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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Trinidad in Las Animas County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Coal Miner's Canary

 
 
The Coal Miner's Canary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, July 22, 2016
1. The Coal Miner's Canary Marker
Inscription. For centuries, miners have been taking canary birds down into their mines to warn them of potential disaster. If a tunnel or shaft collapses or is blocked, thereby diminishing the oxygen supply, the canary will be the first to react, usually dying, alerting the miners to trouble and to immediately vacate the mine.

"Canaries, sometimes pigeons and occasionally mice, have been used in coal mines throughout the world to test for poisonous gases, especially carbon monoxide, which is colorless and has no taste or smell. Even very small amounts of the poisonous gas will cause a canary to swoon, due to its extremely rapid heart beat, before it becomes fatal to the miners. Often, the canary could be revived, if evacuated immediately with the miners." "Until modern detection devices came into mandated use, as they are today, canaries were brought into the mines in small wood or metal cages, especially after a fire or explosion, to provide a clear signal as to whether the underground conditions were safe. In the presence of carbon monoxide , the canary would sway noticeably on his perch before falling, in a dramatic indication of dangerous conditions."
Over the years, this yellow songbird has saved countless human lives.

Artist: Ms. Susan Norris


Left photo
"The Coal Miner's Canary" - book by Edward Allan Faine
Right photo
Miner holding canary in cage from 1928

 
Erected 2010 by the Trinidad-Las Animas County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & the Southern Colorado Coal Miners Memorial & Scholarship
The Coal Miner's Canary Marker & Bird Cage. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, July 22, 2016
2. The Coal Miner's Canary Marker & Bird Cage.
Coal Miners Memorial in background.
Fund Committee.
 
Location. 37° 10.086′ N, 104° 30.409′ W. Marker is in Trinidad, Colorado, in Las Animas County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (U.S. 160) and North Convent Street, on the right when traveling west on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 219 West Main Street, Trinidad CO 81082, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Coal Miners' Memorial (a few steps from this marker); A Clash of Cultures (within shouting distance of this marker); The Santa Fe Trail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trinidad's First City Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); World War II Veterans Memorial (approx. mile away); Viet-Nam War Memorial (approx. mile away); Welcome to Colorado - Trinidad Country / Trinidad - Army of the West (approx. mile away); Women & Children's March, 1914 (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trinidad.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on Coal Mining in Colorado. (Submitted on December 16, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. DisastersNatural Resources
 
The Coal Miner's Canary (marker on left of cage). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, July 22, 2016
3. The Coal Miner's Canary (marker on left of cage).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 16, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 265 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 16, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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