In ancient China, they were made form paper, silk or animal hide while construction is made from wood and bamboo. Simplest lanterns use candles as a light source.
When in need for a portable light source – lanterns are a good solution. Some of them have esthetic qualities and some of them even spiritual. Read more about .
The 1846 invention of the kerosene lantern by Abraham Gesner was a huge improvement on lighting as compared to the days when "Indians of the Northwest natives caught and dried oolakan or candlefish, and used them as lamps stuck into a lump of clay, or carried them around in the fork of a stick."
It is not known which civilization invented the lantern first, but the Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese all used lanterns for festive occasions. In China, lanterns were .
When Were Chinese Lanterns Invented? Historians believe that the Chinese first began making the now traditional lanterns during the Eastern Han Dynasty .
Yet it was initially crafted as early as the West Han Dynasty (202BC~8AD). Later in the East Han Dynasty (25 AD – 220 AD), Chinese paper lantern was invented.
Early lanterns were purely utilitarian, often square and plain in design, whose original function was merely to shield a burning candle. Most were primitive in .
The magic lantern was invented in the 1600's, probably by Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch scientist. It was the earliest form of slide projector and has a long and fascinating history. The first magic lanterns were illuminated by candles, but as technology evolved they were lit by increasingly powerful means.