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Enter the Fascinating World of Collecting Mining Antiques

If you are looking for a unique hobby, consider collecting mining antiques. You can find many exciting conversation pieces that people may have never seen. Since people have been mining for over 10,000 years, you can find many options on the market when you shop for mining antiques on eBay.

What are some types of old mining antiques to consider?

There are many different types of antique mining collectibles:

  • Equipment - Antique mining self rescuers, ore cars, buckets, and many other pieces of equipment are required. You may want to start a specialized collection concentrating on different versions of one thing or collect different pieces of old mining antiques from one period.
  • Photos - You may want to consider setting up a display of photos showing how hard life was for miners, or you may want to collect photos of a certain mine throughout its history.
  • Papers - There are many types of antique mining papers that you may want to consider collecting. Old mining financial records, maps, and stock certificates are just a few to consider.
  • Lamps and lighting - Mining candleholders, oil wick lamps, carbide lamps, and safety lamps are often collected, especially because they are some of the cheapest mining antiques to collect.
  • Mining union memorabilia - Badges, pins, ribbons, and fobs from different mining unions are very small, so you can keep many in a small space.
What did the typical miner's outfit consist of when working?

Many collectors specialize in collecting vintage clothing and equipment, like antique coal mine self rescuers, worn by miners when working including:

  • Antique coal mine self rescuers - No miner would think of going underground without a coal mine self rescuer attached to their belt.
  • Miner's hats - Originally, almost all miner's hats were made of leather, and their only purpose was to hold a lamp. After World War I, almost all hats became steel to protect the miner better.
  • Miner's aprons - These semi-circular or triangular leather aprons helped protect the miner, helped his clothes last longer, and provided warmth.
  • Miner's knee pads - Often made with fabric and foam, earlier ones you find among mining antiques for sale usually fasten with leather straps.
  • Miner's bag: These small bags allowed miners to carry flint, matches, and a knife.
Collecting coal scrip

Coal scrip was given to workers instead of United States money. Collectible coal scrip usually was made by the Childs Company, the Ingle Company, or Osborne Register Company. While copper and nickel are the most common, you can find coal scrip made of brass, aluminum, fiber, Bakelite, rubber, zinc, and steel. Most bear the name of the business giving the coal scrip, and they may have an advertising or political message. While many were round circles, some had designs poked out of the middle.

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