Hanging Tunnel Lamp

This hanging tunnel lamp was made by an unknown maker during the 17th century. The hanging tunnel extremely popular in Germany and in the United States as German’s immigrated to America. The lamp consists of a large font with a hinged door with room for a wick. These hinged lids allowed for larger fonts with less fuel spilling. The chain could also swivel, allowing the miner to easily point his light in the desired direction.
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 lamp is 16th in his chronological development of underground lighting, and Wheat claims that it is a “300 year old ‘Betty type’ lamp used in the silver mines of Mexico.”
Currently not on view
overall: 7 5/8 in x 4 in x 3 1/8 in; 19.304 cm x 10.16 cm x 7.874 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Mary R. Wheat
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mining
Industry & Manufacturing
Grant Wheat Collection
Mining Lamps
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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