Miners in West Virginia

Photograph by Volkmar Wentzel

"Facing westward, we looked toward West Virginia's coal country, in which more than a thousand mines produced over 107,000,000 tons [97,000,000 metric tons] of bituminous coal in 1939. Estimated reserves are so vast that at the present rate production could be maintained for more than 400 years."—Volkmar Wentzel

National Geographic magazine, August, 1940