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Explosives and Fuses

victorian miner about to light a fuse with a candle

Blasting in mines was extremely dangerous.

Holes were drilled by hand, a charge of gunpowder inserted, and a fuse lit to fire the hole.  Early miners used goose-quill fuses  which burned unpredictably. There were many accidents, and miners could become blind and lose fingers if gunpowder exploded early.

 

Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the Royal Institution of Cornwall

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Comment left by anglesey caver on 2011-05-30 20:37:10

Where the Cornish used goose quills , in Anglesey the Parys and Mona miners used corn stubble collected after the harvest..

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