Miner's Electric Cap Lamp

This electric cap mining lamp was made by the Witherbee Igniter Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts in the early 1900’s. Witherbee started as a manufacturer of magnetos to ignite internal combustion engines. Witherbee became the Wico Electronic Company and also manufactured batteries, which were used in a variety of applications such as this electric cap lamp. The lamp’s battery casing bears the stamped insignia of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Mines with the text “PERMISSIBLE / PORTABLE / ELECTRIC MINIE LAMP / APPROVAL No. 14.” The lamp consists of a battery encased in a self-locking steel case worn on the miner’s belt. A flexible cord traveled to the cap lamp, which would be worn on the miner’s helmet.
Currently not on view
battery: 6 in x 4 1/2 in x 2 3/8 in; 15.24 cm x 11.43 cm x 6.096 cm
wire: 39 in; 99.06 cm
light: 3 3/8 in x 3 3/8 in x 2 1/2 in; 8.636 cm x 8.636 cm x 6.35 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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