510 History of Wake Forest College
next morning the Society voted him their highest appreciation; and
well they might since by his heroic service the life of the College
Building was prolonged for more than eighty years. After this the
Society had camphene for sale, but used no more of it in their lamps.
Soon both Societies were using kerosene, which from about 1860 they
were able to procure from the local merchants. For the other
illuminating fuels they had to go to Raleigh and buy them from Peter
Francisco Pescud, wholesale and retail druggist. The price of kerosene
was about one dollar and fifty cents a gallon, but after the opening of
the War it rose to two dollars and for the last purchase of the
Euzelians, January 25, 1862, ten dollars was paid for three gallons.
The care of the lamps was a great task. Those purchased in 1849
were swinging lamps, and hung very high when suspended from the
ceiling. The Philomathesians after several months of investigation of
methods to lower their lamp finally decided to get a "wooden horse"
to enable them to light it where it was, which they continued to use,
though when they bought the new lamp in 1854 they lengthened the
chain somewhat. The Euzelians procured "a pair of steps" for the
These lights with all care and attention proved unsatisfactory. The
Philomathesians at first appointed one of their members to attend to
the lamp, but this was such an unpopular office that it was soon
abandoned,13 and Bill Pearce, a colored servant, was voted two dollars
for lighting the lamp, a service he continued to render for some
months. The lamp, however, would get out of fix. On March 7, 1851,
a committee was appointed to look after it, and the next Saturday
reported that they had succeeded in making it "give the very fine
light" desired by the Society. Like other lamps of more recent days
this elegant lamp was soon back at its old bad habits, and as we have
seen, in 1854, was brought down from its eminence, to make place for
another higher-priced if not better. After lying around as an eyesore
for a year it was sold for two dollars and fifty cents.
13 Phi. Records, March 2,