Dietz, Robert Edwin

Robert Edwin Dietz (1818-1897), an American inventor who created and patented one of the first practical kerosene lamps in 1859. He appears to have done so independently of Ignacy Lukasiewicz of Poland, who also developed a kerosene lamp in 1853. Earlier, in 1845, he and his brother had introduced sperm oil lanterns. However, the introduction of the kerosene lamp accelerated the substitution of kerosene for whale oil in lighting applications in the U.S. As a fuel, whale oil had inferior properties for light production and had grown more expensive in the mid-nineteenth century due to depletion of whale stocks. The R.E. Dietz Company went on to manufacture hundreds of lantern models, and became a pioneer in the automotive electric lighting industry.

Further Reading
R. E. Dietz Co., Ltd.



Cleveland, C. (2006). Dietz, Robert Edwin. Retrieved from


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