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Lamp, Camphene
Lamp, Camphene
Resource Typeimage
TitleLamp, Camphene
Coverage / Year1840 to 1865
DescriptionA brass camphene lamp. The saucer base holds an elaborately molded columnar stand which leads to a reservoir with a cup shaped bottom and a broad shouldered top portion. The wick holders are splayed as is typical of ac camphene lamp.
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 form is that of an earlier whaling oil lamp and thus could have been converted with the replacement of the tin top. The wick covers prevented evaporation.
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 oil; Whale; Whaling; Lighting device; Light; Camphene; Lamps
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 Identifier1968.001.1230
CONTENTdm file name60914172422004_68.1.1230.jpg
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