The method of descending into mines by ladders is very fatiguing, and in consequence baskets attached to a rope are generally used. Should the rope break, the men, in the basket are, of course, killed. Many mining engineers have proposed methods of removing this evil, and among the best is the saf ity cage of Mr. Fourdriner, of England. A Belgian engineer has recently proposed a kind of cage, so that if the rope breaks, its top will immediately expand into a parachute, and let the men down gently. The only objection to this is that parachutes are not to be depended on, as we know from the accidents that have occurred to many aeronauts who have attempted to descend in them.
This article was originally published with the title "Parachute for Mines" in Scientific American 13, 12, 96 (November 1857)