Sunday, October 22, 2006
What is it answer
Mystery Object – Miner's candle spider
This week’s Mystery whatisit dates from 1870. It is made of metal fashioned to hold a candle underground.
When collecting mining artifacts and miner's lighting devices in particular, a must have item is a vintage candlestick holder, also known as a sticking tommy. These candlesticks were the precursor to oil wick, carbide, and eventually electric cap lamps. Most of the candlestick holders were hand forged by small time blacksmiths. There were some sticks with folding handles, some were very small, and still others were designed to be attached to a carbide lamp for the transition from candles to carbide. The sticks in the mines were pounded into a timber or the rock substrate to provide a neccessary if futile light to work by. The typical and most common sticks will be around 11" in length, have a sharp point on one end, a larger rounded oppposite end, a small cup or cylinder for the candle to be placed into and an attached hook for hanging.