HIGHLIGHTS OF THE COLONIAL COLLECTION: page 2
LIGHTING and SLEEPING and WARMING
One of the most curious elements of colonial culture is the wide range of lighting styles. Though many of the designs below did not necessarily originate in the colonial era, and were carried through to the 19th century, they still exist as strange and bizarre to modern eyes. Beyond mere wooden or metal candlesticks, all manner of betty lamps and "rushlights" existed. Some hung from hooks, some had clips that held a "rush" (a stick soaked in grease), some had threaded wooden screw stands to adjust the range of light for a burning candlestick as it lowered. Before the age of mass produced glass, horn and waxed linen was used for lanterns. Candlesticks were also a more personal form of lighting, so more attention went into their design, including more decoration. By the late 18th century, the range of lighting was at its peak with whale blubber having been used to produce a range of strange and curious lamps. Mr Young has a great fondness for early lighting and explains many of the interesting ways colonial people lit those dark nights...in an age before electricity.
A BLACKSMITH FORGED
CANDLESTICK, 17TH CENTURY
MANY OF THE CANDLESTICK
DESIGNS WE ARE FAMILIAR
WITH ARE DERIVED FROM THE
BAROQUE & COLONIAL ERA
RARE SURVIVING BRONZE
FINALE OF A CANDLE STICK,
LATE 16TH TO EARLY 17TH
DURING THE 17TH CENTURY
MANY FORMS OF CAST BRASS CANDLESTICKS, RESEMBLING THE ONES WE ARE USED TO SEEING, EMERGE
EXAMPLES OF EARLY GLASS
NOT ALL LIGHTING WAS PLACED ON A TABLE. THE HOOK (ABOVE) WAS DRIVEN INTO A WOODEN HOUSE BEAM AND USED TO SUSPEND THE IS A 17TH OR EARLY 18TH CENTURY HANGING "BETTE" LAMP (BELOW) THAT WAS FILLED WITH OIL AND ALLOWED TO BURN AT VARIOUS CORNERS AS NEEDED
FOR COMPARISON OF THE 17TH, 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES...A COLLECTION OF TINWARE, A COURTING CANDLE, REDWARE CANDLESTICK AND A BETTE LAMP
GREAT REPLICA OF A 17TH CENTURY PILGRIM CANDLESTICK AS WE MIGHT FIND AT PLIMOTH.
AN IMAGE OF A TYPICAL HORN LANTERN (MISSING ITS HORN PANES). THIS STYLE OF LANTERN EMERGES IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND IS CARRIED THROUGH TO COLONIAL AMERICA.
WONDERING WHAT THIS ODD THING MIGHT BE? ITS A RUSH LIGHT. THE CLIP PART HELD A REED SOAKED IN OIL. IT ALLOWED THE OWNER TO BURN IT ALONG WITH THE CANDLE OR TO USE THE REED TO LIGHT OTHER CANDLES. MID 17TH CENTURY.
OFTEN KNOWN AS PAUL REVERE LANTERNS, THESE ARE COMMON TINWARE PUNCHED LANTERNS. LIKE MANY OF THESE DESIGNS, THEY EMERGE IN THE LATE MIDDLE AGES AND CARRY THROUGH UNTIL THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY
ANOTHER GREAT EXAMPLE OF A CANDLE STICK TRAMMEL...WHEN THE LIGHT OF THE CANDLE DREW LOWER, THE SOCKET HOLDING IT WOULD BE RAISED CORRESPONDINGLY ...HIGHER.
SPEAKING OF RUSH LIGHTS (ABOVE RIGHT), THIS IS A GRISSET, A PAN TO SOAK RUSH LIGHT REEDS IN OIL OR FATTY GREASE. THE GRISSET ABOVE IS MADE OF CAST IRON. THE TRIVET BELOW WAS PROBABLY USED TO SUPPORT AN OVAL FORGED GRISSET THAT LOST ITS FEET OVER THE YEARS.
IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT CENTRAL HEATING. ONE WAY TO WARD OFF THE COLD WAS BY USING BEDWARMERS. THE LID OPENS AND WARM ROCKS OR COALS CAN BE PUT INSIDE. MR YOUNG DID EXPERIMENTS AND FOUND IT RAISED THE TEMPERATURE OF A 40 DEGREE ROOM BY 20 DEGREES IN 10 MINUTES!
ONE OF MR YOUNG'S FAVORITE TOPICS OF THE COLONIAL ERA IS LIGHTING. THIS IS BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH A DIVERSE COLLECTION OF LIGHTING PIECES DURING THIS ERA.--SOME OF WHICH ARE FRANKLY BIZARRE. HERE WE HAVE A WONDERFUL 18TH CENTURY ADJUSTABLE CANDLE STICK
EVER TRIED TO HOLD A NEWLY POURED CANDLESTICK?
WELL, YOU CANT, IT WILL DROOP AND DISTORT UNTIL COOL. SO, ONE WOULD HANG THEM ON A CANDLE DRYER OR RACK BY SIMPLY PLACING THE STRING UP THROUGH THE HOLES, AND LOOPING A STICK THROUGH THE STRING--SIMPLE AND FAIRLY EFFECTIVE. HERE WE HAVE A FANTASTIC 18TH OR EARLY 19TH CENTURY CANDLE DRYER.
NO DISCUSSION ABOUT EARLY LIGHTING WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT SHOWING A FIRE STRIKER....A PIECE OF HIGH CARBON STEEL THAT WAS USED TO STRIKE A FLINT AGAINST, TO PRODUCE A SPARK!
THE CURIOUS "BUTTON TAB" ON THIS LATE 18TH CENTURY CANDLESTICK ALLOWED THE USER TO RAISE THE CANDLE AS IT GREW LOWER. KNOWN AS A HOG SCRAPER !
THE NEED FOR LIGHTING TRULY TRANSCENDED ALL CLASSES.
THIS CANDLESTICK WAS FOUND ON HENRY VIII'S SHIP IN THE MID- 16TH CENTURY, YET THE DESIGN PERSISTED WELL INTO THE EARLY 19TH
HERE WE HAVE A FANTASTIC ....FOOT WARMER IN THE STYLE SEEN IN MANY 17TH CENTURY DUTCH PAINTINGS. THE HOLLOW SECTION ALLOWS A SQUARE METAL PAN WITH HOT COALS TO BE INSERTED... WHEREUPON THE USER CAN PLACE THEIR FEET.
ORIGINALLY, MAKING CANDLES INVOLVED DIPPING STRING REPEATEDLY IN MOLTEN WAXES AND FATS UNTIL THE NEWLY ADHERED WAX WAS THICK ENOUGH TO BE SELF SUPPORTIVE.
BY THE LATE 18TH CENTURY, WE START TO SEE METAL TUBES DEVELOP IN WIDESPREAD USE. WAX OR TALLOW WAS POURED INTO A PRE-STRUNG TUBE.