In Shropshire lead/barytes mines (at least) drink was believed to counter
silicosis and there is anecdotal evidence of heavy drinking miners outliving
abstemious colleagues. Castor oil was believed to reduce the risk of lead
poisoning in the smelt works and lead factories.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bernard Moore" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 6:00 PM
Subject: [MINING-HISTORY] Illness/Alcohol in Mining
> Dear All,
> Whilst alcohol has in the past been blamed for absenteeism and lack of
> performance and success/productivity of mining ventures one way or
> another, I
> wonder whether one aspect has ever been considered.
> If one looks back to the last century and beyond, I wonder how much
> consideration has been given to the fact that alcohol has in fact been
> to the success of same? Alcohol has always been regarded as the miners
> however, when one considers the miners 'lot', it was not up to much one
> and another: very particularly if suffering from cold or flu or other
> ailments... what else was one supposed to do - put yourself into such a
> hypothetical situation.
> 1). You have a family to keep on a breadline.
> 2). You are ill with something you have seen others get over - one way or
> 3). You know that alcohol makes you feel better.....................
> 4). And if you take same and work with same you can get through the
> day a bit easier................
> Now, in today's world, we know what all this means, because we feel it
> ourselves, but in the past..............................?
> How much of a supposed alcohol problem was due to 'an alcohol problem' as
> opposed to a way to get through the day to day toil necessary to keep the
> going??? How much of it was a way just to keep 'spirits' up to keep going.
> It just makes one wonder??????????? No excuse these days, but in the
> past........... I wouldn't have liked to have been there.
> Just some thoughts while I have an irritating cold!
> Regards, Bernard