Two Clanny safety lamps, 1869-1874, and 'bonnetted' Clanny lamp, c 1882.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The original Clanny safety lamp (on the left) was designed in 1869 by Dr William Clanny (1776-1850) to reduce the risk of explosions caused by 'firedamp', a gas composed mainly of methane which is found in deep mines. The 'bonnetted' Clanny (on the right) was refined by the Royal Commision on Accidents in Mines (1879-1886). It is made of nickel and silver and has a dioptric lens as much of the light was lost through absorption. The air for supplying the flame comes in through the bottom of the gauze and pases down the inner side of the glas thus protecting it from overheating. Although heavier and more expensive than the Davy lamp, this type was safer and stayed in use until the introduction of electric mine lighting devices after 1900.