Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Highway Torch or Smudge Pots

Back prior to the 1970s these could be found anywhere you needed a highway or railroad warning signal at night.  They were replaced by battery operated lights.  Filled with kerosene the flame would burn high at first then settle down.

Frequently made by R. E. Dietz  - notice the made in USA - a rare thing now days

They would be placed in front of pot holes or road construction or road hazards etc. 

Frequently called a smudge pot but they were not used to protect orchards etc they were just a portable light that would burn the night on a pot of kerosene.  They were also called canon balls.

Hard to say how many teenage kids stole these things off the highway. 


  1. I have on , I bought years ago

  2. I found one at the flea market, I passed it up being they only had one

  3. I have 2 . Really like them. I remember them on the roads years ago. I put citronella tiki torch oil in them. Works great.

  4. I just bought one today. I have loved them since I was a little girl. Now I will be on the hunt for more