Story: Coal and coal mining

Pick-and-shovel mining (1st of 3)

These West Coast miners from the end of the 19th century pause in their labours. The traditional technique for extracting coal, which miners brought from Britain, depended entirely on muscle power. Miners chopped out coal with picks and then shovelled it into waiting carts. In the sound file, a group of former miners from Dobson on the West Coast describe the wet and sooty conditions in which they used to work.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Spectrum 865 – the black seam/Reference number CDR742).

About this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Steffano Webb Collection (PAColl-3061)
Reference: 1/1-005354; G

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, 'Coal and coal mining - The miners’ work', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/speech/7446/pick-and-shovel-mining (accessed 27 March 2017)

Story by Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips, published 12 Jun 2006, updated 7 Sep 2016