The largest oil lamp collection in Poland
The parlour and column lamps are especially beautiful in the exhibition. They are predominantly crowned with tulip shape lampshades and made of both coloured and clear glass. The lamps and lanterns designed for technical purposes are found in a separate group. They were used to illuminate factories, public buildings, streets, horse drawn and mechanical vehicles, platforms and railway carriages. We cannot leave out heating appliances, heaters and cookers, which were also widely used. The most valuable museum pieces are shown in the permanent exhibition entitled “History of lighting”. The exhibition represents in chronological order the most popular light sources being used through centuries. The collection of paraffin lighting manufactured by various European and American factories is the core of the exhibition. Various types of paraffin table, standing, wall and hanging lamps are shown here. Among them the most valuable is the lamp with a body made of Meissen porcelain in a pastel tone ornamented with stylised “cupids”.
Another unusually valuable artefact is a unique glass lampshade made of white glass, on which a detailed world map is reproduced.
Apart from paraffin lamps other sources of light used by man for centuries are also on view. For example, torches, olive lamps, candlesticks, gas and electric lamps.
Most of the artefacts are presented in large showcases adjusted in size to monumental interiors with barrel vaults with lunettes. The exhibition is enhanced by fragments of interiors of houses from the turn of 19th and 20th centuries and by artefacts of Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1822-1882), the inventor of the oil lamp and founder of the Polish oil industry. You can find more information on wall boards containing text enhanced with images and artefacts.