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A Black Country Gin Pit.

Gin Pits were a common sight in the Black Country. They had a wooden framework and horse driven winding gear at the top of the shaft.(Note the horse on the far left of the image). The cable then ran over a pulley fixed to the top of the mine shaft which wound a tub of coal up and down. Dudley Workhouse appears in the background on the far left.

A very interesting view of the Coombes Wood Works from Gorsty Hill, Blackheath, Halesowen.

Lench's Excelsior Works Brass Band, September 1924.

This original photograph shows the men and boys who worked at Hill & Smith, Brierley Hill, in the Iron Works and Roofing Department around the 1920's. Did any of your ancestors work at the factory at that time and do you recognise anybody from an old family photograph? A larger version of this photo can be found here:


An evocative image of a female chainmaker at work.

This postcard shows Hailstone Quarry in the Rowley Hills, Rowley Regis. The stone from the mine was known locally as  "Rowley Rag" and was a hard, heavy, black basaltic rock (geological name Olivine-Dolorite). The quarrying began there in the 1850's and ceased in 2008, after the addition of two more quarries in 1979.

This postcard and the one below do not provide a date, but the photographic images are from the studio of Edmund Machin, 270a High Street, West Bromwich. Please see here for an article from the Black Country Bugle about  these two postcards:
http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/News/A-clean-sheet-for-West-Bromwich-laundry-wenches-2.htm   Can anyone help solve this mystery?

Pit Bank Wenches, Wednesbury.

This is an original postcard, posted July 1907 in Wednesbury. Copies of this postcard have been reproduced in black and white but they do not have the same character as this original.

An interesting photograph of the old colliery workings under the Town Hall, Bilston. The following is taken from the reverse of the postcard:

'It is now revealed that the Town Hall is built almost entirely, if not actually, directly over old colliery workings. Possibly the shaft from which they extended was some distance away, and probably several generations of Bilston people have passed away since the time when miners, like human moles, burrowed beneath the centre of the town.'

The above appeared in the Midland Evening News, May 22, 1906.

The above postcard, dated 10 June 1906, shows the subsidence at Bilston when the Town Hall had to be shored up.

An interesting photograph which shows the casting of Pig Iron, at Springvale Furnaces.

Another interesting photograph because it shows the environment that the Blacksmiths worked in. Note the young boys in their caps. A larger version of this image can be seen on the Homepage of www.blackcountryimages.com

This photograph possibly portrays a Retort House which was used for distilling coal to produce coal gas. Even if this is not the case, it is an interesting photograph of workmen and the man in charge is no doubt the one wearing the trilby hat. The Union Jack appears to be of some significance but what was the occasion? 

This card originates from the Black Country - can anyone provide any clues?

The location of this photograph is unknown but it is very interesting because the Pit Head is very near to the canal bridge which has distinctive brickwork. The trucks appear to be on an elevated rail and it is possible these transferred the coal to narrow boats for transportation. A second Pit Head appears to the far right of the photograph.

Baggeridge Colliery.

A later postcard than that above but the Pit Heads are very much the same.

The following three images were very kindly provided by Graham Parkes. With sincere thanks, Jenni.

Knowle Pithead, Springfield, Netherton, Dudley.

Evers Brickyard, near Pensnett (Date unknown).

Wallows Basin 1927.

Not the Black Country, but J & L Steel Co, Woodlawn, Pennsylvania where some of our ancestors may have worked after emigrating to America. A unique opportunity to see the environment in which they worked.

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