Lit by whale light?
October 14, 2010 11:27 AM Subscribe
Just how much brighter/cleaner/longer did spermaceti candles burn than beeswax or tallow candles?
posted by .kobayashi. to technology (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Lately I've been interested in the history of whaling, and it's given in the literature that spermaceti candles & whale oil lamps were brighter, cleaner, and longer-lasting than other methods of lighting. Okay, but how much more? I haven't seen much by way of good explanations here -- only that it was significant enough for this dangerous venture to be profitable for quite some time. I'd like a better understanding of this. Qualitative or quantitative observations -- or just recommendations for source material -- would be much appreciated.