Friday December 30, 2011
Quote of the Day
“The best days of the Tri-State Mining District were ten years gone when Mutt [Mantle] moved his family to the region. The land's lucre was first discovered in 1848, the year Mantle's great-grandfther, an English coal miner, immigrated to America. The Twenties were the glory days. Between 1908 and 1930, the ore that came out of the mines was worth more than $300 million. The human cost of extracting the wealth was clear as early as 1915, when doctors noted pulmonary disease in almost two out of three miners ...
”Silicosis was feared and far more common than the random but inevitable collapse of rock. A clinic opened in Pitcher in 1927, but it was for the benefit of the mine operators, who were anxious to cull the sick from the workforce. Doctors provided advice but no treatment. Annual X-ray examinations were compulsory. Miners were required to carry a wallet-sized health card certifying that they were free of disease. Those whose X-rays came back positive were fired the same day and could never be hired by another mine. An attorney for Eagle-Picher explained the company's methodology for ridding the area of silicosis and the rampant tuberculosis that ensued: 'When they get sick and can't work, we throw them on the dump heap.'“
--From Jane Leavy's ”The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood," pg. 43