Darvy’s Lamp

In History we had to make presentations about Industrial Revolution inventions. Mike is the following:

Humphry Davy’s miners’ safety lamp

The first ever prototype of Davy’s miner’s safety lamp. Was created in 1815, It consists of a wick lamp with the flame enclosed inside a mesh screen. It was created for use in coal mines, to reduce the danger of explosions due to the presence of methane and other flammable gases.


Paradoxically, the introduction of the Davy lamp led to an increase in mine accidents, as the lamp encouraged the working of mines and parts of mines that had previously been closed for safety raisons.

Men continued to work in conditions which were unsafe due to the presence of methane gas. Although extractor ventilation fans should have been installed to reduce the concentration of methane in the air, this would have been expensive for mine owners, and thus such fans were not installed.

Another reason for the increase in accidents was the unreliability of the lamps themselves. The bare gauze was easily damaged, and once just a single wire broke or rusted away, the lamp became unsafe.


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