Aneucapnic lamp?

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Volesworth, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Volesworth United Kingdom

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    I've recently seen the term "aneucapnic" (what a great word!) as the description of a type of wick oil lamp. There is mention here:

    Book Reviews, Sites, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction | Kirkus Reviews

    However, considering the web will generally provide more information than you want on the most obscure subject, I can find very little about the aneucapnic lamp. OED definition:

    aneucapnic lamp, n. : Oxford English Dictionary

    So far, I have found that it was a patent type of smokeless lamp made by the scottish company Rowett in the 19th(?) century. The word aneucapnic being the greek for smokeless. As far as I can determine, it was made such that air is fed directly to be base of the flame meaning that there is no need for a chimney to draw it. So, instead of needing a slim chimney it would work just as well with a larger bowl-type alone, just to shield the flame from draughts and for appearance. The only descriptions I can find of the burner is in the OED definition above: "A type of smokeless oil lamp having two metallic globes over the wick that serve to conduct air to the flame, avoiding the need for a chimney". I can't really visualise the "two metallic globes" and wonder what such a burner must look like? In the first reference above, it is contrasted with "the modern, double-burner, chimney type", so it seems not to be like the single wick and duplex lamps that are common.

    Can anyone shed any further light on this please (pun intended)? I would very much like to see a photo of an original Rowett's Aneucapnic if anyone can help please. As before, my web searches for the same have not been very successful.
     
  2. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    Only thing I can think of, is a round wick with center draught.
     
  3. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    The word arises from the same Greek root as 'aneucapnia' which is a painful condition of the shins characterised by swelling and bruising concomitant with bumping into furniture as a result of low ambient light... :^o
     
  4. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

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    Don’t know if I can help but I have a pair of drop in founts wick turner says Wright & Butler and around the top of the burner are the words Improved Anucapnic. Had them for years with no hope of finding a pair of chimney/shades with flared fitter ends.
     
  5. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    Pictures please !
     
  6. Volesworth United Kingdom

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  7. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking!

    I bet I could make it smoke alright - simply turn up the wick too high... :roll: ](*,) :lol:
     
  8. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    It does, but there are two burner domes/caps (air space in-between) so one’s hidden from view.

    The ‘split wick’ of the design is two thicknesses of wick fed through the burner cogs together, evident from this view of an unusually broad slot to accommodate the two thicknesses of wick.

    FE7FBD0E-3E24-4BF1-9F28-0191B5D09FC5.jpeg


    The twin-dome-with-air-space-between design was evidently intended to feed hot air at the base of the flame, doing away with the need for a chimney.

    Judging by the number sold, referenced in literature even, the design must have worked.
     
  9. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

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    My pics won’t be needed then?
     
  10. Matty

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    Rowett Patent 1867

    RowettsPatent1867.jpg

    UT THOMAS ROWATT, JR., OF LONDON, ENGLAND.

    Letters -Patent Na. 61,634, dated January 29, 1867.

    MROVEMENT IN LAMP-BURNERS.

    TO ALI, WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

    Bb it known that I, TnOMAS ROWATT, the younger, of London, in the Kingdom of England, have invented new "Improvements in Lamps for burning paraffine, petroleum, belmontine, and other. hydrocarbon oils, without the use of -a glass chimney;" and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description thereof, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings and the letters of reference marked thereon; that is to say:

    In most lamps hitherto made for burning hydrocarbon or other oils, complete, combustion is effected by the aid of tall glass chimneys, which have not only the disadvantage of being easily and frequently. broken,' but tend to diminish the amount of light which ought to be produced from a given quantity of oil, by causing too strong a draught of Air.

    The object of my invention is to enable currents of air to be directed immediately, upon the flame, sufficient to, effect perfect combustion, but at the same time not so strong as to injuriously affect. the real light-producing power of the oilconsumed.

