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The Davy Lamp Controversy

Even before Humphry Davy had produced his wire gauze safety lamp at the end of 1815, he had been accused of having stolen ideas for his earlier lamp from Dr William Reid Clanny.

Read Andrew Lacey’s Guardian article on the safety lamp controversy and discuss what you think about the issues raised here.

  • Do you think the accusation of plagiarism is clear cut?

  • For further information, you can read Frank James’s article below, which goes into much more detail of this controversy.

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This article is from the free online course:

Humphry Davy: Laughing Gas, Literature, and the Lamp

Lancaster University

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