Monday, July 09, 2007

Charlie Brown Would Like To Know More

While my camera is still broken I can't show you how much we enjoyed our tour of the Lackawanna Coal Mine in Scranton, Pennsylvania. What I can do, however, is tell you what I now know about coal:

1 - there are no more any deep coal mines in Pennsylvania, except maybe in Hazleton, the tour guide wasn't 100% sure.

2 - surface mining is much safer and the more preferred method of mining coal.

3 - deep coal mining leaves a whole lot of coal unmined because they mine the coal in patterns that resemble a city street, where the middle of the block is left intact to create a "pillar" so that the mine doesn't fall down.

4 - anthracite coal is also known as "black diamonds"

5 - it takes one guy in my tour 2 tons of coal a year to heat his garage to 50 degrees, average. This costs $185 per ton. It sounds to me like way too much coal for anything. It takes me just a few chunks to cook dinner for my family.

6 - coal was formed from old, crushed, antique plant matter, much like oil, only solid not liquid.

7 - 2 men died every 3 days in one coal mine.

8 - the Lackawanna coal mine's peak period for employment was 1916. It closed in the 1960's after 100 years of mining.

9 - It's very cold in the mine, bring a sweater.

10 - the train that takes you down is fun, sort of like a roller coaster but very very very slow.

11 - the gift shop here did not carry film.

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