Vintage Glass Hurricane Lamps
Hurricane lamps date back a few centuries, well before the modern day lighting we are familiar with now. Many individuals of later generations may not know what a hurricane lamp is. To recognize vintage hurricane lamps, look for a glass base that fills with oil and sits on a brass or sometimes metal base. The globe of a vintage hurricane lamp, also known as a chimney, is longer than its base and has an opening on the top. It sits atop a metal or brass bracket of sorts, with a wick that moves up and down and sits in the oil at the bottom. The chimney of a hurricane lamp has two different functions. Firstly it helps to emit light throughout the room with the help from the globe. Secondly the globe protects the wick and flame from wind or drafts, thus the name hurricane lamp.
Hurricane lamps date as far back as 1780 when the son of a Swiss watchmaker came up with an idea. He created something unique that helped light up dark rooms in households and places of business. Back in the early days of the hurricane lamps, the oil used was often either whale oil or olive oil to help ignite the adjustable wick. Although they were convenient when created, they did have a few drawbacks. The illumination was not very bright, the oils often smoked a lot, and a breeze could put out the flame. Despite the setbacks of such a creation, they were used in many different ways and for different reasons.
Vintage Hurricane Lamps On Ships
As mentioned before, aside from their setbacks vintage hurricane lamps had many different uses for different reasons. The 18th and 19th centuries were chock full of ships due to the fact that roadways of today were still an unknown mode of transportation. Whether the ships were pirate ships, naval vessels, vintage hurricane lamps could be seen hanging from the ships. Furthermore the vintage lamps we also recorded being on sea battle vessels or even transatlantic voyages. They were also placed in cabins to light dark spaces and were even used as signals from ship to ship.
Movie Set Lamps
Before the fluorescent movie lights of today lit up movie studios, hurricane lamps came in handy when filming various pictures. Especially during the Civil War era, Americans often associated hurricane lamps in their favorite films with the Civil War era. They were a popular staple for many in the 1800s and 1900s and could be seen in various films as lighting for small abodes and extravagant homes. Vintage hurricane lamps were used in many Western films as well and individuals today still associate them with such features.
Believe it or not, there are still some areas of the country that have no modern electricity and depend on hurricane lighting or candlelight for their homesteads. While hurricane lamps are not an item that is still used every day in many societies there is no denying that their presence is a wonderful addition for emergency lighting needs and most households should have at least one or two stored away for such situations.
There is no denying the fact that hurricane lamps give off a romantic glow and warmth to any household that takes pleasure in using them in modern times. The world is so used to the benefits of technology, it’s nice to consider that vintage hurricane lamps can make any house feel homey, cozy, and they offer a piece of history that many do not think about. While they may not be the first choice for modern time lamps, these lamps are pieces of our history that many people choose not to forget about and indulge in when possible. They also make great gifts for those we care about. Vintage hurricane lamps are a great choice for the older generation, history lovers, scholars, students, homesteaders, preppers, and those we love that reside in rural areas.