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 Post subject: Historical Society Receives Mining books
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:41 am 
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Location: Harrisburg, PA (or in the coal fields)
Historical Society Receives Mining books
by leslie Richardson (staff writer lrichardson@republicanherald.com)
Published: May 16, 2010

A former Welsh miner presented a set of 100-year-old books to the Historical Society of Schuylkill County that may teach about mining techniques used early in Schuylkill County's history.

George Edwards and his wife, Anne, traveled from their home in Elizabethtown, Ontario, Canada, to give the six-volume set "Practical Coal Mining," to the historical society.

The books, published in 1907, describe technical aspects of coal mining in the United Kingdom, the home of many miners who later settled near and worked in the coal mines of Schuylkill County.

"Most of the early miners who set up the mines here (in Schuylkill County) came from the United Kingdom," Edwards said. "These books are about the art and practices of mining in Wales and other parts of the United Kingdom. Volume One talks about the geology of coal seams and the areas around the coal. These areas in Wales are similar to the areas around the coal seams here."

Edwards said he was a fourth-generation miner and was given the books as a gift after being recognized with the 1957 coal mining "Apprentice of the Year" award in Wales.

"One of my grandfather's friends saw I won the prize in the newspaper and gave me the set of books," Edwards said. "I'm sorry to say, they didn't get as much use as I would have liked."

According to Edwards, the books were written with the goal of replacing schooling for miners.

"There weren't many community colleges at the time that taught mining. In all of South Wales there is only one school of mining where engineers or mine managers would go," Edwards said.

Edwards worked in the Welsh mining industry for seven years before moving to Canada in 1964 and working in the aerospace field.

He said the books sat on a shelf, and - with his children expressing no interest in them - he decided to find a good home for them, instead of allowing them to end up in a landfill.

"They are not terribly valuable, probably only $50 to $100," Edwards said. "I called the Museum of Coal Mining in Scranton first. The director there said he could not accept them but provided me with the information for the Schuylkill County Historical Society."

Edwards passed the books on to the society Saturday, dedicating them to his father, John Edwards, and Ann's father, Tom James.

Historical Society of Schuylkill County's Executive Director Dr. Peter Yasenchak said he was happy to accept them.

"Anything to aid in research is valuable to us," Yasenchak said. "You never know who will come in or what they will be looking for. The material is here if anyone wants to use it."


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Society Receives Mining books
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:33 pm
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Location: Dunmore, PA
PA COAL wrote:
"I called the Museum of Coal Mining in Scranton first. The director there said he could not accept them but provided me with the information for the Schuylkill County Historical Society."


And why? I know the books are not a locomotive but it's like what happened to DL&W 952.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1764
Location: Winnemucca, NV
I hope the Schuylkill County Historical Society will digitize and make these books available. I sometimes wonder how technologically equipped many historical societies are and how much more effective they would be making their research more available to the public. It is interesting to consider books worth "probably only $50 to $100" could provide potentially invaluable insight into the past. I hope they are in good hands.

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