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Pottsville, Pa., February 15, 1896. Hon. James W. Latta, Secretary of Internal Affairs:
Sir: I have the honor of herewith presenting my annual report as Inspector of Mines of the Eighth Anthracite District for the year 1895.
The number of lives lost during the year was 35, leaving 19 widows and 58 children to mourn the loss of husbands and fathers. This I am sorry to say is an increase of 15 fatal accidents over those of the year 1894, the increase being mainly due to falls of coal and roof and premature explosions of dynamite and powder. The majority of the accidents from falls of coal and roof have occurred in the safest looking places, where the general character of the main roof is good, but having occasional benches of slate between and overlaying the benches of coal, and where the veins average only from two to eight feet in thickness, which makes it easy to examine and pull down any overhanging pieces of coal or loose pieces of slate. Many of the accidents from this cause could be prevented, if the miners would more generally provide themselves with suitable bars, to be used for the purpose of pulling down any loose material met with. Many are not overly well provided with drills and are afraid of blunting or bending them by using them for pulling down loose pieces.
The number of non-fatal accidents was 124, an increase of 84 over those of the year 1894. This increase is mainly due to the fact, that they have been more fully reported this year. Many of them were of a trifling character.
The total product of coal for the year was 3,925,013 tons, an increase of 583,699 tons, over that of the year 1894. The quantity shipped to market was 3,672,873 tons; an increase of 584,079 tons over the year 1894.
In the total number of persons employed in and about the mines of this district, there was an increase of 672 persons over the year 1894.
The general condition of nearly all of the mines in this district at the close of the year was satisfactory. There are one or two that are not in as good condition as they might be, but this is due to the inattention of the parties directly in charge, rather than to the operators or general management, who as a rule are anxious to have their collieries in as good and safe condition as possible, and in many cases go to a great deal of expense in providing the openings and appliances for their safe and successful operation.
Beside the usual tabulated statisties, I send a brief description of the improvements, the fatal accidents, and other matter which may be interesting or useful.
Yours very respectfully,
Inspector of Mines.
The examination of applicants for certificates of qualification as mine foreman was held at the court house at Pottsville, in June, 1895. The board for the Eighth Anthracite District was composed of John Maguire, Inspector; Thos. Doyle, superintendent; Thomas Holihan, miner and David Tucker, miner.
The following named persons were recommended by the board to the Secretary of Internal Affairs for certificates of qualification as mine foreman and assistant mine foreman:
Mine Foreman, Francis Hale, Pottsville.
IMPROVEMENTS MADE DURING THE YEAR 1895.
The Lytle Colliery. The water having been pumped out of the old workings east of this colliery to the fourth lift, the work of developing began with this year. A tunnel starting in the Primrose vein about one hundred yards west of the bottom of the fourth lift of the No. 2 Primrose slope, was driven north, cutting the Holmes, "Four Foot,” White Ash, Black Ileath and Skidmore veins, in the first five hundred feet, all in good condition, except the Holmes. The tunnel was continued
over four hundred feet beyond the "Skidmore," cutting several leaders. An air hole was driven to the surface, partly in the “Four Foot” and partly in the Holmes vein, on which a new eighteen foot diameter fan has been placed, driven by an engine 16x20 inches.
An overhead return air tunnel was driven from the "Four Foot" to the "Skidmore” vein. The No. 1 Primrose vein slope was continued down through the old workings to the fourth lift for a tender slope.
Some new machinery for the better preparation of coal was added to the breaker and shipments began in the latter part of Sep tember. There is yet a large body of water above in the old Dolbin colliery, White Ash and Holmes veins workings, which will be tapped when West White Ash gangway is driven far enough west to get below it; it will then require a hole to be driven up the pitch about four hundred feet to reach the water, which has a head of about two hundred and seventy-five feet. A very large amount of money has been required to pay the expenses of pumping the water out of several miles of abandoned workings, and to put the colliery in condition to ship coal, and it is to be hoped the owners will now enjoy a fair return for the time and money spent.
Albright Colliery. The tunnel south from third lift of Black mine slope has been driven eight hundred feet farther, and has cut the second south dip of Black Mine, tunnel and Salem veins on south dip, the whole length of tunnel being about eleven hundred and fifty feet.
An air hole was driven over anticlinal in Black Mine vein. The water has been taken out of the Salem vein slope to bottom, a depth of about six hundred feet from surface, and the west gangway was reopened with a view of getting a hole from new tunnel in Black Mine slope up to it.
A new Jeanesville duplex pump with 36 inch cylinders, 36 inch stroke and 12 inch plungers, has ben put in pump room, which has been made in top rock on third lift of Black Mine slope.
Williams Colliery. The sinking of the Spohn or Lewis vein slope, has been continued, striking the basin at a depth of 1,635 feet from surface, and 993 be low old level. Two gangways are being worked west and one gangway east, and a ventilating fan 16 feet in diameter driven by an engine 12x24 inches has been crected.
Oak Hill Colliery.
A tunnel has been driven north from the bottom of the new shaft 382 feet long, cutting the Black Heath vein, twelve feet thick in good condition, which will open up a large body of good coal. A new climax boiler of 300 horse power has been erected and connected to the flues of cylinder boilers to utilize the waste heat. This is the first boiler of this kind to be erected in this district.
The water has been taken out of the old Northdale slope and an air hole driven from shaft level connecting with it, on which a new ventilating fan eighteen feet in diameter, driven by an engine with fourteen inch cylinder and sixteen inch stroke, direct acting has been placed.
Morea Colliery. A new air hole has been driven on south dip of Mammoth vein near western end of workings on which a new twelve foot diameter ventilating fan has been placed. A new Stockton pump with 36 inch cylinder, 48 inch stroke and 18 inch plunger has been added to drainage plant in slope. The new shaft has been completed to the Buck Mountain vein, making a total depth from surface of 443 feet, as follows:
Surface, wash, 9 feet; rock, 147 feet; 61 feet of coal, Mammoth vein. Surface, slate, 7 feet; 7 feet of coal, Skidmore vein. Surface, rock, 86 feet; 17 feet of coal, Seven Foot vein. Surface, rock, 76 feet; 17 feet of coal, Buck Mountain vein. Surface, slate, 16 feet
A new pair of engines with 22 inch cylinder, 36 inch stroke, geared, have been erected to hoist coal from shaft.
Roberts Colliery. The tunnel south from bottom of Holmes vein slope, has been con tinued to a distance of 774 feet, cutting through both dips of the Church vein and the south dips of the Holmes and Mammoth veins, and will be continued to the Buck Mountain vein. A tunnel has also been driven north from Skidmore to Buck Mountain vein on north dip ir slope level.
St. Clair Coal Company. This company of which Mr. W. H. Taylor is president; Mr. W. W. Patterson, vice president and general manager; Mr. D. E. Taylor, treasurer and Mr. E. P. Kingsbury is secretary, is building a large breaker on the site of the old Eagle colliery breaker at St. Clair. They are opening a drift on Buck Mountain vein, on level of Phila delphia and Reading railroad north of breaker, and gangway is now driven east 100 yards. They are also sinking a shaft about two miles east of breaker, which is now down 100 feet; size of shaft,