Voices in the Coalshed: Don’t be left in the dark about light!

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Don’t be left in the dark about light!

Are you afraid of the dark? Most of us are at some point. Can you imagine a world without light? Close your eyes and try. Our greatest playwright William Shakespeare wrote "the night is long which never finds the day". He’s saying darkness is bad and light is good, which is very true in our story. We are all happier when we have light!

Obviously, miners needed light to find their way around and do their jobs. But underground, light was used for more than seeing your way around. The miner’s lamp we are so familiar with actually illuminated an invisible danger and it saved many lives, because the flame inside the lamp that makes the light can detect gas that caused deadly explosions underground. The unseen danger underground was methane gas, which the miners called ‘firedamp’.

Because the flame inside the lamp changes size, shape and colour when the gas was present, dangerous levels of firedamp could be seen in the flame and safety precautions taken. Have a look at this explosive video to get the bigger, brighter picture!

On your next visit to NCMME, visit our new ‘Light in the Darkness’ gallery where you can find out more about the invention of the flame safety lamp.

Think about our world today, could we imagine it without our well-lit streets and the all lights shining brightly in our homes. Are we ever really left in the dark?

This blog was researched and produced by members of Voices in the Coalshed. Want to find out about this group and see how you can get involved? See here for more!

Posted in See | Learn | Volunteering

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