Full text: Modern business geography

intted States Bureau of Alines 
Fig. 97. Undercutting in a coal mine to make a borehole. 
Coat furnishes the strong muscles of a country. Human and animal 
muscles by themselves can accomplish only the little tasks. Without 
coal a country is a weakling; with it, a giant that can easily do the 
heaviest sort of work, such as drawing long trains of heavy cars, pro- 
pelling great steamships, driving the machinery of huge factories, 
and digging tunnels through mountains. Coal furnishes the power 
for the world’s work, and man furnishes the brain to guide it. 
The Chinese were perhaps the first to use coal. More than six 
centuries ago the famous traveler, Marco Polo, reported that in China 
he found people burning black stones which grew red and remained 
hot for a long time. England was the first country to use coal ex- 
tensively in her industries. There this mineral has furnished heat 
for more than four centuries and has been used in smelting iron for 
nearly two centuries. 
The United States was slow in mining coal even after deposits 
were found. because the forests furnished abundant cheap fuel. With 

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