The Smithsonian Institution recently opened access to a huge trove of photographs and patent models from its collection.
Among these objects are several with deep connections to Pennsylvania’s Coal Region, including this patent model of a new miner’s lamp created by John H. Gable of Shamokin. He submitted this to the United States Patent Office in 1879.
From the Smithsonian:
This oil-wick cap lamp is a patent model constructed by John H. Gable of Shamokin, Pennsylvania that received patent number 217,791 on July 22, 1879. Gable’s claim in the patent filing is a miner’s lamp “having a rear attachment-hook, a transversely-flattened spout-burner that extends upward from the front of the body, having a small diameter in the plane of the hook, and spreading laterally to form a flame thin at the sides and broad in front.”
These laps were used by miners in the Coal Region while working deep beneath the earth.
Featured Image: John H. Gable’s 1879 patent model of a miner’s cap lamp. (Smithsonian)