Old photographs reveal hard lives of Camborne area miners

Falmouth Packet: Old photographs reveal hard lives of Camborne area miners Old photographs reveal hard lives of Camborne area miners

A rare book featuring photographs of Cornish tin miners at work in hot, cramped conditions is expected to fetch £2,250 at a London book fair.

‘Mongst Mines and Miners; or Underground Scenes, by J.C. Burrows and William Thomas, documents the restricted and dangerous conditions endured by miners at the Dolcoath, East Pool, Blue Hills and Cook’s Kitchen mines around Pool, Camborne and St Agnes over 100 years ago.

It was the culmination of a commission by Cornish tin miners, which saw Burrows documenting the technological advances in Cornwall's mines, and led him to innovate in his own way, to be able to capture what went on in the dark.

Bookseller Michael Kemp said Burrows had come up with "pretty groundbreaking" techniques, and was possibly an early exponent of flash photography, although to modern minds using explosives in an underground mine "seems unthinkable."

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