"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 to see a picture of a Carcel lamp.


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