In the 1700s smallpox was probably the single most lethal disease in Britain – especially among children. But in 1796 Edward Jenner made a discovery that would eradicate the disease and lead to a revolution in public health – it would become known as vaccination.
A lamp that could light the way, without causing a disastrous explosion, was as essential a piece of a miner’s kit as a pick-axe.
This simple-looking device revolutionised almost every aspect of the lives of people all over the world. It is the first ever generator of electricity.
It’s hard to imagine having an operation with no pain relief. But before the 1840s, major procedures such as amputating a leg were done without anaesthetics.