December 8th, 1881 – Cripple Creek Black Lung Factory Transitions To 90% Child Workers
Cripple Creek is known today as a mountain center of gambling, but in the 1800’s it was known for many more things. Notably, the towns #3 export after Coal & Poverty – Black Lung. Deep in the mountains lie veins of rich black lung just ready to be mined. Unfortunately too many of the adult workers would pass from unknown respiratory illnesses.
So, the owner of Childwork Mine decided to employ nearly exclusively child workers. In times where children were more expendable than they are today, it was a cheap and ultimetely successful decision.
Pictured are one of the 22 hour shifts of child workers, with a black lung intake tube visible on the ceiling. These merry kids toil away at their fun job, and even get 5 minutes to eat between shifts.