The use of oil lamps—simple vessels that use fuel sources such as olive oil to produce light—extends from prehistory to the present day, though they have been largely replaced by electric lighting and are now generally used for mood lighting or as an alternative to candles during power outages. The first oil lamps were made of naturally occurring objects, such as coconuts, shells, and stones. Later advances led to the production of clay and metal lamps. Why were lamps once buried with the dead?
Back in the day
The first successful transpacific flight was carried out by Australian aviator Charles Kingsford-Smith and his crew, who piloted the trimotor monoplane Southern Cross from Oakland, California, to Brisbane, Australia. During the 7,250-mi (11,668-km) journey, the Southern Cross stopped to refuel in Hawaii, then flew on to Fiji—where it was the first aircraft ever to land on the island—and then embarked on the final leg of its trip. How many days did the entire crossing take?
Born on a day like today
Kerr was an Irish-Canadian fireman who enjoyed running in his free time and soon became an outstanding sprinter. In 1904, he paid his own way to the US to compete in the Summer Olympics but was eliminated in the heats of all three events he entered. He returned home, where he continued to run and set several Canadian sprinting records. In the 1908 Olympics, Kerr did not disappoint; he won a bronze medal in the 100 meters and gold in the 200 meters. What did he do after ending his Olympic career?