The earliest lamps were used by Greek and Roman civilizations, where light primarily served the purpose of security, both to protect the wanderer from tripping over something on the path as well as keeping the potential robbers at bay. At that time oil lamps were used predominantly as they provided a long-lasting and moderate flame. The Romans had a word 'laternarius', which was a term for a slave responsible for lighting up the oil lamps in front of their villas. This task continued to be kept for a special person as far as up to Middle Ages where the so-called 'link boys' escorted people from one place to another through the murky winding streets of medieval towns.
Before incandescent lamps, candle lighting was employed in cities. The earliest lamps required that a lamplighter tour the town at dusk, lighting each of the lamps, but later designs employed ignition devices that would automatically strike the flame when the gas supply was activated. The earliest of such street lamps wer