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Argand Lamp

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

This neoclassical silver-plated Argand lamp is one of fourteen that Gouverneur Morris bought for George Washington in London in 1790. Eager to have elegant furnishings as well as the latest technology in his executive residence, Washington specifically asked Morris to purchase “patent lamps” after seeing them at the home of a Philadelphia merchant. Patented by Swiss inventor François-Pierre Aimé Argand in 1780, these lamps used a tubular wick and glass chimney to improve airflow, thus creating a light source that was brighter, longer-lasting, and less smoky than earlier oil lamps and candles.

Purchase, 1950 [W-1545/A-E]

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  • Title: Argand Lamp

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