The Paraffin Lamp

The Paraffin Lamp is the emblem of Livingston Rotary Club

 

THE PARAFFIN LAMP

 

                

 

The Paraffin Lamp is a relic of the Livingston-area

Shale Oil industry dating from 1851.

 

Shale Oil was a product of what was virtually a world

wide monopoly in oil production before the discoveries

of the great oilfields in America and the Middle East.

 

From the time that James "Paraffin" Young invented

the Oil-from-Shale process and the setting up of the

world's first oil refinery on the outskirts of Bathgate

in West Lothian, this area was the focus of the world's

oil energy industry.

 

The shale miners, regarded as the "elite" of the mining

fraternity, quickly adopted the famous Paraffin Lamp

as a symbol of their endeavours; the lamp itself was

invented to exploit the illumination qualities of

paraffin, one of the fractions 'cracked' from the oil.

Candle wax was also a major constituent of shale.

 

In recognition of the ingenuity, toil and success of

the men who left as their memorial the mountains of

burnt shale, the Rotary Club of Livingston has adopted

the Paraffin Lamp and the image of the famous

"Five Sisters" shale bings at West Calder for the Club

insignia.