Hirsch Electric Cap Lamp

The Hirsch Electric Mine Lamp Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania manufactured this electric cap lamp around 1911. The battery is enclosed in metal case, with a flexible cord that runs to the lamp that was worn on the miner’s helmet. The battery could be recharged at the end of the day for the next full day. The label attached to this lamp reads “HIRSCH Lamp 1911/1912. This lamp was carried by Grant Wheat as a demonstrator."
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 35th object in his chronological development of underground lighting, which he described as the “first Hirsch electric cap lamp showing safety strip of glass in headpiece.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
lamp, hirsch, mining
battery: 6 in x 3 7/8 in; 15.24 cm x 9.906 cm
wire: 33 in; 83.82 cm
light: 3 in x 3 in x 4 1/2 in; 7.62 cm x 7.62 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Industry & Manufacturing
Mining Lamps
Grant Wheat Collection
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mining
Grant Wheat Collection
Mining Lamps
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

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.