Men and machines became the rule within the Superior Coal Field. While mules and horses were used in the early years, by the late 1930's, most of the mines had mechanized loaders, conveyors, and cutters. The cutters under-cut the coal, the loaders lifted the coal and the conveyors on the back of the mining machine (which) carried the coal away from the area mined to waiting coal cars used to haul the coal to the surface. Most of the coal cars were hauled by electric "motors" or "locomotives." There were however, some mines in the late 1930's that still relied on the trustworthy mule to haul the coal to the surface.
The electric locomotives increased the amount of coal that could be hauled out of a mine in a given time, but they also increased the dangers. Yet, the Superior Mines maintained an excellent safety record throughout their history, winning the coveted "Sentinels of Safety" trophy four times.
The bronze statuette depicts an anxious wife with her child in her arms awaiting the safe return of her husband and father from his day's work. It was awarded each year for outstanding safety work in all bituminous coal mines of the United States. "B" Mine won the award in 1933, "C" in 1934, "D" in 1937 and "B" again in 1938.