Women were forbidden to go down the mines in Victorian times, but could be employed in equally heavy industry on the pit face. These two were from Wigan, England and photographed in a studio wearing work clothes c1860
“Breaker Boys” removed rocks and other debris from the coal by hand as it passes beneath them. The dust is so dense at times as to obscure the view and penetrates the utmost recesses of the boys’ lungs. South Pittston, Pennsylvania. January 1911. There haven't been any kids in American coal mines since the child labor laws were passed around 80 years ago. Plus of course coal-sorting is automated and done by machines now. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.