Miners Oil Wick
Larry & Carole Meeker
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Purveyors and Dealers of Americana  /  Patented & Mechanical Antiques





Gold Rush Antiques &  Mining Related Artifacts

If you have any old mine lighting devices or other mining related antiques that are for sale or need help selling, please contact me at LCM@AntiqBuyer.com with as many details as possible.

We can help you sell your California Gold Rush Era & Mining Related Antiques!!

I buy, sell, trade in, and deal in mining related items from the California Gold Rush Era and those mining Dynamite Cap Tin antiques that are related to the gold and silver mining that went on in this area from the period spanning roughly from the late 1840's to the first quarter of the 20th century.

I live in the foothills of California, outside of Placerville and Coloma, where John Marshall  first discovered gold in 1849 at Sutter Mill .  It is an area that is rich in history and old lore, but like the gold it was famous for, now seemingly depleted of all antiques related to its rich mining heritage.  I am seeking all sorts of mining related artifacts having to do with this historic era and locale for inclusion on our antique sales pages at www.Patented-Antiques.com.  If you are looking to buy antique mining equipment you should visit that site to see what I currently have offered for sale.

I deal in mining related artifacts from all over the country and would love to help you sell what you have.  I  can help you sell mining related antiques ranging from different forms of lighting devices like miners candlesticks or sticking tommies, miners oilwicks and carbide lamps, safety lamps, to explosive related antiques like blasting cap tins, dynamite blasting boxes, scales, mining tools and more.

Below I will briefly discuss and picture a few mine lighting devices and give you a general outline of the sorts of mining related antiques we are interested  in.

Mine Lighting

Lighting in mines was both a vital Davey Lamp / Safety Lamp necessity and dangerous proposition. Through the years several different types of mine lighting evolved, and then disappeared. After the introduction of electricity and battery powered lighting most live flame related ideas were obsolete and relegated to the realm of collectability. The use of live flames from candles used in candlesticks, or carbide lamps, or even the light provided by Safety or Davey lamps came to an end .

All forms of earlier mine lighting are of interest. From the earliest iron miners candlesticks, to candlesticks that have unusual patented features, or examples with ornate file work or other decoration on them. There are so many different variations that a book was written on the subject some years ago. There is also a large reference book on Mine Lighting in general by a fellow named Pohs. It is the bible in this field of collecting.

Miners Candlesticks can be marked with the maker or mine name. Candlesticks were often Mining Candlestickmade by blacksmiths and so there are many many unique and different examples that can be found.  Some are very crude and utilitarian, while others are superb pieces of workmanship and are considered  pieces of art.  Unusual candlesticks can have fuse cutters built in to them, or can fold up to be more compact, or even those that come apart (known as take-downs) for easier transport and storage.  There are also examples with different means to hold the candle, or ones that have storage area for matches, and even one variety or type that has an area in the loop handle to try and hide a little bit of gold from the mine owners on the way out of the mine.  These are called High Graders.   Values for candlesticks can range from as low as 25.00-50.00 for common generics to thousands for rare patented examples or other one of a kind examples.

Early mine lighting devices wick3.jpg (17469 bytes) known as oil wick lamps or teapots are usually associated with coal mines and came after candlesticks. I have  pictured some on this page.  Examples made of different materials from the normal ---- tin or sheet steel, usually command a premium.  Lamps made from materials such as aluminum, brass, copper, cast iron Oil Wick Mining Light and other materials are eagerly sought.  Some of these antique lighting devices have interesting designs etched into them, and others have little ID plaques attached from the mine, or from mining organizations such as the Mineworkers of America or MWA.  Oil wick lamps came in a myriad of different materials, shapes, sizes, and designs. Those that are different from the norm are of particular interest and can still bring good money while common or typical ones sell for $50.00 or less.

If you have any old mine lighting devices or other mining related antiques that we can help you sell please contact me at LCM@AntiqBuyer.com with as many details as possible.

Carbide mining lamps were the next source of light to be introduced. It was a means still being used long after electrical lighting was available, but for various reasons was still being developed and used in mining. This source of light was relatively short lived but during their heyday, near the turn of the last century and carbide mining light up until about the 20's there were many different varieties patented and put on the market for.  Some of these lamps are quite rare today, while others such as those by the three most common makers---Justrite, Auto-Lite, and Guys Dropper---can be found in nearly every antique shop or at every flea market in the country on any given day for $20.00 - $40.00 or so.  You can even find modern day Butterfly brand carbide lamps that are made in Hong Kong or China.

There are scores of other much less common names available.  Pictured on the left is an example of a fairly hardlumo.jpg (16397 bytes) to find carbide that is made of aluminum called the Lumi-Lamp.  These aluminum lamps, unless unfired or unused, are usually in rough condition because of the tendency to corrode from the effects of the carbide gas, moisture, and the corrosive nature of the mixture and the gas that they produced when the water was added to the carbide to generate the acetylene gas that was then lit to produce the light.  The basic idea was right, looking for a material that was strong, light,  and would not rust, but I suppose they did not count on the nature of the gas that was going to be created, and obviously the choice of material was not studied enough.

Just above is a nickel plated lamp marked T I P that is a bit different as well.  That really stands for It's Trouble Proof.  Names of some other good carbide lamps are Wolf, Anton, Funk Bros, What Cheer, X-ray, Victor, and many others. Some of these lamps can sell for many hundreds of dollars if in nice condition.

Other mining related antiques that we are interested in buying would dyn1a.jpg (21897 bytes) be dynamite boxes, dynamite blasting boxes, what are referred to as dynamite cap tins, as well as dynamite crimpers, and other blasting / mining related antiques. I am also interested in antique surveying tools that are related to mining such as unusual plumb bobs or plummets, dip needles or compasses, as well as mining transits with auxiliary scopes, inclinometer levels, and other devices used in the construction and layout of mines.

The above mining related antiques are examples of the caliber, condition and quality of these types of antiques that we are primarily interested in. To see some examples of past sales in this category please go to our Mining Past Sales Page Carbide miners lamp

If you have quality antique mining related antiques and Old West related  antiques that you want to sell,  please contact us at LCM@AntiqBuyer.com providing me with as many details as possible. Thank you!!

To see many other examples of mining or old west related antiques that we currently have for sale, please go to our sister site at www.Patented-Antiques.com and visit the numerous sale pages you will find there.

Thank you!!
Larry & Carole





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Larry & Carole Meeker