Yes, you are looking at this photo correctly – it is innovative genius Thomas Edison taking an admiring look at the new face of mine lighting, the model G Edison Miners’ Safety Cap Lamp circa 1928.
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Photo courtesy United States Department of MSHA, Bureasu of Mines Collection.

Donna Schmidt


Published in the August 2011 Coal USA Magazine



Gone are the days of carbide flame lamps, an idea which now seems unfathomable with what we have learned over the years about underground gasses, combustion and miner safety. Yet it seems strange to look at what was then the latest in technology for a booming industry.


We now have many units from which to choose, from wireless to LED powered to lamps featuring integrated tracking. Yesterday’s flame of fire is now a long-lasting, nearly maintenance-free unit with multiple settings for specialized tasks, and the long-term health impacts and vision of the worker at work in its design.


Edison, a true visionary, really did have it right all those years ago.