The history of underground coal mining and history of mechanizing underground operations of cutting, strata control, mine haulage, hoisting and ventilation are discussed. The following development periods are characterized: until 1769 (date of steam engine invention by J. Watt), from 1769 to 1945 (period of partial mechanization of operations in underground coal mining), from 1945 (period of comprehensive mechanization and automation). A general description of mining in the first development period is given. Evaluation of the second development period concentrates on mechanization in underground coal mining. The following equipment types are described: cutting (pneumatic picks and pneumatic drills, coal saws developed by Eickhoff, coal cutters developed after 1870, cutter loaders patented in 1925-1927, coal plows and coal cutter loaders), mine haulage (mine cars, conveyors developed in the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia, Poland), strata control at working faces (timber props, steel friction props, roof bars), strata control in the goaf (room and pillar mining, stowing, minestone utilization for stowing in Upper Silesia, hydraulic stowing in Upper Silesia). 5 references.