We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I like lamps and lanterns. I do not care to use kerosene indoors. Lamp oil is fine with me. Whale oil is hard to come by, nowadays. (We have to remember that people like Mr. Rockefeller saved the whales with their oil from the dirt.)
Not feeling confident that the TSA would let me onboard with an oil lamp as a carry-on, I only bought one at the antique shop junk shop in Ohio to which the pupette dragged us a few weeks ago, looking for props for her next digital animation effort. Glad she did - the place was full of cool old junk. Disconcerting, of course, to see stuff for sale as "antique" that was quite ordinary when one was a youngster. Mrs. BD said I should have taken a photo of their supply of old salt and pepper shakers, and she was right. The Mickey and Minnie Mouse ones. Maybe next time.
The place must have had 100 old oil lamps, all sizes and all types. The Amish and Mennonites still use them, and who knows when all of the remote old farms were electrified. On my next trip, now confident that the TSA is cool with them, I think I will stock up on some more of them. We lose power regularly here, and if I cannot read I go insane.
Oil lamps produce a very pleasant light, and small ones are a good alternative to candles on a dining table. You can get repros for high cost, but you can find nice old ones in heartland junk shops for cheap. I am partial to the old green or red-glass ones that look like whorehouse illumination, or the cheesy milk glass ones with flowers painted on the glass that were probably bedroom or parlor lamps, but I bought the one in the picture instead. Large and handsome, I think. $40. I think it's silver plate because it is tarnished in places. It works fine. Most of them were considerably less.
That is a Aladdin lamp and yes they are still being made today and besides the Amish, people in the Alaskan bush and wherever people who live in areas where the electric power is undependable swear by them. While some of the antique collector models can be sold for hundreds of dollars they can be bought new from http://countrylife.lehmans.com/2010/08/18/im-in-love-with-aladdin-lamps/ A amish supply store for as little as $140 or you can find them used for far less. The design is so perfect that lamps made in the 1020s can still work just like new and the parts are all interchangeable. These lights produce as much light as a 60 watt light bulb and can burn kerosene, lamp oil or number 1 diesel. They also put out enough heat to keep a small room above freezing in case you want to keep pipes from freezing. It uses a round wick and a very tall glass chimney that burns so hot the fuel is burned completely so there is little or no kerosene smell like the cheap kerosene lamps sold for emergencies.
Can you tell me what the difference is between lamp oil and kerosene? I use lamp oil now ( got me through a 30 hour power outage a few weeks ago). But in my youth, I seem to remember that my parents used kerosene in what would I would term an Aladdin type lamp. Ours was probably an Aladdin knockoff since I don't remember a 60 W level of light, but it sure did the trick when we lost power.
For new lamps and lanterns plus a huge resource for parts and information check out W.T. Kirkman & Co. (lanternet.com). I've picked a few Dietz lanterns as well as one of their brand as well that work quite well.
One thing they warn about is not to use the Paraffin Oil (liquid candle wax) that is sold as lamp oil at places like Walmart and such. Also, synthetic kerosene burn cleaner and with less odor.
The interesting thing I found was some of the latest lantern designs just came out in the '20s with new innovations. It makes sense but we forget we aren't that far to the time electricity and even oil were only for the well off and urban.
I see that Mr. Goodman provided a link to Lehman's, but I would suggest that you stop by the store next time you're in Ohio. It's not far from your daughter's college and, based on what I see posted here every day, I can guarantee that you would love it. It's a unique and fascinating place.
They take great pride in making sure that older technologies aren't lost.
Don't be confused by the outer form of the thing. You can get rope-wick and round-wick lamps in discount stores, which can burn with a steady yellow flame if built and maintained right. But the Rayo uses a round wick and a means of convecting fresh-air up into the center of the wick as an oxygen supply, for a brighter output from the same amount of fuel. The Deitz seems to use waste heat to blast the fresh air onto the wick, making an almost white light, and the Aladdin uses the round wick and a mantle to give 4x the light output from the same amount of fuel and pure white light.
The wal-mart lamp might be good for ambiance, an Aladdin is good for task lighting.
I have always loved oil lamps, they give off such a nice light. My grandfather still has some he bought in the 40s. He refuses to let me talk him out of them. LOL. But there are so many places to find wicks and fuel for the older ones that it is definitely a treat to find one at a yard sale, thrift shop, etc. However, sometimes the older ones can be hard to find and I have found myself relying on reproductions.