Grainy moving images tell the story of a strip mining operation near St. Clair, Schuylkill County during World War I.
Filmed in December 1917, this excellent footage shows the work of an early strip mine with steam shovels and the intense work going on around the surface mine. The film strip was preserved by the University of South Carolina.
The video, recorded by camera operator Howard Kingsmore on a cold, blustery day, has the following description:
Vast coal fields in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Scenes include shovels removing 400,000 tons of rock from the mine’s surface, Engines and coal carriers, the mountains at St. Clair, large cuts and gorges, steam shovels loading coal carriers, coal veins, and a steam drill boring holes for blasting dynamite. – Filmed on December 17th, 1919.
You can watch the footage through the University of South Carolina’s digital collections website:
Featured Image: A still captured from the December 1917 silent film footage collected by the University of South Carolina