"A Carcel lamp with an engraved globe"

The Carcel lamp was an innovative and efficient oil lamp invented by Bernard Guillaume Carcel (1750-1818), a French watchmaker. The movement of the oil within the lamp was regulated by clockwork.

In Edith Wharton's novel Ethan Frome (1911), there is a reference to the "best parlour" being 'weakly illuminated by a gurgling Carcel lamp'.

In the illustration below of 'lighting through the ages', the Carcel lamp appears fourth from the left in the bottom row (no. 40).

Click here and here to see pictures of Carcel lamps.


'Lighting through the Ages'
Public Domain'Lighting through the Ages' - Credit: Maurice Dessertenne