Two Miners Holding Shovel and Lunch Buckets

This photo taken in either the late 1920s or early 1930s shows two McIntyre miners holding their lunch pails while one also holds a shovel. Before mechanization, this was an important tool in the mines.

Although they are smiling for the camera, mining was an arduous and dangerous occupation. A State Workmen's Compensation Board, created through legislation passed in 1915, enabled miners to collect insurance compensation from their employer.  According to the Indiana Progess newpaper, December 28, 1921, from the Compensation Board creation through 1921, in Indiana County alone $60,970 was paid for the loss of 40 eyes, $13,092 was paid for the loss of 6 arms, $35,499 was paid for the loss of 20 hands, $6,450 was paid for the loss of 3 legs, and $18,766 was paid for the loss of 11 feet. For 3,024 cases of disability a total of $186,353 was paid. During this same 6 year period, 222 miners died in Indiana County coal mines. Each family was compensated an average of $2844.18 for a single miner's death. 

Photo: courtesy Ed Setlock family collection.

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