Full text: Modern business geography

Modern Business Geography 
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Fig. 98. Coal is mined most profitably (1) when it is where it can be easily reached from the 
surface, (2) when it is of good quality, and (3) when it is near a market or can be cheaply trans- 
ported to market. In the United States, the Appalachian coal fields meet these requirements 
most nearly; the middle-western fields come next; while the Pacific fields are much the least 
important. The anthracite coal (in eastern Pennsylvania) is indeed buried deep and is hard to 
mine ; but as it is the best kind of coal, and there is only one deposit of it, the fact that it cannot 
be reached easily does not prevent the field from being worked. 
the extension of the railroads after 1850, however, the demand for 
coal grew steadily. Now our country mines two fifths of the world’s 
coal ; Great Britain mines about one fourth, and Germany one sixth. 
Coal fields in the United States. As shown in Figure 98, coal 
fields are both extensive and numerous in the United States. No 
large section of the country is entirely without them. 
The three most important coal fields of the United States are: 
(1) The anthracite field of eastern Pennsylvania. 
(2) The bituminous field in the western Appalachian Mountains from 
western Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Alabama. 
(3) The bituminous field which centers in Illinois. 
These three fields produce nearly nine tenths of the coal of the coun- 
try. Besides containing rich deposits, they have the further advan- 
tage of nearness to populous regions. Since Pennsylvania contains 
the anthracite field and the best part of the Appalachian field, it 
stands supreme as our greatest coal state, turning out nearly 40 per 
cent of the country’s supply. Pennsylvania mines nearly as much 
coal as the British Isles or Germany.

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