Archeologists have found from much excavation that our ancient ancestors had sought ways to light their night. Found were crude and simple lanterns that were hallowed out rocks and sea shells that which used animal fat soaked moss to create a light source. Many of these lantern artifacts were found in caves where they would be needed to light the walls for cave painters. Through the ages these simple lanterns began to evolve into ornate lanterns and other holders that used a fragrant oils and candles. The use of whale oil was also used to light lanterns. Just one whale would be able to provide three tons of tallow which the whale oil is produced. . The use of whale oil and blubber started a killing spree of whales and is now whaling is now prohibited. Still oil burning lanterns were the only source of light used until the 1700s when petroleum was developed. Lanterns are still used in homes, churches and public gathering. It is believed that the making of these early lanterns were considered the oldest industries of mankind.
With the development of kerosene in the mid-19th century the kerosene lantern provided an improved light quality. John D. Rockefeller was the first American to consolidate petroleum for lantern.. With his refining of petroleum he made it possible for everyone to use these lanterns. Instead of the oil type.
In 1802, Humphry Davy developed the first electric light. He invented the electric battery. And when wires were connected to this battery he produced what was called the Electric Arc Lantern. The light that this devise produced did last long and was very bright and not fit for public use.
Over the years several inventors worked on the electric light bulbs. To replace the wicks in oil burning lanterns. A process was made however these designs required platinum. The cost of the platinum made it impractical for commercial production.
It was not until Thomas Edison developing several porotypes that he came to make a bulb with a carbon filament and connected to patina contact wires this was cheaper and could replace the lantern wicks later when Edison discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could last over 1200 hours. Lanterns could then provide a safe light for all of us to enjoy. Lanterns are still in use for the pure pleasure of just watching the flame.