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When Ignacy Łukasiewicz distilled kerosene and co-participated in the construction of the lamp fuelled by it, he significantly revolutionized the current style and comfort of life. Under the influence of his invention, lamps with a variety of intended applications, methods of assembly, and ornamentation, appeared.

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This is a lamp with richly decorated legs and a painted body, decorated with floral ornamentation, and a glass lampshade.
When Ignacy Łukasiewicz distilled kerosene and co-participated in the construction of the lamp fuelled by it, he significantly revolutionized the current style and comfort of life. Under the influence of his invention, lamps with a variety of intended applications, methods of assembly, and ornamentation, appeared. From the second half of the nineteenth century, a table oil lamp became not only a basic element of a bourgeois apartment, but also an integral part of interior design. It had to match the furniture, fulfilling its basic task as well as its secondary,  aesthetic purpose. Colourful, decorated lamps became a marker of wealth: they were not cheap, so only well-to-do people could afford them. Modest lamps—almost without decoration—ended up in poor people's houses.
 

Elaborated by Katarzyna Liana (The Ignacy Łukasiewicz Regional Museum of Polish Tourism and Sightseeing Society in Gorlice), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Ignacy Łukasiewicz in Gorlice

Ignacy Łukasiewicz came to Gorlice in the autumn of 1953. He was 31 years old then and already had quite substantial experience in research on distillation of petroleum. Together with Jan Zeh, he carried it out in a Lviv laboratory in the “Pod Złotą Gwiazdą“ pharmacy where both of them worked. Between 1952 and 1953, they managed to...

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Ignacy Łukasiewicz came to Gorlice in the autumn of 1953. He was 31 years old then and already had quite substantial experience in research on distillation of petroleum. Together with Jan Zeh, he carried it out in a Lviv laboratory in the “Pod Złotą Gwiazdą“ pharmacy where both of them worked. Between 1952 and 1953, they managed to distil kerosene from petroleum, but the owner of the pharmacy, Piotr Mikolasch, did not see a practical application for this invention.
Łukasiewicz, who wished to continue research in a place more conducive to experiments, got to Gorlice, a place with strong traditions of extracting petroleum and rich in easily accessible sources of raw materials. He was employed as a pharmacist (he obtained a diploma at the University of Vienna) in a local pharmacy run by a widow, Ludwika Bartkowa. After hours, he distilled petroleum in the apparatus presented on the website and worked on improving the construction of the kerosene lamp. Soon, he got settled in a new place and became involved in social actions for the region. During the cholera epidemic in 1855, he treated everyone, regardless of their possessions, with such commitment that two years later when rumour spread about his moving to Jasło (because of the economic conditions), the Jews from Gorlice offered him financial help as long as he did not leave Gorlice.

Elaborated by Kinga Kołodziejska (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See also: Ignacy Łukasiewicz’s distilling apparatus

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