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Mining & Quarrying

Coal

Helmet with Lead Acid Battery Pack and Lamp

Description:

This is a modern miner’s helmet with electrical lamp and a rechargeable lead-acid battery which is designed to be worn on a belt.

 

In the earliest days of mining, torches, and earthenware lamps were used before the introduction of candles.  Naked flames however caused ignitions of firedamp causing a great loss of life.  The first type of 'lamp' produced for miners was invented in 1760 by Miles Spedding and was called the 'Steel Mill'.  It operated by producing a continuous shower of sparks, which didn't provide great illumination and still caused explosions where firedamp was present.

 

The first safety lamp was invented in 1815 by Sir Humphrey Davy.  He discovered that under certain conditions flame will not pass through a fine iron wire gauze, and on this principle the celebrated 'Davy Lamp' was born.  All the safety lamps which followed (excluding the more modern electric ones) acted on this same principle, the improvements since 1815 being directed towards increasing candle power, shielding from high velocity explosive mixtures, safeguarding from damage through falls of roof and locking systems making the lamps tamper proof.

 

The cap lamp probably originated in Scotland before finding great favour in the United States and elsewhere.  Originally acetylene was used but now all are electric like the one pictured.

Source:
Digital Number:
EAMI017n
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council