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 Post subject: Finally, coal miners get a stamp of approval
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
August 10. 2013 12:41AM
By Bill O'Boyle - woboyle@civitasmedia.com - (570) 829-7237

WILKES-BARRE — Alma Berlot and Julia Vengien sat in the front row and gleamed as they listened to the speeches about the U.S. postage stamp they and many others fought hard for over the last 25 years.
Berlot’s father was killed from injuries suffered in a coal mining accident, and Vengien, with her late husband John, sent hundreds of letters and petitions to elected officials and the U.S. Postal Service to convince it to issue the stamp.
Friday, under a tent placed along South Main Street next to the city post office, Berlot and Vengien sat wide-eyed as the stamps commemorating the hard work of coal miners and 11 other trades were unveiled.
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, was joined by other elected officials or their representatives to reveal the USPS stamps titled: “Made in America: Building a Nation.”
“This is fantastic,” Vengien said. “I feel relieved.”
“I’m excited,” said Berlot, of Nanticoke. “I almost started crying.”
The issuance of the stamps — especially the one showing a coal miner wearing a lantern cap and holding a pick — brought out a lot of emotion in those people who have strong ties to the industry credited with fueling the Industrial Revolution.
Wayne Namey of Wilkes-Barre, a longtime advocate of the stamp, said he never thought the day would come when he would see mining commemorated on a stamp. One of Namey’s grandfathers was killed in the anthracite mines and the other died of black lung disease. On a day of celebration and thanks, Namey spoke from his heart.
“When I was a kid I tendered my neighbor’s coal furnace,” he said. “I’ve heard so many stories about coal miners and the conditions they worked under in the mines. This day is for all of them and their families.”

Decades-long campaign

Namey said he fought for the stamp’s issuance for nearly two decades, and he said he was told that “only heroes are put on stamps.” Namey said his grandfathers and all coal miners who struggled to build a region and a country are heroes to him and many others.
“I never worked in the coal mines,” he said, “but I am proud of all who did and I am extremely happy to see them honored today.”
Former U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski said he got involved with the campaign to get a coal mining stamp issued in 1986 when constituents came to his office to ask for his help. “It became a political battle,” he said. “But the stamp has finally been issued.”
The collection consists of 12 stamps in three rows of four. Individual stamps feature an airplane maker, a derrick man on the Empire State Building, a millinery apprentice, a man on a hoisting ball on the Empire State Building, a linotyper in a publishing house, a welder on the Empire State Building, a coal miner, riveters on the Empire State Building, a powerhouse mechanic, a railroad track walker, a textile worker and a man guiding a beam on the Empire State Building.
Eleven of the 12 stamps are images of photographs taken by photographer Lewis Hine, a chronicler of early 20th-century industry. The coal miner image is the only one not taken by Hine. The image was provided to the USPS by the Kansas Historical Society.

Kansas coal miner

Bobbie Athon, public information officer at the Kansas Historical Society, said the photo was taken of a southeast Kansas coal miner in the 1940s or 1950s. The photo was donated to the historical society in 1966, she said.
Pashinski said coal is in the blood of nearly everyone in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Because of the “blood, sweat and tears” of the region’s forefathers, he said, a great country was built.
“This is a great day,” Pashinski said. “And this day would not be possible without the effort of so many people who for literally decades signed petitions, made calls, visited elected officials, demanding this stamp be issued. It took a team effort and the team is you.”
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton said coal built and powered the country. “We owe a debt of gratitude to these men — and boys,” he said.
Vengien, of Plymouth, said she felt her late husband’s presence at the ceremony.
“Like so many, John had something to do with this,” she said. “This day will be remembered forever.”
Berlot, 75, remembered her father — Edward John Salvadore — a parent of five who left early one morning for his job in the Glen Lyon coal mines. On that day in November 1955, said Berlot, there was an explosion. Her father, 42, helped rescue three men who were injured. On his fourth return to the mines, Salvadore was injured and taken to the hospital where he later died.
“My one brother never knew our father,” she said. “I wish my father’s picture was on that stamp.”

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 Post subject: Re: Finally, coal miners get a stamp of approval
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:16 pm
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
The picture that went with the article is of Carl O from oldforgecoalminer.com.


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