Oldham & Son Electric Cap Lamp

This is an Oldham & Son Ltd. electric cap lamp made in Denton, Manchester, England around 1911 or 1912. The lamp operates like many electric cap lamps, with the battery in a locking metal case worn on the miner’s belt with a cord that connects to the cap lamp worn on the miner’s helmet.
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 was the 38th object in his chronological development of underground lighting, with the note that it was the "First cap lamp built by the Oldham Co. in England in 1911 or 1912.”
Currently not on view
battery: 6 in x 4 5/8 in x 2 in; 15.24 cm x 11.684 cm x 5.08 cm
wire: 26 in; 66.04 cm
light: 2 5/16 in x 2 5/16 in x 2 5/16 in; 5.842 cm x 5.842 cm x 5.842 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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