Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs
tag:snake search within a tag
answers:0 unanswered questions
user:xxxx search by author id
score:0.5 posts with 0.5+ score
"snake oil" exact phrase
votes:4 posts with 4+ votes
created:<1w created < 1 week ago
post_type:xxxx type of post
Search help
Notifications
Mark all as read See all your notifications »
Q&A

Post History

66%
+2 −0
Q&A What is this object in my garden (that looks like a bomb)?

What you are looking at is a vintage/ antique style of smudge pot. Although the top part held a wick which would be lit, the bottom part held slow-burning oil, not explosives, so you can relax. T...

posted 1y ago by cobaltduck‭  ·  edited 1y ago by cobaltduck‭

Answer
#2: Post edited by user avatar cobaltduck‭ · 2021-09-02T23:53:12Z (over 1 year ago)
  • What you are looking at is a vintage/ antique style of **smudge pot**. Although the top part held a wick which would be lit, the bottom part held slow-burning oil, not explosives, so you can relax.
  • The Wikipedia article on [smudge pots](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smudge_pot) says that they are used for preventing frost on plants, and shows a larger, more modern variant. My family had as a kid that looked similar to your, but was used as a mosquito deterrent, I would guess filled with a citronella-based oil. (Today, one sees similar things in a tiki-torch looking device.) A web search of the term "smudge pot" also returns results suggesting use as a road flare. This might be where we got the one we had, as Dad had worked highway construction before I was born, and was occasionally able to obtain surplus.
  • For your use today, if it is clean and in good condition (i.e. not rusted through) it may have value to the right antique collector- I see prices on Etsy of $40 to $70. Otherwise, it might make a neat piece of decor. In any case, you needn't fear it, it should be completely safe to touch.
  • What you are looking at is a vintage/ antique style of **smudge pot**. Although the top part held a wick which would be lit, the bottom part held slow-burning oil, not explosives, so you can relax.
  • The Wikipedia article on [smudge pots](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smudge_pot) says that they are used mainly for preventing frost on plants, and shows a larger, more modern variant, and lists several other usages over history. My family had one as a kid that looked similar to yours, but was used as a mosquito deterrent, I would guess filled with a citronella-based oil. (Today, one sees similar things in a tiki-torch looking device.) Given their use by construction crews as road flares, this might be where we got the one we had, as Dad had worked highway construction before I was born, and was occasionally able to obtain surplus.
  • For your use today, if it is clean and in good condition (i.e. not rusted through) it may have value to the right antique collector- I see prices on Etsy of $40 to $70. Otherwise, it might make a neat piece of decor. In any case, you needn't fear it, it should be completely safe to touch.
#1: Initial revision by user avatar cobaltduck‭ · 2021-09-02T23:46:12Z (over 1 year ago)
What you are looking at is a vintage/ antique style of **smudge pot**.  Although the top part held a wick which would be lit, the bottom part held slow-burning oil, not explosives, so you can relax.

The Wikipedia article on [smudge pots](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smudge_pot) says that they are used for preventing frost on plants, and shows a larger, more modern variant.  My family had as a kid that looked similar to your, but was used as a mosquito deterrent, I would guess filled with a citronella-based oil.  (Today, one sees similar things in a tiki-torch looking device.)  A web search of the term "smudge pot" also returns results suggesting use as a road flare.  This might be where we got the one we had, as Dad had worked highway construction before I was born, and was occasionally able to obtain surplus.

For your use today, if it is clean and in good condition (i.e. not rusted through) it may have value to the right antique collector- I see prices on Etsy of $40 to $70.  Otherwise, it might make a neat piece of decor.  In any case, you needn't fear it, it should be completely safe to touch.