By Marilyn D. Rhinehart
The coal mine represented even more than a manner of constructing a residing to the miners of Thurber, Texas, within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries-it represented a life-style. Coal mining ruled Thurber's paintings existence, and miners ruled its social existence. 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 crucial 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 by means of 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 neighborhood, and the advantages and constraints of existence in a firm city.
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Extra info for A Way of Work and a Way of Life: Coal Mining in Thurber, Texas, 1888-1926 (Texas A&M Southwestern Studies)
23 Under the screen system the miners received credit only for the coal that passed over a 6-foot-wide by 12-foot-long screen with 1 1/4-inch spaces between its bars. An article in the United Mine Workers' Journal described this screening process in detail: "When taken from the shaft the coal is dumped on to a large screen, between which are two more screens. The first screen has apertures which allow of coal falling through in lumps as large as a man's fist . . ; beneath this screen," the writer continued, "is another with smaller apertures and through this goes what is known as 'slack,' the second screen giving the mine what is known as nut coal.
As a result, a palpable sense of impermanence, always a feature of an industry dependent on unpredictable environmental factors, permeated mining communities like Thurber. 28 Coal mining and ethnic diversity went hand in hand in the coal town, for the foreign born dominated no other major enterprise as they did coal digging. The second-largest industry in Thurber, the brickmaking plant, which opened in 1894, employed fifty-four workers in 1900, only two of whom were foreign born, one, English, the other, German.
Page xv Introduction In his study of iron- and cotton-worker protest in nineteenth-century New York, Daniel J. "2 Since the pioneer work in the 1960s of Herbert Gutman and other North American labor scholars (whom English writers such as Edward P. Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm heavily influenced), an increasing number of labor historians have chosen the local scene and specific industries for intensive examination. In contrast to the "old school" of labor history associated with John R. Commons's Wisconsin school of labor economists, these more recent studies treat the labor union movement as only one component of the workers' experience.