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Coal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Page

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These 10 photographs from the mid-1930s depict scenes from the coal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary (KSP) in Lansing, Kansas. The penitentiary, now known as Lansing Correctional Facility, operated the mine with inmate labor from 1879 to 1947. Excavation of the 720-foot mine shaft began on November 26, 1879 and coal was reached on January 18, 1881. The mine, which was the last deep mine to operate in Leavenworth County, utilized the longwall mining system rather than the room-and-pillar system typical of the coal mines in Southeast Kansas. By 1927, the KSP mine had approximately 21 miles of tunnels. Initially, the coal mined at the penitentiary was furnished to state educational, charitable, and correctional institutions, with surplus output being sold to private individuals and contractors. The sale of surplus coal was discontinued after 1899 because the mine's entire output was needed to meet the demand of state institutions. The peak of the mine's operation occurred over the two-year period July 1, 1932 through June 30, 1934; during that time, the amount of coal produced totaled 171,982 tons and a daily average of 445 inmates were employed in the mine. Production ceased thirteen years later because the mine was no longer economically viable. The mine shaft was sealed on October 1, 1947.

Date: 1936

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Coal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Mine tipple at top of shaftCoal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Hoist engine (prison mine top)Coal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Mine operatorsCoal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Electric motor which handles carsCoal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Prison laborer in bottom of mineCoal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Loaded cars to be hoisted to surfaceCoal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Blacksmith shop in prison mineCoal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Mule barn (prison mine)Coal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Dr. Simpson examining mine mulesCoal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Armory in prison mine

Coal mine at Kansas State Penitentiary - Mine tipple at top of shaft

Item Number: 316295
Call Number: FK2.7 PE.1936 *36-43, *48, *123
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 316295

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