1948 London Olympics Torch

Contributed by Hampshire County Council Museums Service

Prototype for the relay torches used at 1948 London Olympics. © Hampshire County Council

Fuel pack in the torch developed by Waeco Ltd of Salisbury, now part of Pains Wessex famous for their fireworks.The torch, which bears the official markings of the 1948 games, was used in the torch relay prior to the opening of the sailing events in Torquay. It is one of the 200 torches made for the English leg of the relay. The torch also bears the markings for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
This is the prototype of the final design and was used by Paines Fireworks to come up with a safe, portable and smokeless fuel system for all the torches to be used for that year. The design allowed the flame to burn for 15 minutes, giving enough time for the run and the handover before it burned out.
The Olympic Flame or Olympic Torch is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The flame has been an Olympic symbol since the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.