Group portrait of male and female pithead workers, near Airdrie, about 1916

Group portrait of male and female pithead workers at an unidentified colliery, presumably near Airdrie, with a Glasgow and South Western Railway mineral wagon in the background. James Mack (centre front) was a "pithead [tally] man" and lived in Forrest Street, Airdrie.

Whilst women had been banned from working underground sine 1842, it was commonplace for unmarried women in mining communities to work above ground in pithead tasks such as the sorting of coal. Wartime recruitment and labour shortages likely meant there was a higher number of women working at this colliery than before.

Museum reference:
U34-1556
On display:
In Storage: Archives
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