Today’s offering is yet another one lifted from Great British Railway Journeys and features two brilliant Victorian inventors and innovators whose biographies I happen to have read can recommend to anyone.
They are Humphrey Davy of Davy Lamp fame (and much, much more)
and George Stephenson of Rocket fame (and much, much more).
The Davy Lamp was a device that miners could use with relatively safety underground because it was designed to prevent the flame from igniting any gases that might have built up.
At around the same time, George Stephenson came up with his own safety lamp. There was a lot of controversy and suspicion, but it seems both men just happened to come up with their ideas independently of each other. Davy being a southerner and Stephenson a northern man, the latter’s lamp caught on much more in the north, especially in the mines around Newcastle, where it become known as the Geordie Lamp. Hence, according to the story, first miners and later people in general from that part of the world became known as Geordies!