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Victorian Collections -

Talking Shop: Ballarat in Business and City Life at Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute

27 Jun 2019

Curated By

Amy Tsilemanis, Curator, Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute

162755 items

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162755 items

Contact lenses

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Pair of glass scleral contact lenses in D-shaped plastic hinged case. Case for right lens includes rubber suction lens handler.

Historical information

These contact lenses represent some of the earliest lenses used in Australia. They were made in Germany and distributed in Australia. Very few optometrists were involved with contact lenses in the 1930's.

Significance

These lenses are rare as few glass contact lenses have survived intact from the 1930's.

Inscriptions & Markings

Right case:25/8 R -2, Left case:5/8 L -3. Case cover impressed:Carl Zeiss Jena/ Made in Germany

Stereoscope

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Stereoscope slide viewer. Wood with metal eyeshield engraved with eagle decoration. Folding wooden handle. Detachable sliding target slide holder.

Historical information

Stereoscope slide viewers were popular throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. The dual photographic images gave a three-dimensional view of popular tourism sites and sometimes news events.

Significance

This is the only stereoscope in the collection intended for general use. Others held in the collection were intended for study of ocular anatomy or visual training.

Inscriptions & Markings

Clip mount stamped 'PATENT/AUS', unclear

Trial frame

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Complex nineteenth century trial frame: double lens clip to front rotated by long control knob. Single downward pointing lens clip to back. Bridge height and extension adjustable. Variable inter-pupillary distance calibrated in inches. Slide extending curl sides.

Historical information

Trial frames are used to hold trial spectacle lenses in front of the eyes to establish the spectacle refraction. This unit is able to hold 3 lenses in front of each eye. It is very complex for its early date.

Significance

This trial frame is a rare example of a very complex early design which has survived in good condition.

Inscriptions & Markings

Eye rims stamped:'PAT NOV.6.94 & PAT JUNE25.95'. Sides stamped:'PAT APR.30.95'

Model eye - Dunn's Model Eye

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Cased metal model eye for teaching ophthalmoscopy and retinoscopy. 17 numbered interchangeable fundi illustrating various pathological conditions. Double cell lens holder in front can hold lenses for retinoscopy. Axis scale on front. 6 lenses provided to simulate various refractive states. Rotating disc changes between 3 pupil sizes. Model eye, fundi samples & lenses enclosed in snap closing wooden case, covered in black leatherette and lined with burgundy velvet.

Historical information

Model eyes were used by students to practise skills of ophthalmoscopy and retinoscopy. This item shows more variety of fundus view and refractive state than most.

Significance

This fine example is preserved in excellent condition, perhaps through lack of use. It is the most complex of the five model eyes in the collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inside case:'F.DAVIDSON & Co,/ 29 GREAT PORTLAND STREET,/ LONDON, W/ DUNN'S MODEL EYE'

Magnifier lens in bead case

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Large, round, horn-rimmed reading glass, or magnifier lens, incorporating ring-shaped handle. Glass lens in horn or bone rim. Leather slip-in case with floral beadwork.

Historical information

Single lenses were used to assist reading for many centuries before spectacles were widely available. This magnifying lens may be even older than its case. The simple, large glass lens is held in a hand-worked horn or bone rim. The leather case decorated with floral beadwork is typical of northern European styles c1850.

Significance

This lens is significant for the collection as it is the earliest mounted single lens in the Kett Museum.

Spectacles

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Boxed Nupronite night driving spectacles. Yellow flat plano glass lenses with silver mirror finish in wearer's upper right field of each lens (to minimise glare of oncoming lights). Tortoise-shell look cat's eye frame. In original cardboard box.

Historical information

These night driving spectacles are in a shape of frame fashionable for ladies in the 1950's. The position of the lens silvering shows that these are designed for use in right hand drive cars. These were an expensive item in their day. Their excellent condition and original cardboard box suggest that they may be unsold new old stock.

