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Old 6th Aug 2019, 6:09 pm   #1
LyntonP
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Default Vintage lighting

Hope this is ok to put on the vintage technology discussion.
I am sure that many of our more seasoned members will remember these items.
I had been looking for one of these pressurised paraffin lamps for a few years but they seemed to attract high prices on the usual auction sites.
Whilst away on holiday in The Isle of Man a few years ago I noticed one in a friends workshop. I asked if he wanted to sell it and he unhooked it from the back of the door and gave it to me. Naturally I was delighted but he then disappeared into another of his outbuildings and returned with two more!
‘Take them’ he said ‘I have others’
I rewarded him with a substantial amount of Guinness and he seemed very well pleased.
I managed to find some new mantles in a hardware shop on the island, (they are radio active by the way),and on returning home dismantled and cleaned the lamps one at a time.
Further spares were obtained via the internet, and I was fortunate that a company local to me sell paraffin which burns with very little odour. One lamp still had a tankful of Esso Blue!
A little research showed that two of the lamps were made by a company called Vapalux in the 1960’s and the third made by Tilley in the 1980’s.
The photos show their original condition, a comparison of the vapour head before and after cleaning, burning in a new mantle, and the lamps in their final condition.
I still use one on the shed as it gives very good light, and produces around a KW of heat, great for the winter.
Lamps such as these were used in the trenches in WW1. I remember lots of them used on market stalls, and we used them when we went camping of course.
There is another model that I would like to find which was a heater and had a large polished reflector. I have only ever seen one and that was in a museum.
I also still have a Primus stove but that’s another story.
Lynton
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Old 6th Aug 2019, 6:39 pm   #2
ThePillenwerfer
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Default Re: Vintage lighting

Very nice.

Like you, I've long fancied one but am not prepared to pay what they sell for given that I've no real use for it.
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Old 6th Aug 2019, 7:24 pm   #3
dave walsh
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Default Re: Vintage lighting

A really good job Lynton. I agree with you and Mr P about not laying out cash for something that isn't a real priority. On the other hand and ironically, your efforts make it clear why others are willing to spend quite a bit to get one

Dave
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Old 6th Aug 2019, 7:36 pm   #4
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Vintage lighting

Nice!

I remember back in the early-70s going on a camp with the TA and they had similar pressure-lights, but theirs ran on petrol not paraffin, so there was no faffing-around with pre-heating the things using meths.

[We were in Scotland, at Cultybraggan, a site originally used during WWII as a PoW camp but later by the Army - and the lights horribly attracted millions of bloodsucking midges from the surroundings!]
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Old 6th Aug 2019, 7:39 pm   #5
The Philpott
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Default Re: Vintage lighting

I do like these things. A similar lamp was our background lighting for bonfire night in the '70's, i remember the hiss, the greenish-white light and the need to pump it every so often. I also recall being slightly scared of it! I think it was a petrol one. There was an attempt to resurrect it years later but after 3 mantles falling to bits in succession, we gave up.

Now then, where is it....

Dave
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Old 6th Aug 2019, 7:59 pm   #6
AC/HL
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Default Re: Vintage lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyntonP View Post
Hope this is ok to put on the vintage technology discussion.
Paraffin lamps are definitely not a form of vintage electronics, sorry. There will be a more appropriate forum somewhere.
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