Hazard A Guess: Week of May 22, 2003


Hello from Hazard!

More readers are letting their light shine. We received confirmation that Item No. 680 is indeed an oil lamp.

Frank Goulde of Danville, Ohio, sent a copy of a page reproduced from a 1910 Pittsburgh Gage and Supply Company catalog.

At that time, you could get the pyramid torch – the name given to our lamp – in eight capacities, ranging from a half pint to four quarts. It would set you back $7 per dozen for the half pint size and $18 for a dozen of the four-quart torches.

Goulde adds that he’s often seen them at flea markets mislabeled as oil cans.

We also heard correctly from Mike McCabe of Albion, Pa., and Dave Schumacher of Clinton, Pa.

Schumacher says the lamp can still be found in many antique shops or general stores in the western Pennsylvania region around Oil City, the birthplace of the oil industry.

He gives them the name “Yellow Dogs,” and adds that they came in different shapes and sizes, but the operation was the same: They were filled with oil and the thick wick was inserted in the spout and lit.

Dave writes that there’s even a restaurant in Oil City named The Yellow Dog in honor of these little lamps!

We’re running Item No. 681 again this year, as the mailbag was empty of guesses. As we mentioned last week, the box has four compartments, but the inner walls don’t move. The top and bottom both slide and there are holes on all sides.

It measures 20 inches long, and 5 1/2 inches high and wide.

If you think you know what it is, please send your answer to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: editorial@farmanddairy.com.

There will be an early deadline for Hazard this week (Thursday at 1 p.m.) because of the Memorial Day holiday, so it’s likely that your responses will not be received in time for next week’s paper. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send them!


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