Learn about Colza Lamps
Colza oil is a vegetable oil produced from rape seeds. It was used for domestic lighting in Europe before the invention of kerosene. It was used in both Argand lamps, and Carcel lamps, but is more associated with the Cancel lamp.
The Argand lamp was invented and patented in 1780 by Frenchman Aimé Argand (1750 – 1803). Because of the weight of the oil, the reservoir was mounted above the burner, and the wick was supplied with fuel by a gravity feed.
This was a major disadvantage of the lamp as a shadow was cast behind the reservoir.
The Carcel lamp was invented by the French watchmaker Bernard Guillaume Carcel (1750–1818) to overcome the disadvantage of the Argand lamp. He invented a clockwork mechanism that that drove a small pump in the tank that fed the 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Both the Argand lamp and Carcel lamp were superseded when kerosene became available as a fuel for lamps.
Kerosene had been invented in 1846 by Canadian Abraham Pineo Gesner (1797 –1864). His research into minerals resulted the development of a process to refine a liquid fuel from coal, bitumen and oil shale. more...
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