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  Nov. 23, 2009 -
Added an article on Lamp-Stoves.
  Nov. 15, 2009 -
Added some info on Jewelers' Lamps.
  Feb. 1, 2009 -
Added an article on Joshua Jenkins and The Suffolk Glass Works.
  Dec. 28, 2008 -
Added some info on Vapo-Cresolene and Schering's Formalin Lamps.
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I am currently working on an article about Robert Hitchcock of Watertown, New York. Hitchcock founded the Hitchcock Lamp Company in 1873 to manufacture his line of mechanical lamps - lamps that are designed to be used without a chimney as the draft is provided by a clockwork driven fan located in the base of the lamp. Hitchcock originally worked as a jeweler and clock maker, a skill set that would prove invaluable for his future lighting endeavors.

Patent Drawing
A scarce Rob't. Hitchcock Wall Bracket Lamp. Photo courtesy Ara Kebapcioglu.

Robert Hitchcock certainly did not invent this concept. The first U.S. patent for a mechanical lamp was granted in 1860 to Francis Bernard DeKeravenan, a French engineer who was living in New York at the time. A few others made improvements and innovations including Michael B. Dyott, George A. Jones, and others, but Hitchcock's lamps are the ones most often found in the marketplace today, due in part to the sheer numbers that must have been produced to satisfy the international market that he created.

Thus, the story starts with Hitchcock, but it would be impossible to write about mechanical lamps without looking at other innovators both here in the United States and abroad; it's impossible to isolate Hitchcock's contributions from the others - they are just too intertwined.

More as the story unfolds...

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