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This free-blown glass globe lamp burned kerosene. Up until the Civil War, Americans had been searching for safe and affordable oil to burn in their lamps. Since 1846 it had been known that lamp fuel could be created from coal, but the process was so expensive that it was not widely used. In 1859, oil was discovered in America at Titusville Pennsylvania. The technology was soon developed to create kerosene out of oil, and an industry was born. Oil-based kerosene was cheap and available enough that until gas lighting reached a home, kerosene became the standard lighting oil for the duration of the 19th century.


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date   c. 1850
width   5.3125"
height   10.25"
process/materials   glass, metal
item type   Household Goods/Lighting Device
accession #   #K.106

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See Also...

Carriage Lamp

Whale Oil Lamp

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