Primitive Lighting.

Discussion in 'Going Off The Grid' started by Keith H., Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    We lived for over 20 years with no electricity, we are still off grid, but now we have solar power. For those years without electricity our lighting was basic & primitive but adequate. We made our own candles from tallow & wax, we used rush lights & grease lamps. The tallow for the rush lights, grease lamps & candles came from the game that I hunted for the table.
    These are the items we used.
    8eb70f4fffba2eaff6dab8e0c73fe054.jpeg
    Rush light holders.
    8eb70f4fffba2eaff6dab8e0c73fe054.jpeg
    Grease lamp.
    8eb70f4fffba2eaff6dab8e0c73fe054.jpeg
    Tinderbox candle holder.
    8eb70f4fffba2eaff6dab8e0c73fe054.jpeg 8eb70f4fffba2eaff6dab8e0c73fe054.jpeg
    Tinderlighters with candle holders.
    8eb70f4fffba2eaff6dab8e0c73fe054.jpeg
     
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  2. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Keith, very nice collection and the fact they are a working collection is even more impressive.
     
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  3. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    When you don't have bright lights shining in your eyes constantly it is pretty amazing how little light you actually need to see what is needed around you. In my case I think it may be that I was 8 years old before they figured out that I have bad eyesight. I developed the ability to deal with less information about the world around me than a sighted person. when it is dark I am not as uncomfortable as other people. Without my glasses I wouldn't be able to see very far even in the day light. Being comfortable and able to move about confidently in the dark is a fair compensation for poor vision. I suspect that it always has been that way.
     
  4. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    I too am comfortable in the dark and prefer it for my working hours...preferably the graveyard shifts.

    However ..the olde timers taught me not to go walking about in strange forests and or woodlands in the dark. If you fall and break a leg...the scavengers would most likely be the first to find you....buzzards and other such four legged wildlife.

    Prefer the nights to the days....silver to gold.


    My non Ishmaelite .02,
    Watcherchris
     
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  5. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Thank you, I like then from a historical point of view, I like having them around.
    Keith.
     
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  6. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Strange you should say that. My eyesight long distance is not too bad, though I need reading glasses. When I was in security I found that I could not see things far ahead, especially street signs. So I got some spectacles. When my license renewal came up I had the glasses on, so this was stated on my license! So now I have to wear them. But I can't see as well in the dark with them on! If I arrive home at night, the first thing I have to do before exiting my vehicle is to remove my glasses. Okay when driving with the lights on, but no lights & I get disoriented with the glasses on.
    Keith.
     
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  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I too have worn spectacles since I was 8 years old, dosent affect anything I do though, i'm short sighted and need glasses for long distance.
    I enjoy the time around dawn, best part of the day as far as we are concerned .
    I lived for 12 years without any power at all, just candles and storm lanterns, you'd be surprised how quickly your night vision comes back without all that light pollution.
     
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  8. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    For a time I worked in a shop with Mercury Vapor type industrial lights in the overhead. Sometimes it would tend to give you a headache. I think these lights are not good for you long term and definitely not to look directly into them.

    They have one redeeming value and that is that when the bulbs burn out ...I get the electricians to save me the bulbs and I bust them open and get the glass rod element out of these bulbs.

    I use them to finely sharpen my knives....as they function just like those white glass ceramic sharpening rods you used to see in certain stores. I have managed to save a number of them as they are getting scarce now as these older lighting systems are being replaced by LED type lighting...which is easier on ones eyes and headaches.

    These glass rods from inside these bulbs come in 6 inch, 12 inch, and four inch lengths.


    That is a nice collection of olde lighting Keith...congratulations.


    When first I moved into this home years ago..I purchased several oil type lamps...kerosene/scented oil if you prefer...as emergency lighting. I have had the opportunity to use them many times since those early days.

    Also keep several of those pump up Coleman Mantle lanterns out in my garage along with several cans of fuel...and fuel for my camping stoves too. These for both camping and emergencies. Spare Mantles too.


    I remember as a child that my father has an olde pump up stove which will run off regular gasoline....

    I don't believe my white Coleman fuel pump up stoves will do that...take regular gasoline.


    Thanks,
    Watcherchris

    Not an Ishmaelite
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
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  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Like a lotta folk, I make candles in food cans that I would otherwise toss. What I do that is different than most folk is to use THICK wicks, at least 2mm in diameter. What this results in is one having to add wax chips to the candle -- the candle is within a can and therefore cannot burn down, too the wick is so thick that it lasts on and on and on ... One must feed it, as it were. It takes forever for these candles to give up the ghost. Before lighting the wick, I move the blackened wick back'n'forth so that if the tip is too far gone, the tip snaps off and the wick below that is your new flame tip. There's rarely ever any need to trim them -- the obsolescence of wick condition is self-determining; it goes crisp and breaks off. If the tip is still good, but the flame too high and giving off soot, this is the time to add wax chips until the flame height is what you desire.

