Penzance surgeon. In 1797, Davy took up chemistry, and was taken on as an assistant at the Medical Pneumatic Institution
in Bristol. It was here he experimented with various new gases by inhaling them which nearly cost him his life on more than
one occasion, eventually though, this experimentation led to the discovery of the anesthetic effect that we know as
In 1815, George Stephenson from Newcastle, claimed he was the inventor of a safety lamp for the use in coal mines but
it is Davy who is credited with the invention. This lamp allowed coal to be mined from deep coal seams reducing the dangers
of explosions from methane gas. The lamp, consisted of a wick with the flame enclosed inside a mesh screen, Davy
discovered that if the mesh was fine enough, it would not ignite the methane.
Sir Humphry Davy died in Geneva, Switzerland, on 29 May 1829