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Record Details

Nelson Oil Lamp for Microscopical Use, by Swift & Son, London, c.1900

Inventory Number: 51549
Object Type:
Place Created: London England United Kingdom Europe
Accession Number:
Brief Description: A rectangular copper alloy reservoir is supported on a copper alloy retort stand, with the maker's name on the base. The reservoir can be filled by removing a threaded cap in one corner at the rear, near to the fastening for the stand. At the opposite corner is a collar into which the lamp fitment pushes.A pivoting, horizontal arm extends from the front of the lamp. This supports a bull's-eye lens on a stand, which is held in a screw-tightened collar.

Lamp fitment consisting of a rounded cap with a slot for the wick and a conical tin chimney with a window. The flame is contained behind a microscope slide (.4). and adjustments to the wick are made by a screw at the side of the arrangement. Very faint hand engraved notation on side, reading: 'Wait for 20 years/ RMS +20/ Swift 1878'

Copper Alloy knob.

Microscope slide used to shield flame in lamp fitment.
Primary Inscriptions: 1. "SWIFT & SON. LONDON. W.C." "Original Nelson Lamp / Invented and used by EM Nelson / 18" 2. 'Wait for 20 years/ RMS +20/ Swift 1878'
Provenance: From E. M. Nelson, 1930s. Original Nelson lamp belonging to the inventor.
Collection Group:
Material(s): Cu alloy
Sn alloy
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
345 150 245 mm