Oil Lamp Filler
Traditional oil lamps relied mostly on vegetable oils (peanut, rapeseed) as fuel. For safety reasons, their oil pans were small and shallow ensuing limited oil storage capacity, requiring more frequent refilling. Refilling was accomplished as if one was pouring hot tea, very carefully, and the bottom oil lamps basin would hold water to help prevent insect invasions of the lamp’s oil.
Tin Oil Lampstand
Before the advent of electric lighting, people used natural plant materials for lighting, so such lamps not only required convenience in design but a special emphasis on their safe use, ensuring lampstand not only could provide lighting but were also a safe and useful tool. These lampstands were often made of copper, tin and other metal, or ceramics, but regardless of type, they all included four key components: a base, the frame, a tray and removable oil pan.
Celadon Green Glaze Ceramic Oil Lampstand
The lampstand bottom-up construction features four components: a stable base to prevent overturning, detailed supporting frames to facilitate the hand-held, round tray, and a removable oil pan atop the tray. Metal lampstand often contain carved in relief patterns, while these porcelain lampstand, like other ceramics, will be decorated in monochrome or color designs, yielding functional and beautiful objects d'art.
Copper or tin lampstands were more stable, stood higher, and generally used in fixed locations, such as the family shrine in the formal living room; while ceramic lampstands which were smaller and shorter, could be hand-held and mobile. Removable oil basins allowed for easy replacement or cleaning, with lighting requiring only pouring some vegetable oil into the basin, a small core wick could be lit up. The lampstands bottommost basin can hold some water , preventing sparks from igniting and stopping ants from climbing up the lamp.
Kerosene Lamp
These lamps burn kerosene as their fuel source and are designed with a fuel tank base at the bottom, a fuel hole, and an oil valve in the middle of the glass enclosure. Ignition is accomplished by first lighting some alcohol to spark the kerosene soaked filaments, then adjusting the switch to open the tank after the kerosene oil ignites to reveal a flame. From the 1960s there were forces stationed on Kinmen who did not have any electricity, and the sundry goods stores which primarily sold to these forces, all used kerosene lamps for their lighting.