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What are electric hurricane lamps?

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Quick Answer

An electric hurricane lamp is an electrical version of old-fashioned hurricane lanterns, which were lit by candles or kerosene. Like the original lanterns, the electric versions often include a glass chimney-like enclosure.

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One example of a hurricane-style electric lamp, marketed on Amazon, features an old-style lantern in a frosted glass design. The lamp comes with a 60-watt candelabra light bulb instead of a wick and burner for burning kerosene.

Hurricane lamps, electric or oil-powered, offer a stylish way to light and decorate a house, according to FineHomeLamps.com. The company's website suggests using electric hurricane lamps in the kitchen or dining room, and displaying antique versions as centerpieces on dining room tables or buffets.

The hurricane lamp was invented by a Swiss watchmaker's son, Francois-Pierre Aimee Armand, according to the Emerson Creek Pottery Co. The lamp was introduced in 1780 and was designed with a glass chimney, burner and wick, and a knob to control the flame produced by olive or whale oil. The glass chimney kept breezes or sudden gusts of air from burning out the flame. Hurricane lamps were utilized greatly during the Civil War and later by Western frontiersmen. The kerosene lighting Emerson Creek sells today is used by people living "off the grid" as well as for emergency lighting, the company states.

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