Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kerosene And it's many uses

Below are some excerpts with regard to Kerosene and Kerosene Lamps. I like the first one because the author admits that it isn't a fun task to take care of a kerosene lamp. I have cleaned a few in my day and it is a messy job.

ANOTHER disagreeable feature of household work is the care of kerosene lamps, for even where houses are supplied with gas, reading-lamps are often preferred on account of their steady white light. By exercising great neatness in handling the oil, and Keeping all cloths and trimming implements on a large tray exposed to the air but little odor of oil will be perceptible. After trimming the lamps turn the wicks down below the top of the burners to avoid the slight overflow of oil which makes the tops of the lamps greasy when the wicks protrude.
After the lamps are filled do not stand them in a warm place lest sufficient gas be generated to cause an explosion, over the stove, for instance, or upon the hot mantelshelf, and do not continue to burn a halfempty lamp for the same reason. It seems almost incredible that any one should attempt to fill a lamp while it is lighted, or in the immediate vicinity of a flame, but frequent accidents attest the necessity for this caution. Remember, then, that heat generates from the oil a volatile gas which ignites at any neighboring flame, and ex
filodes with most disastrous consequences, t is not the oil which explodes. A lighted match can be thrown into good oil without causing an explosion. In case of an accident by the ignition of gas from spilled kerosene oil do not attempt to quench the flames with water; it only provides additional fuel for them. Either smother the fire with woolen carpet or heavy woolen cloth, or throw sand or dry flour upon it to absorb the oil and destroy the evolution of gas from it. Some fire grenades and hand fire-engines contain a chemical composition which quenches flame upon contact with it, but there is safety in the flour and woolen cloth.


Many think that a bright steady light from a kerosene lamp is the best artificial light for the eye.
Rub the teakettle with kerosene, and a beautiful polish may be obtained with a dry flannel cloth afterward.
Kerosene is excellent for cleaning windows. Add a very little to each dish of water used. It will prevent sticking when judiciously used in boiled starch. It will remove rust from steel and iron tools. Kerosene is excellent for chilblains.
Rub stoves and the pipe with it before storing.


Lamp chimneys can be washed easily by holding them over the nose of the tea-kettle when the kettle is boiling furiously. This will make them beautifully clear. Of course they must be wiped with a clean cloth.

Many of these are the same as the above but there are a few differences and additions.
Kerosene—Its Uses.
Oil-cloth is much brightened if rubbed with kerosene. Iron and polished steel, knives, etc., may be kept from rusting by wiping them over before putting them away with a cloth which has been soaked in a little kerosene. Kerosene brightens silver. Lamp chimneys cleaned with newspaper which has been dipped in kerosene look much clearer than when washed in any other way. In washing clothes a tablespoonful of kerosene greatly helps the rubbing. Rusty flat irons should be rubbed with kerosene. Dirty paint is best cleaned by rubbing with a cloth wetted with kerosene. It is also good for sore throats: pour some on flannel and wrap the throat round with it. It also heals cuts and chilblains.


Kerosene will make the tin tea-kettle as new. Saturate a woolen rag, and rub with it. It will also remove stains from clean varnished furniture.


To Kerosene Lamps. These aro so much used that a few hints on their management will no doubt be acceptable. There are very few common illuminating substancss that produce a light as brilliant and steady as kerosene oil, but its full brilliancy is rarely attained, through want of attention to certain requisite points in its management. By following the directions here given, the greatest amount of light will be obtained, combined with economy in the con. sumption of the oil. The wick, oil, lamp, and all its appurtenances, must be perfectly clean. The chimney must be not only clean, but clear and bright. The wick must be trimmed exactly square, across the wick-tube, and not over the curved top of the cupola used to spread the flame; after trimming, raise the wick, and cut off the extreme corners or oints. A wick cannot be trimmed well with ull scissors; the sharper the scissors, the better the shape of the fame. These hints, simple as they appear, are greatly disregarded, and the consequence is a flame dull, yellow, and apt to smoke. The burners made with an immovable cupola, and straight, cylindrical chimneys, require especial care in trimming; the wick has to be raised above the £ and has therefore no support when being trimmed. A kerosene lamp, with the wick turned down, so as to make a small flame, should not be placed in a sleeping room at night. A wick made of felt is greatly superior in every way to the common cotton wicks.


To Keep Kerosene Lamps from getting greasy. The upper part of a kerosene oil lamp, after standing for a short time, frequently gets oily, from the condensation of the vapor of the oil. This will be greatly, if not entirely prevented, by taking a piece of felt and cutting a hole in it so as to fit exactly around the socket into which the burner is screwed; trim the felt off so as to leave a rim about $ inch wide, and place this felt ring on the socket.


  1. As a writer of historical fiction, I appreciate this posting. I remember both grandmothers and my mother using them. Mother kept hers for those rare times when the electricity went out. I still smell the kerosene, feel the warmth of the flame, and see the dark smudge on the chimney. Not fun to clean. Mother kept a glass jar of kerosene in a dark recess of a lower cabinet for multiple purposes. Thanks for this.

  2. Interesting read. I used to help Grandma clean the Kerosene lamps and what a chore that was. They looked so pretty at night with the flame dancing, making shadows on the walls. It was one of the delights of my childhood. Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane.