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Encyclopedia > Argand lamp

The Argand lamp was invented and patented in 1780 by Aimé Argand . It greatly improved on the home lighting oil lamp of the day by producing a light equivalent to about 6 to 10 candles. It had a circular wick mounted between two cylindrical metal tubes so that the air channelled through the center of the wick, as well as outside of it. A cylindrical glass chimney around the wick was used to steady the flame and to improve the flow of air. It used a supply of good liquid oil, such as spermaceti whale oil, supplied from a separate reservoir as the fuel. Aside from the improvement in brightness, the more complete combustion of the wick and oil required much less frequent snuffing (trimming) of the wick. 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Aimé Argand (1755 - 1803) was Swiss physicist and chemist. ... Whale oil is the oil obtained from the blubber of various species of whales of the genus Balaena, as , Greenland or right whale (northern whale-oil), (southern whale-oil), Balaenoptera longimana, Balaenoptera borealis (Finback oil, Finner whale-oil, Humpback oil). ...


The lamp quickly displaced all other varieties of oil lamps and were manufactured in a great variety of decorative forms. They were somewhat more costly than the old oil lamps because of their increased complexity, so they were adopted first by the well to-do, but were quickly adopted by the middle class and eventually the less well-off as well. It was the lamp of choice until about 1850 when kerosene lamps, which used a flat wick in a cup with a bellied chimney, were introduced. Kerosene was considerably cheaper than whale oil, and many Argand lamps were converted to the new form. 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Russian kerosene lamp Kerosene or paraffin oil (British English, not to be confused with the waxy solid also called paraffin) is a colorless flammable hydrocarbon liquid. ...


In France, they were known as "Quinquets" named after the man who stole the idea from Argand and popularized it in France.


References

History of the lamp [1]


See also

  • Bude-Light

 
 

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