In times past, Fridays were reserved for cleaning lamps and glass chimneys! Imagine having to read by lamp or candle light? Imagine having to do ANYTHING without modern lighting in our homes? No WONDER people went to bed so early in the evenings - they were ready to get up with the chickens, with only kerosene lamps to light up the nights!
We have oil lamps that we use when the power goes out, and the soot they produce darkens the glass in no time flat. Perhaps we aren't adjusting or trimming the lamp wicks properly - there must be a fine science to that, as the knowledge was not passed down in our genes. According to an old Sears & Roebuck catalog I saw, the best kerosene lamp back then only gave off 40 watts of light, and then - if the glass was blackened - good luck to ya!
Some years back, my folks went to an estate sale and bought a shoebox full of odds and ends which they gave to me. In it was some wire implements used for tatting, some wooden Belding spools (some had silk thread still wound on them!), and the neatest old light bulbs!!! The picture below is very similar to the one I own (it's packed away safely, so I scrounged and found this reasonable facsimile to show you).
It is an Edison Mazda light bulb, and the only way mine differs from the one in the photo is, that my bulb has 2 woven cords attached to the metal base. Each woven cord end with glass beads - one is white, the other is black. I wondered what the heck they were for....and so I screwed the bulb in, and it WORKS! The black bead signifies OFF, and the white bead is for ON! The bugger WORKS! And man - is it BRIGHT! It makes a sound that's a cross between a buzz and a hiss - what a step back in time as I watched this little miracle perform. An amazing invention that has changed Friday's chimney cleaning chores for homemakers FOREVER!