Skip to main content

K is for Kerosene.....

A petroleum distillate, kerosene has been used for centuries as a source of heat and light. Often going by the name of paraffin in the UK and other parts of the world, the process for distilling crude oil and petroleum into kerosene has been written about since the 9th century. But, it wasn't until 1846, when Abraham Gesner, who coined the name kerosene, gave a public demonstration of an innovative distillation process which rendered a thin clear liquid, that kerosene became the new and improved lamp fuel.

Over the years, kerosene's uses have widened to include cooking fuels, insecticides and even entertainment in performances that incorporate fire breathing and fire juggling.

As a pesticide, kerosene is extremely effective at killing large numbers of insects--- most notably, bed bugs and head lice. It can even be applied to standing pools of water to kill mosquito larvae.

As beneficial as kerosene has been over the centuries, it is, nevertheless a potent toxin, where ingestion of the liquid or even prolonged inhalation of its fumes can be deadly.

Kerosene Illuminations

Light the lamp as the dark of evening falls,
the bright, crisp, clear flame ascending,
fear not the black of night's feral call,
bask in the lantern's glow, unending.

                                                                                      --- e.a.s. demers


  1. Very interesting...and you have interesting topics...

    1. Thanks! And, thanks for dropping by....

  2. I love the light shed by all manner of oil lamps--kerosene included. Alas, these days, we're lazy. When we camp, the lamp light is electric and we cook with Sterno (jellied alcohol).

    1. I love oil lamps too... if I could, I'd get rid of all the electric lights in our apartment---though, I don't think the husband would look too kindly on that, lol...

  3. Kerosene lamps are really beautiful. We have one we occasionally take out on gloomy nights or when the power goes out.

    Good luck with the challenge!

    Dianna Fielding

    1. Yes, they are beautiful... and thanks!

  4. Really interesting.. I was trying to find where the name "Kerosene" came from for a project I am working on. "Kero" is greek for wax and "-ene" relates to unsaturated hydrocarbons just in case anyone is interested. Not sure why he did not call it "Gesner" though?

    1. That is interesting.... and, yeah, not sure why it wasn't called a Gesner Lamp...


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."

Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

B is for Banshee.....

Irish bean sidhe and Scottish Gaelic bean sith, literally, woman of fairyland.

The mythology and legend surrounding the Banshee is a bit mixed. The most readily accepted story is of a hag-like creature wailing the impending death of someone nearby-- most ancient Gaelic families, especially the more well-to-do families, had their own Banshees that attached themselves to the lineage of the family name. I suppose it was a sign of station for a family to be able to claim their own Banshee--- I mean, who needs an exciting/ tongue-wagging-inciting skeleton in your cupboard when you've got a Banshee wailing in your rafters?
The origins of the more familiar Banshee may have stemmed from the ancient Keeners-- women who were employed to sing a lament at a funeral. The best Keeners were in high demand to "wail" and "weep" for the great personage who had fallen.

The Great families would boast a bean sidhe or bean sith-- a fairy-woman Keener--and having foresight, the Keene…

Scottish Festival and a bit of poetry...

The 38th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival was held at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas on April 7th - April 9th. This was the first time I'd ever attended. I'm sad to say I didn't even know the festival existed until last year. On Saturday, April 8th, a group of friends and I made the several-hour trek, determined to enjoy everything we could.
The weather was glorious, all bright, bonnie sunlight and mild temperatures. Seemed mother nature approved of the festivities. The campus was appropriately kitted out, and nearly everyone in attendance was properly *ahem* kilted out. 
Bagpipes playing, we ate meat pies--- well, mine was a 5-cheese mac & cheese pie--- watched clans parade their colors, got sunburned (darn our fair, Celtic skin), and wanted the day to last forever.
There were a host of competitions, everything from Scottish/Irish dance-offs, sheep dog trials, Tartan races, a Celtic poetry competition, piping and drum trials, even a bonniest knees competition (…