Limelight lamp

Limelight lamp

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Credit: ADAM HART-DAVIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Limelight lamp. Used in theatres and lighthouses in the early 19th century, limelight or calcium lamps burnt a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen over a chunk of lime (calcium oxide). Unfortunately this was a very explosive mixture and many theatres suffered fire damage. In 1839 the Bude lamp was patented by Sir Goldsworthy Gurney (1793- 1875), which overcame these problems. The term "in the limelight" comes from actors being illuminated by these lamps.

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Keywords: 19th century, bude, burning, calcium, calcium oxide, device, early, flame, historical, history of science, instrument, lamp, light, lime, limelight, lit, model, nineteenth, technology, theatre

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