The barren Area

It was formerly supposed that the several coal formations of the Appalachian region would hold coal of commercial value over the entire area of that great field. Your speaker pointed out, many years ago, that this was a grave mistake, so far as the Monongahela and Pottsville series are concerned, and, later, that the Allegheny and Kanawha coals also share the same fate when they pass under water level toward the center of the Appalachian basin; that, instead of a continuous sheet of productive Coal Measures underlying this entire field, there is a great barren zone which in the Allegheny series begins a few miles north from Pittsburg, and, embracing most of Allegheny county, a large portion of Westmoreland, practically all of Washington, Greene, and western Fayette, as well as southern Beaver, passes southwestward entirely across West Virginia and southeastern Ohio, thus reducing enormously the productive area . . .

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