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Other Emails P1-29   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8 

Niall Mahoney - Replacement Wick for Davy Lamp - and a question!
Thi Minh Dao - Looking For More Information About Gr6s Flame Safety Lamp
Eesh Kumar Kintali - Query regarding use of wire mesh in safety lamp
Andrew Mailer - Help please - Eccles Protector Lamp GR6S
Gillian Brogden - Where Can I Buy A Nottinghamshire Area Miners Lamp?
Brian - Type 6 Lamp - Where can I get a wick - How do I fuel it?
Paul Mansfield - Asbestos in safety lamps

From:
Sent:
Subject:
Niall Mahoney
28 Nov 2017
Replacement wick for Davy lamp - and a question!

Hi
I am looking for a wick for my Davy lamp, as pictured below - can you help? I also have a question for you! If you zoom in you'll see that the top part is marked '28' and the bottom '21' - would you know the reason for this? Is it that they maybe hung up the lamps in rows in the Colliery and you just picked up any bottom and attached a top to it, or is it simply that a different bottom has been added later to replace a broken bit? BTW, it is stamped 1956 on the inside of the bottom part - that seems quite recent considering the look of it and the technology, or am I wrong?!

Thanks for any information you can come up with.

PS it was my late father who was gifted this lamp whilst being the last Provost of a place called Culross, which is in Fife, Scotland. I think it was called the Valleyfield pit? Anyway, hope you can tell me something about it.

Cheers
Niall Mahoney

Insight


Hi Niall, this is a Workman's Flame Lamp
The number at the bottom are just to identify the various parts of the lamp, it is possible the two parts were mixed up by the lamp man when cleaning the lamp which was done after every shift. It could also have been damaged and replaced by another piece.

Although based on and termed a Davy Lamp, it is a workman's flame proof lamp.

General Description

Top part is the hook, fastened to the bonnet. Inside the bonnet are two gauzes, inner gauze and outer gauze which are 128 apertures to one square inch (approx).

Underneath is the glass, on top and below the glass is an asbestos washer.  The bars on the outside are to protect the glass. There are usually 2 bars closer together and one of them can be pushed up into the bonnet when screwing the vessel tight, it pushes the bar up into the bonnet and secures the lamp. The lamp is locked by the Lamp man and cannot be opened other than by a strong magnet. It is usually lit by the lamp man using a battery passing through terminals and igniting the vapour above the wick.  If it went out it could not be relit until the miner came out of the pit. The lamp appears to be locked, if you use a very strong magnet it may be able to be opened and then unscrewed allowing all the pieces to be examined.  The wick is coiled inside and absorbs the oil and the flame is burning the vapour just above the wick. When the lock is open there is a hole where the Colza oil, which burns without smoke, is poured into the vessel. There is usually a small screw in the vessel allowing a plate to be lifted to insert a new wick. Click here to see a break down of the lamp.

The wick is adjusted underneath the vessel for brightness and is turned down to a tiny speck of yellow flame, when testing for firedamp or methane gas, which burns with a pale blue flame of various triangular shapes. At 1¼% of gas electricity had to be switched off and if 2% was registered on the flame all men had to be withdrawn from the area to a safe place when told by an official.  The explosive range of methane is between 5% and 15%, it is most violent explosive point being 9.4%. The gas is usually detected in the roof of the roadway or coal face as it is lighter than air.

Also if Blackdamp or Carbon dioxide gas is present, which is heavier than air is usually found near the floor, the lamp flame will be extinguished.

The official, such as a deputy or overman would continually test for gas until it was safe to return to work usually on the coal face where methane gas was given off from the coal seam.

Black damp can escape from the goaf, behind the coal face, in times of low pressure.

The brass plate, above the top number, usually stating the manufacturer’s name plate etc has more than likely been worn away due to the numerous times it has been cleaned over the years, about 300 times a year.

Trusting this explanation is not too complicated. Should you wish for any more information just ask.
Regards
Bob Bradley

--<29 Nov 2017>--

Fionn
Just read this - fantastic information! Please thank him hugely for this - way more than I expected! Really interesting info - my lamp has obviously been used in real life many, many times but it now has some peculiarities!

