Fire and Lighting, p.283.

[Scottish National Memorials Contents]

   TWO STEELS AND FLINT, used before the introduction of Lucifer Matches. 

(1377) Lent by THOMAS SMELLIE. 

   The percussion of flint and steel was the only method of obtaining fire in common use in Scotland till the introduction of lucifer matches, which became known only between 1835 and 1840. For obtaining a light with flint and steel, the sparks struck off were allowed to fall into a tinder-box, loosely filled with charred fragments of linen and cotton. These readily ignited, and from the glowing mass, flame was obtained by a ‘spunk’ or splinter of wood tipped with sulphur. The flint and steel continued to be used by the rural population long after the introduction of lucifer matches, but only for pipe-lighting. ‘Match-paper,’ a bibulous paper soaked in a solution of saltpetre was for this use an essential adjunct of the flint and steel. A fragment of the paper was laid over the flint, close to the surface of concussion, and the sparks dexterously struck from the flint quickly ignited the prepared paper. 

   STRIKE-FIRE AND TINDER-BOX, with pistol lock. This was a convenient form of flint and steel in which the flint lock arrangement of a gun was used, the sparks falling into a box of ‘tinder’ placed directly under the box. 

(1288) Lent by ROBERT GLEN. 

   FLINT LOCK STRIKE-FIRE, in pistol form, with brass stock. 

(1289) Lent by ROBERT GLEN. 

   STRIKE-FIRE AND TINDER-BOX in pistol form with flint lock. 

(1378) Lent by J. B. A. McKINNEL. 

   STRIKE-FIRE AND TINDER-BOX, in pistol form, with flint lock. 


   CRUISIE LAMP. The Cruisie was the primitive form of oil-lamp which continued to be in common use in rural Scotland till after the middle of this century, when first naphtha lamps for burning the ‘spirit’ distilled from gas-tar, and subsequently paraffin lamps, for the illuminants from mineral oils generally, supplanted the ancient lamps in which comparatively expensive fixed oils were consumed. The Cruisie consisted of two open shells or reservoirs of hammered iron the upper for receiving the oil and wick, and the under for catching any overflow from the upper shell. The wick consisted either of the pith of rushes or of lightly twisted threads. In the cruisie there was an arrangement for tilting up the upper shell so as to bring the oil-supply close to the point of combustion, but beyond that there was absolutely no device for producing efficient illuminating effect. 

(1428) Lent by JAMES AITCHISON. 

   TWO OLD CRUISIES, on wooden stand. 

(1388) Lent by MRS. MOWBRAY. 

   IRON CANDLESTICK. Formerly used in the ‘auld kirk of Stanhous,’ Lanarkshire. 

(1419) Lent by J. B. DALZELL. 

   PAIR OF TURNED AND CARVED WOODEN CANDLESTICKS, with brass sockets, on tripod feet, made in Clackmannanshire, early in the eighteenth century. This form of candlestick was in general use in good Scottish houses during the eighteenth century. 

(1379) Lent by DR. THOMAS D. BUCHANAN. 

   PAIR OF SCOTCH CANDLESTICKS, of the eighteenth century, of mahogany inlaid with ebony and satin-wood in the form of a Doric pillar. 

(1425) Lent by COL. W. W. HOZIER. 

   CANDELABRUM, in silver, with figures and bas-relief illustrating the traditional origin of the Hay family. Presented to George, eighth Marquis of Tweeddale, on resigning the Governorship of Madras, 1842. 

(1398) Lent by the MARQUIS OF TWEEDDALE. 

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