A Medical Survey of the Bituminous-Coal Industry

A Medical Survey of the Bituminous-Coal Industry

A Medical Survey of the Bituminous-Coal Industry

A Medical Survey of the Bituminous-Coal Industry

Excerpt

The coal-mining industry of the United States was an infant in the late eighteenth century, grew quietly and inconspicuously into childhood in the nineteenth century, quickly passed into adolescence at the approach of the twentieth century, and has since remained in that stage of its existence. Profligate, overdeveloped, and alternately robust and depressed by the afflictions of bitter competition, the industry has been both a good provider and a problem child of the American economy.

The indispensability of coal to public health, public safety, and the national economic and military security has been stressed time and again. Despite the inroads of competing sources of energy, coal still supplies the fuel necessary to heat more than half of all of the homes and apartments throughout the Nation. It drives 9 out of 10 railway locomotives. It is the source of energy for more than half of the electric power produced. It furnishes the coke for every ton of steel made in the country. It is the source of chemicals essential to the manufacture of many paints, drugs, plastics, insecticides, perfumes, rubber goods, explosives, and other chemical compounds and products. It comprises more than one-quarter of all the freight carried by American railroads and pays more than 10 percent of their gross revenue. Coal mining provides a livelihood for hundreds of thousands of individuals who, with their dependents, constitute a large segment of the American population.

The rapid and widespread development of the coal industry in the United States is due to the favorable bounty of nature, as well as to the tremendous industrial expansion of the Nation and other economic factors. The coal reserves of the United States are . . .

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