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Lamp, Camphene;
Lamp, Camphene;
Resource Typeimage
TitleLamp, Camphene;
Coverage / Year1840 to 1865
DescriptionSmall camphene/kerosene lamp made out of brass. A saucer holds a small cylinder on top of which is a globular reservoir with a pronounced shoulder. This leads to a single wick channel. A conical cap is attached by means of a hinge. There is a circular carrying handle.
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. Camphene evaporated quickly, which could be the reason for the conical lid, although it surely also functioned as a snuffer.
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 / KeywordsOil lamp; Light; Lighting device; Whaling; Whale; Whales; Whale oil; Camphene
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 Identifier1968.001.1195
CONTENTdm file name64043172422004_68.1.1195.jpg
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