Exploration #45. This coal mine, or “Zeche”, was founded in 1902 and was fully operational until 2008. Each coal mine had a clean room (weißen kaue) and a dirty room (schwarzen kaue) bisected by showers for washing. The rooms of kaue had benches with small number plates and each coal miner had a personal number which would correspond to his own kaue.
In the white cages clothing and other personal belongings where kept and pulled up all the way to the ceiling while the workers were underground. The black cages room was the exact opposite: they used to hold the miners working clothes. Since they were too damp to put in a locker, they hanged them on the hooks and hoist it to the ceiling, then go through a shower and into an identical room next door to get their clean clothes. The rooms of cages had very powerful ceiling ventilation to keep all the miners possessions dry. Being so deep underground, and with a rock temperature of around 55°C, they needed a system to keep their clothes going stale and moldy between shifts.