Canary/Coal Mine (1913, 1976)

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 12 19:53:19 UTC 2003

On Tue, 11 Nov 2003, Baker, John wrote:

>         According to this web page,
> canaries have been taken into coal mines since 1911.  The figurative use
> apparently dates back at least to Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons,
> 1965, by Kurt Vonnegut, who turns 81 today.  Vonnegut wrote of the

Felix S. Cohen compared the political role of Native Americans to the
miner's canary in Yale Law Journal 62: 390 (1953), according to my copy of
the Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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