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This oil lamp was invented by AimÉ Argand, the son of a prosperous watchmaker. The lamp, because of its circular wick and glass chimney, gave a much brighter flame, it was a great improvement over other lamps that were used during the latter part of the eighteen century.

In 1780, when he was living in Lower Langndoc, he came up with the idea of a new form of wick for oil lamps based on techniques used for heating spirits of wine, he made his first model which had a metal chimney. Completion of his invention was done when he substituted the glass chimney. after returning to Paris in early 1784.

On August 30, 1785, Argand was given the exclusive right to manufacture and sell glass chimney. Argand gained very little financially from his invention. One of the disadvantages of the original Argand lamp was that the spherical oil reservoir, from which the old was fed to the wick through a horizontal tube, created a shadow when the lamp was lit.