Light has remained the single most important thing in the world where one cannot escape the ever-lurking darkness, be it in the language, or nature. To swipe away this darkness, evolution and needs of a human being has led him to discover things like Lamps.
In this blog, our editors will try to jot-down a precise timeline to the invention of Lamps, from early humans to electric bulbs.
1. The invention of lamps can be tracked from the times when the early humans first discovered that they can control fire (around 100,000 years ago).
2. Oil-based Lamps were produced during the times of Babylonians and Romans but soon were out of vogue during the Dark Ages.
3. It is said that the earliest lamp was shell-shaped, found in the Middle East of the Mediterranean Area. As per some sources, these lamps were ignited through animal fat or moss inside hollow rocks.
4. There have been many more traces found of early lamps.
- In ancient Egypt and China, saucer lamp was made of bronze or pottery, with a system to control burning.
- In Africa too such lamp-types have been found with a hanging facility over the edge of the lamp. It later spread to East Asia.
- In 7 BCE Greece, the lamp was developed in a cup, which was shallow and like a pot, covered with a ring-like handle. A hole was there on the top for filling in the oil.
- Terra-cotta lamps were begun by the Romans, along with its later metal version.
5. One piece of the evidence of lamp can be found inside the tomb of Tutankhamun. It was filled with oil and with a wick, through which it was lit. It was chalice-shaped and dated back to Ancient Egypt, 1333-1323 BC.
6. Nonetheless, it can be agreed that, for most of the time after the first oil-based lamps, people for the next 2,000 years based their lives on tallow candles burnt again with animal fat until the middle and late 18th century. Simultaneously, coal gas and distilled wood continued as well. Coal was used in the 1780s as a fuel. The distilled wood was used during the late 1790s.
7. Until the 18th century, the primary fuel to burn a lamp were mostly olive oil, beeswax, tallow, fish oil and whale oil.
8. Nonetheless, it can be agreed that, for most of the time after the first oil-based lamp, people for the next 2,000 years based their lives on tallow candles burnt again with animal fat until the late 1850s.
9. It was in the year in the late 1850s that the first kerosene/paraffin lamps came into being, with the discovery of petroleum oil.
10. In the 18th century, the central burner was found. Along with it, the discovery of producing flame through the use of glass chimney and aeration. This led to the invention of Gas Lamps.
11. It was not until the 19th century when electric lamps were discovered while continued experimentations with the gas lamps.
12. With the invention of incandescent electric lamps in 1870–in which the light of the filament was white (not yellow) when the electric current was released–the modern-day lamps finally came into existence.
13. With the discovery of modern electric lamps, many more variations, experimentations and different possible materials to make light were discovered. These include neon lights (1901), vapour lamps (1911), tungsten (1915), fluorescent (1927) and halogen (1959), whose improvised version was made during the 1970s.
In India, the electric street lamps were used on 5 August 1905, around the KR Market, Bengaluru. The city of Bengaluru also then became the first city ever in Asia to use electric lamps for street-lighting.
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A dedicated educator and writer, a humble colleague, an understanding friend, advisor to many, yet learning from many more. All this defines a young lady named Anushree Warulkar as she has earned every word mentioned here.