1960s Vapalux Special Suspension Lantern

Discussion in 'Suspension Lamps' started by Ian Ashton, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Ian Ashton

    Nov 28, 2010

    This lantern was produced specifically for the British Army to illuminate Field Headquarters. It is designed to be suspended, to stand on a table or on the ground. Inside or outdoors in all extremes of weather. There were two models, the earlier H1 was also capable of being laid on it's side and shone on to a wall. For reasons of economy the H2 (shown) did not possess this capability or the further weather protection above the tank. They are the rarest and most sought after of all the W&B models. Generally known as the Vapalux Hospital Lamp or Vapalux Donut, the lamp shown was hung in the Manager's Office at the Factory for many years until it was sold in 2009. It was known at the Factory as model H2. The Factory lamp has a circular frame as opposed to the earlier H1 that has a straight sided frame on one side and extra supports.

    The Factory lamp was thought to be the only example of the donut but at the time of it's sale it emerged that one lamp had been in a Yorkshire collector's possession for some years and that another collector had recently discovered one. So at the present time there are three known examples, one H2 and two H1s.

    The lamp was made in the 1960s and this is born out by the parts on the lamps, the style of cock, the hinged preheater, even the silver paint on the tank is indicative of that era. It was capable of holding 3 1/2 pints of paraffin and burning for approximately 30 hours, which of course is the benefit derived from the donut tank.

    The lamp is cumbersome and awkward to pump and it's not surprising relatively few were made. More photos to follow.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2017
  2. pete sav

    pete sav Founder Member

    Sep 7, 2010
    Got to be more of them out there somewhere ian just a matter of time and luck till you have one in your garage [-o<

  3. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    North-East England
    Aye, when I made the pilgrimage to Halifax to see what was, at that time, the only known Vapalux donut, Peter Sunderland, the then Works Manager told me 5000 had been made!

    I took that with a massive pinch of salt (about a ton!) but hoped that it was true and that, someday, one would find it's way into my possession.

    I think I know of maybe three and I've seen an image of a fourth owned by a Yorkshire collector, who wishes to be anonymous and whose name I don't know - never heard even the slightest whisper who it is...

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