Spring 2012 Mystery Object

Can you guess what the Mystery Object was?

Look at the video and images and tell us what you think it is. These questions might help you guess:

  • What material is this object made from?
  • Where have you seen something like this object in the past?
  • Who might have used this object?
  • For what purpose might they have used it for?
  • How could you use the object?

Scroll down for the answer.

 

   

 

 

Guesses

Slush lamp (Ivan, age 69)
Oil lamp for oiling steam locomotives (Tanis, age 17)
An oil thing (Gabrielle, age 11)
Oil lighter (Erin, age 6)
A lamp to use under locomotives, filled with kerosene & lit at the fluffy end (Chris, age 57)
Lantern lighter (Jakob, age 7)
This would be an oil can of sorts, with the fibres used to 'wick up' the oil, so as to possibly lubricate the underside of something, that pouring oil onto from above would be impossible (Thomas, age 18)
Slush lamp (Samuel, age 14)
A lamp (Ranadi, age 16)
Oiling can (Jane, age 11)
An oil can (Ashlee, age 10)
19th Century kerosene lantin (Paul, age 62)
A kettle with bits off a mop (Stephanie, age 10)
Engine drivers kerosene lamp (Alf, age 80)
Coal fire lighter (Thomas, age 4)
Cleaning device (Taylor, age 10)
Kettle (Grace, age 8)
Oil light (Willow, age 40)
Watering can (Tearna, age 12)
Lamp lighter (Gill, age 21)
Oil tin (Jessica, age 9)
Watering can (Maddy, age 12)
Torch or lantern (Daryn, age 13)
Oil pot (Clarina & Brooke, age 5)
Watering can or oven cleaner (Jacolene, Giorgina & Ebony, age 7 & 8)
Kerosene lamp (Asa, age 4)
Oil lantern (Jai, age 10)
Watering can/mop/lamp (Brooke, age 11)
Oil lamp (Cathy, age 42)
Kerosene lamp lighter (Abby, age 10)
Water can (Pat, age 12)
Oil can (Lily, age 11)
Lantern (B, B & J, age 6 - 7)
Candle holder (Jasmine, age 11)
Lantern (Natalia, age 10)
Oil can (Harry, age 6)
Slush lamp (Felix, age 10)
Kerosene lamp (Jarred, age 11)
Fire starter (Eddie, age 44)
Lantern (Alex, age 9)
Oil can (Charlie, age 11)
Kerosene lamp (Julie, age 53)
Candle holder and cleaner (Jade, age 10)
Oil lamp (Holly, age 10)
Lantern (Keely, age 12)
Kerosene light (Fay, age 43)
Kettle (Abbey, age 11)
Lamp (David & Andrew, age 15)
Oil can (Roger, age 75)
Kettle or teapot (Caitlin, age 7)
Oil lamp and wick (Lai Chu, age 50)
Mop for the bench (Brenna, age 14)
Kettle (Vienna, age 6)
Slush light (Rhianna, age 14)
Watering can (Josh, age 9)
Steam engine fire starter (Duncan, age 76)
Lighter (Molly, age 7)
Oil can with wick (Maureen, age 67)
Lantern (Sarah, age 22)
Oil can (Charlotte, age 8)
Candle light (Emily, age 13)
Slurry lamp (Chris, age 49)
Oil lamp (Rebekah, age 14)
An oil lamp for a steam engine (Blake, age 10)
Steam cleaner (Jimmy, age 15)
Slush/Flare Lamp for providing light to the footplate or preparation crew in the absence of electric lighting (David, age 21)
An oil/Kerosene lamp used by Loco crews prior to the introduction of battery lanterns and generators on the locos (John, age 61)
Vintage railroad flare kerosene with wick - torch lamp lantern (Paul, age 57)
Slush lamp (Paul, age 45)
Cleaning can (Keirra, Mikayla & Sienna, age 8, 7 &3)
Lamp for lighting boiler fire (Alan, age 66)
Slush lamp (Robert, age 80)
Oil mop can for oiling levers & handles inside cockpit of steam train (Rodney, age 62)
Lamp Oil filling can (Suzie, age 51)
An oil can for oiling the wheels and traction rods (Cory, age 8)
Slush lamp (Robert, age 80)
Oil can (Maddison, age 11)
 

Answer

A Slush Lamp

In the days before battery powered torches railway men working on steam locomotives used a slush lamp to provide the light they needed to carry out their duties.

The slush lamp looked like a very small tea pot with a handle on one side and a spout containing a wick on the other. The pot held a flammable liquid like paraffin.

When the wick was lit the slush lamp provided sufficient light for a locomotive driver to carry out duties like oiling the bearings on the locomotive a task which was needed on a regular basis.