Miner's Safety Lamp

This Clanny-style safety lamp was manufactured by the Hughes Brothers of Scranton, Pennsylvania in the latter half of the 19th century. The lamp is called a safety lamp because it can be used in the presence of flammable gas. In 1815, inventor Sir Humphry Davy discovered that surrounding the flame with a fine wire gauze would cool the flame to such an extent that it could not ignite the gas surrounding the lamp. In 1813 William Clanny’s safety lamp innovation was the use of glass to surround the flame, and later safety lamps often feature both wire gauze and a glass globe at the lamps bottom. Safety lamps are used to this day for gas detection, even as mine lighting has been replaced by electric lights.
overall: 10 1/2 in; 26.67 cm
ID Number
accession number
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Credit Line
Mary R. Wheat
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Work and Industry: Mining
Industry & Manufacturing
Grant Wheat Collection
Mining Lamps
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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