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The most basic oil-lamp form—a shallow dish filled with oil or grease and a partially submerged wick or rag—was used from biblical times to the Victorian era.

Do-it-yourself "slut lamps" could be made by dipping a rag in fat or lard, stuffing it into a bottle mouth, and lighting it.

He learned his lessons well, and by 1904 was a bookkeeper and salesman for the Iowa Soap Company in Burlington, Iowa.

In 1905 Johnson first saw the superior light produced by a German kerosene mantle burner, the “ Practicus.” This lamp was imported into the USA by the Connecticut Trading Company.

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An oil lamp is any vessel that holds oil and an absorbent wick and produces continuous heat or light when lit.

Sources of fuel for oil lamps include a wide variety of plants such as nuts (walnuts, almonds) and seeds (sesame, olive, castor, flax).

They are often associated with stories in which rubbing an oil lamp would summon a genie dwelling in it, like seen in Aladdin.Victor Johnson gave up his steady job in 1907 and formed the Western Lighting Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The company obtained rights to sell the Practicus, foreign-made mantles, and other foreign alcohol-burning lamps.Most modern lamps (such as fueled lanterns) have been replaced by gas-based or petroleum-based fuels to operate when emergency non-electric light is required.Inspect your antique oil lamp from all sides, looking for special markings, signatures or other clues to the lamp's age and manufacturer.

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