A Light in the Darkness
This autumn, the National Coal Mining Museum for England investigates how and why the safety lamp was so important to the mining industry in a new exhibition, A Light in the Darkness – 200 years of the Flame-Safety Lamp opening on 19 October.
Dr Beth Taylor, chair of the UK National Committee for the International Year of Light will officially open the exhibition at 11.00am on Tuesday 20 October – she will give a speech and join museum staff in a tour of the gallery. Guests will also have the opportunity to view the new exhibition with members of the curatorial exhibition team.
The exhibition marks the 200th anniversary of the invention of the Davy and Stephenson flame safety lamps – a first step in providing safe lighting for miners underground and will demonstrate the evolution to the modern deputy’s lamp.
Coal miners were frequently at danger from explosive mixtures of methane gas in the mine atmosphere. While providing safer lighting than a naked flame, the lamp could also be used to warn of the presence of gas. As it was developed and improved it became a vital safety device saving countless lives.
Many of the lamps from the Museum’s own collection as well as objects relating to the development, sale and maintenance of the flame-safety lamp will be on display. Families can try out the lamp game and leave their safety lamp stories, while for educational groups the education team have been developing an exciting new interactive workshop.
To coincide with the first weekend of the exhibition, the Lamp Collectors Society will hold a special event at the Museum on Sunday 25th October. Members of the Society will show some of the rarities from their own collections, and visitors will have the opportunity to bring their lamps into the Museum for identification.
The exhibition runs from 19 October 2015 - 24 January 2016 and is open daily 10am – 5pm.
The exhibition is free entry.
Posted in Heritage