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Oil lamp

An oil lamp is a device used for lighting or for preserving a flame that is fueled by animal, vegetable or mineral oil.

The term often refers to ancient pottery and metal designs – the kind one might rub in hopes of summoning a Genie (as in the tale of Aladdin). "Rubbing a lamp" was a common household chore to clean and polish it.

Sometimes the term "oil lamp" is applied to the modern kerosene lamp as well.

In ancient Greece and Rome, lamps were fueled by olive oil; in ancient India, by ghee; in ancient Persia, by petroleum that was found oozing freely from the ground.

Olive oil lamps continued in wide use in countries around the Mediterranean Sea well into the 19th century, with the lamps being mass produced out of metal (most commonly brass or bronze), but otherwise little changed in design from lamps of some 2,000 years earlier. In small towns and rural areas they continued in use well into the 20th century. The light given by an olive oil lamp is significantly brighter than a candle, but significantly less than a kerosene or paraffin burning lamp.

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