Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kerosene Lantern Goes Electric!

In our store room in the old house, there was this kerosene lantern hung hung from a nail in the wall, dusty.  It had a wick inside, but I wondered why it was kept away.  We had other kerosene lamps in use as electricity used to be cut off even in those days.  I cleaned it with the intention of using it.  When I filled kerosene into the tank, I saw slow seepage from a couple of very tiny slits. I put some sealant, but the situation did not get better.  The seepage continued. So I thought there is no point in using it at all.

After some days, suddenly the 'bulb' in my brain got lit, the same way we see in comic illustrations when a brilliant idea gets flashed.  Why not 'electrify' it?  I fitted a bulb holder after removing the wick system. The holder actually matched the place, much to my delight and no extra work was needed. 

This "lamptern" was hung above the staircase balcony with a 'Zero Watt' [actually 15w] bulb inside.  The burning filament inside the slightly milky bulb poorly imitates the flame from the flat wick. I could have made it neater to somewhat conceal the wire, but I felt it was not so much necessary, given the place it was hung.

This is a borrowed image just to show the flame in the lantern.

Speaking of kerosene lamps, there is a collector of such lamps in Mysore, by name Padmanabha.  I had met him once about ten years ago in his house, following an exhibition of his lamps at Rotary Club shortly before.  He lives by Sonar Street in a small house.  I wondered where he kept so many of his collection that requires extremely careful handling and storage. In fact, he had dedicated one floor of the house for his hobby.  See this video from TV9, a local channel.  

 I may have some stuff about kerosene lamps myself, but that will be for another post.

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