National Geographic : 1976 Jun
Lifeblood on a lifeline: A deck hand moors coal-laden barges at Weirton on the Ohio River (above), a major artery supply ing West Virginia's steel mills. Burned into coke, coal feeds the furnaces of Weirton Steel, where a worker caps ingot molds brim ming with molten metal (left). Coal has also fueled decades of strife-like a wildcat walkout last fall that sparked this Charles ton demonstration (right). Nearly 40,000 United Mine Workers in the state rebelled over a contract that restricted their ultimate weapon: the strike.