal mines of southwestern Pennsylvania. Learn the history of the area through the many interesting stories.

DiCiccio, Carmen. Coal and Coke in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1996.

This is considered the definitive source on the history of Pennsylvania's bituminous coal and coke industry.

Rottenburg, Dan. In the Kingdom of Coal: An American Family and the Rock That Changed the World. Oxford, England: Routledge, 2003.

This book tells the history of coal from the perspectives of two famous barons and a family of mine workers. A former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Rottenburg deftly describes the technological and economical advances which made the rise of coal possible.

Thomas, Larry. Coal Geology. Somerset, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2002.

Coal Geology provides a complete handbook on coal and all its properties (physical and chemical). It describes the age and occurrence of coal; coal sampling and analysis; coal exploration; and geophysics and hydrogeology of coal and coal mining techniques. It also discusses environmental concerns and computer technology and includes an update on global coal reserves and production figures.

Warren, Kenneth. Wealth, Waste, and Alienation: Growth and Decline in the Connellsville Coke Industry. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh, 2001.

This book offers an excellent account of the coke industry in southwestern Pennsylvania and highlights the business, technological, and labor history of the industry.

Web Sites

American Coal Foundation

The website offers many teacher resources about coal. A link called "all about coal" provides facts and information about different aspects of the coal industry with articles on how it is formed and mined, how it is turned into electricity, the process of reclamation, etc. The site also provides weblinks to many valuable sites to help understand coal mining. And, for other excellent lesson plan ideas pertaining to coal, check out the lesson plans available.

Coal and Coke Heritage Center

This website provides an overview of the collection of resources available at the Coal and Coke Heritage Center at Penn State University, Fayette Campus. This center provides numerous resources (photographs, maps, newspapers, and hundreds of hours of interviews) preserving the history of the bituminous coal and coke in the Connellsville area.

McIntyre, Pennsylvania, The Everyday Life Of A Coal Mining Company Town: 1910-1947

A phenomenal website that includes a wonderfully organized array of primary resources on life of the bituminous coal mining town of McIntyre. Included are quotes about memories of mining and photographs of tools, coal buildings, pay stubs, and other artifacts. It also provides useful suggested weblinks to coal information. Just a wonderful site!

Sierra Club

Look into the environmental side of coal mining for a different perspective. Learn about the variety of ways coal mining impacts the environments–how it affects the global warming phenomenon, area ecology, and the world's water supply–and how legislation can make its own impact.

What Coal Miners Do

This is an excellent link to explain "what coal miners do." Provided by the United Mine Workers of America, it explains mine entrances, underground and surface mining, and provides wonderful black and white photography of coal mining in the past and today.

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