On page 160, we presented some extracts from an article taken from the Haverhill " Ga zette," Mass., on the subject of Burning Fluids I and Newell's Lamp. The article stated that holes were made in the lid of said lamp at the suggestion of Dr. Jackson, of Boston. Mr. Newell has written us a letter asserting that : this is not true, and Dr. Jaekson himself has also called upon us, and stated that he never made such a suggestion. The statement, then, in the Haverhill " Gazette " is not reliable. Before we made any remarks on the article referred to, we examined the list of patent claims to discover whether—mdash;as was therein alleged—mdash;Isaac Jennings, of New York City, had invented a Wire Gauze Lamp to prevent explosions, in 1836; we could not discover then, as we stated, and have not since, any claim set up for using wire gauze in a lamp like that of Mr. Newell's. We have discoun tenanced the use of the common burning fluids in houses where there are servants or children. The most ingenious lamps and feeders may be employed, but careless and timorous persons will sometimes spill the fluid, and we have seen more than one explosion caused by such means, independent of lamp or vessel contain ing the fluid. There is no fluid, however, so clean and beautiful for artificial illumination, as that of a mixture of alcohol and turpentine distilled together. We have been informed by a friend in Boston, that no turmeric colored fluids were sold there, but a mixture of alco holic solutions and resins. This gentleman uses a hydro-carbon fluid, mixed with diluted alcohol, which affords an enduring and beau tiful light, although containing 20 per cent, of water, which lessens its dangerous qualities, but which, at the same time, detracts from its illuminating powers. If sold, however, at a price, in proportion to its cost; such a fluid is preferable to a more concentrated one. This gentleman, who is a distinguished chemist, has submitted Newell's Lamp to several severe tests, and although strongly prejudiced against the use of burning fluid, he says the said lamp under no condition failed to prevent an explosion.
This article was originally published with the title "Burning Fluids—Newell's Wire Gauze Lamp" in Scientific American 8, 22, 173 (February 1853)