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Carbondale in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Mining Methods

Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway

 
 
Mining Methods Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 4, 2017
1. Mining Methods Marker
Inscription.

You are standing on the southeastern side of the Lackawanna Valley. In this area the valley is about 5 miles (8 kilometers) wide. Behind you, Moosic Mountain rises some 1,200 feet (366 meters) above the elevation of the Lackawanna River in the bottom of the valley. Although very little coal is currently being mined in this area, environmental reclamation efforts continue.

Strip Mining
Strip mining was done in areas where coal seams were found close to the ground surface. Soil and rock located on top of the seam, called the overburden, were removed with a dragline or large stripping shovel before mining began. Strip mining was practiced in the Lackawanna Valley as early as 1919, but was not economically important until World War II. By 1959 it accounted for half of the anthracite mined from the Lackawanna Valley.

Deep Shaft Mining
Vertical shafts were used to obtain coal from deeply-buried seams. Once a shaft reached a coal seam, mining operations extended horizontally in all directions along the seam. The first local shaft mine was established in 1843. Deep shaft mining became the primary mining technique used in this area. You may visit a re-creation of an active mine at the Anthracite Museum in Scranton.

Drift Mining
Drift mining was done in areas where coal could be obtained by digging

Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
2. Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway Markers
Looking NE with US Hwy 6 in background
a relatively short level tunnel, or "drift," directly into a seam, typically on a hill side. The coal was often exposed on the surface. Until the 1840s drift mining was the only technique used in this area. One such drift opening is located beneath this spot.

[Marker background illustration]
This is a cross-section of the Lackawanna Valley looking toward Carbondale. In this area anthracite coal was found in relatively level, undulating layers called seams. As many as eight anthracite coal seams typically ranged in thickness from 2 feet (0.6 meter) to 12 feet (3.7 meters).
 
Erected by Pennsylvania Dept of Transportation and the Federal Highway Commission. (Marker Number 3.)
 
Location. 41° 33.198′ N, 75° 29.695′ W. Marker is in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, in Lackawanna County. Marker is on U.S. 6, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at the Carbondale Scenic Overlook, accessed from the southbound lanes of US Hwy 6, AKA the Casey Highway. Marker is in this post office area: Carbondale PA 18407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. From Mine to Market (here, next to this marker); The Gravity Railroad (here, next to this marker); Carbondale

Anthracite Coal and D&H Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 4, 2017
3. Anthracite Coal and D&H Company Marker
Adjacent to the Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway markers
(approx. 1.2 miles away); Church Street: Five of Carbondale’s many historic Churches (approx. 1.4 miles away); General Jerome F. O’Malley (approx. 1.4 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); Memorial Park (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Carbondale (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carbondale.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of Anthracite Coal Mining. (Submitted on June 6, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. History of the Pennsylvania Anthracite Region. (Submitted on June 6, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Anthracite Coal Mines and Mining. (Submitted on June 6, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum. (Submitted on June 6, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. EnvironmentIndustry & Commerce
 
Looking West into the Lackawanna Valley image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., June 4, 2017
4. Looking West into the Lackawanna Valley
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 11, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 6, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 79 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 6, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on June 11, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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