What was before the electric lamp?
Before the electric lamp there was the kerosene lamp and this lamp was invented by Ignacy Lukasiewicz, a Polish genius, entrepreneur and social reformer.
Jozef Lukasiewicz was born in 1822 in the south east region of Poland (at that time Galicia, part of the Habsburg Empire). He studied in Vienna and became a pharmacist. While working in Lwów he started his experiments with oil. He came across a method for distilling kerosene from seep oil. Lukasiewicz later invented the modern kerosene lamp in 1853. The same year he introduced the first modern street lamps in Europe. He proceeded to be the creator of the oil and refining industry.
If you are interested in the achievements of this distinguished and very modest man, please visit the web-site of the museum named after him here https://bobrka.pl/en/about-lukasiewicz/
It is sad that Steven Johnson in his bestselling book “How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World” does not mention Ignacy Lukasiewicz in his chapter on light. He does say, though, that the invention of the kerosene lamp indirectly helped to preserve sperm whales that were ruthlessly slaughtered because their fat was used in the candle industry. Had it not been for the invention of the kerosene lamp the entire population of sperm whale would most likely been killed off.