image MS_776_249-250
Image number: RS.17370
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Ventilation of coal mines




Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 303mm
width (page): 382mm


Content object


Drawing of the layout of a coal pit. Henry Power's paper on experiments in mines and the ventilation of mines was read at the meeting on 3 December 1662. This was subsequently printed in Power's Experimental philosophy, in three books containing new experiments microscopical, mercurial, magnetical (1664).

Copied from RBO/2i/049. Another copy can be found at RB/1/41/47/154r.

This volume is another copy of entries of the first two volumes of the Register Book. It was given to Sir Joseph Banks by G. S. Heales Esquire of Doctor's Common on 31 May 1814.


A. the Cole pit.
B. the Vent-pit.
CCC the Sow, it draining both pitts and heads from water
ddd the vent-head, wch runs from the Coale-pit to the vent pit under ground, and is not above 2 yards broad wth us.
eeee. The Laterall heads, wch are not above 2 yards broad after.
FFF the diagonall prickt lines is the Thurle-vent, it is a vent driven through the lateral heads.
gggggg is walls or pillars of the whole Coale-bed remaining (wch Coalebed wth us is not above 2 feet thick.) These walls or pillars of coale are always lift ungotten, and to support the roof of the pitt-heads, to hinder it from falling.

The Roof and seat is the top and bottom of the Workes, wherein they get coals, wch is about 2 foot or more the one distant from the other in our pitts.
Transcribed by the Making Visible project

Object history

At the meeting of the Royal Society on 26 November 1662, ‘Dr. Croune brought in Dr. Power’s subterraneous experiments, which were ordered to be read at the next meeting, and the amanuensis to draw large schemes thereof’ (Birch 1:130).

A meeting of the Royal Society on 3 December 1662, ‘Dr. Power’s paper of subterraneous experiments, and observations made of the damps of coal-mines, were read, and afterwards registered’. Paper reproduced in Birch 1:133-36, and refers to Sir William Gerard's pits in Lancashire (136).

Printed in Henry Power, Experimental philosophy, in three books containing new experiments microscopical, mercurial, magnetical: with some deductions, and probable hypotheses, raised from them, in avouchment and illustration of the now famous atomical hypothesis (London : Printed by T. Roycroft, for John Martin and James Allestry, 1664), p. 173.

Related Fellows

Henry Power (1623-1668, British), Natural philosopher

Associated place

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