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During the 1950s, Gunkanjima became one of the most densely populated places in the world with over 5,000 inhabitants. But after an accident and the restructuring of the Mitsubishi mining project, the mine closed in January 1974. The last inhabitants deserted the island, the connection by boat was suspended, and since then Gunkanjima has become a ghost town.
"Coal Mines and Steel Mills" features both wellknown and hitherto unpublished pictures of coal mines and iron works across the world. Given that the end of iron smelting and coal mining in Europe is only a matter of time, it provides a nostalgic series of striking industrial history images.