Significance

No other example of these Nupronite night driving spectacles is known in any Australian collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

On box:'Nuprosal/ Nupronite/ "CAT'S EYES" NIGHT DRIVING SPECTACLES OUTSTANDING IN DESIGN AND QUALITY/ MANUFACTURED BY OPTICAL CRAFTSMEN/ MADE IN ENGLAND BY NUPRO LONDON/ MODEL:CAT'S EYES/ LENSES:SUPER/ COLOUR:AUTUMN LEAF'. Price added by hand '2 pound 17/6'

Georgian silver spectacles

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Silver oval eye Georgian spectacles with saddle bridge and glass lenses. Sliding sides with small loops at ends for a riband. Partial hallmarks: lion passant and IP (maker's mark)on front and each side.

Historical information

These silver spectacles are of a design widely used through the early to mid-19th century. They may have been used by several generations after the original owner. They are part of a major donation to the Kett collection by Mrs Wantrup, widow of optometrist Cyril Wantrup.

Significance

These silver spectacles have significance to the collection as part of a major donation to the Kett collection by Mrs Wantrup, widow of optometrist Cyril Wantrup.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stamped with lion passant and maker's mark 'IP'.

Trial Set of Lenses

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Small timber cased trial set of spherical lenses only. No rims on lenses. Case labelled with lens powers in dioptres and inches. Trial frame included of unusual design:each eye rim has a sprung top cover to secure lens in place. Nickel alloy. Fixed bridge stamped 62, tapered sides with loop ends. Also a lens handling tool (nickel alloy) to position a lens in front of patient's eye.

Historical information

This case only includes spherical lenses and has no cylindrical lenses for correction of astigmatism. The lenses have no rims, which was unusual after 1900. The set appears to have had very little use as it is in excellent condition.

Significance

This is a late example of a trial case comprising only spherical lenses. The trial frame is a very rare type.

Inscriptions & Markings

Lens powers labelled in inches and dioptres. Trial frame bridge stamped '62'.

Silver small lorgnette

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Silver folding short handled lorgnette with pivoted bridge and ornamental loop handle. Round convex lenses badly scratched.

Historical information

This pretty folding silver lorgnette appears European in styling and may be French. The extensive scratching on the lenses indicates many years of use. This form of lorgnette was popular in the mid to late nineteenth century.

Significance

This lorgnette is significant to the collection as one of the most ornate.

Book - Optice: sive de Reflexionibus, Refractionibus, Inflexionibus & Coloribus Lucis Libri Tres

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Latin edition of Newton's 'Optics' translated by Samuel Clarke. This copy is bound in full calf leather of the period, 348 pages, with fold-out figures plus a 24 page appendix 'Enumeratio linearum tertii ordinis' and a 43 page appendix 'Tractus de quadratura curvarum'. It is in outstandingly good condition.

Historical information

This 300 year old book deals with the theory of light and colour and with investigations of the colours of thin sheets, 'Newton's rings', and diffraction of light. Newton uses a wave theory of light and his corpuscular theory to explain his observations. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was a great figure in the history of optical science. His classic 'Opticks' was first published in English in 1704. This Latin edition of 1706 was published to satisfy a wider scientific audience in Europe. Newton was Lucasian Professor at Cambridge 1669-1693 and a fellow of Trinity College. He achieved fame as a creative mathematician and for his law of universal gravitation which explains planetary motions. He retired from research in 1693 to become a government official in London.

Significance

This book is highly significant as a milestone in the study of optics. Although not a very rare book, only one other copy is listed by WorldCat in an Australian institution.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on the fly leaf in pencil is that this is the 2nd edition, the first in Latin, and that Newton gave Clarke 500 pounds for the translation.

Book - Lectiones opticae & geometricae: In quibus phaenomenon opticorum: genuinae rationes investigantur, ac exponuntur: et generalia curvarum linearum symptomata declarantur

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Book, bound in full calf leather of the period, about optics and geometry by Isaac Barrow, in Latin. It has a title page, 12 introductory pages and 151 pages of text divided into 13 "lectures". There are 13 fold-out figures illustrating geometric constructs. It is in good condition except that the front cover is at present detached.

