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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Likes: 14 pages

Posts: 344

PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2015 1:36 pm    Post subject: Show us your Historical Lighting         Reply with quote

Swords are a large part of what got me into living history, but period lighting has been equally interesting to me. I participate in 18th century reenactments, and the photo below shows me at a recent event doing presentations on colonial lighting. My collection (all reproduction pieces) include crusies, phoebe lamps, betty lamps, rushlights, splint holders, trammel lamps, spout lamps, time lamps and of course various candle holders.

I would be interested in seeing what others who are involved in living history of various time periods use for period lighting and fire starting. Also, if anyone has period artwork showing various forms of primitive lighting, please include those as well.



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Various lighting implements used during the American Colonial period. [ Download ]

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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2015 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My interest is in firesteels. I wrote an article on the classification of firesteels by time period, which is something that no one else has ever done to my knowledge. (See illustration below from my paper; I can provide a copy of the article is you send me a PM.)

Attached are photos of my firesteel collection (picture is a little outdated as my collection has grown), and my punkwood tinderbox and sulfur spunks.



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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2015 9:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't personally own any such lighting devices, save for a broken antique teacup with a beeswax candle puddled into it (the handle is still in place so it's a handy little mobile thing, shiny inside makes it fairly directional), but here's one of my favorite resources for designs:

http://www.companie-of-st-george.ch/cms/?q=en/Dragons

Scroll down to "Dragons" #9, download and go to page 6... John Howe has reproduced/ interpreted from period artwork in his own sketches, several pages of lanterns and other lighting devices. A good many of them look just like later colonial / early industrial age stuff, only so many ways to make portable light with flame I suppose. Some of them could only exist in the days of full harness.
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Ben R.




Location: Baden - Germany
Joined: 04 Apr 2015

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri 08 May, 2015 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure if "historic" enough but it´s a beauty from the 1920s.


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The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.
Terry Pratchet
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Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sun 10 May, 2015 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a lantern and a candle holder. The lantern is an interpretation of one of the Smithfield lanterns, believed to be circa14th century. This was made by a gentleman in Australia.I installed the horn panes. I still need to figure out a way to peen some rivets holding the upper interior pane. Currently it is held in place with tiny screws and nuts.
The lantern is about 8" tall. The original Smithfield is about 8.5" tall according to some documentation I've read. There is an Illustration of it in the Dragon article mentioned above.

It's none of your bees wax, but both candles are 100% bees wax. I strongly suggest their use. They don't produce as much drip and burn cleaner than paraffin ones you get from craft stores, imo.

The lantern lacks a swag, top ring. Even with a deflector, those types of lanterns can make the wielding hand hot. This one has a side grip handle taking your hand out of the path of the rising heat from the candle flame. and makes it more like holding a flash light.

The lanterns and candle holders are some of my favorite pieces, as they come in handy; not only when camping, but also when we have lost power due to storms. Ever go for a flashlight just to find out the batteries are dead, or worried that the batteries won't outlast the storm? A single candle can last many hours and you can see how much "battery" is left on them at only a glance. On the other hand, my swords and armor are nice, but I haven't had a need to use either of those in any modern sense.
-Terry



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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 100

PostPosted: Sun 10 May, 2015 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's the original "viking lantern" that can be seen on most viking and medieval reenacment markets. It's in a museum in Norway and from the 17th century or so (in other words; neither viking nor medieval...).


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At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Likes: 14 pages

Posts: 344

PostPosted: Sun 10 May, 2015 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Baard, that is an interesting lantern (despite the distorted provenance). What material is the covering of the lantern -- it look like raw hide??
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 696

PostPosted: Sun 10 May, 2015 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry, your firesteel PDF sounds interesting. Do you also have a general guide to using them, history of them, a short page intro about them, that sort of thing? I'd like a copy of the PDF please.

Here's my only historical lighting set, made by Petr Florianek. A firesteel and sulphur spoon, and a piece of flint I found locally (many pieces around here). He used the set in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wikL2L0w4Vo

I'd like to make or have made a small pouch so I can have some tinder ready also. I've thrown a few sparks but haven't tried to start a fire yet, or light a pipe.



