A lamplighter, historically, was an employee of a town who lit
street lights, generally by means of a wick on a long pole. At dawn, they would return and turn them off using a small hook on the same pole. Early street lights were generally candles, oil, and similar consumable liquid or solid lighting sources with wicks. Another lamplighter duty was to come with a ladder and renew the candles, oil, or gas mantles. In some communities, lamplighters served in a role akin to a town watchman; in others, it may have been seen as little more than a sinecure. In the 19th century, gas lights became the dominant form of street lighting. Early gaslights required lamplighters, but eventually systems were developed which allowed the lights to operate automatically.
There is a long history of the role of a lamplighter-as-lightbringer as a symbolic figure in literature.
Burning Manfestival makes use of lamplighters.
Lamplighters in Fiction
*"The Lamplighter" was an
1854novel by Maria Susanna Cummins.
* A lamplighter, never actually seen, is the central figure in
Bolesław Prus' 1885micro-story, "Shades."
*"The Lamplighter" was a
1929collection of poems by Irish poet Seamus O'Sullivan.
* A lamplighter who lives on an asteroid that rotates once a minute was one of the inhabitants of the universe in
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 1943novel, " The Little Prince".
* "Lamplighters" are referred to in
John le Carré's novels, notably " Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" ( 1974), and " Smiley's People" ( 1979), frequently associated with their boss, Toby Esterhase; their job is to carry out surveillance.
* "Lamplighter" was a
1987children's story by Bernice Thurman Hunter.
* "The Lamplighter" was a Golden Age superhero in
Kurt Busiek's Astro Citycomic books.
Lamplighter (comics)is also the name of a DC Comicssupervillain.
*"Lamplighter" is the title of the second book in fantasy author
D. M. Cornish's trilogy Monster Blood Tattoo.
*"The Lamplighter" is the name of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School's student newspaper in Lexington, Kentucky.
*"Lamplighter" is a historic nightclub in
L. Jagi Lamplighteris an American science fictionwriter.
Lamplighters Music Theatre, a San Francisco-based light opera company.
Lamplighters Theatre, a Smyrna, Tennessee-based community theatre.
When It's Lamp Lighting Time in the Valley, a song
*"Lamplighter" is a Jewish publication printed weekly and distributed all over Australia and New Zealand. On the web at: http://lamplighterweekly.com/
Lamplighter groupis a mathematical object.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Lamplighter — Lamp light er, n. 1. One who, or that which, lights a lamp; esp., a person who in former times lighted street lamps which were illuminated by a combustible gas; such lamps are now little used, and primarily as nostalgic ornaments. [1913 Webster… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
lamplighter — [lamp′līt΄ər] n. 1. a person whose work was lighting and extinguishing gas street lamps ☆ 2. a roll of paper, a wood splinter, etc. used to light lamps … English World dictionary
lamplighter — n. 1 hist. a person who lights street lamps. 2 US a spill for lighting lamps. Phrases and idioms: like a lamplighter with great speed … Useful english dictionary
lamplighter — noun Date: 1750 one that lights a lamp … New Collegiate Dictionary
lamplighter — /lamp luy teuhr/, n. 1. a person employed to light and extinguish street lamps, esp. those burning gas. 2. a contrivance for lighting lamps. [1740 50; LAMP + LIGHTER] * * * … Universalium
lamplighter — lamp|light|er [ˈlæmpˌlaıtə US ər] n someone whose job was to light lamps in the street in the past … Dictionary of contemporary English
lamplighter — lamp|light|er [ læmp,laıtər ] noun count someone whose job was to light lamps in the street in the past … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
lamplighter — n. person who lights street lamps; device for lighting lamps … English contemporary dictionary
lamplighter — noun historical a person employed to light street gaslights by hand … English new terms dictionary
lamplighter — noun (C) someone whose job was to light lamps in the street in the past … Longman dictionary of contemporary English