Historical information

This book of lectures on optics & geometry by Isaac Barrow, from 1674, was published in London in Latin to make it available to scholars across Europe. Isaac Barrow (1630-1677) was a graduate of Cambridge (BA 1649, MA 1652) and a mathematician. He became Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1663 and was tutor to Newton. This book includes Barrow's studies in geometric optics and the nature of light; material that would have encouraged Newton's better known research.

Significance

This book has historical significance as it details the contemporary development of the knowledge of optics in the late 17th century. It is quite rare as no other copies are listed on WorldCat for Australia.

Book - A treatise on the physiology and diseases of the eye containing a new mode of curing cataract.

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

'A Treatise on the Physiology and the Diseases of the Eye' by J H Curtis is book of 1835 bound in its original boards, in very good condition, 230 x 140 mm, 242 pages, second edition. There is a coloured plate facing the title page with three figures featuring an ingenious lift up section of a woman's face to show the blood vessels and nerves underneath. There is a philosophical introduction, a chapter on ocular anatomy, two chapters on diseases and their treatment, one on the nature of light and one on the preservation of vision. Cataract is treated by withdrawal of blood from behind the ear and the application of an ointment to an induced blister on the neck, with potash applied to the cornea daily.

Historical information

This book is the 1835 second edition of John Harrison Curtis' 1833 'A Treatise on the Physiology and Diseases of the Eye, containing a new mode of curing cataract without an operation, experiments and observations on vision, also on the inflection, reflection and colours of light together with remarks on the preservation of sight, and on spectacles, reading glasses etc'. The title page describes J H Curtis (1778-1860) as an oculist and also as an expert on the ear. His knowledge of eye pathology and surgery was poor but this was typical of the medical profession until the middle of the 19th century. He was 'aurist in ordinary' to His Majesty and other members of the royal family and his hospital and teaching appointments had more to do with the ear rather than the eye. The last pages of the book list his other publications most of which concern the ear and the deaf. He was the first person, in 1803, to apply speaking tubes to assist the deaf. He established the Royal Ear Hospital in Soho, UK in 1816.

Significance

This book is of historic significance as it shows contemporary understanding of ocular pathology in the early nineteenth century. It is quite rare as no other copies of the second edition are known in Australia.

Book - A practical treatise on the diseases of the eye.

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

This book, bound in full calf leather (probably later 19th Century) with 1107 pages including an index and is followed by a publisher's catalogue. It is the 1854 fourth edition of William MacKenzie's 'A practical treatise on the diseases of the eye' first published in 1830. It has a long (32 pages) introductory section on the anatomy of the eye by Thomas Wharton Jones, FRS. There are 27 chapters on eye disease. Chapter 24 is on refractive errors and presbyopia.

Historical information

This is the 1854 fourth edition of a book on diseases of the eye by William MacKenzie (1791-1868) first published in 1830. William MacKenzie was surgeon oculist in Scotland to Her Majesty (Queen Victoria), lecturer in the University of Glasgow and a surgeon in the Glasgow Eye Infirmary. This fourth edition appeared just after Helmholtz's invention of the ophthalmoscope, but Mackenzie did not at this stage have much understanding of the internal diseases of the eye. Nor did he properly understand refractive errors which were soon to be elucidated by the work of Donders. MacKenzie did however recognise the hardness of the eye as being an essential sign of glaucoma.

Significance

This book is significant historically as it shows contemporary understanding of eye disease in the early nineteenth century. It is not rare as copies still turn up at book markets and also are held in other Australian institutions.

Book - Eyesight and how to take care of it

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Small hardback book in original printed green cloth covers, 139 pages and 21 figures with 20 pages of book advertisements. The decorative Art Nouveau cover is visually attractive. It is a late nineteenth century guide to eyecare for the intelligent lay-reader. It was priced at one shilling.

Historical information

This book is a guide to eyecare for the intelligent lay-reader, not so different from books still published today. It appeared in a number of editions until about 1900. This one is edited by George Black MB(Edin) as part of the Long Life Series.