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Gullinbursti firesteel set.
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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 100

PostPosted: Mon 11 May, 2015 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, I think the cover is rawhide. Or at least most of the reproductions use it and this looks just like it...
At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2015 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Nicolaysen wrote:
Harry, your firesteel PDF sounds interesting. Do you also have a general guide to using them, history of them, a short page intro about them, that sort of thing?


My paper on flint strikers was specifically written to organize flint strikers by time period. It's a good resource for re-enactors to assist in choosing the correct flint striker for any given period. In order to write such a paper, I also had to figure out some kind of nomenclature and classification scheme of flint strikers to present the data. My paper has a very brief introduction to the history of flint strikers (only a few paragraphs). I did not address the issue of using flint strikers.

An abbreviated version of my paper was posted here:
http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=171766
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2015 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lots of people who are engaged in what is referred to as "bushcraft" use flint and steel and there are lots of "how to's" on Youtube. The easiest way to use flint and steel is to use char cloth but it isn't the most authentic way and you have to make the char cloth. A more authentic way is to use charred punkwood which is wood that has rotted almost to the point of disintegration that is subsequently turned into a type of charcoal. Sparks are "struck" into a container of charred punk wood until a spark ignites the charred punk wood into an ember. The ember is transferred to a "bird's nest" which is loosely speaking a ball of tinder. The tinder and ember are coaxed and blown into a flame and then a fire is lit from the flaming tinder. Accomplishing this makes one feel almost like Prometheus.

I think one of the problems in learning to do this is our language. We say we "struck" a spark when we should really say that we shaved one because the spark is a piece of the very hard steel split off from the striker by the flint.

Similarly we only have the one word for tinder but there are many kinds of tinder, some are flash tinder like cat tail fluff or Milkweed fluff and other tinders are materials that will hold a spark and smoulder until one wants to start a fire. Horse hoof fungus is such a tinder.
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 696

PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Harry, I'll enjoy it.

Ken, nice info. I have found a few things on line, but was mainly just wondering for the sake of completeness of Harry's PdF. I will look into the charred punkwood. Interesting change in usage for "striking," seems like we conflated the form somewhere along the way, ie. Flint was struck v. Striking the Flint. I've been dumbstruck, really.
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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Likes: 14 pages

Posts: 344

PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis -- I'm curious if the strikers in your collection are originals or if they are reproductions. They look too new to be originals, but then I have seen a few originals that were in remarkable shape. If they are reproductions, did you make them yourself, or can you share who made them for you?

Also, I am interested in your spunks. I have made a few, but always heard them referred to as "spalls." I do not have any first hand references though on that name, and so I am wondering if spalls is a misnomer, or if the name changed over the centuries. Any thoughts on that?


J. Nicolaysen -- I love your lighting set! I am unfamiliar with the sulphur spoon. I know the spalls I mentioned above give off noxious fumes when the sulphur is burning. A rough way to light your pipe! Tell me, when the sulphur ignites, is there a way you put it out again for future use, or is all of the sulphur consumed in one use?

Sic Semper Tyranus
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Strikers
All of my strikers are brand-spanking-new reproductions, some of which I commissioned Iron Bay Forge to make, based on historical reproductions.

Spunks
I've always heard and used the term "spunks" for sulfur matches. Never heard or read of the term "spalls."

