Colza oil was used extensively in European domestic lighting before the advent of coal (city) gas or kerosene. It was the preferred oil for train pot lamps, and was used for lighting railway coaches in the United Kingdom before gas lighting, and later electric lighting, were adopted. Burned in a Carcel lamp, it was part of the definition of the French standard measure for illumination, the carcel, for most of the nineteenth century. In lighthouses, for example in early Canada, colza oil was used before the introduction of mineral oil. The colza oil was used with the Argand burner because it was cheaper than whale oil.
Colza oil was used in Gombault's Caustic Balsam, a popular horse and human liniment at the turn of the 20th century. (Note that the ingredients listed in this link are similar to, but not the same as, the list on the actual bottle).
Among the more unusual applications of colza oil is the calming of choppy seas, where the oil modifies the surface tension of the water and rapidly smooths the surface. For this purpose, colza oil was carried in ship's lifeboats. Rescue and recovery operations have been made far less risky in this way.
More recently, colza has been cultivated in Europe as an ingredient for biodiesel fuels, and is the primary source of biodiesel in Germany.