When the University of Heidelberg hired Robert Bunsen in 1852, the authorities promised to build him a new laboratory building. Heidelberg had just begun to install coal-gas street lighting, so the new laboratory building was also supplied with gas. The laboratory required heating from the gas as well as illumination. For heating, it was desirable to maximize the temperature and minimize the luminosity. Previous laboratory lamps left much to be desired regarding economy and simplicity, as well as the quality of the flame for a burner lamp.
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