Days Gone By - stories from the past

The faces in these 1937 photographs of Coal Miners in and around Birmingham, Alabama reflect the difficulty of their job

These coal miners from Birmingham and Walker County, Alabama had no idea that when they went to work one cold morning in February of 1937 that their pictures would be taken by photojournalists, Arthur Rothstein and preserved in the Library of Congress forever. I’m sure they were thinking of the drudgery in their day ahead. I wish we had the identity of these men.

Rothstein is recognized as one of America’s premier photojournalists. His career spanned five decades. He worked for the the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937.

The incentive for his February 1937 assignment came from the interest generated by congressional consideration of farm tenant legislation sponsored in the Senate by John H. Bankhead, a moderate Democrat from Alabama with a strong interest in agriculture. Enacted in July, the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act gave the agency its new lease on life as the Farm Security Administration.

No names of the men were recorded, only their faces remain as they prepared for a hard day at work. Feel free to list names of the men you can identify in the Reply section at the bottom of this page. I’ve numbered the pictures to identify them.

1. Alabama coal miner, Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama

Alabama coal miner, Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama by Arthur Rothstein 1937

2. Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama by Arthur Rothstein 1937Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama by Arthur Rothstein 1937

3. Alabama coal miners, Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama by Arthur Rothstein2 1937

4. Alabama coal miners, Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama

Alabama coal miner, Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama by Arthur Rothstein3 1937

5. Alabama coal miners, Bankhead Mines, Walker County, AlabamaAlabama coal miners, Bankhead Mines, Walker County, Alabama4 by Arthur Rothstein 1937

6. Coal miners, Birmingham, Alabama  Coal miners, Birmingham, Alabama 1937 Rothstein

7. Coal miners, Birmingham, Alabama Coal miners, Birmingham, Alabama2 1937 Rothstein

9. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama3 1937 Rothstein

10. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama5 rothstein 1937

11. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama6 rothstein 1937

12. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama7 Rothsten 1937

13. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama8 Rothsten 1937

14. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama9 1937 Rothstein

See books by Donna R. Causey

15. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama10 1937 Rothstein

16. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama11 1937 Rothstein

17. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama12 1937 Rothstein

18. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama13 1937 Rothstein

19. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama14 1937 Rothstein

20. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama15 1937 Rothstein

21. Coal miners’ homes. Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners' homes. Birmingham, Alabama Rothstein, 1937

22. Coal miners’ homes. Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners' homes. Birmingham, Alabama2 Rothstein 1937

23. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama16 1937 Rothstein

24. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama17 1937 Rothstein

25. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama18 1937 Rothstein

26. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama19 1937 Rothstein

27. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama20 1937 Rothstein

28. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama21 1937 Rothstein

29. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama22 1937 Rothstein

30. Coal miners, Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners, Birmingham, Alabama23 1937 Rothstein

31. Coal miners’ homes. Birmingham, Alabama Coal miners' homes. Birmingham, Alabama26 Rothstein 1937

32. Coal miners’ homes. Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners' homes. Birmingham, Alabama27 Rothstein 1937

33. Coal miners’ homes. Birmingham, AlabamaCoal miners' homes. Birmingham, Alabama28 Rothstein 1937

 

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WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with links to Free On-line resources

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources (Kindle Edition)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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