Significance

As this book is a guide to eyecare for the lay-reader it is socially significant. It is not rare, but being somewhat ephemeral it would not be expected to see copies of this book surviving in the very good condition of our copy. No other copies are listed on WorlCat for Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signature of J B Shattock on half title page.

Chatelaine Spectacle Case

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Chatelaine spectacle case with elaborately pierced pattern decoration made of electroplated nickel silver. Empty cartouche. Deep blue velvet lining. Small chain links case to holding clasp.

Historical information

This spectacle case is designed to be worn attached to a belt or waistband in the style of a 'chatelaine'. It is made of electroplated nickel silver (EPNS) and is lined with blue velvet. This style of spectacle case was used late in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Significance

This spectacle case is one of the most ornate in the collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rear of clasp hook stamped 'EPNS W Ltd'

Cartoon Drawing - Final Year Optometrical Science Students 1944

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

Framed ink on paper cartoon drawing of final year Optometrical Science students of 1944 in Melbourne. The characters are depicted playing in an optometric consulting room. It is headed 'Final Year Optometrical Science 1944' and at the lower edge are the names of the students 'John Nathan, Tony "Craniclaw" Douglas, Vans Ovenden and Doug Allen'. Signed by the artist 'John Nathan'.This cartoon drawing depicts final year Optometry students in a contemporary consulting room of 1944. They are shown in typical optometrists' attire of dark trousers, side-buttoning short white coats and PD ruler in the breast pocket. The room has an electric instrument stand, hydraulic patient chair and internally illuminated test chart. The drawing shows the artist's name 'John Nathan' and is mounted in a black frame.

Historical information

The cartoon was drawn by John Nathan, one of the final year students in the first class to graduate with the diploma of Licentiate of Optometric Science from the Australian College of Optometry. His father was Bertram Nathan who played important roles in obtaining registration of optometrists in 1934 and on the Council of the College. John was to become Director of Studies from 1950 to 1964 and President of the College from 1969 to 1978. He also paints in oils.

Significance

This cartoon is significant to the Australian College of Optometry as a piece of memorabilia from the class of 1944. It is one of only two drawings of optometrists in the Kett collection.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signed by the artist 'John Nathan'

Oil Painting - Cyril H W Kett

The Cyril Kett Optometry Museum, Carlton

This framed oil painting shows Mr Cyril Henry Woodford Kett FBOA FSMC (1890-1971),Councillor and Vice President of the Australian College of Optometry, an important figure in Optometry in Victoria. It was painted in 1980 by another optometrist, John Nathan,and is signed by the artist at lower right corner: 'John Nathan'.

Historical information

Cyril Henry Woodford Kett FBOA FSMC (1890-1971) was one of the five people who signed the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Australian College of Optometry in 1939. He was a councillor of the College from 1940 to 1970 and First Vice President 1944 to 1947. He was made an honorary life member of the College in 1954. He donated numerous items of historical interest to the College that provided the foundation of the Museum which now bears his name. It was painted by another optometrist, John Nathan.

Significance

This painting is significant to the College as it is one of only ten portraits in oils of individuals who have been leaders in the development of the College.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signed by artist at lower right corner: 'John Nathan'. Plaque on frame reads:'Cyril H W Kett FBOA(Hons) FSMC FVOA c1890-1970/ Councillor of the College 1940-1970/ Vice President 1940-42, 1944-47, 1948-50, 1954-70/ Chairman of Council 1944-1947/ One of the five signatories to the original Memorandum of Association of the Victorian College of Optometry'.

Uniform Pocket

Morongo Old Collegians' Association, Geelong

Blue-grey wool blazer pocket, with gold embroidered school crest with green fabric behind the gold lantern. It also has a navy ribbon on the top of the pocket.

Historical information

The owner of this blazer pocket is currently unknown - relevant information will be located and added at a later date.

Significance

This is a significant sample of a 1940-1950 blazer pocket.

