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Featured Antique




18th-Century
Crotal Bell
 

Light for a Salesman
by Bob Brooke

 

During the late 19th century, in an age before electricity, it was impractical for traveling salesmen, staying in rooming houses, to carry a candle and stand with them so that they could see their way to the bathroom down the hall in the middle of the night. The Laterna Unica or Folding Pocket Candle Lamp made it possible for them to do that. It consisted of folding mica panels which surrounded a small candle and included a match holder, striker and carrying case. Salesmen could easily stuff one of these into their valise. This particular one, measuring 5 x 3 1/4 x 1 inches, priced at $195 by Tucker and Booth Antiques and Collectibles, of Morgantown, PA, features gold and leather trim. Other so-called "hand lamps," that resembled prayer books when closed, provided light for reading during long religious meetings.



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