Pennsylvania Coal Country

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by Ricochetrider, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. I've begun a long term project in documenting old Coal Country towns & villages. People still use coal to heat quite a bit here so coal has a long reach. Most of this is shot on film, although there's the occasional phone pic, like this one:


  2. I would be severely remiss if I didn't include shots of churches in this series. Lots of orthodox religion up in here. The churches have their distinct look, with the "onion domes".



  3. The rest of the shots, to date, can be viewed by clicking the link below. I'll be updating my Zenfolio Gallery periodically, as I get more content.

    PA Coal Country
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  4. I really like the way you capture the sense of the place. I was born in Schuylkill County but my family left there when I was two year old. So, I know that this place, with it’s important resources. held some prominence. While it was always a rural place it now seem so isolated and sad. Your images capture that. Well done and thanks for sharing your images here.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
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  5. Very nice work, all of it - a great documentary of a vanishing industry and the folks who worked it.
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  6. Great images. Coal will not survive the incoming administration I fear.
  7. Coming back from work today in a town 100 miles from home I took the opportunity to shoot some “Pennsylvania Coal Country” stuff today, in the town of Mahanoy City. Had a roll of Film Ferrania P30 to finish off- maybe 8 or 10 shots, then took a number of photos with my phone, an iPhone 11.

    resizing these to “medium” in my phone, but this still could be a large file so please beware of this before you click on it.

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  8. Like.

    Not at all unlike my own environment in the coal fields of southern Illinois
    First, shaft mines, then "surface mining" (around here don't call it "strip")
  9. We, too, have Italian, Russian, Polish, Bohemian, etc. miner communities that came here to work.
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  10. Great long-term project! As far as I can see (as a humble European ;)), a whole lot needs to change quickly in many countries (including the US) if the worst short-term effects of man-made climate change are to be avoided (or at least tempered). The transition to less coal- and oil-based patterns of consumption and production will affect many communities. The traditional coal- and oil-producing communities more than most. The 'timeline' for this transition is still up in the air for most countries/communities. But I suspect coal-producing communities will be be hit harder and sooner than those producing oil.

    It seems to me to be a very worthwhile project to document the effects (and the process) of this transition in local communities.


    PS. I grew up in South Wales which saw its previously booming coal industry shut down in the 1970's and 1980's as coal became too expensive to mine. The impact on many local coal-mining communities was huge (and still is).

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  11. Dont know if anyone saw these (which I posted over in Critique) but at the risk of repeating myself unnecessarily, here are the film photos from Mahanoy City. Captured on Ferrania P30, the gritty nature of th film stock really serves to enhance the general look of the town





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  12. Some great stuff there. I often pass through those areas traveling farther upstate. While there is still plenty of "grit" left, there have been signs of some economic turnaround in many areas as they transition to lighter, cleaner industry. This is anthracite country where extractive industry goes back to the mid-1800s and was actually declining substantially in the 1950s and since.

    It's good to catch some of the stuff before it's gone. The St. Nicholas coal breaker, west of Mahanoy City was once the largest in the world. I shot a series around it in 2008 and it has since been torn down.
    (Taken with a Voigtländer Perkeo II folder.)

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