Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

Burning Bright

The Argand lamp was the height of lighting technology when new more than 200 years ago. In the 1780s, Swiss inventor Francois-Pierre-Ami Argand patented a new method of lighting using a cylindrical wick that resulted in a flame much brighter than candles. His version burned whale oil and could produce the light of up to 10 candles—a vast improvement on previous oil lamps. The Argand was the lamp of choice until it was superseded by the kerosene lamp in 1850.

Made in Sheffield, England, around 1800, this example features a Wedgwood jasperware base.

American Spirit, Volume 142, Number 5, September/October 2008, Page 6
Photo by Mark Gulezian/Quicksilver

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike

Rock-a-Bye

Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads

Clockwork

Play On

Top Drawer

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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