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“In former days, before the invention of the safety-lamp, Simon had known this fierce man, whose business it was to go daily, at the risk of his life, to produce partial explosions of fire-damp in the passages.”
“As they walked on, Simon Ford told the engineer all that he had done to attain his object; how he was sure that the escape of fire-damp took place at the very end of the farthest gallery in its western part, because he had provoked small and partial explosions, or rather little flames, enough to show the nature of the gas, which escaped in a small jet, but with a continuous flow.”
“According to Simon Ford, the fire-damp escaped incessantly, and from that fact the existence of an important vein might be considered certain.”
“As to the “fire-maidens,” James Starr began to think that appearance must have been produced by some jet of fire-damp gas which, issuing from that part of the pit, could be lighted by”
“Jets and streams of the fire-damp now rose upward in the vaulted dome; and well did that fierce old man know that the consequence of what he had done would be to render explosive the whole atmosphere of the mine.”
“Who shakes the seam during tempestuous nights? who puts the miners on the track of an as yet unworked vein? who lights the fire-damp, and presides over the terrible explosions? who but some spirit of the mine?”
“As to the fire-damp which had lately filtered through the schist, it seemed to have been contained in a pocket now empty, and it was certain that the atmosphere of the gallery was quite free from it.”
““And was it on the surface of these rocks that you found out the fire-damp?” asked James Starr.”
““Sure enough,” returned James Starr, “there is no fear of fire-damp explosions now!””
“James Starr, in amazement, knowing that there was no fear of explosions of fire-damp in a pit quite empty of coal.”
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A collection of coal mining and colliery terms. Some British, some Scots, and some, Other. Many terms are quite to the point; others colorful and imaginative.
Also see Middlesmith's li...
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