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COLLIERS' LAMPS. Among the vast improvements which have been made in the coal mines during the last 20 years, there is one important questionwhich has been falling backwards for the want ot the clear wording of ihe law-coming in the direct way concerning it, i.e., the safety lamp. The lamp seems to be getting weaker and weaker ever since the Government appointed commissioners (about 1880) to investigate the matter. They found that there was no such thing as a safety lamp in existence, and said that there could be no such thi. as a safety lamp without the explosion being let out of the lamp into such a place where the supply should enter on top of the fire; and they also pointed out 4 of the best that they had found during the experi- menting toi be used until an improvement should appear. These were the Morsqot, Mas- ler, Gray's, and the Cambrian, but they did not make them compulsory by law, and this caused the mischief. The result of this was that the Cambrian lamp underwent an altera- tion, and became simply a bonnetted clanny, because it gives no light to the colliers in the original form. In 1890, H.M.I.M. deman- ded that all lamps should be shielded all round in the Ehondda. district. I am not able to comprehend the foundation of this demand, but it resulted in bringing the so-called Cam- brian lamp, or Bonneted Clanny, into general use, this being the first step backwards. The second step in the downfall, was the mode of lighting the lamp by electricity, bringing into existence the low flash oil, which is so explo- sive in itself, and us one of the most practical managers in the locality explained to the magistrate, a small quantity of the oil spilt on the gauze is sufficient to cause an explo- sion." This is horrible, when we take into consideration how often the miner's lamp is tossed about, and the oil is lost on the gauze. Another evidence of this is that the oil often explodes in a lamp, when it is used in a warm place, in total disregard of the perils risked with these oils in the lamp-room. It is strange that this should come into existence with the Welsh collier, who fought so ardently against tha spirit lamp, which was not nearly so dan- gerous as that, because the lamp, in this case, was kept in a sponge. The bonnet, or shield round the lamp, or "Bonneted Clanny." as it Ü' called, is the best form or shape of furnace that could be made to burn gas under all cir- cumstances. The question now arises, "Why has the lamp been proved to give such good results in the apparatus? It is simply this, the lamp has more opening at the outlet, or at the top of it, than at the inlet where the air enters to support combustion. When an extra current is "placed on it, the air baffles in through the top, and even keeps back the ordinary action of the lamp, rather than in- crease it, so that the lamp will under such circumstances, last longer before exploding than under ordinary circumstances, which is from 7 to 10 ft. per second velocity, in accordance with the venti- lation of the mine. The shield round the lamp only forms a stack rcund the lamp, or otherwise making it into a furnace, and also blinds the collier from being able to defend his lamp. What I should like to havo attention tc is the increase of perils, caused by the usage of this lamp, which tends to cause an explo- sion. As I have said, this lamp is able to burn gas under any circumstances that might come across it, without the exception when the gas is above 15 per cent. in the air, and when it burns gas, it will make an action in itself, equal to any ventilating current met with in a mine, i.e., from 7 to 15 ft. per second velocity, which is ah Id to bring an explosion out of the lamp, within half-an-hour, and with the sup. port of a cloud of dust, which i3 often met with in the face of thç. workings, it will come out in a few seconds, especially if the wick flame is extinguished, and by its dark appear- ance leads one to believe there is no fire in it. The time has come that we should be able to thoroughly understand this question, as it is a matter of the safety of our lives, and be- sides that, colliers are disgraced as a body, whenever an accident or an explosion occurs. Take for instance! the Broadoak Colliepry ex- plosion. Is there any reason to believe that the fireman was so wilful as to cause the ex- plosion in the way it was told before the jury? The fireman was chosen from amongst his fel- low-workmen, as a man of practice and judg- ment. Ha had fulfilled his duty to every satis- faction. Even on the night of the explosion he appointed a man to water the particular part, which bad been pointed out to him by the day, fireman. All that I can learn from the evidence is that this man was the right man in the right place, and not an idiot as he was proved to be by the evidence at the in- quest, which degraded workmen as a body. The question now is open, "How am I to reason how the explosion occurred? By the very fact that the bonneted lamp is able to explode unawares to its owners, under ordi- nary circumstances, even by a small blower, which is so often met with in coal mines, and that is lost within a yard or two from where it breaks out. In such a place, the collier is riable to hang his lamp, thoughtless of the perils, for the want of the knowledge to un- derstand his lamp. In such a position, the lamp is often extinguished to the eye of the owner of it, and so left there, thoughtless of any danger, still burning gas in the bonnet out of sight, and I have further seen the two flames carried on, one supported with oil, and the other with gas, and in this way it may be oarrjed on to bring the gauze to copper heat, and this by means of a cloudo of dust, so often me. with in the collieries, will spark on the j grtize, and ignite an explosion in such a place | where there would be but very little gas, but


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