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Lamp, whale oil
Lamp, whale oil
Resource Typeimage
TitleLamp, whale oil
Coverage / Year1800 to 1850
DescriptionA cone shaped chamber lamp made of tin with the double wick fixture of a whale oil lamp.
InterpretationWhale 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. A small tin lamp like this was undoubtedly used to go from living space to bedchamber. The reservoir is very small; the fuel would not have lasted too long. The handle made it easy to carry, and the broad base kept it from spilling.
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; Oil lamp; Whale oil; United States; Light; Lighting device; Chamber lamp
Collection PublisherEarly American Museum;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource Identifier1968.001.1117
CONTENTdm file name413.jpg
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