Mining Lamp

Graubünden, 19th century

Such oil lamps with a round body in the form of a lentil, therefore also called «Linsenlampe» [lentil lamp], were often used in mining and tunnel construction in the 19th century. Parallel to these, gas, kerosene or carbide lamps increasingly came into use as well. They gave off a stronger light than lamps with open flames such as this one.

Our object is reminiscent of the times when iron ore was still mined in Graubünden. In many places one could also mine for copper, iron, zinc, manganese, lead or even silver. At the «Taminser Calanda» [mountain above Tamins] they even searched for gold. The yield was often low. In the course of the 19th century, mining came to a total standstill.