Miners Operating a Cutting Machine at Mine No. 32, Consolidation Coal Company, Owings, W. Va.
Caption on back reads, 'Making a cut in the coal face is this Mastodon of the machine age - an underground cutter. Rubber tired for mobility, and mounting a 9-foot cutting blade armed with whirring steel bits, it can cut a full 360 degree arc. This and similar machines give America's bituminous coal mines almost unlimited capacity for production.'
'All White Oak mines are electrically equipped and of course this mining machine is operated by electricity. The machine is mounted and transported on a specially designed truck and moves under its own power from one working place to another. It is taken from the truck by the machine operator and his helper and moved to the place of the coal and place in cutting position as you see it in this picture. The machine consists of an endless chain with 'bits' inserted, which act as cutters. The machine cuts a 'kerf' or hole along the bottom of the coal about 4 inches high and extending back six feet under the coal. The fine coal made by this machine is what is commonly known as 'bug dust.' Cutting machines are operated at night and each machine is capable of cutting twenty places on each shift. These machines are operated on tonnage basis and these operators earn high wages.'