Miner's Safety Lamp Davy Type
Coal miner's "Davy" safety lamp. In the early nineteenth century there were many accidents and deaths in coal mines due to the presence of methane gas which exploded when concentrated pockets of the gas came into contact with the naked lamps then in use to light the mines.The celebrated english chemist Sir Humphery Davy was asked if he could design a lamp which would not cause explosions in the mines and shortly afterwards he invented the first practicle safety lamp which was called after him. He flatly refused to patent the invention and profit from his discovery saying that safety was beyond price. His first lamp contained no glass, the parrafin flame was encased in a fine copper mesh which reduced the temperature of the surrounding air to below that of the methane combustion point.
Original Davy lamps are now exceedingly rare and ones in good condition like this example even more so.
Height 9" date early nineteenth century
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