Pine Knot Torch

Description
This is a pine knot torch that is covered on one end with in tree rosin.
Electric cap lamp inventor Grant Wheat’s personal collection of mining lamps was donated to the museum in 1962. Many of these objects were depicted in his “Story of Underground Lighting” published in the “Proceedings of the Illinois Mining Institute” in 1945. This torch was his first example of underground lighting, which he described as “early cave dwellers kept a fire at the entrance of their cave for protection and warmth. They took a burning stick from the fire when they went into the cave. They discovered that a pine knot or a pair of fatty pine would burn longer than an ordinary stick. They also discovered that the torch would last longer by dipping it into the pitch of rosin from the trees."
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
pine knot
Measurements
overall: 25 in x 1 in; 63.5 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
AG*MHI-MN-8182
accession number
239148
catalog number
MHI-MN-8182
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mining
Work
Industry & Manufacturing
Grant Wheat Collection
Mining Lamps
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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