Our homestead is for sale!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Don't forget the duplicates

We keep a number of oil lamps around the house, both for emergency lighting and (in winter) some warm atmosphere.

But accidents happen. The other day Younger Daughter was pulling on her coat as she walked past the lamps, and the edge of her sleeve caught both lamps and tumbled them to the floor. Amazingly the lamp bases (full of kerosene) didn't break, but one of the globes did. Shattered, in fact.

Beyond the distraction of cleaning up the glass shards, this left me with one lamp temporarily unusable. No biggee right now, but it would be a different story if we were depending on them for light.

I wasn't worried because I keep extra globes packed in old liquor boxes (which have dividers). Every time I go into a thrift store, I scour their glass aisle for oil lamp globes and pick them up as I find them.

Within minutes both lamps were usable once more. But this minor, trivial incident underscored something important: in a prepared lifestyle, duplicates are always a good idea. The extra glass globes I keep on hand is the lighting equivalent of a deep larder.

Remember the old Rule of Three? Two is one and one is none...


  1. Patrice,

    Great rule to always follow.
    I love having these oil lamps not just because of power loss but as you've indicated to create a warm atmosphere.

  2. I'm glad it was only the globe and not the base that broke.

    I keep a bunch of spares, too. I'm trying to find some more bases, but the good ones are getting few and far between in these parts. It just gives me one more reason to go on thrift store patrol. ;)

    This is a good reminder for me to buy another jug of lamp fuel.


    1. Last year Patrice had a link to a company that sold the wick part of the lamp ( do not know the correct term for the part ) that fit on mason jars. I can not remember the name of the company, but I did order a dozen of them. Have plenty of mason jars and like Patrice I also look for the globes every time I go into a thrift store.I now have about 14 lamps, plenty to loan to neighbors that might not be prepared if the lights go out. Maybe Patrice could again post the name of the company for you and others that might have missed the post.

      Dee, in the Southwest

    2. http://www.oillampman.com/bottlewickhtml Not Patrice, but here is the link. Jeff

  3. i love those lamps been using them for a long time. i always keep about 20 of the globe because of how easy they brake

  4. The same exact thing happened to me. However I couldnt find a globe no matter where I went!. Now I still have a globeless lamp and I DO depend on mine since we live off grid!!

  5. Hobby lobby has glass chimneys, but they're very thin glass and fragile. I think they are mainly for craft arangments, but I'm using a couple on lamps and the heat hasn't bothered them. I just worry that they'll break extra easy.

  6. This is a great reminder to take the time to think through what extras we may need. Thank you!

  7. i think it was here someone mentioned Azure foods. thanks. need gluten-free and other special needs foods. got the catalog today.
    thanks again.
    d h

  8. Patrice/Anyone?
    What is a good price for thrrift store globes for oil lamps?

    1. I usually pay $1, though I've seen them for $2.

      - Patrice

  9. how much heat do they actually put out?
    my husband has been reading your blog for couple years & has started buying some lamps. we have about 6 now, but its hard to find the lamps here in


    1. Heat? Hardly anything. (When I said "warm atmosphere," I just meant it makes everything cozy.) As far as how much light they put out -- well, enough to comfortably read by, if you're sitting right next to it (or gathered around the table with the lamp in the center).

      For lamp supplies, see this website:

      For fixtures that will turn any canning jar into an oil lamp, see this page:
      -- specifically item # 7BR3273

      For glass chimneys (unless you find them in thrift stores), try this link:

      - Patrice