"Hanging Betty" Miner's Tunnel Lamp

Description (Brief)
This miner’s tunnel lamp was known as a hanging Betty. The hanging Betty was used in the early 19th century, and was an improvement on the hanging open lamp. A wick holder was added to channel the wick drippings back into the bowl, and an oil cover was added to confine heat, decrease smoke, and make the oil burn more efficiently. German immigrants living in Pennsylvania called this kind of lamp “besser” meaning better, which produced the nickname Betty.
Currently not on view
Object Name
lamp, oil, hand
mining lamp
overall: 18 in x 4 1/2 in x 4 in; 45.72 cm x 11.43 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Industry & Manufacturing
Natural Resources
Mining Lamps
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mining
Mining Lamps
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.