Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 4 of the Viscountdown!: The Bickford Fuse




On p. 185 in Chapter 14, Valerian and Phillippa and her brother, Beldon, have a dinner conversation about a man named Bickford who is patenting a new kind of fuse for blasting in the mines. Valerian and Beldon decide to ride over the next day and talk with him about his invention. The Bickford fuse was a big step forward for mining safety since it took away a significant amount of risk miners faced when lighting the traditional reed fuses.

Bickford did exist, he did craft this fuse and did design his own production line for mass producing that fuse in the 1830s. If you're interested in reading about this piece of Cornish mining history, try this link:
http://www.cornwall-calling.co.uk/famous-cornish-people/bickford.htm

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