Skip to content

Archive of 99 original photographs of a mine sealing project at Kempton Mine, 1938-1940

Archive of 99 original photographs of a mine sealing project at Kempton Mine, 1938-1940

Archive of 99 original photographs of a mine sealing project at Kempton Mine, 1938-1940

by [Appalachia]

  • Used
See description
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Item Price
Or just $2,730.00 with a
Bibliophiles Club Membership
FREE Shipping to USA Standard delivery: 7 to 14 days
More Shipping Options

Payment Methods Accepted

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • PayPal

About This Item

N.p.: N.p., 1940. Archive of 99 vintage photographs documenting a mine sealing project in and around Kempton Mine in Kempton, Maryland. Likely taken at the behest of the Kempton Mine Company, the photographs are housed in an album, with captions detailing the nature of the work shown, location, and date. Photographs date between February, 1938, and April, 1940, and are arranged in groupings according to location, each usually followed by an abbreviated location signifier and a description of the work done.

Detailed inventory available upon request.

Archive presents many views of the work involved in the large-scale project, including masonry stopping, traps, and seals; clearing, cleaning, and loading fall; gob cleanup and seals; excavation and paving of creek beds; bridge construction; earth packing; drainage ditch digging; and timber setting and wall construction, among others. Archive also includes a map and an introductory photograph showing an overview of the mine and mining plant.

Straddling the border of Maryland and West Virginia at the North Branch Potomac River, the source of the Potomac, the town of Kempton was founded in 1913 as a company town for the Kempton Mine Company, a subsidiary of Davis Coal and Coke Company. Established to extract coal from the Upper Freeport Seam or Davis Vein, the richest vein in the Upper Potomac Valley, Kempton's Mine No. 42 was producing 250 to 300 tons of coal per day within just a few months of operation, with expectations that the shafts could see as much as 2000 tons per day for as many as 25 years. In 1922 the Maryland Geological Survey noted that the Kempton mine was "without doubt the most modernly equipped of all the coal mines in the state of Maryland."

On April 15, 1950, without prior notice, a proclamation was placed on the window of the company store announcing the closure of the mines within a week, making company script relatively worthless and forcing employees to seek work elsewhere. Within six weeks the pumps were shut off and Mine No. 42 was flooded with groundwater. By the 1970s Kempton had become a virtual ghost town, with only a small number of residents remaining in the few old company houses that remain standing. In the years since the closure, lack of maintenance on the abandoned mines allowed considerable amounts of acid mine drainage into the surrounding waterways, putting a significant strain on the local watershed. In 1977, partly in response to conditions at Kempton, Congress passed the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act to regulate the environmental impacts of both active and abandoned coal mines.

Photographs: 7 x 6.25 inches to 9 x 6.75 inches. Very Good plus to Near Fine, some with light toning.

Photograph album: 15 x 11.25 inches. Very Good plus, with edgewear and some fraying at the corners, crown and heel.


(Log in or Create an Account first!)

You’re rating the book as a work, not the seller or the specific copy you purchased!


Royal Books, Inc. US (US)
Seller's Inventory #
Archive of 99 original photographs of a mine sealing project at Kempton Mine, 1938-1940
Book Condition
Quantity Available
Place of Publication
Date Published
Archives | Photographs | Photography | Maryland and Regional
Bookseller catalogs
Photography; Photographs; Maryland and Regional; Archives;

Terms of Sale

Royal Books, Inc.

If you have questions about a book, feel free to call us anytime at 410-366-7329. Mailing address: Royal Books / 32 West 25th Street / Baltimore, MD / 21218. We accept VISA/MC/AMEX/DISCOVER, check or money order, and PayPal (ID is

All books noted as First Editions are also First Printings unless indicated otherwise. All books are guaranteed to be as described, and may be returned at any time for any reason for a full refund, including return postage. Libraries, institutions, and accredited dealers can be sent books with invoice.

About the Seller

Royal Books, Inc.

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2007
Baltimore, Maryland

About Royal Books, Inc.

We are members of ABAA and ILAB, and specialize in First Editions of Modern Literature, Crime Fiction, Science Fiction, Music, Photography, Art, and Cinema. You may search our entire stock, get directions, or view our newest arrivals by catalog or category by going to our easy-to-use catalog homepage:

We are an open shop located in the midtown section of Baltimore. Check our website for directions if you are coming through the Baltimore area. We are open 10AM-6PM EST, Monday through Friday. You may email an order at any time, 24 hours a day.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The lower most portion of the spine when the book is standing vertically.
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...

This Book’s Categories