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In 1910, Dr. Joseph A. Holmes was appointed the first Director of the Bureau of Mines by President William H. Taft. Dr. Holmes is credited with making popular the slogan “safety first,” and was responsible for major improvements in mine safety.

Dr. Joseph A. Holmes

Dr. Joseph A. Holmes
“The Father of Mine Safety”
First Director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines

In the early studies of mine disasters, particular attention was placed on the examination of a mine as soon as a fire or explosion had occurred. As a result, mine safety station railroad cars were established. With a constant focus on the improvement of mine safety, Dr. Holmes negotiated and obtained four Pullman sleeping cars for the Bureau of Mines. These cars were internally remodeled to include first aid and mine safety equipment, training and work rooms, an office, as well as eating and sleeping quarters. These “mine rescue stations” or “mine rescue cars” not only visited mining centers in all states to present demonstrations, lectures and training, but were immediately dispatched to areas where a mine disaster occurred.

Bureau of Mines Mine Rescue Car #3

Bureau of Mines
Mine Rescue Car #3

 Interior of U.S. Bureau of Mines Mine Rescue Car

Interior of U.S. Bureau of Mines
“Mine Rescue Car”

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