Inspection torch

Inspection torch

Usage conditions apply
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.
Object Name
Date made
used date
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 16 in x 4 in; 17.78 cm x 40.64 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of National Park Service
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
America On The Move
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object