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SECOND BITUMINOUS DISTRICT.

(ALLEGH ENY, INDIANA AND WESTMORELAND COUNTIES.)

Irwin, February 25, 1896. Hon. James W. Latta, Secretary of Internal Affairs:

In compliance with the requirements of section 11, article 10, of the act of Assembly, approved May 15, A. D. 1893, I have the honor of submitting my annual report as Inspector of Mines for the Second Bituminons District for the year ending December 31, 1895.

There are at present 72 mines in the district; 66 of which have been in operation during the year. One mine was in operation only 50 days, another 92 days, another 312 days, and one 313 days, but the 66 nines were in operation an average of 217 days. This is an average of 3:3 days more than the mines were in operation in 1894. The mines are still being improved, both in ventilation and drainage. There is a larger volume of air in a number of the mines than there was the previous year. The quantity is better divided, and the distribution has improved also. The water gauge or pressure has not increased any at these mines, thus showing that the mine officials have been careful in splitting and shortening the distance that the air has to travel. The air current in most of the mines is kept sweeping through the working places. One fan and three furnaces were erected during the year. Two air shafts were sunk and four additional openings made into the mines.

A brief description of each mine in the district is given, together with the mine improvements. The usual tables accompany the report, giving in detail the number of persons employed in each mine, the production, days worked, etc. The burning of impure oil for lighting purposes still continues, and I do not look for much abate. ment of this trouble until the law is changed, so as to make the parties who sell this inferior oil amenable to the law.

In addition to the ordinary duties of my office, I have been compelled to go into the courts to enforce the provisions of the mining laws in a number of instances during the last year.

I have not been reluctant to do this, because I look upon the law as mandatory in requiring me to promptly prosecute any violations thereof, either upon the part of the operators or the workmen. The cases which I have brought to the attention of the court during the year, however, are for all kinds of infractions of the law and the rules.

I am glad to state that the court has been prompt to punish offenders, and has, on every occasion, expressed its determination to enforce the laws relating to our industry.

The following is a statement of the cases for violations of the mining laws:

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Commonwealth ex. rel Wil

liam Jenkins, Mine Iuspector, etc.

No. 176 February Term, 1896,

Common Pleas of Westmore

land County, Penna. Citation issued to defendant 25th

November, 1895, under the 2d section, article XVI, act of May 15, 1893, the defendant being a fire boss in Whitney mine,

charged with neglect of duty. After taking testimony, and hear

ing arguments, the court decided that the conduct of defendant was hardly sufficient to suspend his certificate, and the petition was dismissed, with a grave admonition to the defendant as to his duties.

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I investigated the charges that were made against John McLain and I found that he had examined only one place before the miners entered into their places, notwithstanding that this mine generates fire-damp at intervals, and the miners use safety lamps for lighting purposes.

While it is an unpleasant duty to go into court, which in some cases results in a loss of time, yet I believe that prompt action against violators of the law is the best way to secure the highest degree of care by all parties concerned.

The following table shows the number of accidents, their causes, etc., that occurred during the year:

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Orphans by fatalities,
Widows by fatalities,

41 16

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