'History of Early Lighting' topic of Brown Bag Lunch Tuesday in Canton
CANTON -- Some 250 objects dating from the 1700s to the 1900s can be seen at the “History of Early Lighting” exhibit at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association (SLCHA).
Sponsored by National Grid, the exhibit is the most comprehensive collection created by curator Carlton Stickney.The earliest portion of the exhibit covers candlesticks (1650s – 1880s); grease lamps (1600s), whale oil lamps (late 1700s – mid-1800s), plus burning fluid and lard lamps.
Along with three display cases of lamps, there are two cases of accessories which include an early tinderbox, strike-anywhere-matches, spill plane, candle snuffers, match holders, miniature lamps, wick trimmers, lamp chimneys, lamp burners, containers for filling lamps with fuel, lamp doilies, and a photographer’s lantern used to retouch glass negatives.
With the introduction of kerosene in the 1800s, lighting became safer, fuel was easier to obtain, and it provided brighter light for a longer duration. This fuel changed daily life as factories had access to better, safer lighting, and extended working hours; and railroad workers’ lanterns burned longer and brighter for safer working conditions. Kerosene lamps continued into the 20th century.
Visit slcha.org for photos showing portions of the exhibit.
Stickney, who has been associated with the SLCHA for over 42 years, will present this topic at a Brown Bag Lunch on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at noon at the SLCHA, 3 E. Main St.
The exhibit is free and open to the public Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other exhibits curated by Stickney and on view are Spinning Wheel and Textile Tools.