Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

Story by Dorian Stonehouse

WHEN I first encountered these two lamps, they were covered in muck and looked terrible; having been painted with thick black presomet paint and left for dead in the shed.

 Never say die

Of course, most of these railway lamps had been painted with the said black stuff, which was done to preserve the metal from the corroding effects of their environment in the rail yards, not to mention the inclement British weather.  

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

I first coated the entire lamp-inside and outside with a copious covering of chemical paint remover and put them aside for a few hours.

I then rinsed down the lamps with water to wash away surplus paint stripper.

Lastly, I  proceeding to remove paint remnants with a small wire brush and super fine glass-paper.

The inside of the lamp after soaking in potassium hydroxide solution

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

Potassium hydroxide takes about 2 days to rid the inside of old surface rust, so please be patient!

The impossible I can do immediately. Miracles take a little longer

In one of the lamps, the mesh which forms a barrier between the carbide and the entry hole to the jet, was missing.  Consequently, I cut out a piece of mesh and glued it to the wall of the tank⇑⇑.

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

The next job is to buff the entire outside with a good metal polish (also check out the handle⇑⇑).

I do like that little owl!

The reflector and surrouding parts must be cleaned with care

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

 Due to all the nooks and crannies, the reflector and housing was a real pig to clean. But in the end, it came up quite nicely.

Don’t forget to check for leaks in that water tank

There is a butterfly screw on top of the tank⇑⇑, and when released, drips of water should appear from the nipple below the tank⇓⇓.

Rubber seal on bottom of tank is softened with grease

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

All being well, the water tank should be water-tight, and the rubber seals⇑⇑in good condition, thus ensuring a gas-tight seal. Both the lamps featured were fine.

All together now – the parts all cleaned up and polished off

Next job is to clean out the gas jets⇑⇑, before filling the bottom tank with calcium carbide

A bicycle pump at the ready

The gas jets on these lamps often get blocked up by old carbide residue, so a balloon pump is really effective in blowing out any debris. 

When the vessel has taken in water from the top tank, I listen for bubbles as the pump piston is plunged.

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

For those unfamiliar with carbide lamps:  calcium carbide comes in the shape of small rocks.  These are placed at the bottom of the vessel⇑⇑.

Metal disk

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

A disk covers the carbide rocks

All that remains to do is to fill the drip, drip header tank

Full tank clamped down on bottom vessel to seal it

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

The butterfly screw⇑⇑ is loosened slowly, thus releasing drips of water, which reach the bottom vessel, mixing with calcium carbide and creating acetylene gas.

It’s my old flame!

And after 5 minutes

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

Still going strong after 2 hours

Premier (Carbide) Lamp Made in England Crestella Engineering Co Ltd Leeds

Together they rode off into the sunset

I do hope you have enjoyed the story of the beautiful Premier Carbide Lamp of Leeds.

I should be most grateful if you would please tell your friends on facebook and other  social- networking websites about electrosparkles.com

In the meantime, I look forward to taking more pictures of lamps and scientific projects for you to peruse and enjoy.

Dorian.

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https://outoftheblueartifacts.com/category/mining-items/page/33/