La lyddite

La lyddite est le terme anglais pour désigner l'acide picrique.

Canary girls - Women who regularly handled picric acid (one of the components of the explosive material Lyddite) became known as ‘canary girls’ because the acid turned their hair and faces bright yellow

Cette photographie représente des femmes en train de charger des obus avec de l'acide picrique, connu en France sous le nom de mélinite et au Royaume Uni sous celui de lyddite. On les surnommait les femmes canaris en raison de la couleur jaune de la substance qui finissait par teinter leurs cheveux et leurs visages.

Ces deux illustrations (ci-dessus et ci-dessous) parues dans " The London Illustrated News " montrent les effets des explosions de la lyddite.

Une autre illustration témoigne d'une explosion dans les tranchées

Tout comme la mélinite, la lyddite est à l'origine de plusieurs graves explosions accidentelles, comme celle survenue le 2 décembre 1914.

Il y a aussi celle du 8 août 1908

Ci-dessous le texte en anglais

The Maypole Colliery explosion on 8th August 1908 in Wigan. England.

The postcard was produced by Warner Gothard of 6 Eldon Street, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England within about ten days of the event taking place, Warner Gothard is described as a "photographic artist" and the disaster montage postcard was his speciality and produced between the years of 1908 to 1916. He had studios in Barnsley, Wakefield, Leeds, Halifax and Dewsbury.

The victims were often shown in the clothes that they were married in as these were the photographs which were readily obtained from the family of the deceased.

Just for information, Warner Gothard produced many postcards of mining disasters between the years of 1905 and 1916 you may be familiar with them, the general theme was a scene of the colliery with the photographs of the deceased and sometimes the rescuers, postcards were published of the explosions or fires at :

Glebe colliery, Washington, Durham.
Barrow colliery Barnsley.
Wharncliffe Silkstone colliery, Barnsley.
West Stanley colliery, Durham.
Hamstead colliery, Birmingham.
White Lea company owned by Henry Ellison who were manufacturing Lyddite, an explosive chemical used in artillery shells in WW1.
Heckmondwike and Hoyland Silkstone colliery, Barnsley.