- Lighting devices having a vessel to contain fuel used as a source of illumination, such as grease or oil. The term also refers to relatively small -- of a size to be placed on or beside a desk or table -- household or office lighting devices that incorporate a vessel of glass or some similar material that encloses the source of illumination, whether a candle, oil, gas-jet, or incandescent wire inside a light bulb. The lamp was invented at least as early as 70,000 BCE, originally consisting of a hollowed-out rock filled with moss or some other absorbent material that was soaked with animal fat and ignited. To refer to the glass bulbs used as a component of electric lamps, use "light bulbs."
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