Oil Lamp Hardware Glossary

Some people adore the old-world quality of an oil lamp. When it comes to retrofitting an oil lamp, knowing which parts to purchase can seem like an uphill battle. Luckily, Antique Lamp Supply has more than 60 years of experience in the lighting industry, and we have the expertise necessary to complete any oil lamp restoration with your best foot forward. We compiled a comprehensive glossary to help you identify and understand the different hardware terms you may come across in your search. Refer to our oil lamp hardware glossary to learn more about the important components and fittings of a traditional light fixture.

Arm: An ornamental bracket that attaches an oil lamp or lantern to the wall.

Base: The bottom portion of an oil lamp upon which the lamp rests.

Bowl: A metal bowl-shaped apparatus upon which an oil lamp or lantern is mounted and affixed to the wall by an arm.

Burner: A device that produces the flame in an oil lamp. A burner typically consists of a metal enclosure, a wick, a series of holes to ensure combustion, and a wick adjustment knob. Additional air flow can be controlled with a chimney.

Burner Collar: A threaded metal ring or band that enables the burner to be attached to the font.

Central Draft: A type of burner that consists of a hollow tube running through the center of the font or lamp.

Chimney: A glass or metal enclosure that helps control the flow of air to and around a lamp burner.

Connector: A metal device that connects the lamp stem to the lamp fount.

Crown: A decorative ring that secures the shade from the top of a hanging oil lamp.

Expander: A threaded metal ring that enables a lamp collar to accept the next size burner.

Extinguisher: A burner device that allows a flame to be extinguished, typically by depressing a lever that raises a sleeve over the wick tube and snuffs out the flame.

Filler Cap: A removable, threaded cover that allows fuel to be added to the font without needing to remove the burner.

Flame Spreader: A small, perforated component that directs airflow into the center of the flame and deflects the flame outward and upward to produce brighter light output.

Font (Fount): A glass or metal reservoir that holds the liquid fuel in a lamp.

Font Cap: A hinged lid that allows the flame within an oil lamp to burn for longer periods of time.

Gallery: The circular metal ring on the top of a burner that accepts the chimney.

Globe: Another word for a lampshade, particularly one that takes the shape of a ball.

Harp: The frame that holds the fount and supports the shade in a hanging oil lamp.

Inner Wick Tube: The tubular center of a burner that holds the flame spreader and channels air for combustion.

Outer Wick Tube: An internal component of a burner that encases the wick.

Pedestal: A type of columnized base or foot of an oil lamp.

Reflector: An oil lantern device that has a reflective surface and is specially designed to increase or concentrate light output in a specific direction.

Shade: A glass piece of varying shape that diffuses light and decorates the oil lamp.

Shade Holder: A metal fitting that supports a glass lampshade or globe resting on the burner.

Tripod: A type of shade holder that has three-pronged arms to support a fragile lampshade or globe.

Wick: A woven ribbon, cord, or cylinder that draws the kerosene or oil into the burner from the font. Typically made of cotton or other natural fibers.

Wick Raiser Knob: The apparatus or metal arm that raises and lowers the wick to adjust flame height.

We offer a wide selection of components and accessories for a variety of oil lamps. Please feel free to contact us today with any questions about this oil lamp glossary or our hardware selection. One of our friendly and experienced lamp specialists is here to help you find all the fittings and hardware you need to restore your old oil lamp.