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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

How to use an oil lamp with update

November 15, 2015

I believe that we should always be prepared the best we can to take care of ourselves and to not be completely dependent of modern conveniences. If not, we could be miserable for an extended time.

This post is about oil lamps. We have oil lamps throughout our house and when we have a power outage we simply light up our rooms by lighting our oil lamps and we simply continue on without a lot of issues. 

There is a bit more to keeping an oil lamp than just letting it sit around.

It is best to get to know your lamps. You can purchase these in many places and if you like to go to thrift shops they often have them for a small amount of money.

It is very important to shape the wick otherwise it will burn odd and you will not get your best light.

This is a flat wick and will not burn well. Advance the wick up and I like to trim the wick to a curved shape.

Sorry about the dusty top, I forgot to wipe it. Notice the curved shape this was the one with the flat wick. This will burn nice and smooth  now that it has been trimmed.

Nice round burn. Just right.

This wick I trimmed slightly higher on the left so now I have an odd burn. I went back and trimmed it more round and it burned better. It does make a big difference if it is not trimmed properly.

Notice the two oil lamps the first one to the left is burning smooth and the one on the right tilts to the right because I did not round it very well.

I really like the lamp with the shade and it burns really nice and bright as long as the wick is rounded. 

To do this roll the wick up and trim and then roll it back down and light it when it is under the metal.

A nice round burn.

We should gather our oil lamps every so often and check our wicks and clean the globes. Tomorrow I will wash the globes and put them back where they were. I have two more lamps to check tonight. 

My suggestion is to burn them every so often so you can get use to them. I use the unscented oil and I have a container of wicks. If you trim the wicks properly they will last a long time. There is no need to turn the wick up high (above the metal). We keep spare oil and always keep oil in our lamps because when they are needed you can simply light them. If you put oil in a dry lamp it takes a good while for the oil to soak up in the wick.

Candles are good too but make sure you have them in appropriate holders. We use unscented candles and there are more healthy options in candles than there use to be.

Never leave oil lamps or candles unattended. Always blow them out if you go to sleep or leave the house.

If you need a lot of light to read or play a game then simply bring your lamps together instead of turning them up. By turning them up too high the lamp may smoke and the wick will not burn properly.


I washed all the globes and the outside of the lamps. I replaced one wick, the rest were all good. I filled all the lamps.

Filling the lamps can get a bit messy so put the lamp on a paper towel before filling.

If the glass globe is shaky or rocks then adjust these four metal shade prongs to tighten around the globe.

This is a clear oil that I use. The danger on the label is harmful to swallow so keep this out of reach of children.

I never fill it all the way to the top to allow for expansion. 

An oil lamp will not put out a bright light but it is sufficient lighting during a power outage. Like I mentioned before put several together and that will add more light.

Always turn the wick back down to light and try and keep it below the metal part to keep it from smoking and to allow it to burn properly.

I hope this helps. Grandma Donna

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