Coal Dust on Your Feet
The Rise, Decline, and Restoration of an Anthracite Mining Town
Coal Dust on Your Feet is an historical ethnography of Shamokin, Pennsylvania and its surrounding borough of Coal Township. This anthracite coal fueled the industrial revolution and its miners generated the rise of organized labor, both of which make the region of northeast Pennsylvania one of great economic and historic importance. The ethnographic field site of the study spans a century and a half as it looks at the history and ties to the home countries of the immigrants who established and worked the coal mines. Details of individual lives and family histories enliven accounts of industry and the struggles of the unions, means of livelihood, ethnicity, associational life and ceremonial occasions. It will be of interest to anthropologists, sociologists, scholars of urban studies and labor historians, and contributes to the canon of literature on community and sense of place.
About the author:
Janet MacGaffey is professor emeritus of anthropology at Bucknell University.