"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: 20 in x 5 in x 5 in; 50.8 cm x 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Mining
Industry & Manufacturing
Natural Resources
Mining Lamps
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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