Man has used coal since the ancient times. The Chinese were the first to use coal. History shows us, that the Chinese used coal to smelt copper and iron perhaps as far back in time as three thousand years. We also find mentions of coal in the proverbs of Bible. The Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived from 384 to 322 BC, also had mentioned about coal in his writings. There are also records, which show that one of the first coalmines was there in the Dutch province of Limburg in the year 1113. This was known as the Domaniale Mine and it still continues to exist today.
The North American Indians started using coal long before the first settlers had arrived in the New World. These people were called Hopi Indians. They used to cure the pottery made out of clay by using coal.
After the European settlers had arrive at into North America, they got the opportunity to acquire the first taste of coal in the first half of the 1600s. At first they were exactly unwilling with the coal and used it in actually few situations. They were much additional concerned in waterwheels and burning wood in order to power the colonial industries. It took a lot of time for coal to make over a common name in the United States.
By the 1800s, coal became a powerhouse. It was now all over. People were using coal to power steamships, build railroads and manufacture contrary category of goods. During the American civil war, coal was being used to perform iron and steel. At the end of the 1800's people were able to make electricity just by using coal. In today's world, coal provides a quarter of the energy needs of United States and half of the electricity we require comes from coal-fired plants.
The total coal output soared at the first half of the 20th century. The coal accomplishment creased in every ten years from the earlier half of the 19th century. Coal production in 1840 was around 40 million short tons, which went up to 680 million short tons in 1918. Then in 1932 there was a big fall as "The Great Depression" pulled the necessities of coal down to 360 million short tons.
In the 60s there was a chain of mergers which basically resulted in, coal production being shifted from small, arbitrary coal companies to large, a few various firms. Major oil companies and electricity producers of that time acquired the coal companies or leased Federal coal reserve in the west of the United States. These chains of events accelerated the competition of the coal industry, which at last resulted in a sharp arising in coal prices in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
In the 1980s the coal prices again fell. This was due to the oil price behavior. During this period, the United States industry was characterized by a move towards low-sulfur coal. In 2008, competition is still abandoned in the coal mining industry with some U.S. mines impending the end of their useful life mine closure. Other major coal producing countries have also stepped up their production in order to win a portion of traditional U.S. export markets.