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Old 11-03-2008, 08:44 PM   #46
nwcolorider
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Great job on the history of the Olga mine. Here is a side bit on Homer's dad.
The rescue cage and system used to bring up the nine trapped miners at the Quecreek mine in in 2002 in Pennsylvania was designed and tested by Homer Hickam Sr. way back in 1951. Homer Junior recounts the story on pages 139-142 of his book We Are Not Afraid. The design was a two man tube that used predrilled ventilation holes in the mine as escape ways in case of an accident. The Olga Mine (where Homer Sr. eventually became the superintendent) was much deeper than the Pennsylvania Quecreek mine. When Homer Sr. (man in lower part of the tube in photo) tested his rescue cage, he was lowered down a 700 ft hole (The Quecreek rescue was 240 feet deep). At about 350 feet down, the tube got stuck. Water was dumped into the hole to lubricate it so that it could be raised back up. Rather than quit, Homer Sr. got in it again and successfully went down, got out, and then came back up. No one else wanted to try it! This is from http://www.homerhickam.com/coalwood/
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:16 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwcolorider
Great job on the history of the Olga mine. Here is a side bit on Homer's dad.
The rescue cage and system used to bring up the nine trapped miners at the Quecreek mine in in 2002 in Pennsylvania was designed and tested by Homer Hickam Sr. way back in 1951. Homer Junior recounts the story on pages 139-142 of his book We Are Not Afraid. The design was a two man tube that used predrilled ventilation holes in the mine as escape ways in case of an accident. The Olga Mine (where Homer Sr. eventually became the superintendent) was much deeper than the Pennsylvania Quecreek mine. When Homer Sr. (man in lower part of the tube in photo) tested his rescue cage, he was lowered down a 700 ft hole (The Quecreek rescue was 240 feet deep). At about 350 feet down, the tube got stuck. Water was dumped into the hole to lubricate it so that it could be raised back up. Rather than quit, Homer Sr. got in it again and successfully went down, got out, and then came back up. No one else wanted to try it! This is from http://www.homerhickam.com/coalwood/

Thanks for the additional information nwcolorider.
Seems Mr. Hickam Sr. played a major roll in mine safety.

Thanks for the contribution.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:25 PM   #48
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DeBandi, you already know how much I love reading your reports, this one is no different. The space program is wonderful stuff, full of awe and inspiration.

I hope this new stuff NASA is working on pushes them ahead.

Have I told you my brother in law just interviewed with NASA to work on their computers right out of school?
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:21 AM   #49
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A cold and windy day today, so I plopped down and read Rocket Boys cover to cover.

I enjoyed it, thanks for the tip.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:56 AM   #50
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My daughter just asked me this morning if I'd ever seen October Sky. Turns out they are watching it in one of her school classes.

She has been pointed in the direction of this thread to get more of the history of the story.
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Old 11-27-2008, 03:52 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by mark1305
My daughter just asked me this morning if I'd ever seen October Sky. Turns out they are watching it in one of her school classes.

She has been pointed in the direction of this thread to get more of the history of the story.
That is awesome!

Thank you Mark....
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:39 PM   #52
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Im a little late but I just found this report and just have to say great job guys! My mom was born in Pocahontas in 1924 and my grandfather worked in that mine and a few others in that area. I grew up in Falls Mills myself, you guys passed right by the house I grew up in going from Pokey "as locals call it" back to Bluefield VA (I went to Highscool in Bluefield VA). My wifes grandfather actually worked at Coalwood and her Dad is a retired mining engineer from US Steel in Gary WV she grew up in Welch so as you can imagine this ride report was very exciting for us and that Homer's book and the movie are very popular with our family. Her Highschool football team even used to play Big Creek. Anyway sorry to be long winded just wanted to say thanks for sheding light on the rapidly disapearing history in that area and the importance it had on shaping our country.

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Old 12-15-2008, 08:34 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mankman36
Im a little late but I just found this report and just have to say great job guys! I grew up in Falls Mills myself

(I went to Highscool in Bluefield VA).

her Dad is a retired mining engineer from US Steel in Gary WV

Her High school football team even used to play Big Creek.

Mark
Graham High ? Tazewell High here

My grandfather retired from the Gary cleaning plant.

I remember many football games at Big Creek, we always dreaded going there !
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:01 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mankman36
Im a little late but I just found this report and just have to say great job guys! My mom was born in Pocahontas in 1924 and my grandfather worked in that mine and a few others in that area. I grew up in Falls Mills myself, you guys passed right by the house I grew up in going from Pokey "as locals call it" back to Bluefield VA (I went to Highscool in Bluefield VA). My wifes grandfather actually worked at Coalwood and her Dad is a retired mining engineer from US Steel in Gary WV she grew up in Welch so as you can imagine this ride report was very exciting for us and that Homer's book and the movie are very popular with our family. Her Highschool football team even used to play Big Creek. Anyway sorry to be long winded just wanted to say thanks for sheding light on the rapidly disapearing history in that area and the importance it had on shaping our country.

Mark
I love it when a ride report hits this close to home. That’s what it's all about.
A lot of preparation goes into these historic reports.

Thank you Mark for taking the time to reply....
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:41 PM   #55
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Wow, great ride report! Thanks!
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:04 PM   #56
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Wow its a small world! I had a lot a friends that went to Tazewell HS. I have family in Thompson Valley area as well. Most of my wifes family worked in Gary at the cleaning plant or #14 and #7 Jenkin Jones or Shawnee #51 (I think).
I worked for American Mine research for several years and have been all over that area and to most of the mines.
DeBandi I have done a lot of work down your way in the Jim Walter mines near Birmingham those are the largest shaft mines I have ever seen they are huge compared to the ones in WV and KY. Anyway really enjoyed both you guys reports guess I need to do one myself someday.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:59 AM   #57
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For those with an interest in this story, the movie "October Sky" is airing tonight (1/12/09) on AMC at 8 pm EST. The movie wil give a great visual to this report !
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:02 PM   #58
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Thank you

Thank you Don.

It's on now.........
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:40 PM   #59
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Thanks for the heads up, Don. I'd never seen the movie before. Turned out to be a pretty good movie.

Brought Debandi's excellent ride report to life all over again, now I have to go back and re-read it!

Thank you both!
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:44 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zookster
Thanks for the heads up, Don. I'd never seen the movie before. Turned out to be a pretty good movie.

Brought Debandi's excellent ride report to life all over again, now I have to go back and re-read it!

Thank you both!

What he said.


Thanks for the heads up on the flick Don, it was really great!
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