Brass hurricane lamps were originally created to keep a lamp’s flame from blowing out. If you ever watch a movie set in the Victorian era, you will see one of these lamps.
Very basic hurricane lamps include a handle, a candle and a glass globe that prevents the flame from blowing out when the lamp is moved. More elaborate hurricane lamps are made of porcelain, contain two large globes and are powered by gas.
A little history
Before electricity people had to read by fire light and, eventually, by gas lights. Both light sources require flame, which can be blown out with the slightest of breeze.
The only way they could really move with their light source was to create something like the Brass hurricane lamp. The hurricane light concept came from a contraption that people used to use to protect their fireplace flame from blowing out.
Moving Hurricane Lamps Into Modern Society
Though we obviously use electricity, it’s still fairly easy to find a hurricane lamp. Think about how many lamps would be available if society suddenly moved from electric powered lights to air powered lights.
Millions of lamps would no longer be in use. This is what happened when electricity became mainstream. People abandoned their hurricane lamps, especially when cheaper, safer lighting sources were made available. This is why they’re fairly easy to find in antique stores.
Most original hurricane lamps are made from glass, tin, steel, brass and bronze. However, now you can find hurricane lamps that are made of glass and porcelain.
Modernized hurricane lamps are frequently fueled by electricity rather than gas. Modern hurricane lamps can also be lit by lamp oil, citronella oil, kerosene or paraffin.
If you decide to use a hurricane lamp in your house because you like the light it casts or you want to have a backup light source in case the power goes out, be careful.
Anything with an open flame needs to be watched at all times. Also, when you’re using these lamps, remember that they are lit with flammable substances. So, when you use your hurricane lamps, keep your eye on the lamp so you don’t cause a fire.
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