History of Hurricane Lamps
article by Jim Hoyle
Neither high winds or hurricanes could snuff out this popular lamp style.
The hurricane lamp was originally an oil burning lamp with a glass chimney
designed to protect the flame from drafts or winds. Today, all that has changed.
These oil burning lamps are still very popular not only for
their aesthetic value but because of their basic practical use especially during
periods of power outages or anywhere that has no electricity, such as cabins,
Today this style can be any lamp or even a candle including an electric lamp where the
flame or light bulb is protected or enclosed by a glass chimney. The electric
model does not need the glass chimney for
functionality but lamp manufacturers often include this feature as it is more
Glass chimneys today come in a wide assortment of sizes, shapes, frostings or
clear, etchings and decorations as well as colors.
In addition to the glass chimney, many have an additional decorative glass top
which surrounds the glass chimney. These glass tops come in many sizes, shapes
and colors. One very striking and popular type of hurricane lamp has matching
bottom and top glass pieces which are intricately hand decorated with a clear
glass chimney projecting through the top several inches. The popular "Gone With
The Wind Lamp", named after the Academy Award winning movie is one type and it utilizes the glass chimney enclosure as
well as the additional decorative glass top which is often hand painted.
Authentic antique hurricane lamps are highly sought after and very collectible.
They commonly bring prices that range into the many hundreds of dollars and up.
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