flint wheel

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US- English
"Candles and sparks created by flint wheels addressed the problem of light, though both methods suffered from the disadvantage that most pits contained combustible gases."

So what exactly is a flint wheel? Is it relation to the wheel of on the tracks to transport coal?
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Flint wheels are nowadays found in cigarette lighters.

    Flint wheels provided the spark used to light some models of carbide lamps.

    EDIT: Found a better site. http://www.wmmi.org/html/topics/carbide.htm

    Look for the second paragraph of "how the lamp works." The diagram also shows the position of the flint striker, on the lamps reflector.
    To light the lamp a miner covers the shiny metallic reflector with his hand, causing acetylene gas to collect inside, and then rapidly moves his hand over a flint wheel mounted on the reflector, causing the gas that has collected under his hand to 'explode'. This small explosion then ignites the stream of gas coming from the burner, resulting in a steady flame.
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