What is the life of a miner like?

Life in the gold fields exposed the miner to loneliness and homesickness, isolation and physical danger, poor nutrition and disease, and even death. Above all, mining was hard work. Fortune could be around the corner, but so could failure. Physically, work in the mines is hard, but the real challenge is psychological.

A miner needs to leave the outside world behind when he enters the mine. Anything can happen to a miner who is worried about his family and other things. Here I forget about my family life. If I think about my family in the mines, I might get distracted and cause an accident, said Kandemiroğlu.

The miners often work in shifts, and can work for 10 days at a time. Some go down before dawn and return seven to 12 hours later. When the driver reaches the age of twenty, he becomes a runner or a mine worker, more often the latter. The runner is a driver who collects the loaded wagons and directs the driver.

The labourer is hired by the miner, with the approval of the superintendent, to load the wagons with the coal that has been blasted by the miner. As a rule, he is paid an amount per wagon, and a given number of wagons constitutes a day's work, which varies in different mines, averaging from five to seven, amounting to from twelve to fifteen tons of coal. The work of the labourer is often made difficult by the water and rock found in large quantities in the coal seams. It is an endless routine of a dull world from the age of nine until death, a kind of voluntary life sentence.

Once they start, they go on living their vulgar, low-level existence, ignoring their daily danger, not knowing any better. These images of coal mining were not part of the Rev. They are presented here as images taken from late 19th and early 20th century publications to enliven the points of the article. He usually works with a crane that the miners call a varagel, which helps the miners move the mined coal from one place to another.

A typical day for a miner included panning gold from dawn to dusk, a gruelling job with very few breaks, as miners knew that if they stopped they could lose their chance at wealth. Although at first many miners worked on their own, when the gold began to disappear and machinery was needed to extract it, many miners began working for mining companies rather than on their own. According to Pennsylvania state law, the company operating the mine is obliged to provide the miner with the necessary proppants, but the miner must place them in places designated by the mine manager.

David Gerula
David Gerula

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