Inscriptions & Markings

Words embroidered around the crest "Sint Lucernae Ardentes".

Book - Morongo- The First Fifty Years

Morongo Old Collegians' Association, Geelong

A book entitled'Morongo-The First Fifty years". It has a green cover featuring the School crest. This book was compiled by Mrs. Doreen Cowperthwaite and commerates the history of the first fifty years. It contains 113 pages with photos,

Historical information

This object is significant because it is a complete history of the first fifty years of Morongo.It is a wonderful book for reference material and has been used continually since its inception. There has only been one printing.

Significance

A precious document never to be repeated.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signed by the owner "Elizabeth Taylor"

Furniture

Morongo Old Collegians' Association, Geelong

A high-back slatted wooden chair in a medium Oak coloured wood. Miss Jean Rentoul's School Chair.

Historical information

The chair's supplied for each student where used for seating of paretns at the School's Opening in 1920.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Jean Rentoul" nameplate on the back.

Book - Holy Bible

Morongo Old Collegians' Association, Geelong

The Holy Bible contains the Old and New Testaments and is the authorised King James Version. It contains numerous maps showing 'The Ancient World, Canan, Journeys of Children of Israel, Ancienct Jerusalem, Herod's Temple, etc.' The front and back covers faced in wood from the olive tree.

Historical information

Also contains two cards: (1) with dried flowers from Jerusalem, and (2) from Bethlehem

Significance

Before it came to Morongo it was jused in Bethlehem, Nazareth and Titerus (Sea of Galilee).

Inscriptions & Markings

Presented to "Morongo" by Margaret L. Toyne, 16/11/63 in appreciation for my School Years. Bought for the School, used in Bathlehem, Nazareth, Titerus (Sea of Galilee).'

Furniture

Morongo Old Collegians' Association, Geelong

A dark wood chaise lounge with a rolled back and arms. Re-covered in a dramatic plum and magenta tapestry weave.

Significance

Purchased for 12 pounds from the Russell Family who owned a large grazing property between Geelong and Ballarat, by Miss Lucy Shaw. It was paid for by Miss Shaw and Miss Jean Rentoul. Miss Shaw paid for the re-covering which was organised by Mrs Isabel Dellar, Drama Teacher.

shoulder tabs and braided rope, Orbost Band

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Yellow braided rope with tassels on the end and also 6 0rbost shoulder tabs which are in an arc shape, with a black background with yellow machine stitching stating Orbost, both used for the municipal band.

Historical information

The braided rope and the shoulder tabs would have been used on the Orbost Municipal Band uniform dated between 1932-1985.Instruments and some history on the local band is displayed in the Orbost Museum

Significance

The various Orbost bands over the years played a major role in community activities providing entertainment and musical experiences for the many members.

Inscriptions & Markings

machine stitched in yellow/ Orbost on a black background on the shoulder tabs/"ORBOST"

black and white photograph

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A black and white photograph of nine ladies and one man standing around a table with a large two- tiered cake on it with candles around the base.

Historical information

A photograph of the earliest "Back to"/reunion for Orbost Higher Elementary School/Orbost Secondary College.The photo is of ex pupils who were at the school when it was first opened in 1912.People in the photo are Dorice Napier (1st L), J.Irvine,? Cumming, Lexie Nixon, Ila Cowell, Arthur Reynolds, Annie Nixon, Dorothy Cameron, Nina Johnston and Pear Napier(nee Cumming -4th L)

Significance

It is of Historical significance because apparently it is a photo of the earliest "back to/reunion" for Orbost Secondary College.It is of Social Significance because it is a photograph of people who attended Orbost Secondary School.

Inscriptions & Markings

Hand written on back, hard to read and some words crossed out- "Earliest Pupils H.E.S.1912.Arthur-Reynolds Nina-Johnston/D.Napier J.Irvine ? Cumming- Lexie Nixon/Ila Cowell/Annie Nixon/Dorothy Cameron,"

album - Cigarette Pictures

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Small green-covered album with tile in faded gold on front. Filled with small cigarette cards. Eight cards per page. Cards put into slit corners.Seven pages of footballers in black and white. One page coloured, one with 5 only, coloured.Three page cricketers in black and white. Three pages butterflies in colour. One page Australian birds in colour. Four pages film stars black and white, six to a page,one page of 5, one of 1.

