Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
How to Light an Oil Lamp (ancient Roman style lucerna replica)

How to Light an Oil Lamp (ancient Roman style lucerna replica)

Hi guys, this is TIMOTHEVS! Today I’m going to show you how to light an
oil lamp. This is a lucerna, an ancient Roman type of
oil lamp. It’s a replica I bought in a museum shop. You can also find some online. First of all you’re going to need an oil lamp
obviously. Olive oil. You can use any kind of vegetable oil like
corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil. That’s actually a lot cheaper so that’s what
I usually use, but olive oil is more authentic and it does smell a little bit better when
you put the lamp out. Then, you’re going to need a wick. This is just plain cotton rope. A lighter, an old pair of tweezers and
a candle snuffer. First thing I’m going to do is add some oil
to the oil lamp. You want to put enough oil in the oil lamp,
but not too much because, as the oil lamp is lit, the oil will expand, and if there
is too much oil in it, it will cause the lamp to overflow. So what you want to do next, is you want to
put in the wick. You can use cotton rope. I bought this on eBay. It’s pretty cheap. And you need a wick that’s about the size
of the lamp, or a bit shorter. Then you insert the wick. Then I recommend you to grab the old pair
of tweezers and drench the wick in the oil. This will make it easier to light the lamp. Then take your lighter. You are going to want to stay close
to the oil lamp for a little while, because the size of the flame may change during the
first minute or so. And if the flame is getting too big it will
start emitting black smoke, and you don’t want that, especially if you are using it inside. So when that happens – I think it is happening
right now – you can use your tweezers to put the wick a little bit deeper into the lamp
until you have the size you want. Still a little bit big. Something you need to know about terracotta
oil lamps is that oil tends to seep through the bottom. What I did was, I used a brush to seal the
bottom of the lamp with a little bit of varnish. It doesn’t completely stop the oil from seeping
through, but it does minimalize it. If you really don’t want any oil on your table
or cupboard or wherever you are putting your lamp, you might want to consider putting
the lamp on top of a saucer or a plate or something like that. When you are ready to put out the oil lamp,
grab your candle snuffer and put it over the nozzle. It’s important to keep it there for a few
seconds, otherwise smoke will keep coming off and it is kind of smelly. If you don’t extinguish your oil lamp it will
extinguish by itself eventually, but this is also kind of smelly, a lot of smoke. Okay guys, that’s all I have to say about
oil lamps for now. If you enjoyed the video, please like, comment,
share and subscribe. Do you want to see how you can use oil lamps? Check out the link in the description below! Thanks for watching!

23 comments on “How to Light an Oil Lamp (ancient Roman style lucerna replica)

  1. How to Light an Oil Lamp (ancient Roman style lucerna replica)
    If you've used the lamp several times, make sure to trim the wick (just cut off the black part with a pair of scissors)!
    The process shown in the video will also work for Biblical lamps (Herodian lamps etc.) and Islamic lamps.
    Have fun!

  2. My lamps don't have that sunken top yours has, so I use a perfume funnel to put the oil in. And yeah, my lamps live on saucers. When they get too gross (and boy do they!) I toss 'em and get new. Stale oil and dust is a disgusting combo. =D

  3. I want this for my lararium when I get one. I am a Roman polytheist myself. I know this one website where you can get Roman replica artifacts.

  4. I love that medium length stem lighter. Longer than a standard bic but not so long as a BBQ lighter. Any idea where I could get one? or LOTS?

  5. Honestly, I am a pious Roman loving the Gods, but no way I put such a dangerous thing in my house. So I stick with candles.

  6. Did you just say the lamps name with an Italian accent? Im fine with it but according to Priscian and his Roman gramarrian for his Institutiones Grammaticae ("Grammar Basics"). Would beg to differ. Classical Latin had a completely different accent.

  7. Great video! I wonder, have you ever tried mixing a few drops of an essential oil on to the olive oil, to improve the smell?

  8. They're kinda tricky. I have about 5 of them (there used to be a website where you could get all kinds from ancient Egypt to Byzantium era for not a lot of money) and some will burn for a long time – smell isn't bad, like sitting too close to the grill in an Italian restaurant, but some will go out the second the wick burns down to the opening. Too thick for the opening maybe? Not enough air and it goes out? Not sure. I'm trying to figure out how to make an oil lamp because it was tradition on New Year's Day to burn an oil lamp with a reference to Janus on it, but I – so far – can't find one at all. (Venetian Cat website offered to custom make me one for like $50 and that was a few years ago and they don't even make pottery items anymore).

  9. that's so simple, natural, and clean. can someone tell me why we're now burning coal, to boil steam, that drives a generator, that creates electricity, that is transmitted to our homes, and then turned back into light in these little glass bulbs?

  10. Dumb question but… why doesn't the fire light the wick and go inside the lamp? Like, why does the fire stay outside and no go inside the more it burns the wick?

  11. They never had modern lighters to ignite the wick and "the match wasn't invented until 577 AD in China. Matches never came to Europe until a thousand years later. Striking hardened steel against flint to create sparks has been around for at least three thousand years. That's what the average Roman did. Households had a fire-striker, steel was struck against a piece of flint, chert, jasper or obsidian – producing enough sparks to light an oil soaked lamp wick or some straw tinder in the fireplace, oven or furnace." (Source – Roman History Made Easy)

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