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DO you know what a betty-lamp is? We have two
in our house, which were brought over by Captain
Pierce of the Lyon, as a gift to my mother.
You, who have more or less trouble with your rush
lights, cannot fancy how luxurious it is to have one of
these betty-lamps, which costs in care no more than is
required to fill them with grease or oil.
Fearing lest you may not know what these lamps are,
which Susan's mother says should be called brown-bettys,
I will do my best to set down here such a
description as shall bring them before you.
The two which we have are made of brass; but
Captain Pierce says they are also to be found of pewter
or of iron.
These are round, and very much the same shape
as half an apple, save that they have a nose an inch or
two long, which sticks out from one side. The body
of the bowl is filled with tallow or grease, and
the wick, or a piece of twisted cloth, is threaded
into the nose, with one end hanging out to be
Ours hang by chains from the ceiling, and the
light which they give is certainly equal to, if not
stronger than, that of a wax candle; but they
 are not so cleanly, because if the wick be ever so little
too long, the lamps send forth a great smoke.
Father says he has seen a phoebe-lamp, which is
much like our betty-lamps, save that it has a small cup
underneath the nose to catch the dripping grease, and
that I think would be a great improvement, if indeed it
is possible to improve upon so useful an article of
household furniture as this.
Speaking of our betty-lamps reminds me that Susan's
mother had sent over to her in the Lyon, a set of cob
irons, which are something after the fashion of andirons,
or fire-dogs, save that
they are also intended
to hold the spit and the
dripping pan. She had
also a pair of "creepers,"
which are small
which she sometimes used with
the cob irons.
The andirons which we brought from England are
much too fine to be used in this fireplace, which is filled
with pothooks, trammels, hakes, and other cooking
They were a wedding present to my mother, and are
in what we call "sets of three," meaning that on each
 side of the fireplace are three andirons; one to hold the
heavy logs that arc at the bottom of the fire; another
raised still higher to bear the weight of the smaller
sticks, and a third for much the same purpose as the
second; or, perhaps, to make up more of an ornament,
for they are of iron and brass, and are exceeding
beautiful to look upon.
I have used the words trammels and hakes, but it is
possible that you may not know their meaning, and so
I will add by way of explanation that though they are
both hooks upon which we may hang pots and kettles,
the trammel is so constructed that it may be lengthened
or shortened, being made of two parts.