Inspection torch


A Southern Railway locomotive inspector used this kerosene torch to inspect parts of a steam locomotive when natural light was inadequate. The a wick was stuffed into the spout that led into the kerosene-filled well of the vessel. A hollow handle allowed the torch to be carried.

Part of a small array of hand tools displayed in "America On The Move" - such tools were used in the inspection and repair of steam locomotives. Light repairs on steam locomotives were usually done in roundhouses at the many small locomotive terminals throughout a railroad's system; heavy repairs were done in a large, centralized repair shop serving the whole system (often referred to as the "Back Shop"). Most of these tools date from the early- to the mid-20th century, roughly 1900-1955.

Date Made: 1920sDate Made: ca. 1920sUsed Date: 1840s-1950s

Maker: unknown

See more items in: Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad, America on the Move, Transportation

Exhibition: America On The Move

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Gift of National Park Service

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2002.0075.10Accession Number: 2002.0075Catalog Number: 2002.0075.10

Object Name: Torch

Physical Description: tin (overall material)Measurements: overall: 7 in x 16 in x 4 in; 17.78 cm x 40.64 cm x 10.16 cm


Record Id: nmah_1213000

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