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Underground Mine Lighting Exhibit



May 13, 2019 - Colorado has an illustrious history of mining. The Pikes Peak Gold Rush brought unprecedented numbers of people into the region who helped build a mining industry that contributed to the industrial and technological advances of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The mining business began in 1858 as prospectors mined for precious and base metals and coal. Today there are 11 active coal mines operating in western Colorado.


Examples of underground mining lamps are on display at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado Springs through June 9, 2019.

Photo courtesy of Western Mining Museum

As Colorado’s mining business has waxed and waned over the years, its mining illumination has advanced alongside it. At the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado Springs the “Underground Mine Lighting” exhibit showcases the largest collection of mining lamps and accessories.

Visitors can see more than 50 lamps including oil wick lamps, safety lamps, carbide lamps, battery-powered lights, and miner’s candlesticks. An early 1900s Edison Battery-Charging Rack, located near a 1960s battery charger for comparison, is on display as well.

The Western Museum of Mining and Industry’s latest exhibit includes examples of head lamps worn by miners of precious metals and coal.

Photo courtesy of Western Mining Museum

Mining is a dangerous business and a rare Permissible Lamp Testing Box at the exhibit will allow visitors to better understand how dangerous it was to take safety lamps underground without first making sure they were properly tested. Artwork depicting miners and their lamps will bring a more complete picture of the conditions that miners experienced.

The family-friendly exhibit offers a scavenger hunt for kids of all ages to enjoy searching around the museum to find other lighting artifacts and win a prize. The exhibit runs through June 9. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed on major holidays.

Prices vary based on age, but service members can visit the exhibit for $9. Children under 3 are free with a paying adult. Children ages 4-12 are $6, students 13 and up are $8. See below for more price options.


For more information on the museum, its exhibits and events, visit or call 719-488-0880. The museum is located at 225 North Gate Boulevard in Colorado Springs; adjacent to Exit 156 off Interstate 25, an hour south of Denver and an hour north of Pueblo.