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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...


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