Historic Tools of North Castle

Kerosene Lamp

This item at Smith’s Tavern is a kerosene-fueled lamp with two wide flat wicks (usually made of cotton) clipped to the top and sitting on a mesh floor.  It is made of metal (either tin or copper) with a large fuel reservoir (or the fount) and a decorative lid.  


The lower part of the wick dips into the fount and absorbs the kerosene; the top part of the wick extends out of the wick tube of the lamp burner, which includes a wick-adjustment mechanism.  Adjusting how much of the wick extends above the wick tube controls the flame. The wick chimney (missing from T177) surrounds the wick and ensures that the correct amount of air reaches the lamp burner.  If the wick is too high, the lamp will produce smoke and soot (unburned carbon).  


When the lamp is lit, the kerosene that the wick has absorbed burns and produces a clear, bright, yellow flame.  As the kerosene burns, capillary action in the wick draws more kerosene up from the fuel tank. All kerosene flat-wick lamps use the dead-flame burner design, where the flame is fed cold air from below (through the mesh floor), and hot air exits above.


Reference:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerosene_lamp

Catalog Items:

Item T177

Location:Left Shelf - 2nd
Width: 17 cm
Height: 21 cm
Weight: 492 g