Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

People, Place and Time
Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara, 1874-1934


Strike, Miners

This was not the first time miners challenged the companies over wages and working conditions, nor would it be the last. In 1913, miners rallied for higher wages, unionization under the Western Federation of Miners, and a return to the more familiar two-man drill. Although mining companies provided housing and medical services, copper miners worked long hours underground in harsh and dangerous conditions. Deadly accidents were commonplace, averaging more than one a week just two years prior to the start of the strike. The new one-man drill meant a man worked without a partner to keep an eye on him, even if it did increase production.

Miners Underground
Image #: Nara 42-142

Western Federation of Miners Parade
Image #: Nara 42-006