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Trapped The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster

2003 non-fiction book by Karen Tinton

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Absolutely riveting.....you won't put this one down!!!

  • Dec 3, 2008
  • by
Karen Tintori's account of the Cherry, Ill. mining disaster quite unexpectedly turns out to be one of the best books I have read this year. Because the author's grandfather worked at that mine (he was home nursing a hangover the day of the disaster), Tintori was a woman on a mission. Her meticulously researched book takes you back nearly a century and recreates the scene so very well. We learn about the town and the imigrant miners who risked their lives each day to eke out a living. Tintori then recalls the unlikely set of tragic events that caused the fire at the mine and the heroic actions of the dozen men who time and time again went back into the inferno attempting to rescue those who were trapped. Fortunately, their efforts did not go unrewarded!!! The shocking part is that the mine continued normal operations for a couple of hours after the fire broke out, causing considerably more casualties than would have otherwise occurred. As a result of this tragedy, significant changes were made to existing Workmen's Compensation and coal mining safety laws. The town of Cherry maintains a small archive of the mine fire in the local town library. I believe it is open only one day a week. I was so moved by Karen Tintori's account of these tragic events that I really do want to visit that library someday.   Don't miss this one!!!

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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One of the Chicago Tribune's Favorite Books of 2002, Trapped is the story of the worst coal mine fire in U.S. history, and still stands as that country's third worst coal mine disaster.  It is a story of heroism and cowardice, faith and despair, tragedy and survival against incredible odds--a true story that still resonates today.  The Cherry Mine Disaster was a catalyst for changes in mining and child labor laws, and the first application of Workers Compensation in the U.S.

  Inspired by a refrain of her girlhood -- "Your grandfather survived the Cherry Mine disaster" -- Karen Tintori began a search for her family's role in the harrowing tragedy of 1909. She uncovered the stories of victims, survivors, widows, orphans, townspeople, firefighters, reporters, and mine owners, and wove them together to pen Trapped, a riveting account of the tragic day that would inspire America's first worker's compensation laws and hasten much-needed child labor reform.

On a Saturday morning in November of 1909, four hundred and eighty men went down into the mines as they had countless times before. But a fire erupted in the mineshaft that day and soon burned out of control. By nightfall, more than half the men would either be dead or trapped as officials sealed the mine in an attempt to contain the blaze. Miraculously, twenty men would emerge one week later, but not before the Cherry Mine disaster went down in history as the worst ever coal mine fire in the ...

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Books, Nonfiction, American History, Industrial Disasters


ISBN-10: 0743421957
ISBN-13: 978-0743421959
Author: Karen Tinton
Genre: Nonfiction, Disasters
Publisher: Atria
Date Published: September 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
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