Davy miners' lamp

Davy miners' lamp

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Credit: ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Miners' lamp. An early prototype for a miners' safety lamp, designed by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1815. This was intended to prevent explosions due to 'fire damp', a mixture of gases including methane, found in coal mines. In this late design, a paraffin flame is kept behind a gauze cover. The gauze allows air in but contains any flame. This prevents the lamp igniting fire damp within a mine. Davy's final design hugely reduced explosions in coal mines around the world, saving thousands of lives. This object is on display at the Royal Institution, London.

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