The Coal Miner’s Hero

From the book I started last night and am eagerly devouring, Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How Two Men Revolutionized Physics, an example in science of the aforementioned Axemaker’s Gift:

In 1815, Faraday helped Davy develop a miner’s safety lamp. Coal miners needed light to work, and hundreds had died in explosions ignited by open flames. In Davy’s lamp, the flame couldn’t pass through the fine, metal mesh that surrounded it; as long as the lamp was kept in good condition, there would be no explosion. Davy became the miner’s hero, even though the lamp actually led to more deaths because it encouraged mine owners to reopen mines that had previously been closed for safety reasons.

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