Practical Coal Mining

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    IN NATURE of May 23, 1907, and of March 19, 1908, notices were published of previous instalments of this work, which, when completed in six volumes, is intended to cover the whole ground of modern coalmining practice. Each section of the work is written by a different author, a division of responsibility that renders a certain want of harmony in the treatment of the subject-matter inevitable. This defect is less noticeable in the present volume than in the four preceding volumes. Mr. James Ash worth's contribution on lighting covers 56 pages, with 125 excellent illustrations, and gives a concise review of the history of the safety lamp, and of the safety lamps in use at the present day. The importance of lamp housing is urged, and useful rules are given for the use of safety lamps. Mr. W. Galloway devotes 70 pages with 30 illustrations to a masterly essay on colliery explosions and rescue appliances. This contribution is also issued separately by the publishers. The subjects of fire damp, blasting, coal dust and rescue appliances are fully discussed. Mr. Galloway's new departure in the method of explaining great colliery explosions whereby coal-dust is elevated to the rank of principal agent was received unfavourably and long rejected by many as illusory. Now, even the French engineers, after the Courrieres explosion, have come into line with those of other countries, after having strenuously opnosed the so-called coal-dust theory for thirty years. Mr. H. F. Bulman gives a brief account of mineral holdings, covering 20 pages. Lastly, there is the beginning of what promises to be a most useful section on mine surveying by Mr. L. H. Cooke.

    Practical Coal Mining.

    By Leading Experts in Mining and Engineering. Edited by W. S. Boulton. Divisional-volume v. Pp. viii + 176. (London: The Gresham Publishing Company, n.d.) Price 6s. net.

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    Practical Coal Mining . Nature 78, 539 (1908) doi:10.1038/078539a0

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