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The Book of Non-electric Lighting: The Classic Guide to the Safe Use of Candles, Fuel Lamps, Lanterns, Gaslights & Fire-View Stoves Paperback – June 17, 2008


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The Book of Non-electric Lighting: The Classic Guide to the Safe Use of Candles, Fuel Lamps, Lanterns, Gaslights & Fire-View Stoves + Living Without Electricity (People's Place Book No. 9)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Countryman Press; 2 edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881507946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881507942
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tim Matson, a writer and aquaculture consultant, has been advising people how to build and maintain ponds and wetlands for more than 25 years through Earth Ponds, his pond design and restoration consulting firm. He has written numerous magazine articles on ponds and aquaculture for Yankee, Harrowsmith Country Life, Country Journal, and Vermont Life. He is also the author of the Earth Ponds books and video and The Earth Ponds Sourcebook. He lives in Thetford Center, Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By totallyfrozen on September 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is priceless for someone who is new to non-electric lighting or is completely unfamiliar with it. Matson gives a bit of history, a bit of introduction to the various types of firelight, a bit of detailed instruction on how to use the various types of lights. The book has limited information on cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep of the various lights.

The book itself contains only black and white photos (no color) which points back to its initial printing in the early 80's. While this is a new edition of the book, much of the content seems to be the same as the First Edition and the photos have not been updated. This book will last a long time! The paper quality is impressive. The pages are such heavy weight paper that it's nearly made of cardboard!

SPOILER ALERT!
Matson's focus is on the "living off the grid" alternative lifestyle. Because of that, Matson seems to focus primarily on brightness of the lighting and a little bit of the eco-friendly element of certain lighting types. Portability, weight, fuel availability, and durability of the lamps are mostly overlooked in this book. Matson seems to favor mantel lighting over other types of lights. He highlights and even seems to promote the expensive and delicate Aladdin lamps with their round wicks, fragile mantels, and tall fragile chimneys. He is also a big proponent of Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) lighting.

He seems to brush over the ubiquitous, simple, durable, and reliable kerosene wick lantern. A good quality, portable kerosene lantern (i.e. a cold-blast, hurricane lantern) may not be as bright as a mantel light; however, they are much less expensive and less fragile.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
A backup plan or for style, having non-electric lighting available is a good idea. "The Book of Non-Electric Lighting: The Classic Guide to Safe Use of Candles, Fuel Lamps, Lanterns, Gaslights, & Fire-View Stoves" is a guide to safely using non-electric lighting for light, style, or energy conservation. Firelight can add a certain romantic and historic air to one's life, and "The Book of Non-Electric Lighting" is a complete and comprehensive guide to using it effectively.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Polybun on October 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not nearly enough information. The book is a brief overview at best.

The section on candle light talks only briefly about beeswax candles, and mentions tallow candles only in passing. Nothing is said of scounces or other candle accesories which makes a candle a useable source of light. What about parafin? What about soy? Useless.

Kerosene lanterns are mentioned, but again, it seems only in passing. What about cold blast vs. hot blast? What about candle lanterns? No mention is made of them at all.

The section on kerosene lamps only covers flat wick lamps and the Aladdin. No mention of kosmos or other round burner lamps is made at all.

The book just isn't that good, and you could learn more on wikipedia in a day than you could reading this book, which, somehow manages to take more time. It doesn't even have any instructions on wick trimming. The book spends more time talking about dragging a heavy fireview stove home than it does talking about what features to look for. Catalytics, what are those? You won't know if this books is your only source of information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Yikes on April 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are the type with a basic interest in old-fashioned lighting, then this is a good book. It's not for collectors of whatever style of lighting, and it's not a scholarly rundown of different makes, models and their histories. It talks more about the basic history, theories of operation, advantages and disadvantages and basic operating techniques with various types of non-electric lighting. It's a good basic primer for somebody who is looking for a non-electric light source for a cabin, living off the grid, historical re-creating, disaster preparation, or somebody who just happens to have an antique light. The person would have to be fairly new to non-electric lighting to benefit much. For me, I see that the author really seems to love Alladin-style wick and mantle lights. They are quite cool, but there is not enough information in the pressure lantern section to be of much use. Regarding pressure lanterns, besides about a page of basic Coleman history, it covers the safety and lighting information. Most of this information is printed on newer lanterns themselves, or else came in the little folded manual. This section also curiously covers Hurricaine-style wick lanterns, which is essentially redundant from the wick lamp section. It ignores kerosene pressure lanterns, both Coleman and Petromax-style, as well as antique match generating lanterns like the Coleman Quicklite, which are still around (I have four working examples in my garage). I understand skipping torch-lighting lanterns from a century ago, but there are enough kerosene pressure lanterns and Coleman Quicklites around to merit a few paragraphs at least.Read more ›
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