Thursday, May 15, 2014

1862 Nurse's Night Light and Broth Warmer


This is an excellent example of the Nurse's or Hospital Steward's Night Light which was carried through large hospital wards of convalescing soldiers during the Civil War. The components are made of tin with "tole painted" floral designs on the outer body. A hinged door opens to allow access to a small kerosene lamp with 1862 on knob.

This cast off a warm & gentle light to guide attendants through the rows of beds at night. But it also warmed a tin broth cup above it. Thus, these lamps served the dual purpose of giving light and yielding sustenance to the ill. Sadly, many were cast into trash heaps as electricity made them seem old-fashioned and obsolete.

This one is in unusually good condition. Just imagine sick and dying lay pondering their ultimate fate~ Can you picture those caring hushed figures checking on the wounded by that gentle light~ and bringing them their last warm sustenance upon this earth?


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