Alex Marrack Flame Spreaders

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Flame Spreaders and "Smoke Consumers"
from Alex Marrack

Articles by Alex Marrack:
Centre Draught Oil Lamps English and European Models
The L&B Lamp Belge or Belgian Lampe

Flame spreaders for many excellent lamps have become lost over the past century, and original flame spreaders are almost impossible to find.  Alex Marrack in England makes reproduction flame spreaders which are virtually identical to the originals.  With his flame spreaders you can get some of those fabulous old lamps working again!  The basic lamps for which Alex makes flame spreaders are the Vulcan, Imperial, Veritas, Lampe Belge (as made by Lempereur & Bernard, sold in the US as ''The Belgian lamp," sold in the UK as "Lamp Nationale" or LM), Hinks Annular, Messengers Annular and Youngs Court.

I am listing the flame_spreaders made by Alex Marrack as a courtesy:  I am in no way connected with Alex in any business arrangement.  I do this because I love to see old lamps working again.  Without Alex's flame spreaders, my 1884 B&H Imperial/Vulcan, 20''' Veritas and my L & B 20''' table lamp would not be in working condition, period - there is no other source for these parts.  If you get Alex's flame spreaders, you will need the proper chimneys.  Those I have available here - new chimneys custom made in the US from borosilicate glass. 

For more information, contact Alex Marrack directly via e-mail.

Vulkan Spreaders,  Globe Vulkan, Central Vukan, (also fits equivalent sized Imperial burners in the US).
16''' & 18''' are £24; 
24''' is £26;
30''' is  £30.00, all per each.

50 cp. (20''' size) Lampe Belge (as made by Lempereur & Bernard. Sold in the US as ''The Belgian lamp", sold in the Uk as "Lamp Nationale" or LM - Lewtas Manchester.   £24.00

Alex has found a reasonable stock of original Veritas flame spreaders, picture shows 20''' at top and 30''' below.
20''' Veritas... £27.00
30''' Veritas £35.00

45 cp (20''' size) Hinks Annular / Round wick burner...£24.00
54 Cp (20''' size) Messengers Annular / Round wick. This spreader also fits the 20''' size Lampe Belge marked "In Lux Way" on the winder (Made in the UK by Midland Lighting Co). Also fits ENGLISH 20''' Juno lamps (but NOT American ones) £24.00
20 ''' Youngs Court. (if the lamp has an extinguisher ask for the extinguisher model)   £22.00

Alex Marrack has  limited stocks of original Famos 120 cp spreaders, as well as Aladdin spreaders from model 11 onwards, both used and unused.  Contact Alex for information.

Many of the lamps were made in excess of 120 years ago and there were many variations of the lamps at that time.  It is best to contact Alex before ordering any flame spreader to make sure you are ordering the correct one for your lamp.  He is the expert:  ask him!

Notes on ordering flame spreaders from Alex Marrack. 

P&P from £5 per package (to UK)-- other countries from £15 per package,  tracked.  A package can comprise as many spreaders and smoke tops as you like at no extra cost.  Insurance is extra if required.

NO Returns. I will help you to ensure that you get the right spreader for a lamp. You need to help me to help you!

If you are familiar with lamps, have worked with the specific type regularly and KNOW what you have, go ahead and order. If your 'knowledge' is based on "what the dealer said", or "what it says on the winder", then beware, you probably need assistance.

Key pitfalls.... lamps are often electrocuted. Just because the lamp didn't have a bulb socket in it when you got it doesn't mean that it has not been electrocuted in the past... typically the spreader-support is ripped out and the inner wick tube shortened. .... Sellers often bodge burners onto the wrong fount, so a spreader to suit what it says on the winder" wont fit the support which is part of the fount.

If you want a spreader then I assume you wish to light the lamp.. if so CHECK that the lamp doesn't leak by filling it with fuel and leaving overnight. Then check that the wick winder works properly. Saves you buying a spreader for a lamp you cannot then use.


"Smoke_Consumers" from Alex Marrack

All the old catalogues listed 'smoke consumers', usually made of mica on thin metal or wire legs  They were sold as a cure for smoke marks on the ceiling, they stir up the 'exhaust' and so diffuse the column of hot fumes, resulting in a more even , and less noticeable fouling of the ceiling if the lamp smokes. The mica ones are fragile and so rare.

 Mine are Hand Wrought stainless steel with a piecrust edge and pretty tough, with brazed legs, made in four sizes adjustable to suit most chimneys.

In stirring up the exhaust column the red hot centre 'core' is mingled with the cooler outer layers. Unstirred the centre 'core' will set fire to a piece of white copy paper up to ten inches above the lamp in under a minute. With the consumer in place you can hold your hand safely 5 or 6 inches above the chimney top. A lamp burning on a table for an hour or two can damage electric light fittings and ceiling finishes above, and I've seen a hole charred in the wooden ceiling of a canal boat by a small cosmos lamp which was nearly 2 feet below !.

Using a chimney top smoke-consumer can considerably reduce the risk from setting fire to furnishings and other flammable material that may be above a lit lamp.

The consumer also significantly reduces the dust falling into the lamp when not in use, and keeps your wick clean.

Not to be confused with the pierced brass "chimney toppers" sometimes seen on eBay, these are in fact cosmos shells turned upside down with a knob added, and are found on fake candle lamps. Put one of those on an oil lamp chimney and you'll choke off half the draught.   Mine give full chimney flow, as did the originals.


These are a completely new design for 2014, they now have a stainless steel disc with a hand  - wrought piecrust edge.  This helps to create additional turbulence in the column of 'exhaust' , allowing the consumer to be made smaller.  The piecrust edge also helps to prevent warping   (to which stainless steel is very prone ) as well as enhancing the appearance of the consumer.

The 'three legged' design has been retained but the new design includes springier legs with internal-fitting feet.  These fit inside the chimney and reach below the top rim, so they will grip nicely even if the top rim is beaded,  turned- in  or  uneven.

Please see below for approx dimensions of the four sizes . The legs can be adjusted ( bent) with care (instructions sent with each sale) to fit to a nicety.


Disc Diameter

Range Chimney sizes suited
Internal  top diameter of chimney

30 line  67mm or 2&5/8ths inch 45 to 60mm
Aladdin / Matador  67mm or 2&5/8ths inch 35 to 50mm
Duplex 51mm or 2 inches 25 to 40mm
Kosmos 37mm 1&1/2 inches  15 to 30mm

T wo larger sizes, disc stands 36mm above chimney rim, two smaller sizes, disc stands 28mm above chimney rim.

Notes to Users

Please note, there is no advantage to using an over sized consumer,  it will not work any more efficiently.  With the crimped edge the sizes have been reduced to make them less likely to be knocked off and  make it  easier to place shade over the lamp (and consumer) after it is lit and adjusted. 

All makers advise users NOT to carry lit lamps.  Lamps fitted with consumers should NOT be carried when lit, as there is the risk of the consumer being shaken or jolted off.   If the hot consumer burns your hand ( or you think it is gong to do so ) you will drop the lit lamp.

Smoke consumers, all sizes, UK£ 20 each, P&P approx £5 per package, any number of consumers. Combine with flame spreader purchases and save considerably on postage costs.

Please consult the size chart above and check your chimneys before you buy


For orders, please email Alex Marrack directly >




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Flame Spreaders and "Smoke Consumers" from Alex Marrack

  • Vulcan, Imperial, Veritas, Belgian, Hinks, Messenger's, Young's Court, etc.

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