I grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and later lived in California and New Mexico where I worked as an aerospace engineer. I eventually returned to rural Pennsylvania where I am working on documentary projects involving the changes in rural life...
Focus:Photographer, Photojournalist, Fine Art, Environment, History, Photography, Art
Skills:Photo Assisting, Historical Processing, Black & White Printing, Color Printing
Matt was 19 years old and a new miner when I photographed him. His shirt sleeve was pulled up to show me his new Independent Miners of America tattoo. It is estimated that there are fewer than 100 independent deep miners left in Pennsylvania.
Buck is co-owner with his father of a mine which employs five people. Their old mine had been worked for 30 years and the coal seam had run out so they had moved equipment a quarter mile away and dug exploratory trenches
Coal miner Bob Shingara taking a smoke break during the closing and decommissioning of the old Little Buck Mine. This building was soon torn down, and the miners hauled their huge equipment away to a new location. His family has been mining for three generations and most of his uncles, brothers and nephews are miners.
A 30-year-old hard living miner with multiple scars from accidents and bar fights, Rick ended up symbolizing for me the typical personality of many miners. What did I take away from my time spent with the miners? The relationships, the bonds, the ties that they have, the pride they take in what they do, and the pride they take in being independent
Anthracite is mined largely by hand using the same 19th century techniques as generations before. The coal seams are narrow and steep which prevents use of large equipment. Unlike the large bituminous mines which have hundreds of people working below the anthracite mines have only a handful.