Oxygen blowpipes developed in 1823 and 1888.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Oxygen blowpipes developed in 1823 and 1888.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The early 'safety' oxyhydrogen blowpipe on the left, designed by Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, was developed as a means of increasing the heat and controlling the flame produced by hydrogen and oxygen. Later it became more widely known as the origin of limelight in theatres (the flame of the blowpipe was played on a lump of lime), and was the forerunner of modern oxyhydrogen welding. Fletcher's hand blowpipe (right) was designed to burn a mixture of oxygen and coal gas.

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