Historical information

Item donated by Mary Gilbert, headmistress at Orbost High School, a historian who initiated the Orbost Museum.The album contains cigarette cards/swap cards. These were generally collected by schoolchildren and placed in albums made specifically for these cards. Collectors would try to collect the cards for complete teams of footballers, cricketers.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription on front cover in centre.Faded gold cursive writing."Cigarette Pictures". At foot of cover in faded gold block letters."HOLDS 224 SMALL AND 24 LARGE CARDS"

water fountain

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Large black iron fountain with swing handle and hook for using over a fire. Large brass tap and handle.

Historical information

Iron fountain used on open fires etc. Donated by Mrs Norah Osborne, wife of Bruce , principal of High School. Early homes often had an open fire containing a fountain, buckets and kettles that hung from a hook in the fireplace. These containers supplied hot water for cooking, washing and cups of tea. Fountain was placed on hob until needed and then hung over fire.

Significance

This kettle is an example of a common domestic item used in early Orbost before electricity was widespread.

Inscriptions & Markings

Lid - Clark & Co * 4 Galls. Bottom - Clark & Co - 4 Gallons FINEST QUALITY T & C CLARK & CO

iron kettle

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Black iron kettle with long handle and spout.

Historical information

Kettle sat on open fire or hob - probably used on wood stove before 1940's.

Significance

This item is an example of a commonly used domestic item used in the early 20th century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Bottom - underneath -No 3, Kenrick 6 PINTS

Mallet - croquet

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Wooden mallet. It is a wooden hammer which has a handle with a leather grip, metal pieces at each end of hammer for strength. The ends of the hammer are hammer carved into spirals.

Historical information

Croquet mallet donated by Mrs Molly Tracey. First croquet committee in Orbost started up in 1919. (ref : The Whos' Who of Orbost Settlers - Mary Gilbert). Often croquet lawns were in private gardens eg. at Connort (now Moogji)..

Significance

This item is part of the history of Orbost Croquet Club. In the museum, there is also an old copy of the rules of Croquet, a trophy and a photo of the first committee.

butter churn

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Wooden "Cherry" butter churn with wood and metal turning handle. It has a detachable wooden lid.

Historical information

Used domestically, though any extra butter would have been sold to neighbours. Many families kept a cow or two for milk etc. Cream needed to be at least 2 days old - the thicker the better. The handle was turned until the cream turned to butter,the whey was poured off and the butter washed in cold water until the water ran clear. Generally salt and bicarbonate of soda were added. Two pats were used to form butter into 1lb lots.

Significance

This was used by Mrs (1890-1980) Carl Wehner who was the son of the blacksmith Herman Wehner. Wehner's Blacksmith's was founded at Orbost in 1889.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front - E. Cherry - improve maker patent, Gisborne stencilled 0 Bottom - stencilled 0 On top of lid handle - 49260

Lamp - kerosene

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Ornate clear glass kerosene lamp. Glass chimney is missing. Base is square and patterned with raised oval shapes, as is the stem. Both base and stem are hollow. At the top, the kerosene holder is squarish with round corners.. The wick holder is of brass and has a small wick adjustor.

Historical information

This lamp pattern was originally made in USA between 1880 and 1900. The pattern is called Feathered Cartouche and generally had a painted motif on each of the panels on the front. This lamp is probably a copy of the American lamp and made in Australia sometime in the first half of the 20th century. The lamp has an English style collar rather than an American one and the pattern is not as crisp as the American ones. There were several lamp patterns made here that were copies of American patterns and that style of collar was used on most of them. (ref Oil Lamp Antiques)

Significance

This item is an important example of the early technology of artificial light. It has historical significance in demonstrating lighting devices used before the widespread use of electricity.

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