Supervisor reflects on his career at Joy

Stephen Eismont (second from right in back row) started his career at Joy in 1975 and had been a supervisor since 1985. This photo with several other Joy Mining Machinery employees was taken in 2001.

(Editor’s note: Stephen F. Eismont of Oil City, who was a senior supervisor of operations at Joy’s Plant 1 in Franklin, submitted these reflections to the Joy Global Network newsfeed in August 2015. He was told that his piece was the top-viewed story in Joy Global Network history, which the company said was a “huge accomplishment considering we post four or five stories each week.”

Eismont tweaked the end of his story for The Derrick and The News-Herald to reflect the closing of Plant 1.)

My life at Joy Mining Company

Coal was mined by having a skilled miner break up the coal face with a combination of drilling, cutting with a pick, and blasting.

An unskilled laborer had to shovel the fallen coal into a small rail car – work that was both arduous and in cramped quarters.

Literally back breaking.

Times have changed.

I started my career at Joy in 1975 as a welder building shuttle cars and miners at the Franklin plant 1.

The senior people trained me about our build procedures and proper welding of our equipment. They made Joy a great success. They are gone now and I have great memories of them.

They were very hard workers and proud of their work no matter what their job task was. We all worked buzzer to buzzer in a smoke-filled shop from fitting, stick welding and grinding. You could not see from one end of the shop to the other with all of the weld smoke.

I remember them leaving the shop wearing their green Dickies clothing and carrying their metal lunch buckets. I miss all of them.

Now I am the veteran of the shop. Our methods have changed from stick welding to flux core welding.

I became a supervisor in 1985 in the same department I started as a welder. Since then I was promoted to a senior supervisor. By 1985 we were one of the world’s leading producers.

During my career as a supervisor I trained a lot of newer employees about our fabrication and welding of miners and shuttle cars and their components. Everyone worked a lot of extra hours to help our company get our products to customers in a timely manner.

I’ve always looked at our product from start to finish, ensuring we sent out a good quality product.

Times are tough, and Plant One is shut down for good. I’ll miss all the workers who worked there.

We all should be grateful to Joseph Francis Joy for starting our coal-mining business.