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Lamp, Camphene
Lamp, Camphene
Resource Typeimage
TitleLamp, Camphene
Coverage / Year1840 to 1865
DescriptionThis lamp has a double wick fixture made of tin, with the characteristically splayed camphene wick holders. It even holds its own wick covers to keep fuel from evaporating. The fixture is fitted onto a pressed glass bulbous reservoir which ends in a square peg. The peg would have fit into a wooden base.
InterpretationCamphene, a combination mineral spirits and alcohol was used as a lamp fuel for a short time in the middle of the 19th century. Because whale oil was so expensive camphene was used as a replacement. Camphene was extremely volatile. If the flame from one wick heated the other wick the heat could travel back into the reservoir and explode. Thus, camphene lamps have either single wicks, or double wicks pointed away from one another. The bottom part of this lamp is a typical whale-oil lamp. It is likely that the owners of this lamp took their pressed glass lamp and adapted it to the latest technology, transforming it with a different metal cap from whale oil to camphene.
Lesson Plans / ThemesAmerican 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;
Learning Standards16 History; 18 Social Systems; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
Author or CreatorUnknown
Subject / KeywordsWhale; Whales; Whale oil; Light; Lighting device; Lamps; Camphene; Peg lamp
Collection PublisherEarly American Museum;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statementhttp://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc/conditions.htm
Resource Identifier1968.001.1218b
CONTENTdm file name57818192422004_68.1.1218b.jpg
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