Oil lamp  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

An oil lamp is a simple vessel used to produce light continuously for a period of time, from an oil-based fuel source. The use of oil lamps began thousands of years ago and extends to the present day.

Oil lamps have traditionally been used as a basic form of lighting, and were widely used as an alternative to candles prior to the era of electric lights. Starting in 1780 the Argand lamp quickly replaced earlier oil lamps still in their basic ancient form. These were, in turn, replaced by the kerosene lamp in about 1850. In small towns and rural areas these continued in use well into the 20th century, until such areas were finally electrified, and light bulbs could be used for lighting.

Most modern non-electric lamps (such as lanterns) have been replaced with gas-based or petroleum-based fuels as they are safer to operate when emergency non-electric light is required. As such, oil lamps of today are primarily used for the particular ambiance they produce, or in rituals and religious ceremonies.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Oil lamp" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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