Miner’s Safety Lamp

Description (Brief)
This is a safety lamp manufactured by the Wolf Safety Lamp Company of America in the early 20th century. This lamp is one of the most popular Wolf designs, employing a glass enclosure, wire gauze on the top-interior, and a metal bonnet exterior to protect the flame. The "permissible" engraved on the lamp means the lamp was approved by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, and the lines on the glass portion suggest the lamp was used to judge methane levels. A plaque on the bottom reads: Wolf Safety lamp Co. of America, Inc. New York, USA. There is a plaque on the bottom of the lamp that reads: Mine Safety Appliance Co., Pittsburgh, USA.
Currently not on view
Object Name
lamp, safety, mining
mining lamp
overall: 15 in x 4 in x 4 in; 38.1 cm x 10.16 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

4/5/2015 3:35:57 PM
Chris Senn
I've recently acquired one of these lamps. It does not have the glass enclosure and I'm not sure what your comments indicate regarding the wire guaze - anyway it doesn't have anything that looks like that to me. The brass ring around the base of the area where the glass would have been, the ring with the nipple and the square screw head enclosed, on the back side it is stamped "USN 06". Do you have any information what the Navy may have used these lamps for? Thank you, Chris Senn
10/2/2015 3:40:52 PM
I have one of these lamps we used for transformer vault entry. There should be a brass screen inside the lamp, this keeps the flame from spreading out side the lamp in an encounter with explosive gasses. The Navy probably used it for " safe " entry into confined areas, eg. Fuel bunkers, holds or other areas that could have build up of gasses or " dead " oxygen deficient air.
12/11/2015 1:32:49 PM
Craig Andrews
What type fuel should be used? I have it operating on naphtha (lighter fluid) at the moment and it operates perfectly. Just wondering if there is something better available. Thanks.
4/24/2016 11:18:31 AM
Not sure how to disassemble this lamp
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.