Monday, October 21, 2019


Heading back to the mines today for some shower and changing room photos.  This one is by William Vandivert, a LIFE photographer whose work was labeled "Ruhr, May 1946."
A tip of my hat to Larry K. who generously provided today's LIFE Archive images.


  1. I still find it fascinating that we went from publishing photographs of nudes in a national family magazine (LIFE) to being so squeamish about nudity.

    Is there an anthropologic sociologist in the house?

    1. LIFE didn't actually publish most of these, and when they did, they were heavily cropped. The occasional glimpse of a derriere was about as far as they went, and even that was rare.

  2. Is there a "before" photo when they are still dressed in coal dust?

    1. Not of these particular miners that I know of. There are others, though, and I have posted some from time to time.

  3. Jerry, ces photos me touchent énormément. Toute ma famille a toujours été dans les mines de charbon de Belgique, depuis 7 générations (1790).
    Mes ancêtres étaient des hommes fiers, durs, courageux, mais qui adoraient leur métier de mineur de fond!
    Mon papa est descendu jusqu'à 1000 mètres de profondeur.
    Tu comprendras pourquoi ces photos sont émouvantes pour moi...
    Jerry, these photos touch me a lot. My whole family has always been in the coal mines of Belgium, for 7 generations (1790).
    My ancestors were proud, hard, brave men, but they loved their job as a miner!
    My dad went down to 1000 meters deep.
    You will understand why these photos are moving for me ...
    Thank you

  4. Lovely image. I remember using showers like this. Nothing sexual other than quickly checking out the other blokes. Totally natural...