The Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum is hosting a reception for its exhibition, Helmet Men: Mine Rescuers of Appalachia’s Coalfields, on Wednesday, April 6, from 5-6:30 p.m. The reception will be held in the atrium the Mineral Resources Building on the Evansdale Campus of West Virginia University.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature remarks by Bill Maloney, founder and owner of Drill Leader, LLC. Maloney will speak about his involvement in the rescue operations at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile. He will also give an update on recent efforts to improve mine rescue based on that experience.

Helmet Men explores the development of mine rescue teams in the United States, particularly the Appalachian region. The exhibition focuses on the traits, training, roles and requirements of mine rescue team members and explains at the transformation of mine rescues from uncoordinated, impromptu events into organized group operations.

Helmet Men showcases a selection of equipment used to prevent and respond to mining disasters, along with historical photographs and film footage of mine rescuers. The exhibition was curated by Danielle M. Petrak, museum coordinator and curator, and Danielle LaPresta, graduate assistant. Petrak will offer brief remarks on the development of the exhibition and its major themes.

Housed in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU, the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the social, cultural and technological history of the coal, oil and natural gas industries of the state of West Virginia through the collection, preservation, research and exhibition of objects relevant to these industries.

The Watts Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-4 p.m. or by appointment. Admission to the Watts Museum is free; parking is available at the WVU Coliseum.
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Mary Dillon, CEMR
(304) 293-4086