Evidence record card

Date: 1919
Rhondda women: the cost of keeping the men clean

Until the introduction of pithead baths, the commonest form of drudgery and illness for miners’ wives was the boiling and carrying of water for tin baths. Here, a miner’s wife, Elizabeth Andrews, gives evidence to the Commission on the Coal Industry in 1919: “Pithead baths would reduce the physical strain on the mother caused through lifting heavy tubs and boilers. A midwife of 23 years’ experience in the same district in Rhondda stated to me that the majority of cases she has had of premature births and extreme female ailments are due to the physical strain of lifting tubs and boilers in their homes.”