Interview with Raymond A. Bradbury, May 11, 1989

Project: Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Raymond Bradbury states that he was born into a coal mining family. His father and two uncles worked in the coal mining business before coming to the United States. Bradbury provides details about his father's career in Illinois and then in Wheelwright, Kentucky where he worked in the safety department at the Inland Steel Company. Bradbury graduated from high school right after the end of World War Two in 1946. He describes the effect that the returning veterans had on his own job prospects. Bradbury was able to secure a job as a hand loader in a coal mine, and was later transferred to the mechanical loading section. He discusses his work using a loading machine.

Bradbury attended West Virginia University's School of Mines. He graduated in 1950 and went to work in the mining division's supervisory training program at Armco Steel Company. The Korean War interfered with his career for a short time as he volunteered for the air force. Bradbury left the service in November of 1954 and went to work for his uncle at Mid-West Utilities Coal Company in Illinois doing engineering work. He explains that his uncle's company was unsettled at the time and so he went to work for the Princess Elkhorn Coal Company in David, Kentucky as a junior industrial engineer. Bradbury later went back to Armco Steel, where he advanced from superintendent at the Robin Hood mine to manager of the mines for the Elkhorn Division.

Bradbury eventually went to work for the A.T. Massey Coal Company as vice-president and general manager. This provided him with the opportunity to start the Martin County Coal Corporation. Bradbury describes starting the operation, hiring personnel, and choosing the mining equipment. He talks extensively about the diesel-powered equipment that he chose. Bradbury also discusses how coal mining in Martin County is different from surrounding counties. He explains the obligations of a coal mining operation to its shareholders and its employees. Bradbury recalls times when he has had to downsize and discusses the training procedures at his mine. He describes the reclamation process and talks about the importance of the environment to coal miners. Bradbury also mentions politics, acid rain, and what may lie ahead for coal in eastern Kentucky.

Interview Accession

1989oh203_app244

Interviewee Name

Raymond A. Bradbury

Interviewer Name

Henry C. Mayer

Interview Date

1989-05-11

Interview Keyword

Coal Operators

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Bradbury, Raymond A. Interview by Henry C. Mayer. 11 May. 1989. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Bradbury, R.A. (1989, May 11). Interview by H. C. Mayer. Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Bradbury, Raymond A., interview by Henry C. Mayer. May 11, 1989, Appalachia: Coal Operators Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7n2z12rb8d