Fire Starting

Here is a very interesting blog series:
Part One
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/02...-fire.html

Part Two
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/02...steel.html

Part Three
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/02...steel.html

Part Four
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/02...steel.html

Part Five
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/02...t-and.html

Part Six
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/02...steel.html

Flint Striker Merchants

My personal favorites:
Iron Bay
Jelling Dragon
Primal Connection
D&B Primitive Forgeworks

Not all of the forges carry a stock all of the time

Black Bear Forge
http://www.blackbearforge.com/index.html

Esteland Forge
http://www.etsy.com/shop/EstelandForge?ref=seller_info

Forge on the Ridge
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ForgeontheRidge

George Forge
http://www.georgeforge.com/

Greenman Bushcrafts
http://www.greenmanbushcraft.co.uk/

Iron Bay Forge
https://www.etsy.com/shop/IronBayForge

Jelling Dragon
http://www.jelldragon.com/

Kresalo
http://steelstriker.com/

Liberty Forge
https://www.etsy.com/shop/LibertyForge

Midwest native Skills Institute
http://www.survivalschool.com/

Mountain Forge
http://www.themountainforge.com/

Neolithics
http://www.neolithics.com/
(Bulk flint flakes)

Northan
http://www.northan.net/

Peter Szabo Weaponsmith
http://szaboweaponsmith.wix.com/szabo
http://facebook.com/PeterSzaboWeaponsmith

Pioneer Arms
http://pioneerarms.com/

Primal Connection
http://www.primalconnection.com/

Darrel Aune
D&B Primitive Forgeworks
http://stores.ebay.com/dbprimitiveforgeworks

Ragweed Forge
http://www.ragweedforge.com/

Ray Mears Bushcraft
http://www.raymears.com/

Shark Designs
http://www.sharkdesigns.co.uk/

Smoke & Fire Company
https://www.smoke-fire.com/

Tinker's Forge
http://www.tinkersforge.com/

Woodland Ways
http://www.woodland-ways.co.uk/
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 696

PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2015 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Tell me, when the sulphur ignites, is there a way you put it out again for future use, or is all of the sulphur consumed in one use?


Thanks Chris, glad you like it!

I have no idea Sad. Most of the time with all this stuff I do some obsessive research and then finally take the plunge and buy something, but sometimes I have to just buy something and try to figure out why I like it. Because I like what I see I guess and then want to learn about it. This is one of those latter times. If I find out I'll let you know.

Gullinbursti had a few of these firesteels go for silent auction last year and I guess it seemed like a good thing for me to get for the kit. I had almost got one on Jelling Dragon, but then saw these go on his FB page. The spoon is antler and has Petr's great carving even in such a small place. The top part of the firesteel is bronze.

Anyhow, I found this interesting page which has just a brief mention and some nice pictures of sulphur spoons and their use: http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/topic/3017#.VVLNV45VhBc


Harry, Thanks for all the links above! Good reading.


Last edited by J. Nicolaysen on Wed 13 May, 2015 6:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Tue 12 May, 2015 11:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry,
Just read through your summary on the Armour Archive. Excellent work and a useful resource.
Three observations though.

1. You separate 'Dark Ages' from the Medieval Period when it is actually a part of that period (Medieval being the period from the collapse of Imperial control in the West to the Renaissance). Perhaps reclassifying using Early, Middle and Late medieval would make more sense?

2. You've missed out all of the early Anglo Saxon/Merovingian purse mounted strikers from the 6th/7th century.
http://anglosaxondiscovery.ashmolean.org/Life...mpton.html
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/5d/a1/c2/5da1c2cb17f00989a080e3a34e98eb71.jpg

3.Also absent are the pre-Viking striker types of Scandinavia, which are either narrow rods or flat bars, as per the two examples in this picture. The rod with wooden handle is the most common form, based on the many dozens of examples recovered from the Danish bog deposits, notably Illerup Adal.
http://www.illerup.dk/images/06b.jpg


A very good tinder material can be made from Fomes fomentarius (tinder fungus or hoof fungus). It requires a bit of processing but can hold a smouldering spark for hours, possibly days. It's been used for at least 5000 years (Otzi the Iceman was carrying 4 processed pieces when he died).

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Wed 13 May, 2015 7:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The flame of burning sulfur can be blown out and lit again later. It melts into a liquid in the spoon and the solidifies again when it cools. Burning sulfur is NASTY STUFF and a serious lung irritant. If you make sulfur spunks, use less sulfur, not more. The spunks in my photo above have twice as much sulfur as you really need.

Thanks for all of the input, will do some more research.
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