Historic Tools of North Castle

Pewter Oil Lamps (3)

These items at Smith’s Tavern are various sizes of oil lamps made of pewter and all fueled by whale oil.  


Most pewter whale oil lamps were from the 1820s to the 1850s.  Pewter resembles fine silver but at a fraction of the cost and this made for a widespread acceptance of its use.  Pewter was cast into molds that could be used over again and because the molds were costly, they were used for producing more than one object.  Therefore, it is not uncommon to find matching lamps and candlesticks made of pewter.

Catalog Items:

Item T166

Location:Left Shelf - 2nd
Width: 12 cm
Height: 14 cm
Weight: 273 g

Lamp T166 has a saucer base on a candlestick-like stem, with an “O” shaped handle attached to the stem, with a can-like fuel reservoir topped by a double burner.

Item T179

Location:Left Shelf - 2nd
Width: 10 cm
Height: 18 cm
Weight: 259 g

Item T180

Location:Left Shelf - 2nd
Width: 10 cm
Height: 18 cm
Weight: 280 g

Lamps T179 and T180 are two candlestick oil lamps, both on wide circular pedestals (with slightly different designs) supporting a fuel reservoir with double burners.  The underside of the base of T179 has a maker’s mark embedded but it is illegible and “17”. T180 is bent slightly. 


Our research has also been unable to discover any more about this item.  If anyone does know more, please email the Historical Society with this much-needed information.


Reference:  https://collectlamps.com/whale%20oil%20lamps.html