London Street Lamp
This job began with a phone call from an individual who
had just purchased two antique post lamps that had last been
used on the streets of a southern city. They are identical to
old London street lamps and had originally been made as gas lamps.
The owners planned to place them on their property to illuminate
the walkway to their home. Since using gas as fuel was not practical
and they did not want to electrify the lamps, it was decided
to settle on kerosene as a fuel. This would give them the opportunity
to experience a very real, live connection to a particular time
in history, not only because of the softer illumination given
off by the kerosene lamps, but also because of the necessity
of following the daily routine of lighting, extinguishing, and
maintaining the lamps.
Research showed that a number of kerosene lamps that were
used in early post lamps were fitted with a duplex burner. This
burner utilizes two wicks and therefore produces more light than
a single-wick burner. The round font, raised top, and handle
shape are all typical of early lamps.
It was decided to fashion the fonts from copper since it
will out-last tinplate in a damp environment. Solid-brass burners
that are manufactured in England were used. Quality filler caps
and hoops are difficult, if not impossible to find, and so these
pieces were custom made from solid brass; the threads were machined
so that the caps can be easily removed and replaced with no trouble.
The hand-blown chimneys have an interesting shape. The fitter
(bottom) and top are round while the bulge (large, central portion)
is oval shaped in order to improve the draft.
Kerosene Lamp for London Street Lamp