Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area

By Harry M. Caudill | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER ELEVEN

The Big Boom

IF THE COAL INDUSTRY in the plateau may be said to have enjoyed a Golden Age, these years of the Big Boom were surely it. The companies which established operations early realized enormous profits on their investments. Since the mines employed many men and few machines, the rows of houses poured torrents of rent into company coffers. The tipples stood on the edge of huge tracts of virgin coal and the working rooms were never far from the driftmouths. Thus the cost of underground transportation was minimal. Scores of "coal drags" containing sixty to a hundred railroad gondolas each ran daily from the field, and during most of these years the only factor which limited production was a shortage of cars. Sometimes the railroad companies were unable to provide the "empties" which the billing clerks requested, and idle tipples were more often caused by this failure than by lack of orders.

I do not mean to imply that the boom was wholly without interruption. Between 1920 and 1922 a recession struck the nation and its impact was felt severely in the coalfield. Production declined for a year or two and the miners ran up substantial debts in the company stores and much of the confidence oozed out of the operators. But the recession was not prolonged, and after a year or so the downturn was reversed and the volume of orders began to swell. Confidence flowed back, and the old game of organizing coal corporations and building camps was resumed with new zeal.

But at intervals during the ensuing years tremors of uncertainty ran through the region's economy. From time to time the market be

-141-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 394

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?