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Brief History Of Oil Lamps

Brief History Of Oil Lamps

Oil lamps date back to the Stone Age and early man. These were man’s first source of light once night fell. Oil lamps in the Stone Age were very crude–made from seashells or stones, with animal fat or moss coated with pine pitch as the fuel. In Roman times, these lamps were widely used and made from clay with cloth wicks. Olive oil was used as the fuel in oil lamps by early Greeks and Romans. At nightfall, a gentle call could be heard, ‘It’s lamp lighting time’… oil lamps were then lit, illuminating the night.

Having the ability to light their homes at night with oil lamps was a huge leap forward for early civilizations. By the light of oil lamps, work could be done at night, and there was a much greater feeling of security. Early oil lamps held multiple wicks, as many as four, producing an even brighter light than would be projected from one wick.

The light of oil lamps casts a warm glow, and one can imagine seeing an ancient city at night illuminated by a soft golden glow from thousands of oil lamps. It is easy to forget that early man relied exclusively upon oil lamps, before the advent of lamps lit by natural gas or electricity. The light bulb was not invented until the late 1800’s, so for many centuries, oil lamps were the only source of light.

The progression of Oil Lamps

At the turn of the century, there were many new designs of oil lamps, most with glass chimneys to protect the wick from being blown out. Whale oil was a common fuel source for oil lamps at that time. However, there was an inherent danger with oil lamps, as there is with any light source using a flame—if toppled, fire would quickly spread. ‘Hurricane lamps’ are part of the family of oil lamps—cloth wicks burn liquid paraffin inside a ‘portable’ oil lamp.

One legend is the great fire that burned down much of Chicago in the late 1800’s was caused by a hurricane lamp falling over in the O’Leary’s dairy barn. Whether or not true, one fact is not refutable: oil lamps should never be left unattended. Today, we no longer require the light from oil lamps, except when there is a power outage. When that occurs, oil lamps are once again necessary and important, as they have been from the dawn of man, when oil lamps were the only light source in the dark.

The use of Oil Lamps Today

Since the advent of electricity, oil lamps have progressively lost functionality and usage among the civilizations of the world. As stated above, the only time that they are really a necessity is when the power goes out from a storm or otherwise. The use of these lamps has shifted almost exclusively to become pieces of decor.

Many people find the old oil lamps particularly attractive as antique pieces and will decorate their houses with these lamps. Other people have been innovative and crated entirely new types of lamps – some that float in water, others that have decorative scenes inside them and still others that have multiple uses. Whether camping in the woods, or wanting to use these lamps for decoration, oil lamps can and will always be a staple of human society. Without these lamps, we may have never even ventured out of the stone age and into the iron age!

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India Seeks Place On The Kids Fashion Map

India Seeks Place On The Kids Fashion Map

It won’t have escaped anyone’s attention that the world’s obsession with style and more particularly the right labels now extends very much into the world of kid’s fashion. Younger and younger children are taking a strong interest in what they wear and the latest trends and stylish parents are anxious for their kids to outshine their peers.

Junior Fashionistas

There is certainly big money in the rapidly growing market of children’s fashion. The days of kids largely sporting cheap garments from Woolworths and cast offs from their siblings are gone for good. Youngsters closely follow their favorite fashionistas online and in the media and even the youngest wannabes are conscious about what they wear. The kids have icons their own age to follow with the likes of Suri Cruise being closely watched. Parents are keen to have the best presented offspring too and all this adds up to a rapidly expanding market for junior fashion.

Haute Couture and Scandinavian Style

Top fashion designers are jumping on the bandwagon with one big name after another introducing kid’s ranges to their collections. Every day another top designer expresses the desire to create a junior range. For those with the desire but not the money to dress their kids in designer outfits a number of rental services are appearing online. Here parents can hire garments from the top labels and return them when they are done.

Away from the world of haute couture, a rash of Scandinavian brands have met with great success by bringing the region’s sense of fun and practicality to the market with highly successful brands like Katvig and Molo. Stylish mini me styles from the likes of Pale Cloud have also been a big hit. The Spanish are getting in on the act with kids clothes from Bobo Choses and Mayoral and now India is trying to grab a bigger slice of the global kids fashion market.

Fashion Week

Fashion weeks dedicated to children’s styles are springing up across the globe. This month sees the second India Kids Fashion Week which will take place in Mumbai 18 & 19 January at the Lalit hotel. India is engaging in a big push to put itself firmly on the global map of kid’s fashion and the event will showcase the collections of both top brands and designers from across the nation.

The brands on show will include Libero, Adorable Ones and Oks Boys and designers like Niska Lulla, Archana Kochhar, Kanchan Bawa and Pooja Jhunjunwala will see their latest styles take to the catwalk.

Global Platform

Time will tell if Indian designers can produce the styles that will have the universal appeal to grab a big slice of kids fashion cake. The cake is certainly growing and so there is room for new names to break through and they could come from India. With a rich history in textile production the country is a natural home for fashion but will the styles on display appeal only to the Indian market or can they replicate the success of the Scandinavians in the western world?

 

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