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Conditions in the Mine

History Project dec 2012

Heather Hassett

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Conditions in the Mine

The mines were so brutal they changed humans to animals.

This changed the atmosphere outside of the mines to be barbaric
Social Conditions 19th Century
Heather Hassett Conditions in the Mines Gas Made of chokedamp and firedamp. As its name indicates, chokedamp makes breathing difficult, and, in high concentration, impossible.

Firedamp is not poisonous but when mixed with air in the proportions of between five and fifteen parts per hundred, it is explosive.

Ventilation in deep, gassy mines had many explosions resulting from the use of candles.

It was not until the safety lamp was invented that miners were provided with a safe light Underground Haulage a person who pulled a basket or container by a rope or chain was called a "Hauler".

Miners would get caught in caves unable to move with the heavy "gurl"

Strenuous to the body Air Conditioning At first air conditioning was mastered by burning coal at the bottom of an air shaft and this made an air current.

Steam driven fans to air the coal workings were used at the Jarrow pit in the late 1800s. Drainage Water was the early mine owner's greatest problem

Not until the introduction of the Newcomen engine in the early eighteenth century was there a reliable device for draining mines at any great depth. Water has at times made tips unstable where 144 men, women and children were killed by a slippage of colliery spoil. Ventilation ventilation was achieved by linking together two shafts and allowing air to flow between them by natural convection.

Whilst a large furnace undoubtedly improved ventilation, there was always the danger of explosion from gas-laden air passing over the fire. Sources:

"There was only one thing he did see clearly: the pit gulped down men in mouthfuls of twenty or thirty and so easily that it did not seem to notice them going down" (Zola, 39)

"The whole place is a misery" (Zola, 22)

From Germinal by Zola: - harsh and realistic story of a coalminers' strike in northern France in the 1860s.
-Zola theorizes in the background and the main character, Étienne, motivations are much more natural as a result.
-Socialist principles, reading large amounts of working class movement literature and fraternizing with Souvarine, a Russian anarchist and political émigré who has also come to Montsou to seek a living in the pits.
-The complex tangle of the miners' lives is played out against a backdrop of severe poverty and oppression, as their working and living conditions continue to worsen throughout the novel.
-Miners become rioters Germinal
Full transcript