Today’s Shoot: Oil Hurricane Lanterns Still Life


Today in the studio I was working with a collection of old oil hurricane lanterns I have that have been handed down in the family.  Old, rusty, dusty, antique vintage hurricane lanterns with red and clear glass.  These were of the type used on railroads to mark the end of a train or a closed track.  Conductors and trainmen would use them to flag down trains, or in other ways direct trains through out the night and day.

These are example of hot-blast lanterns. Hot-blast lanterns permit a portion of spent air to recirculate through the tubes.  (Cold-blast provides about twice the brightness of hot-blast.)

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A kerosene lamp (usually called a paraffin lamp in some countries) is a type of lighting device that uses kerosene (paraffin) as a fuel. Kerosene lamps have a wick or mantle as light source, protected by a glass chimney or globe; lamps may be used on a table, or hand-heldlanterns may be used for portable lighting. Like oil lamps, they are useful for lighting without electricity, such as in regions without rural electrification, in electrified areas during power outages, at campsites, and on boats. There are three types of kerosene lamp: flat wick, central draught (tubular round wick), and mantle lamp. Kerosene lanterns meant for portable use have a flat wick and are made in dead flame, hot blast, and cold blast variants.

Hot Blast Lantern Design

The cold-blast design is similar to the hot-blast, except that cold fresh air is drawn in from around the top of the globe and is then fed though the metal side tubes to the flame, making it burn brighter. This design produces a brighter light than the hot blast design, because the fresh air that is fed to the flame has plenty of oxygen to support the combustion process.