Tin Lard Oil Lamp
A Lard Oil Lamp is not just any lamp in which lard oil can be burned; rather it is a lamp especially designed to burn it as fuel. From 1840-1860, Lard and Lard Oil were popular illuminantes, and many lard-burning lamps were patented during this time period. This particular lamp is built on the same principal as the one patented by Smith and Stonesifer in 1854 that was equipped with a screw driven piston which forced the lard up into a small chamber around the wick. If given a turn of the screw occasionally, this lamp functioned quite well and was a definite improvement over other lard burning lamps of the day. It was a cheaper fuel than whale oil, to be sure.
Though I can find no patent date on this lamp, it very well might have been made by Smith and Stonesifer as the principal is identical to their patent. On the other S&S lamps I've seen pictured, the patent date was stenciled on the japanned tin. Whatever the case, the lamp is in excellent condition, includes the original key and is a very fine example of early lighting for the collector.
It stands 7-1/2" high to the top of the burner. The base is 6-1/4" in diameter. It has a flat wick, retains the original key and there is a hole in the handle so the lamp can also be hung. It is in overall excellent conditon with only some minor "dings" to the rim edge of the saucer base that are not distracting and felt rather than seen.
Questions? Ask the Ferret!