Scary gasoline vapor lamp

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by burndout, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. burndout

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    Here is one even I have been afraid to fettle and attempt to run. Marked PAT APLD FOR on the tube behind the upright burner stub. There's a long zig-zag metal piece in the cylinder to give maximum surface for fuel evaporation. Lamp is about three and a half feet tall. Anybody know anything about it??? Crack the valve and let 'er drip. Draft adjustment at the ring plug on the bottom. Truly a pyro's dream.

    Gravity drip lamp 005.JPG Gravity drip lamp 004.JPG Gravity drip lamp 003.JPG Gravity drip lamp 002.JPG Gravity drip lamp 007.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2021
  2. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I like it very much! :)

    Was this an attic find as well?
     
  3. burndout

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    Waal, I found it in my garage attic today, but I bought it on Ebay many years ago.

    Interesting to look at, but I don't think I'd light it other than in the middle of a concrete basketball court.
     
  4. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    It would be a shame for it to go Bang...

    Have you any more history to it or info on who made it, at all?
     
  5. burndout

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    No idea, but it appears to be American.

    I imagine it being used in Texas, or Oklahoma, using the highly volatile casinghead gas they condensed at the wellheads.

    I hope someone here knows more about it.
     
  6. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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    Ahhhh.
    Does it have a cone inside??
    (@Matty )


    So after just looking at the pictures and getting over excited about what I see, I now know it has the zigzag setup. :)

    Do be a bit careful with this one burndout, I got one going with the cone setup a while ago and exploded two chimneys in the process.
    I got some results with methylated spirits but I did much better with Shellite.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  7. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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    1902
    1902 almanac.jpeg

    1900
    drip lamp 1900.jpeg

    rytyuj5yr.jpeg
     

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  8. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hum ... There doesn't seem to be many safety features? ... Flashback?? .. :shock:

    1900 ! :)
     
  9. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Sooo.. looking at the drawings and patent dscription the spirit alledgedly (patently ?) totally vapourises on the way down so that only vapour reaches the burner. The welsbach burner has a incandescing mantle ? or "cone" ?
    There is a valve at the burner end but that is designed to stop any odour or escaping vapour, not claimed to be used for for extinguishing. But it must be the only safe way to put it out ?
    It will need a glass chimney to work (as @Anthony says). I agree Shellite (coleman fuel) would be the closest fuel to what was called gasolene in 1900. I am guessing that this really works by suction, the burner creating a vacum to draw in the vapour. If I were to test it I might be temped to do it from a long way off, and round a corner :shock:. I would have also thought that the most risky points are lighting and if the fuel runs out. (as @podbros says - no apparent way of stopping a flashback)

    Chris
     
  10. burndout

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    I wonder if some sort of wire gauze under the mantle fitting might mitigate flashback. Sort of like a Davy lamp operates.
    Perhaps the gauze might be too restrictive to flow if it was fine enough to be effective against flame propagation.
     
  11. george United States

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    These scare me...
     
  12. Matty

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    The burner is missing the burner cap which is perforated. I believe that is what stops flashback. The holder that comes with the upright mantle also has a perforated cap.

    When Anthony worked on my lamp for some reason there was a vibration. That vibration eventually caused the chimney to explode. I can't recall the theory behind the vibration, possibly a chimney that didn't fit the chimney holder correctly.

    The lamp, from a burning point of view, operates as does contemporary lamps such as arc lamps that were portable fuel & pressure fed and overhead generator, upright mantle lamps, that were gravity or hollow wire fuel fed.

    @Anthony & @Lamp Doctor did a video of the light up but I can't find the video.

    For reference, this is how my lamp looks.

    20210222_102531.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  13. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A bit sci-fi but it is science - things have a natural frequency or "eigenfrequency" at which they vibrate without external influence. If you add an external influence at a similar frequency things get out of control at a resonant frequency - much like the crystal glass ringing trick. I have seen flukes where heat, chemical reactions or running water have imparted energy resulting in damage from virbation. This may be your shattered chimney explanation. You probably won't be able to re-create it die to manufacturing tolerances and inability to exactly re-create the conditions.
     
