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

The original patent for these lamps dates from 1884, and earlier examples are labelled Lampe Belge, and usually have plain brass wick knobs. Later examples are called 'Improved Lampe Belge' and show an 1893 patent. They are also usually labelled Thermidor Belge on the filler cap, and usually have an engraved black winder knob with a 'smiley-sun' trade mark and the legend 'In Lux Way'. Whilst they look very similar to the Belgian made lamps they are considerably heavier made, and were almost certainly made by the 'Midland Lighting Company' in Birmingham, England.

They share the same style of chimney grips with the Belgian product, and the burner baskets look similar. However, very few parts are interchangeable. The most usual size is the 20 line, though 15 line and 30 line are also to be found.  The 20 line size is available in both raiser and non-raiser versions. Unusually, the burners cannot be swapped over, the raiser burner is taller, and will only work on a fount with the correct, taller, draught tube. This must have entailed a lot of extra stocking by factory and dealers, as every fount variety needed to be stocked in raiser and non-raiser version. It also prevented the customer from upgrading a lamp by buying a raiser burner should they suddenly feel wealthy enough!

English Lamp Belge table lamp

Complete burner showing flame spreader

Draft tubes and flame spreader support.  Note the lift key.


The spreader looks similar to the Belgian lamps, but, as can be seen in the pictures, the support is in the form of a narrow tube, and the spreader has a brass pin, whereas the L&B Belge is the other way around. Two other English lamps (the Messengers 54cp and the English Juno) also share what is essentially the same spreader and support.

The majority of English Belge lamps are in the form of drop-founts for fitting into floor stand lamps, hangers and brackets, table lamp versions are relatively rare. These lamps are well made, and do not usually deteriorate unless abused. Spreaders are usually missing, and spreader supports are often ripped out for electrocution, with the draught tube often shortened as well.

Spares available for the 20''' size include wicks, flamespreaders, chimneys, shades and galleries. These lamps perform well and will accept the Round-English chimney.


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Flat lamp wicks

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Lamp Chimneys:

Center Draft Lamp chimneys
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)

Photos of restored center draft lamps 

Care, Feeding and Restoration of Center Draft Lamps (and wick installation for many)

Center Draft Lamp manufacturers and brand names

Lamp Chimneys - 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

Kosmos-Brenner lamps and wicks

Flame Spreaders and "Smoke Consumers" from Alex Marrack

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

    Articles by Alex Marrack:

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