Whitfield Colliery employees

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Description:Whitfield employees of 1897 muster in the colliery yard in front of the Hard Mine haulage engine-house for their photograph.

Before the 18th century, mining was only a part-time occupation. As the industry developed at the turn of the 19th century, high wages were provided to attract the agricultural and domestic worker to the pits. Employment in Staffordshire coal mining rose from perhaps 5,000 or 6,000 in 1800 to over 26,000 half a century later (20,758 in 1874 in North Staffs) and to 33,000 at the end of the next decade. By the 20th century most manual workers in North Staffordshire, if not employed in the pottery or iron and steel industries, were employed in the coal industry.

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Image courtesy of: Keele University - William Jack Collection

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