Geeky Videos

A 19th-Century Wooden Lampworking Table

Lampworking in the 1800s

Watch a functional, preserved 19th-century wooden lampworking table, complete with a leather bellows, in action.

The Museum’s wooden table is equipped with a foot-operated bellows that acts as an air compressor, pushing air through two hollowed out wooden pipes built into the table. The crossed pipes have air outlets on all four sides of the table to allow up to four people to work around the bench. The air outlets are corked in each spot until needed.

A specialized air manifold, or distributor, that holds five metal tubes, is plugged into the air outlet. All five are focused on a wick. The lamp is filled with alcohol and the wick is lit.