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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Objects and Artifacts - Furnishings - Lighting Device - Lamp

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Betty lamp

Betty lamp
Date: between 1800 and 1850
Cast iron betty lamp that has been painted gold. Circular reservoir with protruding spout and wick support. Keyhole-shaped opening on cover plate for missing swiveling cover. Iron handle arches above reservoir opposite spout, ending in lug from which dangles a swiveling spike that is missing its hanging hook. The donor's grandfather claimed to have found this sperm oil lamp in the Tarrytown Road headquarters of General George Meade after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Meade was placed in charge of the Union Army shortly before the battle. His Tarrytown headquarters was approximately 17 miles from the battlefield.


Brass Lamp Burner from Grinter Place, 14WY316

Brass Lamp Burner from Grinter Place, 14WY316
Date: 1857-1920
This artifact was used as part of the burner for an oil lamp. The wick extended through the slot on the top. It was recovered from excavations at Grinter Place is a two-story brick home overlooking the Delaware Crossing on the Kansas River, and is now in the National Register of Historic Places. Moses and Annie Grinter (she was a Lenape Delaware) owned and operated a ferry and trading post there. Grinter Place was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Lighting Fixture from the Baker Store, 14MO701

Lighting Fixture from the Baker Store, 14MO701
Date: 1862
These two lighting fixture fragments were recovered from the Baker Store in Morris County by the Emporia State Teacher's College (now Emporia State University) archeology field school in 1973. The zinc fragments have partial advertising still visible: "LIQUID CORNELIUS & BAKER GAS F" and either "HAT" or "MAT." The fixture was made by the firm of Cornelius and Baker, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who were "manufacturer's of lamps, gas fixtures, Et cetera" from 1835 to 1869. The Store's artifact collection was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1993. The Baker Store and nearby house, situated along the Santa Fe trail, were burned in 1862 by "Bloody Bill" Anderson and his cohorts. The owner, A. I. Baker, was murdered at that time.


Lighting from the Adair Cabin, 14MM327

Lighting from the Adair Cabin, 14MM327
Date: 1855-1912
Shown are four different lighting related artifacts recovered during excavations in 2014 of the Adair Cabin site, home of Reverend Samuel and Florella Brown Adair and their family, in Osawatomie, Kansas. These artifacts were all found in Feature 655, a limestone lined pit that may have served as a root cellar. Shown are a blue facet glass prism that once decorated a lamp or ceiling fixture, a white globe with a burned spot showing from the interior, and a green and white glass lamp globe. Osawatomie and the Adairs was much involved with the abolitionist movement during the "Bleeding Kansas" years.


Oil Lamp Burner from the Kaw Mission, 14MO368

Oil Lamp Burner from the Kaw Mission, 14MO368
Date: 1851-1920
This burner for an oil lamp was recovered during excavations at the 2018 Kansas Archeology Training Program at the Kaw Mission. The burner for a lamp was the portion through which the wick was advanced. The site, now called the Kaw Mission State Historic Site, was built over the winter of 1850 - 1851 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South as a school for boys in the Kaw (or Kansa) tribe. The site was acquired by the state of Kansas in 1951.


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