Beginning with the rushlight holders used by the earliest settlers and ranging up to the elaborate chandeliers of the Federal period, this book is a unique coverage of the fascinating story of lamps and other lighting devices in America.
The selection of lighting devices from the American Colonies begins with the “Betty” lamps which were similar in function and design to the oil, wax, and fat-burning lamps of antiquity. Rounding out the material on early attempts at illumination are variations on the open wick lamp designs executed in iron, tin, pewter, and brass, together with double iron “Betty” lamps, iron trammel candle holders, wrought iron candle stands, candle molds, reflectors, and other styles. Succeeding chapters range over candelabra lamps, ship lamps, whale oil lamps, wall sconces, bull's eye reading lamps, pierced tin lanterns, candle lanterns, bull's eye reading lanterns, hall lanterns, Sandwich glass candlesticks, lamps of unusual design, glass table and spark lamps, single and double burner mantle lamps, astral lamps, Luster lamps, Bennington ware, and chandeliers made of wood, iron, pewter, brass, bronze, silver, and crystal. Although the main emphasis is on the Colonial era, work up to the 1880's is considered. Each chapter contains information on Colonial life, customs, and habits, photographs of rare lamps and their locations, hints on collecting, and much other information not available elsewhere.
This volume, containing what is probably the largest selection of antique lamps ever illustrated together before, fills a long-felt need on the part of antique collectors, designers, historians, and Americana enthusiasts for a thorough-going survey of lighting in Colonial America.