It is hard to imagine the difficulties people had getting around after dark – before the advent of batteries, torches and electric lights. Yet people did, and possibly at the speed of a fast horse pulling a carriage. We have a rather battered 19th century carriage lamp at our museum.
This lamp is believed to have been made by a firm called Miller and Sons of Piccadilly in London and was given to the museum by Peggy Gye.
It is a paraffin lamp with a double wick burner and a polished reflector behind it so it can send as much light forwards as possible.
Here we can see the paraffin tank, the filler cap and the double wicks and the bottom of the reflector. It is a simple and elegant device.
Side windows allow some of the light to spill out that way which could be useful for spotting the edge of a road.
The substantial fastening clip can also be seen in this view.
This lovely item can be seen in our display of vehicle lights and other items at the museum.