Lamp; CT77.32A


Owaka Museum and Catlins Information Centre Wahi Kahuika - the Meeting Place – a rest on your journey.



About this object

This twelve sided glass base with brass cork-lined cap to take a burner was sunken and strapped into a 5lb ‘Shell grease’ can. It has strapping of No. 12 wire, two side handles of No.8 wire, brass burner with good double wick and two wick winders with porcelain knobs reading ‘Hinks Duplex Patent’.

Since the age of motoring took off a mass of paraphernalia became available for use and re-use. Shell was foremost in the field. The Shell symbol was introduced in 1904.

Without electricity, and lacking torches, lamps such as this one provided a source of light, albeit weak, for the pre-electricity nights. Dances were part of the social life in the Catlins. They took place in winter when the cows had dried off so there was more free time. Dancing often lasted the whole night through, one reason being high spirits, the other was the need to rely solely on kerosene lamps. The blackness of the night made night travel through the narrow tracks, roads, deep ditches and bush paths hazardous.

The Northern Catlins was connected to the national grid in the 1920’s. It was more than twenty years before the existing network was extended. In 1963, Chaslands in the Southern Catlins was one of the last areas in Otago to be connected to the power supply .

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