The Historical Perspectives Tour is off to a great start. We have 27 participants from the NY/NJ ERC and the Univ of Cincinnati ERC.
Today we visited the Lackawana Coal Mine Tour in Scranton, PA. We descended into the mine, 300 feet below the surface. We learned about room and pillar mining. The guide also taught us about the different jobs that workers had, staring with 5 year old boys who worked above ground. At 8 or 9 years old they moved to jobs in the mine, such as a Nipper (they operated the doors in the mine), Sprager (they were the braking system for the coal cars), and Mule boys (took care of the mules).
Miners were paid between $1.15 and $1.25 per car load of coal (approximately 5 tons). Although, at the end of the day, they really took home nothing, as they had to purchase their tools and supplies, pay other workers, and pay for other things with that money.