The virtual museum of stories through images

Home > Stories > Mining in the Victorian Age - Page 4/17

Mining in the Victorian Age

Women surface workers in Lancashire
Women surface workers in Lancashire
© NCMME copy photograph (Photo: National Coal Mining Museum for England)
During the 19th century the majority of working women were in domestic service. But in many working class families all people worked together to earn enough for their family to live on. Many women worked together with their children in various industries, like farms, textile mills, foundries and coal mines. All these jobs involved physically hard work and were often dangerous. Women worked underground, and also on the surface at Victorian coal mines.

Sometimes the children started work as young as four or five years of age. A young child could not earn much, but even a few pence would be enough in those days to buy food and prevent starvation.

For children of poor parents, life was extremely hard. They did not go to school, except perhaps on Sunday; they had no time to play and, through working so hard without nourishing food or fresh air, they mostly grew up weak and sickly.

There was, however, no shortage of work, mill owners and other employers were glad to employ children because they did not have to pay them as much as adults.
The images and texts contained in the site are subject to copyright. Any use of these materials outside the site is subject to authorisation by the owners.