I noticed that the glass is fitted upside down - is that normal?

I can actually open the bottom part to gain access to the wick and striker simply by turning it - the two locking pins seem to be either elevated permanently, or perhaps they were cut off so that my dad could actually light it without the need for the magnets?

It is dated 1956 - isn't that quite late for them to be using such technology? I have no idea!
My thinking is that the Miners Committee, who presented it to my dad, took a load of parts and put them together to make this one, and adapted it for domestic use without ruining the look of it. What do you guys think?

Incidentally, I have some connections to mining myself, and have met and worked with some people much like yourself! I worked on a TV show called '999' for the BBC about 25 years ago. I had to reconstruct an incredible accident where a 21 stone man fell down an old shaft near Zennor in Cornwall, breaking his back, neck, legs and arms! It took about 50 Emergency Services personnel to slowly lift him out. He was too big for the stretcher, and was stuck in a horizontal stoop below a sloping shaft. A young paramedic had to be roped to him to hold his neck absolutely still while they gradually hauled him up - any movement could have paralysed him!
I reconstructed it with a full film crew, plus stuntmen, actors and the original participants - all done repeatedly for the cameras while we swung around with just headlamps for light and rocks/water pouring down on us!

The mine was hand cut (tin) and the only access was way up a hill by the sea. I had to bring the Army in to build a base camp and access road in just to get to it. I got the local WRI to make us giant Cornish Pasties in the traditional way to keep us fed, as it would take so long to get out and back into the mine!

I have to say that this was probably the most exciting and challenging thing I ever had to do, and it was an amazing experience that I will never forget!

It was a mine enthusiast (a bit like yourself?!) who allowed us access to the mine, and everyone I met to do with this project was just brilliant. I loved their enthusiasm, knowledge and dedication to keeping these mines open so that we can see and remember just how crushingly hard it was working in these environments.

Thank you and Bob once again for taking the time to give me all this.

Yours
Niall Mahoney


From:
Sent:
Subject:
Thi Minh Dao
26 Oct 2016
Looking For More Information About Gr6s Flame Safety Lamp

Dear Sir,

I have just bought 2 lamps GR6S, Approval No B2/233.
Could you please check and advise me if there are any certificates  related to the Approval B2/233.
I already asked the Seller, but I havent got satisfied respond.

Thank you so much.
Dao Thi Minh (Ms)

VSafety


From:
Sent:
Subject:
Eesh Kumar Kintali
29 Jun 2016
Query regarding use of wire mesh in safety lamp
Dear sir,
Why only 28 mesh is used in safety lamps?

What will happen, if I use more mesh or less wire mesh gauge?

Kindly let me known.

Thanking You


They probably started with around 20 mesh and found gas easily got into the lamp and flared up but the flames could get back out through the mesh to the outside atmosphere causing an explosion.

On the other hand 40 didn't let the gasses in.

Over the years, through experimentation, the best number of meshes per square inch was set at 28, it let the gas into the lamp causing the flame to burn, very slightly, bigger and bluer to show a dangerous atmosphere but the flame could not get out not even if the gasses flared up inside the lamp.

Later, for extra safety, 2 sets of meshes were used so that if one set failed the other still held the flame.


From:
Sent:
Subject:
Andrew Mailer
17 Mar 2016
Help please - Eccles Protector Lamp GR6S

Eesh Kumar Kintali   eeshkumark@gmail.com
Sent:       29 Jun 2016
Subject   query regarding use of wire mesh in safety lamp
 
dear sir,
Why only 28 mesh is used in safety lamps?

What will happen, if I use more mesh or less wire mesh gauge?

Kindly let me known.

Thanking You


From:
Sent:
Subject:
Andrew Mailer
17 Mar 2016
Help please - Eccles Protector Lamp GR6S

Hi

Apologies for the email, and not sure if you can help, but I am having trouble with an Eccles Protector Lamp GR6S I have recently purchased.

