At the end of the 18th century, mining boomed because of the great need for raw materials in the dynamically developing industry.
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Coal face mining
The history of mining practically starts with the beginning of human history. The techniques and the quantity of coal mining changed greatly during the Industrial Revolution, starting in the 1780s.
Coal-fed steam engines became more and more widespread. More and more coal mines were therefore opened in England, and then as the Industrial Revolution spread, in other countries as well. Several forms of mining have developed, including open-pit mining, underground mining, and underwater mining. This animation shows an underground mine in the 19th century.
Soil layers above the raw material remain untouched or are just partially removed. The coal is mined via horizontal or near horizontal tunnels called drifts and vertical ones called shafts. These were secured with beams and posts.
Coal was mined with picks and collected in baskets or wagons with shovels. The wagons were brought to the surface by horses or workers.
Child labourers were often employed because of the low wages and small space. They did this extremely dangerous and physically demanding work, often for 10-12 hours a day. Child labour laws were only passed much later in most countries.
Mining areas contained several mines. These were connected by narrow-gauge railways, which were also used for the transport of coal. There have been a number of consequences to the exploration and exploitation of non-renewable minerals, as in most cases it has had a brutal and irreversible impact on the natural environment.