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Domestic objects

Food | Lighting | Housekeeping objects | Heating

Lighting

Wax | Oil

The way in which our ancestors lived was controlled to a large extent by sunlight. Domestic chores started at sunrise and ended most often at sunset. As a result of the shortness of the days during the winter season, additional lighting was needed for certain in-door activities or simply for evening events.

Although people occasionally settled for using firelight, they more often preferred to use an oil lamp or a candle on candlestick or candleholder. Candlesnuffers and candlesnuffer holders were in considerable use during this period. Lanterns were used essentially for trips outside the home. Needless to say, these forms of lighting are now a thing of the past. Lighting is obviously the field in which technological progress has encouraged the most change.

Wax

While the lamp underwent a series of improvements, the candle remained in constant use. It was also the means of light used most commonly by the colonists since it was the least expensive. Our ancestors used sheep or cattle fat, which they would boil and then filter to remove any fibers. This resulted in an opaque, liquid white suet. They brought two methods of making candles with them from France: dipping, which was very common in past centuries, and molding, which was also used until the end of the 19th century.

Usually, the candle would be placed in the candlestick used for domestic purposes. The candlestick was considered a lighting device in most dwellings. In the oldest versions, the candle was stuck on a metal tip while those used in the middle of the 18th century were equipped with a type of saucer into which a stick of grease was placed. There were three categories of candle holders: candlesticks that were used for domestic purposes, candelabra and chandeliers. However, the candlestick was the most common. It was designed to hold a single candle.

No discussion of lighting would be complete without a reference to lanterns. The settlers used lanterns at night when they had to go to their stables. Later, night coaches (in the 19th century) and then bicycles (at the beginning of the 20th century) would be equipped with carbon steel lanterns that were very ornate and decorative.

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Candle holder

Candle holder
1994.303

Candle holder

Candle holder
1994.577

Candle holder

Candle holder
1994.763

Candlestick

Candlestick
1994.522.1.1-2

Torch

Torch
1994.786.2

Lantern

Lantern
1994.436

Lantern

Lantern
1994.391

Candlesnuffer

Candlesnuffer
1994.628

Oil

Domestic lighting underwent very significant transformations starting in 1840. Although the candlestick and the whale oil lamp continued to be used in our homes, with certain improvements, needs changed and they were no longer adequate. Social life increased in intensity and the arrival of Anglo-Saxon immigrants, economic progress, and the growth of a local intellectual elite all had an impact on the new lifestyle.

The activities of people resulted in constant improvements in lighting techniques. They wanted to write, read and meet. The flickering of the candle and the poor light provided by the oil lamp were no longer satisfactory. People knew that new techniques existed in Europe and wanted to use them here.

Thus, from 1830 to 1860, until the coal oil lamp appeared, means of lighting underwent a vast number of changes resulting from local interventions and, above all, imports.

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Betty lamp

Betty lamp
1994.463

Oil lamp

Oil lamp
1994.3292.1

Oil lamp

Oil lamp
After 1850
1994.187.1-4

Kerosene lamp

Kerosene lamp
1994.730.1-5

Kerosene lamp

Kerosene lamp
Late 19th century
1994.734.1-4