The first new wick I tried burnt Okish, so when I renewed the wick, thinking the wick pipe blocked, I rightly/probably wrongly dug some of the secondary wick out and replaced it.

Now the lamp will only burn for a few minutes, even when filled.

I have tried blowing down the wick tube, but it does seem to be blocked with no air passing through to the fill hole.

I am tempted to try and drill down the wick tube to remove any debris, and attempt to renew the secondary wick completely.

Apologies again for the email, but I am gutted I seem to have broken the lamp, and any helpful advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Kind regards

Andrew


Andrew
It is a while since you asked for advice. If you could take it to the National Mining Museum at Caphouse Colliery near Wakefield, (get off M1 at junction 38) open from 10am to 5pm. Ask the lamp man (nicely and pleadingly) if he could help you whilst you visit underground and surface.

He may be helpful and show you how to use it in future! There is a canteen and library also.
Regards

Bob


From:
Sent:
Subject:
Gillian Brogden
4 Feb 2016
Where Can I Buy A Nottinghamshire Area Miners Lamp?
Hi are you able to tell me if I can purchase a miners lamp specifically for the Nottinghamshire area

Thanks

Gill

Gillian Brogden


From:
Sent:
Subject:
Brian
17 Nov 2015
Type 6 Lamp - Where can I get a wick - How do I fuel it?

Hello
Could you tell me how I fuel this lamp does it have padding in the fuel reservoir it has not been used for quite awhile 

Thank you

Brian

ps where can I get a wick


From:
Sent:
Subject:
Paul Mansfield
3 July 2015
Asbestos in safety lamps

Fionn,

Amongst the very interesting stuff on your site, I was shocked to read that there are asbestos washers inside mining lamps.

Some time ago I purchased an old Eccles Type 6, B/28 lamp from ebay (assumed genuine !) and although I have never tried to take it apart am now thinking I am not keen to keep it if there is asbestos inside.
I assume the Thomas & Williams Welsh used ones would be the same which I have thought of buying ?

I recently bought a newer Wolf type FS safety Lamp (Wm MAURICE Ltd SHEFFIELD) from 1984, British Telecom version.

What I wanted to ask you was whether you knew if these ones also used asbestos based washers ?

Many Thanks,
Paul.


The asbestos rings in the oil lamps are only about a couple of millimetres thick. One is placed above the glass and one below it. When these lamps were designed and made it was found that the asbestos medium was ideal as a seating for the glass in order to completely make it gas proof.

The lamp consists of a vessel at the bottom. This holds the cozal oil and a cotton wick is coiled inside it. The wick is periodically raised as it is burnt away, or to use as a testing flame, however it is the vapour given off from the oil above the wick that burns with no or very little smoke.

The top or bonnet of the lamp hides 2 gauzes of fine wire mesh and they slot into one another with a small gap between. It has been proven that methane gas can be drawn into the lamp and set fire but the flame will be unable to escape through the gauzes back into the atmosphere to cause an explosion.

Firedamp consisting mainly of methane will burn with a pale blue flame at various heights on a lowered flame just showing a tiny yellow spot, and then a different triangular flame shape from one and a quarter percent on a lamp up to about 5 percent when the flame would spiral and reach the top of the lamp inside the gauzes and snuff out due to the lack of air.

Methane is explosive between 5 percent and 15 percent with a maximum explosive point of 9.4 percent.

An oil lamp therefor must be put together very accurately and in the correct order otherwise it will not lock and it could be dangerous. One can only open the lamp by a special magnet once the lamp has been sealed by screwing the bonnet onto the base and locking it. You will notice that usually there is another bar that slots into the top bonnet and once in position locks the top and you cannot screw it open.

That is where the 2 asbestos rings come in. Unless they are seated properly the lamp cannot be locked.

Both the rings are inside the lamp and are not exposed to the atmosphere and as such are not dangerous. Rest assured this system has been used for at least 90 years and lamp men who had to undo many of these lamps daily and clean them then put them back together again have suffered no harm. I do not think anyone doing that job has suffered from asbestosis.

Trusting this information will allay your fears.

Bob Bradley