The invention of the Argand burner in 1784 propelled a virtual lighting revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century. This highly informative and outstandingly illustrated book showcases the variety of nineteenth century lamps through the use of color photos, old etchings, and period lighting catalogues -- including the only known 1850 Henry N. Hooper and Company Illustrated Catalogue, shown in its entirety. Lighting enthusiasts at every level will find many never-before-published photographs of Argand, sinumbra, and solar lighting devices, along with valuable information on heights, shade ring fitter diameters, and value ranges. Brief histories are provided for some of the better known lighting manufacturers, including Hooper, Dietz, Messenger, and Cornelius. The author also discusses various types of lighting fuel, terminology, how to differentiate reproductions from originals, and where to look for manufacturers' marks. Collectors of lighting and other fine arts from the first half of the nineteenth century will find this an essential reference for many years to come.
Gerald T. Gowitt has been an antiques dealer for nearly thirty years, specializing in Victorian furniture, clocks, Flow Blue china and medical collectibles. For the last four years he has devoted much of his attention to kerosene and pre-kerosene lighting. He is Chief Medical Examiner for Dekalb County, Georgia and lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia.