Western Pennsylvania and surrounding Appalachia will forever be linked with a legacy of mining.
It has historically been one of the region’s most dangerous occupations, and also one of the most necessary to modern society.
Coal made industrial development possible, and it also likely powers the computer on which you’re reading this story. Today, mining tragedies have decreased from the period in the early 1900s when nine men per day were dying in mines.
That improvement is due to technological advances, some of which were developed at a facility in Bruceton, Pa., just outside Pittsburgh.
The Bureau of Mines made the suburb and a 38-acre site its headquarters in 1910, and it built an experimental underground facility to try to learn more about the science of mining. Ultimately, the employees there needed to devise new ways to stop mining deaths.
“The Experimental Mine was designed to serve the combined purposes of real world field test station, and theoretical science laboratory,” wrote Tom Imerito, president of Science Communications.
There was also a Pittsburgh Experiment Station of the Bureau of Mines on Forbes Avenue. That’s the setting for the first aid drill in the first image.
As for why that gentleman is on a stationary bike, your guess is as good as ours.