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The dangers of mining. L.O: To produce a mind map of the dangers of mining in Victorian mines. Water. Falling objects. Problems with early mining. Fire damp. Transport in the mine. Choke damp. Water.

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The dangers of mining

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the dangers of mining

The dangers of mining

L.O: To produce a mind map of the dangers of mining in Victorian mines.



Falling objects

Problems with early mining

Fire damp

Transport in the mine

Choke damp

  • Any deep hole dug in the ground soon collects with water. Efficient pumps were needed to get water out of the pits. Horse gins had been used. “They have great wheels that are turned with horses that draw up the water, so that they can dig the coal”( Celia Fiennes 1698)
  • Other inventions used to drain water:
  • John Buddle: Rag and Chain pump.
  • Newcomen Engine: this was widely used.
  • Boulton and Watt engine: this was a more advanced version of the newcomen engine
fire damp a mixture of air and methane
Fire damp.( A mixture of air and methane)
  • When this gas escaped from coal deposits it would explode if it came into contact with a naked flame. Miners often had to work in complete darkness as candles were too dangerous to use.
ways of detecting gas
Ways of Detecting Gas:
  • A fireman: he was sent down to explode pockets of gas that had collected in the shaft roof. This was a highly dangerous job and it goes without saying that the man armed with a stick with a candle strapped to the end was well paid.
  • Canaries: were sent down the shafts in cages. The canaries passed out at the bottom of the cage when the gas was present
  • In 1815 HUMPHREY DAVY invented a mining Safety Lamp. This lamp protected an inner candle with a cylindrical gauze, this prevented the heat from the flame igniting the gas, the gauze would glow when gas was present. Davy could have made a fortune from this invention if he had applied for a patent but he refused to do so and said that “helping miners was his reward”
  • Another lamp very similar to Davy’s was invented by George Stephenson it was commonly called the Geordie lamp as it was used by miners in the North East.
choke damp carbon dioxide
Choke damp: ( carbon dioxide)
  • This gas caused a number of problems it snuffed out the flames on candles and it would suffocate miners if they could not get to fresh air in time.
  • The miners had to have an efficient way of ventilating the mine if this problem was to be overcome.
ways of preventing choke damp
Ways of preventing Choke damp.
  • The earliest method was to sink two shafts. One of the shafts would have a fire lit in it. Warm air rose up the ventilation shaft and fresh air down the other shaft. This caused fresh air to circulate around the shafts.
  • Trappers were used to control the air flow in the shafts. These were often small children that sat in the dark all day and open large trap doors to let miners and wagons through.
  • John Buddle invented an EXHAUST FAN in 1790. The pump sucked foul air out of the up shaft by suction and this in turn caused a flow of fresh air to go down the other shaft.
falling objects
Falling Objects
  • As mine shafts became deeper the strain on ropes lowering and lifting the heavy loads of coal and miners became greater. In the early 1800’s flat wire cables replaced ropes but by then thousands of miners had died when ropes had frayed or snapped in two.
  • Coal was cumbersome and heavy.
  • In early mines women and children dragged coal in large baskets from the bottom of the mine to the top. This was back breaking work and left many women and children deformed because of the weight of the loads carried every day.These laboursers were called “putters”
  • Human labour was later replaced with “pit ponies”. These animals lived underground and were killed when the mine was closed.
  • Canals and later railways were later used to transport the coal away from the mine cheaply and more efficiently.
summary of working conditions in mines
Summary of working conditions in mines:
  • Low pay often many children and women working underground as they were cheaper to employ.
  • Dangerous.
  • Hot and stuffy underground
  • Long hours
  • A job that involved hard labour.
mine reform
Following on from his involvement in improving the working conditions in British factories LORD ASHLEY (SHAFTSBURY) set to work improving the working conditions in mines.

In 1840 a Royal Commission was set up by government headed by Shaftsbury.

It took two years for Shaftsbury to report back and his findings were to SHOCK THE MIDDLE CLASS

The 1842 report was one of the most shocking documents ever published. It used VIVID language and was ILLUSTRATED with pictures of the horrific conditions women and children were working in the mines.

Mine Reform
the 1842 mines act
The 1842 Mines Act
  • No women and children were allowed to work underground UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
  • No boys under the age of ten were allowed to be employed underground.
  • No boy under the age of 15 were allowed to be in charge of machinery.
  • Mine inspectors were now permitted to enter mines and inspect working conditions and to check that the law was being carried out.
time to play a game
Time to play a game.
  • Can you “Fling the teacher”?