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The history of coal mining

It began in Britain in the 18th century that industry revolution and later spread to continental Europe and North America, which was based on the availability of coal to power steam engines. International trade expanded exponentially when coal-fed steam engines were built for the railways and steamships. The new mines that grew up in the 19th century depended on men and children to work long hours in often dangerous working conditions.[1] There were many coalfields, but the oldest were in Newcastle and Durham, South Wales, Scotland and the Midlands, such as those at Coalbrookdale.
The oldest continuously worked deep-mine in the United Kingdom is Tower Colliery in South Wales valleys in the heart of the South Wales coalfield. This colliery was developed in 1805, and its miners bought it out at the end of the 20th century to prevent it from being closed. Tower Colliery was finally closed on 25 January 2008, although production continues at the Aberpergwmdrift mine owned by Walter Energy of the USA nearby.
Coal was mined in America in the early 18th century, and commercial mining started around 1730 in Midlothian, Virginia.[2]
Coal-cutting machines were invented in the 1880s. Before this invention, coal was mined from underground with a pick and shovel. By 1912 surface mining was conducted with steam shovels designed specially for coal mining industry.