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Purchased, 1960. Museums Sheffield
Men Seated Around Fire in Grinding Shop
Date Made/Found: 1861-1897
Artist: Joseph Wrightson McIntyre , 1841 - 1897
Material and Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Sight size: 765 x 1112 x 25mm
Department: Social History
Accession Number: 1960.28
Grinding workshops like the one in this painting were dangerous places to work. The buildings were notoriously cold and damp, as they were always situated beside a stream. Grindstones were made from natural stone and often had hidden flaws which could cause them to explode when rotating. Blade grinding produced clouds of dust which could cause serious lung disease, known then as grinder's asthma. Many workers in the cutlery trade belonged to a trade union and the unions struggled hard in the nineteenth century to maintain and improve rates of pay. Some union members went to great lengths against employers using non-union labour, who risked having their grinding hulls vandalised.
Display Location: In Store
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