Frequently Asked Questions about coal










Who discovered coal and who discovered that it could be used as a heat source and when?

Coal was one of man's earliest sources of heat and light.  The Chinese were known to have used it more than 3,000 years ago.  The first recorded discovery of coal in this country was by French explorers on the Illinois River in 1679, and the earliest recorded commercial mining occurred near Richmond, Virginia, in 1748.  On April 13, 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker was the first recorded person to discover and use coal in Kentucky.

For more information check out the Online Kentucky Coal Facts Book, and go to History of Coal for a timeline.


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