You can be surprise of the value of old oil lamps!
My parents lived on the dairy farm where I grew up for over 50 years. When my father passed away we had the task of going through all the out buildings to clear them out in preparation to sell the farm. The machine shed had a storage loft that no one had been in for years. We thought that the loft had old machinery parts stored in it. There were plenty of part as well as old tools that had been replaced over the years. We were surprised to find an old canvas tarp covering several items in the far corner of the loft. Under the tarp were boxes and old trunks filled with things from when my grandparents had moved off of their farms.
The loft was very dusty and dirty so we carried the boxes and trunks outside. One trunk was filled with oil lamps. My one sister had gone to find my mom to let her know what we had found. My mom had forgotten that the oil lamps and other items from the grandparents had been in the loft. She told us that it had been dad’s plan to make electrical lamps out of the oil lamps. It was just one of many projects that my father was too busy to get to. Some of the oil lamps had belonged to my mother’s parents and some had belonged to dad’s. There were several different sizes and styles of the lamps. My mother pointed out a very large lamp that had a cut glass bottom and large globe. This is the lamp that lit the living room in the house she grew up in.
All the oil lamps needed to be cleaned. Several of them still had oil and kerosene left in them. We decided that each of us would take two lamps, one from each grandparent, to have as a remembrance. The remainder of the lamps would be placed on the auction with the other household goods. The trunks had contained clothing which had been damaged through the years.
I cleaned my two oil lamps and set them on my mantel. Both are smaller lamps that were most likely used in the bedroom areas. They have clear glass reservoirs and shades. We had spent hours cleaning the lamps for the auction. The day of the auction was very sunny and the glass oil lamps sparkled on the tables. We could not believe the money that people bid on the lamps. They brought in more money than anything else on the auction. My brother was shocked when the large cut glass lamp sold for the same price as one of the tractors. We each know that we have an expensive heirloom that had spent 30 years in the loft of a machine shed.
Did you forget some oil lamps in your loft? Take a look or ask your grandparents if they have oil lamps. Or look online for beautiful and cheap oil lamps that you might resell with profit later.