Lamp, whale oil with double reflector
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This whale oil lamp is made of pewter. The foot holds a vertical cylindrical reservoir above which are held the typical parallel double wicks of the whale oil lamp. On either side of the wicks are two large pieces of glass meant to magnify the flame. Whale oil was highly prized from 1750 to 1850 as the best lamp oil fuel. It burned at a very steady rate, very brightly and with little smoke. Oil from the skull cavity of the spermaceti whale was the finest quality and was a major reason the whaling industry was so profitable. This lamp provided an extremely bright light and were sometimes called tailor's lamps because one had to be able to see well to work after dark when sewing. They probably were used by all sorts of people whose occupations required working after dark. American Communities in History; Communities and Geography; How we learn about communities; Whaling Slide Show; Inventions Multimedia Time Line; School Museum; Introduction of artifacts as a primary source; What's That Relic?; Settling in the Midwest 16 History; 18 Social Systems; 13 Science, Technology and Society
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
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