In the following months, thanks to the involvement and entrepreneurship of Ignacy Łukasiewicz, kerosene lamps and paraffin itself, being a source of new, better light started to reach mansions, houses and under the thatched roofs as well as offices, banks, factories and streets. The world’s first street kerosene lamp burned in Podkarpacie, Gorlice, at the intersection of Węgierska and Kościuszki streets, and the inventor himself, Ignacy Łukasiewicz, moved from Lwów to Bóbrka in Podkarpacie to continue research work and launch paraffin production on an industrial scale in the mine, which he there launched.
Few know that this man, apart from active scientific and then mining activity, was also a great patriot and social worker – as a support in 1866 he founded the first insurance institution in Poland and this part of Europe, and at the same time a workers’ union under the name “Kasa Bracka”, creating in this way a financial support tool for the poorest.
The period of the highest prevalence of kerosene lamps is dated to 1860-1920. The light of the kerosene lamp was not much better than a long known oil lamp or a water boiler, but the fuel was easily accessible and cheap, thanks to which it became a massive lighting medium that even the poor population could afford. The kerosene lamps were still being refined, and their new lenses in 1855 were patented by the Viennese Rudolf Dittmar. His label soon became the largest plant in the entire Empire, and in Europe more started to emerge: in Budapest “Lampagyar”, Leipzig “Hugo Schneider”, Germany “Carl Holy”, “Wild and Wessel”, “Rosa Brenner”, “Otto Miller”, “Kaestner and Toebelmann” and France “Bec Gladiator”.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, every house had an kerosene lamp. There were lamps available in various shapes and sizes, from simple, stable, to exclusive, richly decorated, which only wealthy people could afford. They illuminated private and public spaces, often being a symbol of wealth and style.