When The Lights Go Out

evening lampEditor’s Note: Shorter days, longer nights? It’s that time of the year! With the time change happening this weekend, we’re sharing with you the importance of having reliable light – not only for the winter season, but for all year long.*

My first experience with an oil lamp was at my grandparents’ house several years ago. We were sitting in the basement playing Scrabble (my grandpa’s favorite game) when suddenly the lights went out. Poof.
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Farmer Hannah Sees Low Impact, High Return With Olive Oil Lamp

Make Your Own Olive Oil Lamp Kit Large for Pint Jars

The 6-pack Large Make-Your-Own Olive Oil Lamp Kit fit pint mason jars, and are just like Hannah’s. Also in Small (half pints) and Votive sizes. At Lehmans.com.

I am constantly in a quest to see what I can produce to satisfy my own needs and wants, rather than relying on an outside source.  I try to use an ethic of intention rather than of convenience.

A lightbulb with a switch is certainly a convenient thing, and I use them a lot.  Of course, I try to only keep lights on in rooms that I am occupying, and then only enough to do what I need to do. If I’m cooking or cleaning and using a large space, I need more light than if I’m sitting in one spot and reading or writing, for instance.

When I saw Lehman’s olive oil lamps, though, I was intrigued.  Maybe it was the fact that all you have to do is put a wick in a mason jar with oil, which satisfies my “make-do-with-what-you-have” sensibility.  I was intrigued enough by the idea to obtain a kit. Continue reading

The Aladdin Lamp: An Emergency Essential

Aladdin Emerald Lincoln Drape Oil Lamp

Aladdin Emerald Lincoln Drape Oil Lamp

One of our merchandise department folks sent this piece along to share how he and his family used their Aladdin lamp to get through the recent “polar vortex” cold snap. (And they’re using them again this week, ’cause it’s still cold!) He’s an expert on Aladdin lamps, and you can use his tips for your lamps too!
                                                                               –Karen Johnson, Editor, Country Life

The view from Lehman's offices: the cold weather keeps the snow around.

The view from Lehman’s offices: the cold weather keeps the snow around.

I live in northeast Ohio and we just came through one of the coldest spells in Ohio history. Temperatures dipped to well below -10° F with wind chills hovering around -30° F. In the course of one 24 hour period, temperatures dropped from 45°F to -8° F. Ouch! Today the temperature is 16° F and it feels warm.

Of course these drastic temperatures were accompanied by power outages, lack of pressure in natural gas lines and other calamitous incidents where things broke or didn’t work as intended. As a result, many people were, perhaps, not “left out in the cold,” but “in the cold” nonetheless.

As I watched some of these people huddling together to try to stay warm with no light and no heat while being interviewed on TV, I felt sorry for them, and the thought occurred to me that, all they really needed was one Aladdin lamp and their cold and light problems would be over. I’m sure you’re incredulous. An Aladdin lamp? Really? It’s true, and I’ll tell you why. Continue reading