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A brief survey of the development and manufacture of miners safety lamps, by Frank Johnson.

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Type 6 Deputies Relighter Lamp

miners lamp

The Type 6 is a flame safety lamp used for gas testing in coal mines. The lamp will safely burn methane/firedamp without causing an explosion.

It is a development of our earliest safety lamps, first made in 1873, and incorporates the Protector self extinguishing system developed and patented by Joseph Prestwich, the driving force of the company in the late Victorian period. It was tested and approved for use in mines in the 1940's.

Following Nationalisation in 1947 it became the approved lamp for all UK Coal mines which were operated by the Ministry of Power under the Labour Government. As the State did not want to create a monopoly supplier they also introduced lamps from Wolf and Thomas & Williams.

GR6S Deputies Relighter Lamp

miners lamp

The GR6S is a development of the Type 6. It was tested and approved for use in mines in the 1960's.The first prototypes of which two still exist, were made in 1964.

A Government scientist named Garforth invented a more accurate system of gas sampling where by gas was injected directly on to the flame. This was incorporated into the Type 6 design, and was also made available in other lamps.

The GR6 went in to main steam use in the late 1960's and gradually replaced the Type 6. Following issues with the brass wick tube corroding a stainless steel tube was introduced and the lamp became the GR6S. It is still used by Deputies today to test for firedamp.

   

Type 1A Lamp

Protector Type 1A Lamp

 

These were designed for the GPO (General Post Office) the forerunner to BT. They were used from the 1960'S to 1998 to test for oxygen deficiency in tunnels and manholes.

They are a flat wick lamp burning paraffin or lamp oil and are very easy to use. Also good for use on boats.

They are still used in the Royal Navy Dockyards for testing for bad air in ships holds and on submarines.

Type SL Lamp

Protector Type SL Lamp

 

The SL (side lit) or Workman's Lamp came into widespread use after the Great War. It had to be lit in the Lamp Room by an electric current as Workmen were not allowed to relight underground.

It was still in use upto the 1970's