Book Your Event

December | Sat 5th | 09:30

Family Open Day - Celebrating George Stephenson FREE

George Stephenson demonstrated his safety lamp for miners on 5th December 1815, to the Lit & Phil Society. Two hundred years later we celebrate this with a variety of events, demonstrations and hands on science.

10am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm - Science history expert Richard Ellam presents ' How to invent a safety lamp' - a 20 minute show packed with experiments and advice for budding engineers and inventors.

Think Physics will also be conducting experiments suitable for all the family.

10.45am and 2pm Tucked away in Wylam is George Stephenson's birthplace, now run by the National Trust. Hear about the early years of his life and how he and his family would have lived.

12.30-2.00pm - Join the astrophysicists from Newcastle University for some hands-on light activities. See the invisible signature of the heat from our surroundings with an infra-red camera and work out how different lenses alter the passage of a beam of light.

1.00pm FREE tour of the Lit & Phil

6.00pm Science and Mining in the North East: George Stephenson, Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday, with Frank A.L. James, MAE Professor of of the History of Science. This talk will compare the ‘engineering’ solution pursued by George Stephenson and the ‘scientific’ one followed by Humphry Davy, assisted by Michael Faraday. The simultaneity of these discoveries provoked a ferocious controversy between the main protagonists. The arguments were informed not only by the merits and precise chronologies of development, but also by business, class, political and regional rivalries (this talk is FREE but please book a place).

Throughout the day you can blend light, split colours, experiment with lasers and see the science behind fluorescence.

The library will be open until 4pm, please take the opportunity to come and have a look around.




Read More

As a member you can borrow most books published after 1850 (but not all at once). You can also access wi-fi in the Library and benefit from priority booking at some events. By joining the Lit & Phil, you are also supporting this wonderful institution, so thank you!

Online Catalogue

Visit Now



 Check if we have that book you've been looking for. You don't need to be a member to search the catalogue; search by title, author, keyword or subject. Members can then reserve the book to collect later.