The 1stNational Mine Safety Demonstration was held at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 30-31, 1911. Forbes Field was the long-time home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers until torn down in 1971. This conference was attended by nearly 15,000 persons, chiefly those associated with the mining industry. Representative from Congress, mining companies, and even foreign dignitaries from Canada, France, and Mexico attended. President William Howard Taft was there presenting trophies and medals to participating miners and first aid crews. In his address Taft remarked,
“There are 700,000 miners in this country. In 10 years last past, 30,000 of them gave up their lives and 70,000 of them were wounded. This is not a record to be proud of, and it is time indeed that we should take steps to restrain and restrict this loss.” One of the steps taken was events like this which focused attention on safe mining practices and improved responses when accidents or injuries did happen.
The state of Washington was represented by a team from the Northwestern Improvement Company consisting of (left to right): Sam McCullough, John Parker, James Bagley, James Pascoe (standing), John Hutchinson, and David C. Botting (the State Coal Mine Inspector and subject lying on the ground). C.R. Claghorn, general manager of the NWI coal department and John J. Corey from the Dept. of Interior also attended. This photo comes courtesy of Jim Pascoe’s grandson, Roy Asbahr and great-grandson, Nathan Asbahr both of Portland.