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Centre Draught Oil Lamps English and
by Alex Marrack
Other articles by
English Lamp Belge
The L&B Lamp
Belge or Belgian Lampe
This section covers
centre draught paraffin (kerosene) lamps that were sold
on the English market. When finished there will be a page
on most of the identifiable 'major brands' . Most are
English made, though many share some design elements with
European made lamps, some were made in other parts of
Europe. Many will be found in North America. Some were
imported and sold when new, and others have been imported
more recently as antiques and curios.
Although some of the very earliest paraffin burning lamps
were centre draught models, the flat wick lamps dominated
the paraffin lamp market until the early 1880s. By the
1890s there were several well established designs of
paraffin centre draught lamp, all with a draught tube
through the middle of the oil reservoir (fount), and all
using a bulged chimney and a flame spreader in the centre
of the burner to create a flower-shaped, bright
In England the Duplex burner was the most popular burner
design for a table lamp, so centre-draught table lamps
are relatively rare. A typical centre draught lamp would
cost 50% more than a duplex of equivalent quality, as
both burner and fount require more parts, more labour and
more brass to make them. Centre draught lamps were most
often sold as 'drop founts' ie a lamp that can be fitted
into a ring or basket in either a hanging frame, a floor
standard or a wall bracket.
usual size of centre draught lamp is 20 line
(20''').. which has a centre tube diameter of about
1 inch.. the exact size varies from one make to
another. Many lamps were also made in 30 line size,
and some also in a smaller size variously rated as
14, 15 or 16 line. 16 line lamps are typically also
called 30 candlepower, 20 line... 50 cp and the
[L & B 20''' table lamp
shown at right. Click on photo to enlarge
If you want to buy a centre draught lamp with the
intention of using it as an oil lamp then you need to
know what you are doing or buy from someone who does. If
the seller says it is "in working order" then you need to
ask him if he's had it burning for several hours in his
house... if the seller says "easily fixed" then ask why
its not been done. There is nothing wrong with lamps that
have been expertly repaired, sadly many lamps are either
beyond repair, badly bodged or have mis-matched
Most likely problems are missing flame-spreaders,
flame-spreader supports removed, wick tubes cut short for
insertion of a bulb socket, holes drilled in the fount
(for wires). Just because the lamp doesn't have an
electric socket in it now doesn't mean it has not been
electrocuted in the past. Founts also develop leaks both
due to rough handling and due to the brass cracking
(perishing). Very few parts are common from one lamp to
another, sometimes a burner may thread into another lamp
but not be the right height for the wick tubes.
[Note from Miles. Some flame spreaders are
available from Alex
All of the 20''' size lamps described use a chimney with
a 65mm, or 2&1/2 inch diameter base. The original
chimneys are typically 10 to 11 inches long and have a
'moderate' bulge. Fortunately in England the "Round
English" is widely available as it fits (and works well
with) Duplex burners (it is also often incorrectly called
a round duplex, though the actual round duplex is a
different shape). The Round English fits nearly all of
the 20''' lamps, and works well as the bulge is correctly
placed. At 9 3/4 inches long it is a tad short, but any
difference in performance is only apparent if the lamp is
turned up to the absolute max. Photo below shows an
original 20''' Veritas chimney (above) and a Round
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Heater Information below
Center Draft Wicks - Wicks
available only from this Wick Shop.
Flat lamp wicks
Aladdin Lamp Wicks
Center Draft Lamp
from "Tiny" Junior to Mammoth lamps.
Fabulous "Sans Rival"
borosilicate chimney for 14''' Kosmos lamps
Student Lamp Sans Rival Chimney with
1 7/8" fitter!!!
Standard glass lamp chimneys
Sonnenbrenner Lamp Chimneys
Information on lamps:
Center Draft Kerosene Lamps
(Photos, information and history, etc)
restored center draft lamps
Care, Feeding and Restoration of Center Draft
installation for many)
Lamp manufacturers and brand names
- Dimension of
nominal base diameter by make, model and "line".
Early American Metal Font & Specialty Lamps
Aladdin Lamp History
Aladdin Lamp Wicks & Chimneys,
Aladdin - Exploded burner views
Flame Spreaders and
Vulcan, Imperial, Veritas,
Belgian, Hinks, Messenger's, Young's Court, etc.
Articles by Alex Marrack:
Site Index for all things Perfection
Kindler Wicking For Oil Stoves & Ranges
Alphabetical list of most kerosene heaters and the proper wick,
& cart checkout.
List by wick number and the heaters that fit them. (A
helpful guide for buying on eBay)
Measurements needed if you have an unlisted heater.
Care and Maintenance of Kerosene Heater Wicks
Installing Kerosene Heater Wicks - generic for unpinned
Owner's_Manuals & information for many kerosene heaters
Heaters - General types, how they work, recommendations
for some good ones - and those I would avoid.
Economic Benefits of
Troubleshooting kerosene heater common problems
In New Kerosene Appliances
Kerosene Heaters at Night
WATER IN KEROSENE causing "dwindling" and poor
Flame Spreader Heaters
and Lamps -
A Century of Excellence
Kerosene Heater Carts
why carry your heater around?
Kerosene Fuel Primer
Kerosene tank cradles
Building a Cradle
HEATERS MADE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Beatrice Boiling Stoves & Mini kerosene heaters
you can make
Sad Iron stoves; Wicks &
Wicking For Oil
Burning "WICKLESS" Stoves & Ranges
Kerosene Stoves, Lanterns and Ovens
Kerosene Stoves -
Recommendations on different models
Stove Maintenance and Storage
Butterfly A-822, 22 wick, all-aluminum
Butterfly #2487, 16 wick stove.
Butterfly #2412 Pressure
instructions for virtually any pressure stove.
Double Burner Stove;
good with any gravity flow stove.
Oven for Kerosene Stoves
Butterfly #2641, 10 Wick Stove
the least expensive emergency stove.
Butterfly #2698 Cook Stove -
THE Best Heavy Duty Cook Stove.
#828R Pressure Lantern;
same for most pressure lanterns.
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