Lighting the early American household was expensive, and a well-lighted home was hallmark of hospitality. Many 18th and 19th century writers mention brilliantly lighted entertainments, and often comment on the number of candles and lighting devices used to illuminate dinners and balls. Winterthur’s extensive collection of antique lighting designs includes many objects crafted from gilded metal, brass and cut glass, materials which were prized in the past for their ability to enhance and reflect light.