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Davy Humphry

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37713.  Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:39 pm Reply with quote

I'll give the LTDA a call in the morning, I'm sure they be more than happy to oblige with the truth about the hay.

37715.  Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:27 pm Reply with quote

Taxi Drivers are able to get away with carrying a can of fuel, as opposed to a bale of hay, these days (ex father-in-law was a black cab driver). He is unaware of the need for a shovel, but hypothesises that the rag he keeps to clear up any oil spills should keep him out of trouble!



37722.  Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:49 pm Reply with quote

laidbacklazyman wrote:
Apparently an unconfirmed requirement of Hackney carraige drivers was they had a bale of hay, a bucket and a shovel in the boot of the taxi, this was to feed the horse and clear up behind it.

There was never actually a requirement to carry a bale of hay around. However. the London Hackney Carriage Act of 1831 (Section 31) made it an offence, punishable by a fine of 20/- for the owner or a driver of a hackney carriage to 'feed the horse of or belonging to any hackney carriage in the street, road or commonpassage, save only with corn out of a bag, or with hay that he shall hold or deliver with his hands'.

THe offence was repealed in 1976.

gerontius grumpus
37744.  Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:30 pm Reply with quote

The miners of Tyneside were said to have preferred the Stephenson lamp to the Davy lamp, this is claimed to be one of the possible reasons why they are called Geordies.

The other one being the fact that they remained loyal to tha house of Hannover during the Jacobite rebellions.

37767.  Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:08 pm Reply with quote

"Addicted"? Can you back that up, Flashy?

And what did he really feel about gravy, for that matter?

37769.  Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:11 pm Reply with quote

I was just regurgitating the wiki:

Davy became well known owing to his experiences with the physiological action of some gases, including laughing gas (nitrous oxide) - to which he was addicted, once stating that its properties bestowed all of the benefits of alcohol but was devoid of its flaws.

Would need confirmation, certainly.

37784.  Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:31 am Reply with quote

According to the introduction in The Collected Works of Humphry Davy The Author,David Knight
University of Durham tells us that
Samuel Mitchill, an American, had predicted that nitrous oxide would be a deadly poison, a veritable ‘septon’ mopping up oxygen, but Davy found it harmless to tissues, and boldly tried breathing it. He laughed, threw his arms about, and exclaimed ‘Nothing exists but thoughts.’ He had discovered laughing gas, giving all the pleasures of drunkenness without a hangover.

It doesn't seem to say anything about addiction only that he had used the gas, however at , they say that
Humphry Davy is better known as a chemist than a poet, possibly with some justice. But his love of inhaling gases and vapours inspired him to compose an ode to nitrous oxide:
"Yet are my eyes with sparkling lustre fill'd
Yet is my mouth replete with murmuring sound
Yet are my limbs with inward transports fill'd
And clad with new-born mightiness around."

So I think it may be open to debate, he certainly seemed to enjoy it but to be addicted may be too strong to substantiate.

The addiction story may have something to do with his death being partially attributed to the effects of the gases he did inhale throughout his lifetime, however bear in mind he was a chemist that was at the leading edge of electricity, he did after all have one T Faraday as an assistant.

He is all in all a very interesting man, and I think there is probabley enough material in his life to fill a complete show.

37877.  Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:23 pm Reply with quote

I've seen a few other documentaries that mention his predilection for the gas. (Of course they could have used Wiki themselves...) It was supposed to have been the major cause of his death.

37883.  Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:37 pm Reply with quote

I didn't even know you could get addicted to laughing gas

37891.  Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:07 pm Reply with quote

In Bill Bryson's book A Short History of Nearly Everything he says:
...unfortunately as a young man he developed an abiding attachment to the bouyant pleasures of nitrous oxide. He grew so attached to the gas that he drew on it (literally) three or four times a day. Eventually, in 1829, it is thought to have killed him.

Bryson doesn't say explicitly where this account comes from but he has quite a list of sources for the book so I assume it's in there somewhere.

37973.  Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:22 pm Reply with quote

I think people are getting a bit fudged here. Davy was an expert chemist and was a key figure in discovering that acids were hydrogen based. He inhaled a lot of gases and noxious fumes with varying degrees of toxin. it did contribute heavily to his general ill health but it wasn't exclusively laughing gas

38028.  Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:30 pm Reply with quote

We have a Davy lamp, but a rather unusual one, it has an igniting mechanism (Steel & flint) incorporated into it, so if it goes out it can be relit. This was unusual as most lamps had to be taken to the lamp room to be lit, my Great-Granfather was a safety officer in the mine (hence the lamp) who amongst other things had to help with mine rescue & look for fire damp after explosions.

38047.  Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:08 am Reply with quote

Tell us something about fire damp - I don't think I've heard of that.

38101.  Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:31 am Reply with quote

Fire damp is the naturally occuring mixture of gases that appear in seams of coal (although not exclusively to coal). These gases arethe reason behond the Davy and the Geordie lamp it's made of upto 98% methane which is tasteless and odourless, the smell of it comes from the trace amounts of hydrogen sulphide.

It was this mixture of gas that causes the explosions because of the high methane content

38111.  Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:57 am Reply with quote



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