Coal was the fuel that powered industrial Britain and mines were dangerous places to work in a pre-health-and-safety world. When disaster struck, as it often did, one of the main hazards for rescue workers was the presence of toxic gases. Here we see miners wearing oxygen masks, training for emergencies. The photograph was taken around 1900 at a pit near Eastwood in Nottinghamshire where D. H. Lawrence spent his early years. His story lines often reflected the sounds and sights of coal mines, miners and their families.
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