Posts Tagged ‘oil’

A Carriage Lamp

February 25, 2016

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.

A 19th century carriage lamp at market Lavington Museum

A 19th century carriage lamp at Market Lavington 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.

The double burner has a reflector behind it

The double burner has a reflector behind it

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.

Side windows and the fastening clip

Side windows and the fastening clip

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.

A paraffin lamp

February 9, 2014

These days we really struggle without electricity. On those occasions, which really are quite rare, when we have power cuts, life rapidly turns into a misery and a cause for panic. Our heating fails because whatever the basic fuel, electricity seems to be needed. We have no lighting. Our phones and computers can’t get charged. We may lose internet access because our routers need their power. We can’t cook and we panic about what might happen to food stored in freezers. Yet well within living memory, many people just didn’t have electricity. Only people in their 90s will remember Market Lavington without electricity for the now vital energy supply arrived in 1927.

Before that, people had to make do with candles or oil lamps. We have several candle holders and oil lamps in the museum and today we look at a paraffin burning lamp which dates from the late nineteenth century and which can be found on the mantelshelf, above the range in the kitchen room at the museum.

Late nineteenth century paraffin lamp at Market Lavington Museum

Late nineteenth century paraffin lamp at Market Lavington Museum

This particular lamp has a carrying handle. It was for lighting your way to bed. Yes, remember that the stairway was probably the darkest and most dangerous part of the house at night time.

This lamp has a very elegant glass chimney which surrounds the otherwise naked flame. The wheel above the carrying handle is for adjusting the height of the wick. It was important to keep this just right. If the wick was made too tall then some of the paraffin would not fully burn and the lamp would have given off black smoke. Too little wick could make the lamp sputter and go out. In use, adjustments were needed all the time for the wick itself did slowly burn away.

This lamp once belonged to Mrs Gale who lived on The Spring in Market Lavington.

Prospecting for Oil in the Lavingtons

November 25, 2012

Back in 1979, people came prospecting for oil in Market Lavington and along the vale generally. The process was simple enough, although no doubt much analysis had to be done of the data gathered.

Some huge tractor like vehicles arrived in the area. They stopped and no doubt accurate measurements were made as to their precise position (how much easier these days, with GPS).

The tractor then dropped a fairly massive weight on the ground. This set up vibrations and it was from the analysis of these that the experts reckoned they could locate if oil was there.

Presumably, the chances of oil were not deemed good for no exploratory drilling took place in this area.

These tractors visited Market Lavington in 1979. They were checking to see if there just could be oil underneath the ground here.

The pictures – not outstanding in quality, show the tractors parked overnight.

Another view shows the three oil prospecting tractors