1999.340.3 | Jonhson Mine, Black Lake, QC, about 1900

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Jonhson Mine, Black Lake, QC, about 1900
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on paper
13.7 x 20.8 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

In the summer of 1895, as the asbestos industry was starting to be mechanized, women entered the world of mining. As in every other industry, they were paid less than the men. The Factories Act of 1885 prohibited girls under 14 from working, but did not apply to mining. The census of 1911 still listed three girls aged ten to fourteen as asbestos workers.

  • What

    This photo shows storage sheds for ore or mining equipment. The building on the right is probably the cobbing shed, where asbestos fibre was separated from the rock using hammers.

  • Where

    These buildings stood around the pits of the Johnson Asbestos mine at Black Lake.

  • When

    The photo was probably taken around 1900.

  • Who

    The two women seen here in front of the door of the right-hand building (cobbing shed) are called cobbers.