By Marilyn D. Rhinehart
The coal mine represented even more than a fashion of creating a dwelling to the miners of Thurber, Texas, within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries-it represented a life-style. Coal mining ruled Thurber's paintings existence, and miners ruled its social lifestyles. the massive immigrant inhabitants that stuffed the mines in Thurber represented greater than a dozen countries, which lent a area of expertise to this Texas city. In 1888 Robert D. Hunter and the Texas & Pacific Coal corporation based Thurber at the web site of Johnson Mines, a small coal-mining village at the western fringe of North vital Texas the place Palo Pinto, Erath, and Eastland counties converged. for nearly 40 years the corporate mined coal and owned and operated a city that through 1910 served as domestic to greater than 3 thousand citizens. Marilyn Rhinehart examines the tradition of the miners' paintings, the demographics and social lifetime of the group, and the advantages and constraints of existence in a firm city.
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Extra resources for A Way of Work and a Way of Life: Coal Mining in Thurber, Texas, 1888-1926 (Texas A&M Southwestern Studies)
M. "20 An occupation in which workers passed so much of their working time in the mine waiting left plenty of opportunity for discussing grievances and other common interests. Oratory abounded during dead time on the gob piles at the entries and strengthened bonds that naturally developed in the pits. A tradition of oral transmission of information in the mining community heightened the significance of such meetings as well as the time spent lined up for hoisting to the "bottom" (the surface) and riding in the train to and from the pits.
It was one of the first principles of mining the apprentice learned. '" 13 Wage earners at the Thurber mines (like all bituminous coal mine workers) fell into two main groupsthe inside workers and outside or surface employees. In 1890, at least 68 percent of those working underground in Thurber were actual coal diggers; the other 32 percent transported the coal to the surface and maintained the ventilating system. Outside, engineers, blacksmiths, firefighters, and carpenters, usually paid at a daily rate, composed the main working force.
Experienced miners even carried their picks in a similar fashion, sticking them in the crook of the elbow. 11 Attitudes toward their work also linked miners. The United States Coal Commission described the coal miner as "more independent in his work than . . " The very nature of the job, conducted in rooms as much as 265 feet apart, precluded close supervision. Most miners worked alone or with a "buddy," usually a relative or partner of the same race or ethnic group, and operated as contractors of a sort who provided their own tools and other necessities, including blasting powder.