The Living and Working Conditions of the Black Country in the Late 19th Century
During my trip at the Black Country Museum I have learned a lot of
things. The employment, housing, the school and mine, the way of
transport and the shops.
There were many types of employment and the main one was the manual
labour. One of these was working in the mine. A very dangerous job
indeed but no-one was concerned because the employers need labour not
scholarship and people needed money for food and in those days if you
do not work, you don’t eat. Disease was rife in the mine and the coal
dust does not help either. Too much and you die from lung disease.
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These houses were
everywhere in major city such London, Manchester and Birmingham. It is
like this because the slums are easy to build and cheap. Landowners
and builders preferred profit than healthy living. There was only one
privy to a back-to-back house, so imagine approximately 200 people
living with just one toilet. That is why disease was big in the slums,
Most of the things in the Black Country I found realistic but apart
from the mine. The walls of the mine when knock are hollow but I think
the Museum did this due to health and safety regulations. Also the
streets of the Black Country were too clean. In those times you would
see human excretion on the floor in front but no one would care,
obviously due to health and safety regulations again.
One of the sources I used in this essay was an extract from the Dudley
Board of Health Report 1852. This source was very reliable, full of
detail and easy to read. In the report it clearly states that the
streets was very unsuitable to live but as housing was needed, so
nobody cared. It says that, “streets were full of foul and disgusting
things such as the remains of animals”. Diseases were spreading at an
The extract also reported about how working in places such as the mine
and iron workshops affected people who worked their. Serious and fatal
accident happened regularly because of hardly or no inspections of the
workplaces. In the mine, the death toll rose from falling coal and
stone. And in ironworks smelting accidents and sometimes explosions
kill many. These smelting accidents are not always fatal but you can
lose a limb from them.
The conclusion of this report talks about the sewage and drainage
systems are limited and defective construction causes major problems.
Also the conclusion talks about the supply of water, about its
improperness. The company that supplies the water withheld it from the
poorer inhabitants. In other words, only the rich and wealthy can have
a good and reliable source of water.
And lastly, the sanitary condition of the inhabitants is proved by the
medical and other evidence to be exceedingly bad, and that of the
official registers, for many years past, discloses rates of mortality
so high as scarcely to be paralleled by the unhealthiest places in
England and Wales.
I reckon that only a medical group or a university in the area was the