Burners used in vegetable oil lamps.

As soon as modern chemistry explained the importance of oxygen for the flame, lamp makers changed the shape of the wick: first flat wicks were used in 1775 simultaneously by Léger in France and Alströmer in Sweden. Few years later, about 1782, Ami Argand, a Swiss living in France, introduced improvements including a tubular wick and a glass chimney.

Oil was obtained by pressing different cereals and grains: mainly colza or rapeseed, but also olives, acorns, and also animal fats like whale oil or lard oil.

In the so-called "pump-lamp", the main container is located in the bulge at the base of the lamp. Small amounts of oil are pumped by hand (pressing the "candle" several times) to the small container at the top of the tube below the burner. The wick is flat and yields as much light as several candles. From 1775 on. 

Hand-pump lamp
Carcel-type lamp with a clockwork-driven pumpModerator-lamp with a spring-driven pumpChimney for Carcel- and moderator-lamps

The tubular wick lets air flows to the flame bot from outside and from inside of the circle.

The chimney creates additional draft for a better air supply.

By introducting both novelties about 1782, Ami Argand revolutioned the lighting techniques of his time.

The oil container had to be kept away from the burner to avoid shadow:
-clockwork-driven pump (Carcel)
-heavy spring pushing a leather membrane (moderator-lamp)
-heavy liquid pushing the oil supply upwards to the burner
-inverted bottle according to the principle of the bird's fountain, located at one side of the burner like in student-lamps.

The solar-lamp, introduced around 1840, has its container just under the burner and throws undesired shadow below itself. The metal-ring encircling the flame stretches the flame in height. This detail can be considered as the forerunner of the constriction found later in the Kosmos-chimney of kerosene-lamps.



Solar-lampChimney for solar-lamps

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