|Description:||From the 1950s or 1960s, and provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), this historic image depicted a coal miner using a hand-held auger against the wall of a mine shaft. Using a hand-held device allowed the miner to be more selective in the excavation process, as well as to extract small ore samples for analytical purposes. Note that this miner was not wearing any protective facial breathing gear such as a filtered mask. In the small confines of a mine, airborne coal dust can emanate from almost anywhere in the shaft network, which made miners predisposed to the long-term negative health effects of this profession such as “black lung disease”, or “coal-workers’ pneumoconiosis” (CWP).|
The NIOSH Historic Photo Collection began as the “picture file” of the Industrial Hygiene Division of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), c. 1930-1960. It is a unique collection of mid-20th Century images of American workers and workplaces and documents occupational safety and health research of that era. The collection consists of approximately 1,000 original photographs and schematic drawings.