This reminds me of one of the two plausible explanations for the origin of the word “Geordie” – that miners from the Newcastle area favoured lamps of the type invented by George Stephenson described in this article, while those in the rest of the country (including the Midlands) used the Davy Lamp, invented around the same time in 1815.
The other explanation of the origin of Geordie relates to the 1715 Jacobite rebellion, when the city of Newcastle upon Tyne closed its gates to the rebel army from Scotland and declared its loyalty to King George I. The rebels were eventually defeated at the Battle of Preston.
The word “Geordie” is thus either 200 or 300 years old depending on which account you believe…
This year marks 200 years since the invention of the Geordie Lamp – a revolutionary invention by George Stephenson – which is on view off our reception until Christmas.
In 1812, Stephenson was an engine-wright at Killingworth High Pit. In this role, he was in charge of all of the colliery machine of the Grand Allies. Because this machinery was not only above ground, but also below, Stephenson spent a lot of time actually down in the mines carrying out maintenance and repairs. He was all too well aware of the poor working conditions that the miners had to deal with, and the casualties that took place due to firedamp explosions. Indeed, in a previous role, he had been working at the West Moor pit in when a firedamp explosion killed 10 miners.
Firedamp is the combination of…
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