Miner's Cap Lamp

Miner's Cap Lamp

Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This lamp's strange markings and "Frostburg" inscription indicate that it was made by Frederick Zais of Frostburg, Maryland around the end of the 19th century. Zais was known for his lamps mysterious markings. His trademark was an oval with Frostburg stamped onto the lower interior of the oval. Strange, hieroglyphic markings were then stamped into the lamp on the upper interior of the oval. These markings may have been a letter-code for which only Zais had the key.
Object Name
lamp, oil, cap, mining
mining lamp
overall: 2 3/4 in x 3 1/4 in x 1 3/4 in; 6.985 cm x 8.255 cm x 4.445 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Frank Kane
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mining
Industry & Manufacturing
Natural Resources
Mining Lamps
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