1912 USA photo postcard by Morris Masure of coal mine Roanoke IL

$50.00 CAD

| /

Nice panoramic view of the coal mine at Roanoke Illinois. Mine shaft and processing plant.

Written on negative ‘Coal Mine Roanoke’ and ’ML17’.

Printed on back ‘Real Photograph, by M-L Photo Co. 2837 Milwaukee Ave. CHICAGO

This company was owned and operated by longtime Chicago photographer Morris L. Masure (1869-1943), famed for his images of Illinois and Indiana.

Text on back (French): …please you for us to send you a view of the Roanoke mine that you will see is quite different in construction from back home…."

Postmarked 'ROANOKE OCT 3 1912 ILL.’ on 2 cent Washington stamp to ‘Mr. Cresple, guard at Mine #3 Ferfay France’.

(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)


The Roanoke area, like most of Illinois, is underlain by rich veins of coal. The second coal shaft in Woodford County was sunk in Roanoke in 1881. Miners went down 480 feet to discover a vein of high quality coal thirty inches thick. The longest tunnel ran about two miles east and a little north of town on a downward slope. Another shaft started in a westerly direction, but this coal was "flinty", or mixed with rock, and digging was discontinued. A room was dug out at the bottom of this shaft to stable the ponies and mules used before electric equipment was installed in 1905. The drivers treated these ponies and mules with apples and candy, who were also used for farm labor during the summer months. Work in the mine started at 7:00am with a blast from the mine whistle, which sounded again when the men were brought back up from mining at 3:30pm. The mine whistle was also used to convey work delays due to weather or other events; in the evening, three whistle blasts meant the mine would be open the next day, and one blast indicated it would be closed the next day. The mine at its peak employed around 300 men and hoisted 500 tons of coal a day