Staff Welfare and Disciplining
The Social Amenities of the Doctor Geier Colliery Before the First World War
The Doctor Geier colliery in Waldalgesheim owes its present popularity mainly to the monumental complex of surface facilities built during the First World War. The story of the brilliant construction plan was well publicised in the 1970s and 1980s by expert authors, some of whom also considered the associated idealistic notion behind the construction project and the significance of the complex from the point of view of industrial architecture. By contrast, there is still no comprehensive monography of the history of the Doctor Geier colliery.
Various processes of change reflecting the times can be deduced from the development of mining operations. The economic viability of the mine depended on technical innovations. But effective programmes for recruiting workers and efforts to maintain staff continuity were equally important. Every miner who was recruited was to receive reasonable social benefits improving the quality of his daily working life and his personal leisure time. For their part, the miners signed a contract in which they pledged to work efficiently to achieve production targets as well as to conduct themselves in a socially acceptable manner.
On the basis of the little material available in archives, the article reconstructs the set-up, operation and development of a first-generation social welfare system at the Doctor Geier colliery.