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main image Peat extraction, Orkney
Before 1750, peat was the near-universal fuel of the Scottish countryside. It does not produce a good heat, and burns quickly. Nevertheless, it was the only available fuel.

The production of dry peat was very labour intensive. In spring little blocks (peats) were cut from the peat moss or peat bog. This was hard physical work. The peats were left to dry, requiring turning from time to time. When they were dry, and therefore much lighter, they were moved to the house, often by women who carried them in creels on their backs.

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