Jim Reid's Photography Site

Down the Pit – Coal Mining

Coal miners of the 19th and early 20th century worked below ground in difficult hot humid and cramped conditions, manually extracting coal from the seam which were often no higher than 3 – 4 ft high.

In this image, which is a re-creation of a 19/20th century pit,  showing a coal miner ” shoring up” the roof of the mine,  I have tried to create the dark and dank  atmosphere of the working conditions that he endured, in order to feed and clothe his family. Additional information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining

This image was captured in total darkness, illuminated only by low level flash and processed in CS5

Down the Pit

The interior of a typical miner’s cottage showing the poor standard of living conditions compared with todays “comfortable” “hi-tech” environment.

Living Room

And of course the “communal” wash house, showing the coal fired boiler and the “mangle”

Wash House

All above images captured at Summerlee Heritage Park, Coatbridge. http://www.monklands.co.uk/summerlee/

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7 responses

  1. Poor mens who had to endured these conditions, there were certainly no health and safety security program back in those days. They also had a simpler life and were not overconsuming… I love to visit these kind of places, it’s always so interesting.
    You did a great job on editing the first photo.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:51 am

    • Many thanks for your comments Jocelyne. The simpler and slower pace life does appeal to me.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

  2. Great photos, Jim! It was a nasty life for them and it still is where there are working mines. It looks like a nicely kept museum. Thanks for sharing.

    April 1, 2012 at 5:23 am

    • Hi Judy glad you liked the photos.. It is an interesting place to visit.

      April 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

  3. I think you did a pretty darn good job of showing just how miserable the working conditions must have been.

    March 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    • Thanks for your comment Jeff. Glad I wasn’t about in these times.

      April 1, 2012 at 9:29 am

      • Me too. I’m no stranger to hard work, but the working conditions back then really makes a person appreciate the way things are today. Not all things mind you, the simple life of those days certainly has its appeal.

        April 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

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