Austramax 3/300

Discussion in '3/300' started by Carlsson, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Earlier version of the 3/300.

    This is actually my first Australian lantern, and I'm very pleased with it.
    What a beautiful and solid little lantern! It now competes with the Coleman 242 to be my favourite among small lanterns.
    At some time I mentioned that I didn't have any lamps or lanterns from down under. Luckily for me, Outback Boy wouldn't have that, so he actually most generously gave me this litte gem to remedy my lack of experience in that field!

    The test run went all right, so soon a mantle will be tied to it and let us see how it performs out in the cold.

    1390591418-IMG_7765.jpg

    1390591418-IMG_7765.jpg 1390591425-IMG_7766.jpg 1390591431-IMG_7767.jpg 1390591449-IMG_7769.jpg 1390591445-IMG_7768.jpg 1390591457-IMG_7772.jpg 1390591461-IMG_7777.jpg
     
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  2. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

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    That's a bonnie lamp Christer.
     
  3. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    It sure is Jean!
    And it surely is nice to get different lamps from places all over the world to see how they look and perform.
     
  4. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    One of my favourites as well - and they're still being made. I'm fettling one for a friend at the moment.
     
  5. cmb56

    cmb56 Sweden Subscriber

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    Nice going.
    I like this lantern as well and I have been in contact with Astramax to see if I can buy one.
    I have at least got some brochures from them at the moment.
    You are lucky that it is an early one so you have the globe type of glass. The contemporary one is straight since at least 10-15 years.
    I like the globe type better.
     
  6. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Yep. Bulgy globes are generally better looking.
    And older is also better in this case since it don't use the plastic details later ones have.
     
  7. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Who's a lucky fellow then! :thumbup: :lol: :thumbup:
     
  8. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Well Jeff, I am. :content:

    I tried it out this evening.
    It seems that it needs a lot of preheating to get going, but once lit, it performed well enough.
    I had to preheat twice, but then it acted as it should, even if the temperature here is about 60 degrees Celsius lower than in its native country. :lol:

    Here's a fresh image of it, illuminating the relics of our beer deposits of the night.
    Unfortunately I didn't have any Australian beer this time to match the lantern, but the South African bottles you can see amongst the Central European ones is close enough.
    From my experience, SA and Australia has pretty much the same taste when it comes to beer, and so have I!
    To put a bottle in the snow is actually perfect. It keeps it close to freezing, but not actually there, which is perfect.
    I really hate tepid beers...

    1390687642-IMG_7791.jpg

    And, oh... I did of course use a more easily obtained glass for the real run.
    I exchanged that rare Austramax marked glass with a regular, simple Optimus bulgy one.
     
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  9. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Great photo! :thumbup:
     
  10. Claus C

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    Beautifull lamp Christer :thumbup:
    Maybe the lamp had to get used to be in a cold climate with that preheating. I just came home from Sweden and it was pretty cold compared to Damark just 100 km west for brrrr.
    Rescue the beers :D .

    Claus C
     
  11. outback boy

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    Christer, no wonder it did not perform right off, you preheat Aussie lamps with rum, and fill the tank with beer, Aussie lamps work best this way :clap: :D/ :lol:
    frank
     
  12. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Aha! I'll try that next time. ;)
    It has to be Bundaberg, I assume.
     
  13. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    Of course it does! ;) I have to support my home town. Bundaberg Rum

    That's a nice looking lantern you got Christer. I do like them a lot for their light output compared to size and ease of use. Yes, any Coleman or Optimus bulge glass will fit and does look nicer than the straight one. The straight one does work though and is what I have on my user Austramax. [url=http://0flo.com/index.php?threads/496

    This is what I call an intermediate variation of the 3/300. The top has the flatter top part of the later cap but still the 8 (IIRC) vent holes of the earlier style. It has the older handle but the newer style wheel. Plus a couple of other small points. So far I have identified about 10 different variations. Mostly combinations of parts and different colours.
     
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  14. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Close enough! It has nine holes in the top.
    Any idea when the first 3/300 came?
     
