It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and I fired up a kerosene lantern which was given to me years ago, for the first time. It was given to me by the author of a children’s book that I illustrated. It’s a red glass signal lantern, because the story was about trains. It’s beautiful when lit, the picture below doesn’t show it well.This prompted me to look into oil lamps, and man, what a subject. This looks like fun to explore. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: One of the first oil lamps was the Argand lamp, patented in 1780. It was popular up until about 1850. then kerosene lanterns started being used.
Here’s a link to The Lampworks, the page has an informative time line graph.
This page says that the kerosene lantern ended the whaling industry.
This page has information about kerosene lanterns. It talks about the wicks, the air venting systems, and the surprising number of people still using them today.
Here’s a neat page. It says that the Dietz brand of lanterns aren’t reproductions, but are still made on the old machines. These machines were moved to Hong Kong, then to China.