National Geographic : 1935 Jul
PENN'S LAND OF MODERN MIRACLES Photograph by William M. Rittase MILLIONS OF BEANS PARADE BEFORE EAGLE-EYED INSPECTORS Moving slowly on a brightly illuminated belt, each bean must pass a rigid inspection before reaching the giant ovens in the Heinz scientific kitchens in Pittsburgh. Absolute cleanliness is con stantly stressed and the company even maintains a manicuring department for its workers (see text, page 56). up in the earth through millions of years, we realize how great is its debt to Pennsyl vania, for in service to humanity coal far outshines the magic wonders of Aladdin's legendary lamp. Since coal was discovered in Pennsyl vania, about four billion tons of anthracite and even a larger amount of bituminous have been mined and transformed into heat and light, power and wonder-working chemi cals (seepage 25). As one travels through the coal fields, there are many sights reminiscent of a century of mining. But there are three scenes that will always stand out in my memory as particularly proclaiming the toil of the decades that have gone-two in the anthracite region and one in the soft coal territory. Driving from Tamaqua to Mauch Chunk, the motorist passes Coaldale and Lansford and then comes to Summit Hill. All through the anthracite coal country are huge culm banks. Nowhere else do I remember seeing them as numerous or as systematized as they are down the valley of Panther Creek. In other areas many of the culm banks have been removed, but in this district the visitor seems to survey the debris of more than a century of busy mining. One wonders what the archeologist of future centuries will con clude when he comes upon the scores of hand-reared mountains in orderly array in the Panther Creek field. Another trip I shall never forget was one made from Scranton via Shickshinny and Shamokin, Shenandoah and Hazleton, re turning via Wilkes-Barre and Pittston. Mountainous culm dumps by the hundred, railroad yards by the dozen, laden cars by the thousand, big breakers by the score, strip mines by the square mile, and idle miners at every turn-here one realizes the gigantic labors that a century of operators and miners have performed since the pio neering days of coal.