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