Learn about Carcel Lamps

The Carcel lamp was invented by the French watchmaker Bernard Guillaume Carcel (1750–1818) to overcome the disadvantage of the Argand lamp. Because of the weight of the oil, the reservoir of the Argand lamp was mounted above the burner, and the wick was supplied with fuel by a gravity feed. The result was a shadow cast behind the reservoir of the Argand lamp. Carcel invented a clockwork mechanism located in the base of the lamp, that that drove a small pump in the tank that fed Colza oil from a reservoir below the burner. Both the Argand lamp and Carcel lamp were superseded when kerosene became available as a fuel for lamps. Complete Carcel lamps (with their clockwork mechanism and pump) very rarely come onto the market.
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A pair of gilt bronze and bronze oil lamps, labelled Carcel, Rue L'Andre Paris, 19th century

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