Hirsch Electric Cap Lamp

Hirsch Electric Cap Lamp

Usage conditions apply
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
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
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