Cornelius Solar Lamp Patent Model

Description
Robert Cornelius submitted this patent model in his patent application that received patent number 3,028 on April 6, 1843. The novel innovation in Cornelius’s lamp was its ability to burn lard and other concrete fat with a minimal amount of heat. This allowed lamps to use cheap lard for fuel instead of the costly whale oil that had dominated the lamp industry prior. The lamp used a deflector that heated a tube leading to the fuel, providing no more metal to heat the lard than was absolutely required. Cornelius’s lamp outsold those fueled by expensive whale oil, making his company the largest lighting company in America. Cornelius also attempted to perfect the daguerreotype photographic process, taking the first-ever self-portrait in 1839.
Object Name
lamp
Object Type
Lighting Devices
Lighting Devices
patent date
1843-04-06
inventor
Cornelius, Robert
Physical Description
fit together (base connector/connecting technique)
fit together (reflector connector/connecting technique)
fit together (reservoir connector/connecting technique)
inserted (base connector/connecting technique)
inserted (burner connector/connecting technique)
inserted (push-up connector/connecting technique)
inserted (reservoir connector/connecting technique)
brass (base material)
brass (burner material)
brass (push-up material)
brass (reflector material)
brass (reservoir material)
tin (base material)
tin (reservoir material)
associated place
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
DL*331356
catalog number
331356
patent number
3,028
accession number
88881
subject
Domestic Furnishings
American Enterprise
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
American Enterprise
Exhibition
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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