Canary Resuscitators

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Today it's all about the canaries!
 
Visitors to the Museum will probably have come across some of our canaries close to the Underground Tour, and while we keep them above ground in their cage, they once had a very important job to do underground!
 
Until the 1980s, canaries were still taken underground to detect gas, which is colourless and tasteless. In the presence of carbon monoxide, a canary will become distressed and start ruffling its feathers, sometimes being poisoned as a result.
 
Enter, the canary resuscitator!

The circular door would be kept open and had a grill to prevent the canary escaping. Once the canary showed signs of carbon monoxide poisoning the door would be closed and a valve opened, allowing oxygen from the tank on top to be released and revive the canary. The miners would then be expected to evacuate the danger area.

While you can't visit our canaries just yet, why not have a go at making a canary themed optical illusion at home? When the two images are twisted quickly they become one and it will look like a canary in a cage!

What you need:

  • A pencil or stick
  • Two circles of card
  • Crayons for drawing
  • Glue
  • Draw 2 circles on your card
  • Cut out the circles
  • On one circle draw a canary in the centre. On the second card draw a cage that is bigger than the canary.

  • Glue the 2 circles together with your stick in the middle and when dry twist and see what happens!

Posted in Learn | Family

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