    My improvements consist -in applying to each burner two round-topped hollow cones or domes, onezxterior an. d the other interior, both being iso arranged as to produce two separate and distinct currents 'of air. The form of the domes resembles that of the ordinary dome, but the openings for the flame to pass through extend entirely across the tops of the donies, and are expanded, or enlarged at. their ends, the exterior opening being proportionately larger than the interior opening, as the exterior dome is larger than the interior. The bases of the domes are concentric, and are so connected together as to allow two distinct currents of air to pass to the flame, 'and both domes rest on sup I ports forming part of the disk or frame, from the centre of which the wick-tube rises, and the perforations or openings in or between the supports are sufficiently large to admit of an ample supply of air passing upward to'the flame through the interior dome. Round the exterior dome I make a number of perforation ' s to admit a second current of air to act on the flame, and the 4ect of these outer and inner currents of air is to cause the perfect combustion required. If desired, a gallery may be fixed to the exterior dome above the perforations to support a globe, which will not only improve the appearance of the lamp, but also conduce to the steadiness of the. flame, by shielding it from sudden draughts, and by creating another current of air which will be admitted tbro'agh perforations in the gallery, and pass upwards round the exterior dome. In the accompanying sheet 'of drawings, illustrating my inventionFigure 1 is an, elevation of a lamp with my improved burner attached.

    Figure 2, an elevation with part in section of the burner without the exterior dome.

    Figure 3, a bottom view of the burner.

    Figure 4, a side view.

    Figure 5, a top view of the exterior dome detached.

    Figure 6, an elevation of a lamp provided With a globe; and Figure 7, a top view of the gallery-for supporting the globe. a represents the Pil-chamber b the bottom of the burner, and c the wick-tube. On the part b there are supports d, having lugs or projections c, on which rests the flange at the bottom of the interior dome and in the part b there are apertures y, and between the supports, spaces or apertures h for supplying air to the flame through the inside of the interior dome f, surrounding the wick-tube e. On the top of, the supports d there is a rim,. k, on which the exterior dome I rests, which dome has perforations m for admittlug a current of air to pass between the two domes. n shows the perforations in the gallery supporting the globe, for aAmitting a current of air to pass upwards round the exterior dome to the flame; and the enlarged openings for the flame at the tops of the domesare shown at o, figs. 1, 2, 4, and 5.

    Having now degeribed the nature and particulars of my said invention, andthe manner in-'which the same is to be performed, I. desire it to be understood that
     
  11. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    That's interesting - I've never heard of the "Kingdom of England" - we had then, and still have now, the United Kingdom. That is despite having two Queens on the throne at various times - Victoria in 1867 and Elizabeth II since 6th June 1952. :-k

    Also an interesting patent - thanks Matty - but I still can't figure out how these lamps work. I can't even see the domes, either in John's image or in the patent diagrams... :doh:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  12. Matty

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    I just looked through a couple of dozen early GB patents and none other used
    The county is generally used or if in London, London.
     
  13. Matthew92

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    They do turn up sometimes but I think in different sizes. I’ve got a no.12 around here somewhere, don’t ask where though.:lol:
     
  14. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Kingdom of England 927 to 1707; succeeded by the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707 to 1801); succeeded by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801 - 1922); thence to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern 1927 Ireland (1927 +).

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  15. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    This photo’s better. The inner concentric dome is just visible, the two wicks fed into the burner also.

    77E11D2D-8982-4E60-999F-0B7A4B278FE2.jpeg

    John
     
  16. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Thanks John - I see how it works now!

    Mind you, I'd still be happier with a glass chimney and shade for aesthetic and safety reasons. Still, I suppose it's no different to a naked candle flame...
     
  17. Matty

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    Your inference to the naked candle flame may differ from a point I'd like to mention.

    Recently, I read a patent description and until then I hadn't thought much about the dangers of wick lamps and how they are used. I used to think much the same as you implied, wick lamps aren't all that different to candles.

    As it turns out, there is a lot of engineering involved in creating a wick lamp that is safe to use. The most critical time for danger when using a wick lamp is when the fuel is just about exhausted or when the lamp is to be put out.

    The inventors had/have to guard against vapours being ignited. The less fuel in the tank, the more vapours. The reason that snuffers were used will become apparent to those like I, that hadn't put much thought into wick lamps and how they operate. There are two ways to defeat the safety engineering. One is bad, the other is worse...

