Kentucky Coal History, Timeline


Discover the rich history of the coal timeline.

1748 First recorded US commercial coal production.

1750 Dr Thomas Walker is the first recorded person to discover and use Kentucky Coal.

1820 First commercial mine in Kentucky produces 328 tons of coal in Muhlenberg County.

1830 Statewide coal production of 2,000 tons recorded.

1843 Statewide coal production of 100,000 tons recorded.

1860 Pre-Civil War production declines to 150,760 tons

1870 Post-Civil War production reaches One Million tons.

1880 First Mine Ventilation Law.

1890 United Mine Workers of America organized.

1900 Child Labor Law enacted in coal mines.

1914 WW I pushes production to 20,300,000 tons.  Explosives developed for coal mining.

1932 Walking draglines developed for surface coal mining.

1942 Continuous underground coal mining methods developed.

1956 Roof bolting introduced in underground coal mines.

1960 First long-wall mining with powered roof supports.

1969 Federal Coal Mine Health & Safety Act.

1972 Kentucky becomes the leading coal producing state in the United States.

1988 Wyoming displaces Kentucky as the leading coal producing state.

1990 Kentucky produces 179.4 million tons of coal with US production exceeding 1 billion tons of coal.

Contact Us

Western Kentucky Coal Association

PO Box 65
1822 North Main Street
Madisonville Kentucky  42431

Phone:  270-825-8311

Email:  info@westernkentuckycoal.com