    Back in fall, we were without power for three days. I used four of these candles almost constantly. They ate 12 oz. of canning wax. Maybe one or two wicks needed to be trimmed. I think these wicks are manila and are without any metals. When making the candle, secure the bottom of the wick to the can. At the top of the wick, tie it off to a pencil or clamp it with a STRONG paper/folder clip. Doing so keeps the wick dead-center of the can. Use whatever can size you want. I love baked beans and store them. That can size is around 14 or 16 oz. I use wide squat cans -- no need for tall, for they burn forever in short cans and too, they are easier to light even when almost done. Tall cans are a pain to work with. Smaller diameter cans would require a smaller diameter wick, because the flame size that thick wicks provide is large and thus wax-eating. In a family survival situation, you want a flame -- "fun", "oh, how cute" candles do NOT cut it. Think also that the flame of these things can be used to heat food. Three can-candles under a small pot of soup will get the job done -- jerry-rig the pot holder however you wish.

    For power outages, one also needs kerosene lanterns. Everybody knows about these, has them, has their preferences. There's nothing much I can offer that would be new to anyone. Keep clean kerosene. Store it safely.

    When young and at university, a friend of mine and I would talk, smoke, and solve all of the world's problems into the wee hours of the morning. Our light was provided by his very ornate mantle-type kerosene lamp. The lamp was absolutely beautiful and gave off every bit as much light as a 100 Watt electric bulb. I "lusted in my heart" for a lamp like that, but couldn't afford one. The heat it sent up its glass chimney would instantly light our cigarettes. These were very popular before and around the turn of the last century. Aladdin started around 1910 (?). I've not researched other companies at all.

    e84b7db159474086b51fbf8b7c63a4ae.jpeg e84b7db159474086b51fbf8b7c63a4ae.jpeg

    A lot of folk will remember the Aladdin pressure gas and kerosene lamps used for outdoor activities. See photos below:

    e84b7db159474086b51fbf8b7c63a4ae.jpeg

    The lamps I'm talking about used no pressure and used only kerosene. One must NEVER touch the mantle "wick" material, for you will leave the oil of your skin on that screen/wick/thingy and it will burn out quickly at that point. So, be careful should you have one of these. It's a tad tedious to change these mantles. One grabs only the base; touch only metal. Read the instructions carefully if you want the mantle to last.

    Note that the pretty table lamps are efficient. They really burn the kerosene. Speaking of which, let me re-emphasize that which I said before -- THESE PUPPIES GET HOT! Do not put your hand above the chimney when the lamp is lit ... unless you want some charred skin. I kiddest thou not! Will these help heat a small room? Yes. Could you cook above them if they weren't made out of beautiful colored glass? Yes. Maybe someone could rig a contraption to rigidly hold a cooking vessel above one of these lamps -- me, I'd screw-up and brake the lamp. The shade is glass -- g_l_a_s_s, GLASS ... shatter shatter.

    OK, so it looks like Aladdin still makes the pretty lamps and parts -- to include mantles. Anyway, I found their website:

    http://aladdinlamps.com/

    Here's their parts lists:

    http://aladdinlamps.com/parts/

    Aladdin is a part of Crownplace Brands who make appliances that do NOT use electricity; mainly lamps however.
    http://crownplacebrands.com/

    Crownplace owns Diamond who makes propane refrigerators:
    http://crownplacebrands.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DiamondBrochure-2016-17.pdf

    Side stories:

    That mantle lamp matched the home in which my friend lived while at university. It was built just after 1900. Just beside this house was a thick brick house that was built as a coach house around 1830. Old buildings next to old buildings, that town. Andrew Jackson put up in that place. Everybody hated him. The rest of the state may have loved him, however the man was a demon (slave-owning wasn't countenanced in the mountain regions of S.Appalachia). And A.J. was a murderer of men of any color. The town is to this day rife with ghosts. If in your heart you have a place for those of times past and if you find yourself walking those streets, the original settlers will come out and stare at you.

    "Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state besides Virginia, and more soldiers for the Union Army than the rest of the Confederacy combined." -- Wiki

    West and Middle Tennessee were Confederate. Upper East Tennessee was Union.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
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  10. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    Had one similar to that one with the green lens or shade on it but all glass. Yup ..those puppies get hot so you have to be very careful..and in particular if you have young' ns. Same thing with a kerosene heater...careful with young'ns.

    Gave my kerosene lamp to a woman I was dating...at the time..got it at a flea market...paid a bit for it too.

    I wont be doing that again...

    Have bookmarked that site you provided for Aladdin lamps...I did not know they were still in the business.

    They still are strikingly beautiful today ...with all our high tech.


    I did not know that about Tennessee....in relation to the Union or the Confederacy in the War of Succession....or do they call it the War of Northern Aggression in some places??
    My friend is in the north eastern section of Tennessee...ironically he is from up north ...West Virginia and Michigan is where his people are from...and he moved to Tennessed because costs/expenses greatly appealed to him versus here in Virginia.

    Plus...back in the mountains ...no one much messes with you.

    I am glad for him that he found a place and conditions he liked.

    Hope to catch up with him here about 8pm on the ham radio.

    Watcherchris
    Not an Ishmaelite.
     
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