  14. James

    James Subscriber

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    I wouldn't trust a burner cap to prevent flashbacks. How many times have we had a lamp that started back-burning?
     
  15. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    Well alcohol burning lamps of this model have "stuffing" in the horizontal tube directly before the burner.
    Mine has metal rods it also can be asbestos or metal gauze.
     
  16. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    An interesting lamp.
     
  17. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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    @Matty , I’ve been looking and looking and I can’t find that video either :doh:
     
  18. Matty

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    Regardless of your cynicism, it is the perforations that prevent flashback as the following 1899, patent describes.

    PatentBurnercapGauze1899.jpg PatentTextFlassback.jpg

    If you are having constant flashback issues you need to attend your burner caps more often and make sure they are intact and free of carbon build ups or any loose debris laying on the gauze and causing obstructions.

    I think I have had one lamp that developed backfiring. If it happens to you constantly you need to clean the inside of your burners more frequently or with greater attention.
     
  19. Matty

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    If the video is lost to time it will be a tragedy :)
     
  20. burndout

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    Patent, Smatent.... The principle of using gauzes to prevent the propagation of flame was well known. Sir Humphrey Davy showed it in 1815.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  21. Matty

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    @burndout

    I wasn't trying to educate a genius such as yourself, just the person whom doubted the concept.
     
  22. burndout

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    @Matty

    I meant no disrespect. My remark was directed toward the patent examiners who probably should have rejected this particular patent application
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  23. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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    I have seen many other patents for the same system.

    I guess they should have been rejected too.
     
  24. burndout

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    I have always understood that patents are to protect and reflect new art.
     
  25. Matty

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    @burndout
    I appreciate you clarifying your previous comments. I was simply trying to help those that didn't know or understand the concept to be aware, it wasn't just something I made up.

    A couple of things in regards to the patent. Davey, to my knowledge never patented an upright mantle burner.

    The patent wasn't specifically for the gauze to prevent backflash. The patent is for a gasoline hollow wire lamp and burner that also address's the use of gauze to prevent flashback as part of the entirety of the patent.
     
  26. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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    @Fireexit1, Re your post #13, good info.
    Thanks. :thumbup:
     
  27. MYN

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    That is a very beautiful and interesting lamp.
    It is true that perforated or wire-meshed burner caps do prevent to a fair extent, the chances of flashbacks occuring. The effectiveness also depends on things like fineness of perforations or tightness of weave for meshes. The main or fundamental idea is to reduce both flame and heat propagation backwards by maintaining it relatively cool behind the cap and in the burner/mixer tube if present.
    Thicker, heavier caps are usually better because they have higher heat capacities and require a lot more heat to raise their temperatures. In these, chances of heating them to the point of incandescence are fairly low. In simplified explanation, this prevents the fuel-air mixtures from reaching their autoignition temperatures within the burner cap and thus, chances of flashbacks greatly reduced.
    They apply to gas burners as well. I've experienced some very pronounced flashbacks with naturally aspirated gas burners whenever they've been operating sufficiently long that the burner ends became heated to incandescence.
     
  28. george United States

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    These gravity feed lamps still scare the hell out of me!
    [-o<
     
  29. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thanks @MYN :thumbup: This is the key difference in Lamps that are gravity fed, and Pressure fed lamps that develop a lot more C.P.
    Although it must be said that a small piece of gauze cannot guarantee prevention from a flashback in it's entirety.. there should be other safeguards if at all possible, such as the ones previously stated

    As a first line of defence it is a good start :)
     
  30. Matty

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    I wouldn't bet that it is a given that pressure lamps out perform all gravity lamps in terms of CP. In fact, many pressure lamps are or should be, operated at less than one atmosphere.
     

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