You arrive at the mines and a narrow elevator takes you 700 meters underground.
When there is only darkness all around, the lamps are your best friends.
Turning darkness into light, lamps were indispensable tools for miners during the whole period of coal mining in the Netherlands. From 1903, when the first Dutch coal mine was opened, until 1974, when the last mine was closed (Mining in Limburg, n.d.), different generations of lamps made miners’ lives bearable in the mines, providing them with light, safety and efficiency while they worked.
In this section, former miners will tell you how essential lamps were for them – as well as how dangerous they could be. You will also find an overview of the evolution of mining lamps: from the first lamp that worked with an open fire, to the last one, fueled by batteries and attached to helmets.
Below you can view the gallery of old pictures of coal miners using mining lamps in their work.