On the Water

Whale Oil Lamp

From a simple hanging lantern suitable for use in a barn to an elegant blown glass table lamp, whale oil illuminated the homes and businesses of America from the 18th century well past the time of the discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania in 1859.

Kerosene and other petroleum products largely replaced whale oil for illumination by the end of the century. However, the use of other whale products for various purposes lasted well into the 20th century.

ID Number:
cork, glass, metal, tin
mid 1800s
12 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.; 30.48 x 8.89 x 8.89 cm

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