Tilley EX93

Discussion in 'EX4-EX100-EX93' started by Tony Press, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    IMG_7770.jpeg

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    This lamp is, I think, one of the early EX93 lamps used by Victorian Railways in Australia in the late 1930s and into the 1940s. It has a number of differences to the other two EX93s in the Reference Gallery, and the tank (fount, font) is different from the ML lamps in the Reference Gallery.

    I bought this lamp from Jim Dick’s collection, but at the time of me acquiring it I did not take much notice of what it actually was. I’ve only recently released it from storage (thank you, @Anthony) and unpacked it from its box. I was rather surprised when I started to re-assemble it and work out what it might be. This lamp is shown on page 83 of Jim Dick's book, "Tilley: The Versatile Vapour Lamp. A History of Tilley Lamps". A reproduction of the illustration is below.

    Neil MacRae (@Mackburner) says about his EX93 lamp here: “This is an ML93 fount with bolts set in for handle. They were supplied with or without paraffin preheater. Handle, hood, and reflector, are as EX100. Prototyped for Victorian Railways Victoria Australia in 1938 to fit into their “platform lamp cases”. At that time some 40 plus were ordered from the local Tilley factors and we think they probably made them up from Tilley parts to hand. Correspondence from Victoria Rail in 1938 includes a recommendation that more should be bought as required for platform lighting. The info from Victoria Rail gives the model number as EX93 which sort of makes sense as they are essentially a marriage between an ML93 and an EX100. As this one has the later GF cock I assume this is from a subsequent order and because a few have turned up in the UK I assume they were made by Tilley at least into 1940. If they were in fact made by Tilley the model number used for these by Victorias Rail is therefore correct but un-catalogued “Official” Tilley”.

    NOTES:
    1. The lamp came to me with a Kayen bail, which would not have been manufactured until the mid-1940s or later. I have fitted a Tilley PL53 bail (slightly re-bent to take the angle of the threaded studs). The studs fitted to the tank are angled, not vertical as in the EX4 studs and on the two EX93s in the Reference Gallery.

    2. The lamp has the early pressure release screw that was fitted to the EX4. This screw is not present on other EX93s in the Reference Gallery, but Neil MacRae, in his Pressure Lamp Catalogue, says that the "early versions [of the ML94] had a pressure release screw".

    3. The lamp has a riser from the tank to the control cock. This riser is not present on other the EX 93s in the Reference Gallery. The riser has a smooth (rather than grooved) surface at the riser-to-control cock join.

    4. The lamp is fitted with a GF control cock. An XN control cock will not fit into the riser unless the sock and bottom brass fitting is removed from the cock (see photos of the riser below).

    5. The bottom of the tank has number “15” separately scratched twice. It does not appear to be collector’s mark.

    6. The hood on this lamp is a TW Sands reproduction; the burner is a standard Tilley burner; the glass in the top photos is a TS Nettlefold & Sons teardrop globe; the shade in the lower photographs has been refurbished.

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    "TILLEY LAMP Co. HENDON ENG"
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    Pressure release screw.
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    "PAT. 374977 - 524719."
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    The depth of the riser before reaching the pump tube is too shallow for a full XN control cock.
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    The number "15".
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    Testing.
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    Up and running:

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    Arthur Brook states, in his book “Victorian Railways History Series No. 1 Lamps and Lighting Volume 1”, that in June 1938, Victorian Railways purchased eight EX4 lanterns to trial (and to compare with Coleman lanterns). The trials concluded that the Tilley lanterns were easier and less costly to maintain (than Coleman 247 lanterns). He then goes on to say:


    “Arrangements were made with the local Tilley agent, Mr Nettlefold [TS Nettelfold & Sons], to supply four lamps specially modified to fit in the railway department’s pillar lamp standards. Designated Model EX93, they incorporated (1) a special re-designed font to fit a standard platform lamp case; (2) a pricker device similar to Coleman Lamps, (3) an attachment to permit the lamp being hung from the ceiling for office use when necessary. Based on this description and the name, it appears the EX93 lamp was a combination of parts from an EX4 and ML93 lamp.


    “The EX93 lamps were installed at Corio in October 1938. Following a successful trial at Corio, 24 of the special EX93 lamps were ordered and installed… in March 1939. The order included one hanging type for the office at each station. Nettlefold & Sons had supplied about 40 modified lamps to fit standard lamp cases…”.​



    The photograph below from Brook’s book shows an EX93 in a standard lamp case.
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    The cost comparisons run by Victoria Railways (from the book by A Brook).
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    From Jim Dick's "Tilley: The Versatile Vapour Lamp. A History of Tilley Lamps" (p83).
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    I feel very privileged to have this lamp.

    Cheers

    Tony

    @Henry Plews @Matthew92 @george
     
  2. peterthevet

    peterthevet Subscriber

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    Excellent post - very informative. I find it interesting that they managed over 1000 hours of burn time without servicing, I assume
    that means over 1000 hours without changing the vapouriser!! Tony can we have an update after 1000 hours of burn time!!!!
     
  3. BigStevie

    BigStevie United Kingdom Subscriber

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    That’s one bonnie lamp Tony! Excellent photos and information, stunning!
     
  4. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A splendid example!:thumbup::thumbup:
     
  5. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    Considering the lamp's relative rarity, I can't think of anyone who wouldn't feel privileged.
    I can only echo the comment from @BigStevie , "Excellent photos and information, stunning!"

    Henry.
     
  6. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    yup
     
  7. Alex Smith

    Alex Smith United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Wow! Lovely lantern. I particularly enjoyed the historical documents, thank you for sharing these in the post. Interesting to note the comparison with the Coleman 247.
     
  8. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Alex Smith

    There is more information in that book about “testing” and comparing pressure lamps. There was an edict that gasoline (petrol in Australia) was not to be used for railway lighting due to concern about flammability in the sheds and workshops (not necessarily in the lamps themselves). So kerosene it was...

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  9. Matthew92

    Matthew92 Subscriber

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    @Tony Press

    Is it just me, but I can’t see how the tank/fount of one of these lamps would fit into that. You can see the burner hood and where the glass globe is, it just doesn’t look big enough to my eye to hold that entire lamp.:-k

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  10. James K

    James K Subscriber

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    That is a beautiful and interesting lamp, I love the glass.
    A very interesting and informative post with lots of reference material.
    Well done and thank you for sharing.

    I could not work out where the font was in the picture either, or the handle. But the burner is definitely in there.
     
  11. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Matthew92

    @Anthony and I discussed that exact point you made about the lamp in the standard lamp case.

    The EX93 will fit without its bail. The photo I’ve posted loses a fair bit of detail, being a low resolution reproduction of a printed reproduction of the original, but (I think) I can see part of the tank in Brook’s book.

    There is also another photo in the book (taken in 1952) that shows some of these lamps on a shelf in a railway store. Although the photo is large scale and the lamps are only a small part of the image, they appear not to be fitted with bails.

    Tony
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  12. Anthony

    Anthony Australia Subscriber

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  13. JohanOptimus

    JohanOptimus South Africa Subscriber

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    Absolutely awesome lamp, research, photos and presentation.

    Thank you
     
  14. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Excellent restoration and a very well documented post. Your work @Tony Press is exceptional.
    I found your presentation very informative and I enjoyed the read. Well done.
    Learning all the time.
    Cheers
    Pete
     

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