1999.318.96 | Bagging room, King Mine, Thetford Mines, QC, 1936
Bagging room, King Mine, Thetford Mines, QC, 1936
1936, 20th century
Silver salts on paper
9.7 x 13.8 cm
Gift of Mr. Alfred Penhale Estate
This artefact belongs to :© Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines
Keys to History
It was probably while working in the sheds (cobbing, which consisted in sorting the ore by hand and hammering the rock to separate the asbestos fibre, and especially bagging, which was putting the processed fibre by hand or machine into 100-lb [45-kg] sacks) that workers breathed in the most asbestos dust. In 1922 a Town of Thetford Mines by-law required mining companies to take measures to prevent dust from escaping from the sheds. The object of the by-law had nothing to do with keeping the workers healthy, though: the councillors simply wanted to keep their town clean.
This is the inside of an asbestos-bagging shed.
This shed is at the King mine.
The photo was taken in 1936. The Asbestos Corporation of Canada, along with Keasbey & Mattison (Bell mine), was the only one to equip its sheds with dust collectors, doing so in the first half of the 1920s.
These workers probably breathed in less dust than those in the vast majority of the other sheds.