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Describe in detail the evidence / information given on coal mining by the Black Country Museum.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

2.Describe in detail the evidence / information given on this topic by the Black Country Museum COAL MINING The information given by the Black Country Museum about the subject of coal mining is very fascinating and complexed but at the same time very interesting in capacity to other museum's. At the Black Country museum, our guide described to us that the main source of industry was metalwork. There were different ways in which metal could be made, it could be made at a forge where the metal would be heated till it was red hot and it then it could be hammered into shape by a blacksmith. Another way of reshaping metal was by taking it to a foundry where again it would be heated until it was molten liquid. In those days the only way heat could be obtained to heat metal until it was almost liquid was by using the substance COAL. Now that coal was in popular demand and a very sought after product by the public it began to completely change the market and during the Industrial Revolution was almost as important as water itself. During the 19th century, electricity wasn't a source of power in the home in those times and so coal was the prime source of power. It's had many uses included the essentials such as heating water to cook, bathing and washing and many other things. Essentially coal was the main source of power now in England. Evidence of Coal mining The topic of Coal mining was covered in various ways in the Black Country. The ground that we walked on was actually mined for coal and not only that but for ironore, fireclay and limestone. We witnessed this evidence in the 'Racecourse Colliery coalmine'. The racecourse colliery was only some of the Primary evidence we witnessed at the Black Country Museum. Our guide told me that the main part of the colliery that was mined was the 'Thick Coal Seam'. ...read more.

Middle

The water people used came from a brewhouse or a sand pump from outside the house. This was quite clean looking, but lurking in the water was bacteria, which spread amongst the people causing typhoid and cholera. All this bacteria amounted to a cholera outbreak in 1842 and was stopped by researchers finding out that the disease was waterborne. A large bowl was used with water to clean dirty plates and clothes and many other items. People in those days had a bath only once a week because it took so long to heat the water; the order of the bath would be the cleanest first and the dirtiest last. In modern day times this is classed as very unhygienic but in those times this was the most people could achieve. Next door to this house was a slightly smaller house. This was intended for a big family because during the Victorian times the bigger house were left for small families and smaller houses for bigger families. The reason being was that a big house was usually inhabited by wealthy people and they never needed more than 4 children this was because the adults of the house could provide for themselves and only sometimes needed the children to look after them. The bigger families usually were poor and needed lots of children to look after them when they were old enough to provide the family with money, because in those times there were no pension plans or social security. Men retired only when they were physically unable to do their required job. What I have explained above was that was not always the case because Princess Anne had 16 children and not one of them survived till adulthood! 1in 4 children rarely made it till adulthood. Most of the poor people could only afford the bare minimum and this went for furniture as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

The people who play these parts tell tales and stories and guide us through the local history of this period. The Black Country museum clearly indicates what life was like in the rough times of the people in the Victorian times and leaves people like me and you feeling slightly privileged to have what we have got today. The reality encased by the museum makes a successful and reliable primary source of Black Country history. The way the actors establish the fact of how things such as sweet making and chain making were done by demonstrations gives an account of how things were done around 150 years ago. The only thing missing is that the actors all wore middle class clothes. No person wore shreds of clothes to look poor there were no people who acted ill from disease and no people looking at all unhappy. There was no unsightly filth or poor hygiene indicating a 18th century background. Why? Because there is no idea of how to recreate these living standards, there is also the fact that no one would want to want to actually witness any of the above mentioned. Overall the "living " museum is preserving history in a beneficial way and adding fun and excitement in to bargain so not only is it just an educational experience it's also a very enjoyable one too! The museum is very successful in obtaining it's goal as a local source of history and is almost an exact replica of the Black Country museum during the industrial revolution. What I find sad is that the people who work at the black country museum, are very talented in the trade they have learnt, such as glass making, chain making e.t.c but unfortunately their talents are being put to waste due to the introduction of the modern use of machines. My experience of the museum was enlightening and very interesting and enjoyful. I now have a well-informed knowledge about the Black Country and I was thoroughly entertained by the different actors and actresses and someday I will revisit the museum. 8 1 ...read more.

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