The canister at the bottom is meant to be filled up with kerosene, and inside the cylindrical part on the top is where the flame sits. The can-like cylindrical part on the top of this object is actually just a snuffer, and it would be used with the screen underneath exposed. The patent for the artifact says this is ok because: "air can enter through the screen but flame cannot pass from the interior to the exterior of the screen there is no liability of explosion or danger of accidental fire."
|A block heater in use in Sweden.|
I don't know about you, but I found this artifact pretty fascinating (and a little dangerous). I'm pretty glad it doesn't get quite cold enough here in central Illinois to need one of these heaters! Stay tuned for another mystery artifact! As always, if you're interested in a closer look at this or any of our recent mystery artifacts, please come visit us and take a look around the museum. We are now open 1-5 pm 7 days a week.