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Synopsis: Carbide Light traces the history of the numerous inventors and manufacturers of carbide lamps and offers exhaustive, full-color documentation of this fascinating corner of American history. Author Dave Thorpe describes the technical features of the numerous styles of lamps, from the earliest Baldwin lights that began to appear around 1900 to the extensive line of Justrite lamps that were still made in the 1970s. He also includes biographies of the inventors who patented the lamps, bringing human drama to this engineering topic. During carbide's short reign as the predominant form of mine lighting (1910 to 1925) hundreds of novel designs appeared and form a chronological record in the pages of this volume.
About the Author: Dave Thorpe is an anesthesiologist residing in Phoenix, Arizona. During his residency in Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s, he became interested in underground lighting while exploring and mapping limestorne caverns in Germany Valley, West Virginia. Like many cavers, he found the miner's lightweight and reliable carbide lamp to be the best light source, especially the fifty year-old relics from West Virginia's coal mines. As his interest grew, Thorpe met and benefited from discussions with local historian Chuck Young, who had spent a lifetime collecting miners' lamps. A few years later, Thorpe joined a group of high-adventure aficionados, who made deep rope descents into Arizona's abandoned mine shafts. In 1991, he created the magazine Eureka! The Journal of Mining Collectibles. His book Carbide Light: The Last Flame in American Mines brings to readers a compilation of his vast knowledge of miners' lamps their history and manufacture along with detailed illustrations from his exhaustive research and personal collecting.
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