victorian miner preparing for blasting using explosives

Blasting with gunpowder enabled larger quantities of rock to be broken, but it was also a risk for those involved.

Many miners were injured or killed when charges went off early, or when they returned to re-light fuses, which were often unreliable and made from goose quills. In the modern mine, rock was blasted using gelignite, a much more powerful explosive.


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


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