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Lamp, Oil
Lamp, Oil
Resource Typeimage
TitleLamp, Oil
Coverage / Year1850 to 1900
DescriptionA four part "street" lamp. Four lamps which fit together. Each reservoir part is one quarter of a circle. The lamps have single wick spouts which arise from the inside corner of the section. Each quarter section has a handle at the center point of the semicircular outer edge.
InterpretationThis lamp may have been for use with whale oil, or could have been used with camphene, vegetable oil or other lamp fuels. 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 was probably a ceremonial lamp used by the Freemasons or some other secret society.
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; Freemason; Ceremonial 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 Identifier1968.001.1161
CONTENTdm file name15618192422004_68.1.1161.jpg
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