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Sulfur mining in Italy[edit | edit source]

In the late 1890's, before the Frasch extraction by steam, sulfur was mined from underground mines in Agrigento Province. This back breaking kind of labor employed workers as young as 12 years old. Porto Empedocle's port was not deep enough to load directly onto larger vessels. The sulfur was loaded into bags which were in turn reloaded out further in the port. Since the 19th century that method of mining has been displaced by steam extraction wells around the world.