As seen in South Carolina Homes & Gardens | March – April 2004
Everything old becomes new again. There is no doubt about that. Sometimes it can be a regrettable thing and sometimes it’s much more pleasing. But sometimes, on rare occasions, something will come back into vogue that manages to transport the essence of what was wonderful about a time long gone, and bring it into our lives. Something like classic beauty – the soft, personal look of charm rather than the harsh, bare functionality that can be found today. Something like the romance of flickering flame, lighting your way. Something like old world gas lighting, or, to be more specific, Charleston-style gas lights. Classic in design, yet beautifully understated, many style of the handcrafted Charleston Lantern have withstood the test of time.
Gas lanterns that once graced the finest homes, inns and streetscapes of historic Charleston have found a modern resurgence on commercial establishments, downtown treasures, island getaways, mountain retreats and custom homes throughout the South and beyond. Many factors contribute to the revival of gas lighting. The most obvious, perhaps, is that the atmosphere created by an open-flam gas lantern is unbeatable. You can leave the stress of the modern world behind when a Charleston-style lanterns’ soft flickering light from a bygone age greets you at your front door. More practical reasons contribute, as well. More people have access to gas than they did a few years ago. The increasing demand for gas appliances in new home construction means that energy utilities are now offering natural gas in areas where it was previously unavailable. Where Natural Gas is not services, LP Gas provides a convenient alternative. And people are becoming more money-conscience; more aware of how their home is their largest investment. More than nearly any other augmentation on new or remodeled homes, gas lanterns provide a key advantage when it comes time to list a home for sale. Gas lighting in general, however, does not have all of the benefits that a homeowner is looking for. It really is better and smarter to decide on a copper lantern when making your choice. Copper is made to last. All metals oxidize when exposed to air. This is especially true in the corrosive salt air of the South Carolina Lowcountry. When iron oxidizes, it rusts. When aluminum oxidizes, it corrodes and eventually falls apart. When brass oxidizes, it pits and loses its shine and luster. However, when Copper oxidizes, the top layer of metal forms a beautiful patina finish that protects the metal underneath from even the harshest environments and weather conditions.
The true beauty of going with an old classic is the assurance that it will not go out of style. Ten years from now, you will still be proud of your gas lantern. And considering the fact that they have been around for hundreds of years, it’s safe to say that your gas lantern will still look beautiful for your grandchildren.
Special thanks to the staff of Carolina Lanterns and Accessories, 917 Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. They can be reached by telephone at 843-881-4170 or toll free at 877-881-4173. Or you could access their website for more information – www.carolinalanterns.com.