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Lamp, Camphene;
Lamp, Camphene;
Resource Typeimage
TitleLamp, Camphene;
Coverage / Year1840 to 1865
DescriptionA tin lamp with a conical base upon which is mounted a larger conical reservoir. The single wick opening which comes from the top of the lamp has a chained conical cover. There is a whole in the back of the lamp to fill it, and a small handle there as well.
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. This lamp had a cover to keep the fuel from evaporating.
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; Lighting device; Light; 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 for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource Identifier1968.001.1144
CONTENTdm file name2188172422004_68.1.1144.jpg
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