Kind Eyes

all images by Carl Mydans, unless specified

Yesterday we visited Yorkshire coalminers sipping pints in a colliery club. Today we visit them on the job. Above is a coalminer from Durham, England in 1952.

The miner with the buoyant tresses is named Dixen Bell, and he’s 300 feet down in the mine.

These snug fellows are working 19 inch narrow seams.

It’s hard to believe those conditions were better than those of the 1890s, such as the East Pool Mine below. Does any of that look stable?

The men of Dolcoath Mine evidently weren’t claustrophobic.

How nice it must have been to finally emerge into fresh air!, Forest of Dean, England

Yorkshire Art Carney Doppelganger

Carl Mydans

The coalminers above are relaxing with pints in a colliery club in Yorkshire, England. Colliery is a word I’ve never used, so I had to pull out my big, red Webster’s dictionary (no offense to Merriam) and look it up. A colliery is a coal mine and all the buildings and equipment which are connected with it. This building in particular served ale. And I couldn’t help but find the resemblance of this man (and his collapsed smirk) to a certain mid-century actor.

Do you see it? NORTON!

Ed Norton liked a good drink.

Enjoy this peek inside the post-war colliery and think about these men, how exhausted they must have been, lungs full of coal dust, and how they gathered to blow off steam.

Proud To Be A Coalminer’s Imp

Carl Mydans

This mischievous little cutie really was a coalminer’s daughter in Yorkshire, England in 1952. Employment in coal mines fell from a peak of 1,191,000 in 1920 to 2,000 in 2015.

Add that to the list of sooty jobs I’d never want.

Two miners working in their skivvies on the coal face at Tilmanstone Colliery, Kent. (Photo by Sasha/Getty Images per
Photograph taken using a “Sashalite,” one of the first safe photographic flash guns, invented by Sasha. (Photo by Sasha/Getty Images)

Have you ever heard of such a thing?
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