One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A miner's portable lamp with a flame protected, typically by wire gauze, to reduce the risk of explosion from ignited methane (firedamp). The first to be introduced, in the early 19th century, was the Davy lamp.
- ‘Davy is remembered for his safety lamp, but in his lifetime his fame was wider.’
- ‘The flame, which is transported in a structure similar to a miner's safety lamp while in flight, arrived earlier on Thursday at the coastal resort of Pathos, in the south-west. [emphasis added]’
- ‘In 1815 he invented a safety lamp for use in coal-mines, after risking his life repeatedly in earlier tests.’
- ‘It is the miner's safety lamp carried by his father Roy during 46 years in the pit, before the perils of the job wrecked his health and eventually killed him.’
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