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Miniature oil and kerosene lamps, some as diminutive as 2 1/2 inches high, are direct descendants of prehistoric lamps using animal fat and other oils. Since the miniatures which have been preserved are so small that they cannot have provided adequate reading light, their intended function remains somewhat obscure. Miniature lamps might have found uses in sickrooms, for dispelling a child's "bogeyman," or as parlor courting lamps making a suitable compromise between the requirements of propriety and romantic aura.
| 630 b/w illus
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