    The first (bad) way to set yourself up for carnage is to wind your lighted wick down too low, below the opening that the wick protrudes from and into (Let's call it a dome, for my lack of a better word) the dome. That is a bad idea as it can cause vapours to ignite most often when the fuel is low in the tank.

    How to make it worse is, blow down the chimney to extinguish the flame. The combination of the burning wick being inside the dome, and a nice breeze of fresh air - if vapours are leaking - the lamp can/will/have explode.

    By leaving your lamp unattended without a chimney, the above can be replicated. The wick, because of a lack of fuel, may burn down and into the dome and then a breeze, for instance, through a window or the closing of a door, is unobstructed by a chimney and reaches the burning flame...

    Having said the above, it was in the 1930's that the inventor first pondered then invented the best way (he thought) to overcome igniting leaking vapour. The 1930's are a long way off and the same dangers that applied to lamps prior to and up to the 1930's, may not apply to lamps after that time period. Personally, I wouldn't bet on it. I guess wick mantle lamps have been engineered well enough as I don't think snuffers can be used with those lamps. Perhaps a cap can be placed on top of the chimney to exhaust the air?
     
  18. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    No again, Matty - I was talking about aneucapnic lamps only and hadn't generalised to wick lamps as you seem to think.

    Aneucapnic lamps need no glass chimney (their raison d'etre from the patent you kindly supplied - see paragraph 2) so their naked, unprotected flame will be similar to a candle flame, though presumably larger.

    I've absolutely no interest whatsoever in any aspect of wick lamps which are other than aneucapnic - and, in fact, since John's photo which helped me see how they worked, my interest in those has waned to zero.

    I'm now off to pack some proper lamps... :)
     
  19. Volesworth United Kingdom

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    Thank you. What a great people you all are, and what great places the fora on this site are! All I have to do is ask a simple question and then sit back and learn! :clap:

    @David Shouksmith - ‘aneucapnia’ … :lol:

    @Jean J Thanks for the offer of pictures; however I think the ones @presscall, along with the patent information from @Matty, have shown me what was meant to by description of the design.

    @Matty Thanks for the patent document. Very interesting.

    @presscall - great pictures. That all makes sense now. I wonder what difference that makes to the light performance? If the smoke removal is due to a gasifying effect, leading to more efficient combustion, one would think the light would be reduced. Also, I had heard vague mention of two wicks but thought they must be edge by edge giving a wider flame. No way would I have thought they be side-by-side like that!

    Thanks also to @Wim @WimVe @Matthew92 @Tony Press :thumbup:
     
  20. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A double thickness of wick would create a larger surface area for a flame to be propagated, so I expect that contributes to a brighter light. Still not as bright as a size-equivalent tubular wick burner though - comparing two one-inch wide wicks in an anucapnic burner to a flame front approximately three inches wide in a one-inch diameter tubular wick burner.

    In the case of a hurricane lantern the ‘cold blast’ type (in which the wick burns in fresh air as opposed to the ‘hot blast’ type where heated exhaust gas is recirculated to the burner) burns brighter.

    That might lead one to suppose that the combustion of air heated by passing through those concentric caps in anucapnic burner would replicate the ‘hot blast’ lantern and produce a less bright flame than if cold air were fed to the flame, but the difference is that the anucapnic burner is taking fresh air and heating it, rather than the exhaust gas of the hot blast lantern, so the flame’s brightness is undiminished.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  21. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    If you think of a candle flame, the reason it emits light is due to the combustion of tiny carbon particles from the wax vapour. The reason it's yellow is because that combustion is incomplete due to a relative lack of oxygen inside the flame and the carbon particles merely glow. You can see the unburned carbon particles if you hold a sheet of white paper horizontally high enough above the flame so it doesn't ignite - a circle of carbon soot accrues.

    Now, since these aneucapnic lamps have a means of introducing more air (and thus more oxygen) to the flame then more carbon particles will be burned and more light will be emitted - and therefore fewer free i.e. unburned, carbon particles will leave the top of the flame so there's less smoke produced.

    Take this further to pressure lamps which use the venturi effect to pull in even more air/oxygen into the combustion area, burning is even more complete, more light is emitted and even less smoke.

    Q.E.D. :)
     

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