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Miner Boy

This image is public domain

 

This is a film scan from a copy negative that is part of my historical archive of Utah and Colorado mining images.

 

The boy worked the mines. Children were cheap labor in the mines. He never worked that pick drill and the pipe wasn't likely his either but the rest of his stuff was real. He spent ten hours a day in that get up with only the light from that tallow wick lamp. He cleaned and played the part of a canary (kids were easier to replace than good miners). He was probably Finnish or Swedish and indentured to the company for the purpose of paying his fathers debts to the company store. Thank God for UMWA. The unions fought hard and bloody battles to get these children out of the coal mines. This little guy worked (and likely died) in Utah or Colorado mines.

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Taken on April 5, 2011