The Protector Lamp & Lighting Company is best known as a producer of miners lamps.The flame safety lamp is essentially a highly sophisticated form of oil or spirit lamp of extremely robust construction.
The Company was formed in May 1873 to acquire the business and patent rights of William Edward Teale, oil and lamp manufacturer, of 11 Mark Lane, Manchester. The Company’s Memorandum of Association mentions two patents which had been obtained by Mr Teale: one dated 15th November 1869 for ‘Improvements in Mining Lamps’ and the other dated 4th December 1872 for ‘Improvements in Guards for Gas Lights, and in an improved method of Lighting while under the protection of Guards’.
A safety lamp is any of several types of lamp that provides illumination in coal mines and is designed to operate in air that may contain coal dust or gases both of which are potentially flammable or explosive. Until the development of effective electric lamps in the early 1900s miners used flame lamps to provide illumination. Open flame lamps could ignite flammable gases which collected in mines, causing explosions and so safety lamps were developed to enclose the flame and prevent it from igniting the surrounding atmosphere. Flame safety lamps have been replaced in mining with sealed explosion-proof electric lights.