Widely recognized by their shape, the Onion Lanterns were historically used as nighttime working lights on fishing schooners. The onion globe was unbreakable and therefore protected the flame from wind and rain. No longer needed to protect the flame, the onion lamp is still popular today and adorns more than just fishing schooners!
Brief History of Lanterns
The word lantern originally was spelled as Lanthorn. Lanthorn or Lanthorne was spelled reflecting the fact that the sides were made of transparent or translucent pieces of sheep's horn. The horn enclosed the light, protecting the flame from wind or rain. The term lamp referred to the actual light source. Lantern came to mean a well protected, usually portable light source, but now fixed (on a wall, post or hanging) used outside, under all kinds of conditions.