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Argonaut gold mine disaster...

Item # 573554

August 31, 1922

THE DAY, New London, Connecticut, August 31, 1922

* Argonaut gold mine fire disaster
* Jackson, California

This 12 page newspaper has a two column headline on the front page:
"FIRE IN GOLD MINE CHECKED; INTENSE HEAT BARS RESCUE" with subheads (see photos) which tells of the Argonaut gold mine disaster at Jackson, California. This was the worst gold mine disaster in United States history.

Other news of the day including period advertising. A few tiny binding holes along the spine, otherwise in good condition.

wikipedia notes: In August of 1922, forty-seven miners, mostly immigrants from Italy, Spain, and Serbia, were trapped in a fire 4,650 feet (1,409 m) below ground. Other miners who had been near the surface poured water down the shaft in an attempt to put out the flames. By dawn, townspeople and other miners arrived to help, but it took two-and-a-half days for the fire to be extinguished.

Rescuers began re-opening tunnels from the Kennedy Mine which had been closed since an earlier fire in 1919. It was slow going, but hopes remained high until September 18, when a canary inserted beyond a bulkhead by oxygen-tank-equipped workers died. Still, it took them three weeks to finally get to where the miners were trapped by the fire. None survived, and evidence indicated that they had all died within hours of the fire's breaking out. One of the bodies was not recovered until a year later. Most likely, water flushed down the shaft carried his body further into the mine, but in the intervening time, newspapers speculated he had fled the mine to start a new life.

It was determined that the mine had violated safety regulations, but the owners escaped punishment, as the United States Bureau of Mines had little enforcement power. The cause of the fire was never determined and put down to "incendiarism," a broad term meaning either arson or defective wiring.

Category: The 20th Century

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