Life in the Old West

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Kerosene lamp: Old West technology remains reliable today

The good old kerosene lamp might be thought of as the mainstay of technology for pioneer “lighting” in the days of the Old West. In fact, kerosene lamps exist as welcome companions to many Plains dwellers from big cities to small towns today. With weather risks across the Plains ranging from tornadoes in spring and summer to blizzards and ice storms in the winter, a good kerosene lamp often serves as backup in today’s West.

Although the technology of kerosene lamps and lanterns has changed from pioneer times, they work fundamentally the same today as they did then, and they can be real lifesavers, providing light and warmth when power outages hit. (And if you live in the Plains or even most places further west, you know about power outages!)

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If you’ve spent a few days, or even just a few hours, in the dark from power interruptions, I encourage you to consider one of the “old ways” and shop around for a kerosene lamp or lantern. And — they’re battery free!

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