  15. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    The first advertisement I can find for an Austramax is from 10 Dec 1940. The same add was run for several months in the same newspaper. Here is an example of it.
    1390742935-Horsham_Times_Vic-41-03-11-1_resized.jpg

    The picture is very poor but I assume it is a 2/300. Maybe it is even the 1/300 that has never been proven to exist. It is interesting to note that it has a straight sided glass. Anyway, this is the earliest mention of Austramax that I can find. Another date that is mentioned in early intruction sheets is the 1 Jul 1952. This is when they added some improvments which were an improved cleaning needle and a new design burner head. Whether this is the change over date between the 2/300 and 3/300 is unknown but I am not so sure. It is possible to find 3/300s with the old style burner head. If anyone else has more information on dates I would love to hear it.
     
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  16. outback boy

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    Hi Nils,this is an article i kept a few years ago on Austramax history.Frank

    Historic lamp lights up 50 years of family enterprise
    By Geoff Strong
    May 13 2002


    Now for a subject that can throw light on itself - the Austramax kerosene pressure lamp. A relic from a pre-electric age, it has been made in the same factory in Brunswick for 60 years and by the same family since 1950.
    But the production has changed. While the base is still turned out by hand, the vital innards are now made by computer-controlled robots.
    Anne Faiman began her association with the factory when her father bought it after emigrating from Poland following the Second World War. It is now run by her husband Allen.
    Over those years, the company has turned its hand to many things, and in the '50s and '60s, blenders, floor polishers and even hot-dog heaters rolled off the line.
    These products were eventually wiped out by imports, and now the Austramax mainstay is electric switching for industry. But the original kerosene pressure lamp has continued, virtually unchanged.
    There was a time in the late '60s when the factory turned out thousands of lamps a week. These were popular with campers, the military and homes in places without electricity. Now demand is less than 1000 a year.
    Although the factory has its high-tech computerised machinery, much of its equipment is almost museum material - also Australian made, by makers long since pushed out of business.
    There was one big potential lamp order about three years ago, when the Australian Army was sent on its peacekeeping mission to East Timor. Mr Faiman said the army wanted 300 lamps immediately, but because of low demand he did not have enough stock.
    "We could have done it but it would have taken us three weeks to a month, so Coleman got the order and they manufacture in the US or Mexico."
    The lamps, which are based on a design that goes back to the beginning of the last century, can be fiddly to light. Unlike gas, they need to be pumped to maintain pressure; the upside is that when fuel is low, the light doesn't fade.
    The lamps are also cheap to run and easily serviced, which explains why their biggest market now is in island states ranging from Papua New Guinea to the Maldives. The biggest recent orders have come from the Republic of Kiribati.
    No one is quite sure when Austramax lamps were first made, but the Faimans have a copy of a patent taken out in 1946 by a previous owner, Norman Grummet.
    Mrs Faiman said her father bought the business after owning a factory making hurricane lamps in Poland.
    From a staff of about 30 in the '60s, Mr Faiman now employs just eight workers, mostly immigrants from Sri Lanka. But Mr Faiman produces most of the lamp bases himself, by hand.
    "Most Australians don't want to work in factories any more and there is an attitude of: why make something when it can be imported?" he said.
    His factory also produced gas lamps until last year, for a large local retail chain. "But they don't want them any more because they can make bigger margins from lamps made in China or somewhere."
    Mr Faiman said the main reason they stayed in business was to keep himself and his staff in a job.
    "But it is also a tradition. We have people who bought their lamps 40 years ago who ring us up and are surprised we can service them and supply spare parts."
     
  17. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    I have seen that article a while ago but seeing it again together with some other information could give a few clues. The company mentioned in the ad above is "Estee Trading Company". I have seen a couple of job advertisements from 1947 for the "Estee-Austramax" company. Maybe when the Fairmans bought the company it bacame just Austramax.
     
  18. Lamp_Doctor Australia

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    Regards early Austramax,
    Looked it up and the earliest date I could find was
    18 march 1941 sold by Estee Austramax
    Reg office 51 Hardware St melbourne
    there were a few adds for that year .
    Found the adds on google Trove
    Bob
     

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