Write Your Story…Oil Lamps

Oil Lamps

Submitted by Dennis Smith, Union City Library Member

Oil lamps are another of the many things that young people today are largely ignorant of.  To a lot of people oil lamps are right up there with wind up clocks and phones with a bell in them, curious relics of the past, things they had “back in the day,” whatever that stupid phrase means.  Meaningful statements are fading too, but that is another subject.

I got thinking about oil lamps as I was reflecting on a piece I wrote recently about mantel clocks. There is a connection of sorts between the two. Both were popular and in common use during the same period, and I realized that, for years, right next to my replica mantel clock sat a semi-modern oil lamp.

As I started writing this I had to ask myself, “What can you really say about an oil lamp?” And the answer is, not a lot.  There is really not a lot to be said.  The oil lamp has been around for thousands of years, and have not changed much in the last five hundred,  Oil lamps are not better than other lighting devices, they require some knowledge to use and maintain, and have a few disadvantages.  I like oil lamps but do not want to go back to using them exclusively.

Oil lamps are like mantle clocks, fun to have and know about and maybe it is knowing about them that is important.  But then one day, when the power goes out and the phone batteries dies, and the twenty something set feel cut off form the world, I can light my lamp and check the time on my wind up mantle clock. That might be a good time to read a real book. I think I still have one of those somewhere!

Write Your Story @  the Union City Library

Join our library group, headed by Bruce Hasse, for an   informal gathering of aspiring writers of all types of genres. Your writing can be memoirs, creative non-fiction, poetry, song lyrics, science fiction, plays,essays, you name it!  We just want to hear what you have written and support each other as we grow as writers.

Sharing is optional.

Meetings take place

Third Tuesday of the month

 January 17 & February 21

and March 21

 1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

Please bring pen & paper, or whatever you would like to use when writing.

Union City Library 510-284-0629


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