1999.318.96 | Bagging room, King Mine, Thetford Mines, QC, 1936

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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
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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.

  • What

    This is the inside of an asbestos-bagging shed.

  • Where

    This shed is at the King mine.

  • When

    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.

  • Who

    These workers probably breathed in less dust than those in the vast majority of the other sheds.