Cold War Warrior

Cold War Warrior

Posted on 06/25/2015

Photo taken on June 11, 2015

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Pressure Lamp
Tilley Lamp
Aladdin Lamp

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Aladdin Model 305 Pressure Lamp 1955

Aladdin Model 305 Pressure Lamp 1955
An Aladdin pressure lamp which is stamped 1955. All through my army career, these were the mainstay lighting in the field for most units despite their potential hazards. Lighting was complicated; the fuel was paraffin but methylated spirits were used to warm up the mantle. Pressure was then gently built up by the pump on the side until the mantle became incandescent. Periodical pumping to maintain pressure was then necessary. I have seen the results of overenthusiastic pumping resulting in a "flamer" indicating they were best lit in the open (not practical if you were tactical). Although I only saw Aladdin lamps in service, we always called them Tilley Lamps after the original version invented by John Tilley in the early 19th Century.

When we were in Canada, we were issued locally with Coleman pressure lanterns which were similar, but used naphthalene as fuel. On one occasion, a comrade in the 9 x 9 tent very carelessly filled and lit the lamp; as I was approaching the tent, he suddenly emerged carrying the "flamer" and covered in blue flame as if engulfed in St Elmo's fire. Fortunately, being highly volatile, it just burned off him causing only singed eyebrows.

Ah, Coleman lanterns-- I wrote papers by them in geology field camp mumblety-mumble years ago!
2 years ago. Edited 2 years ago.
Cold War Warrior
Cold War Warrior
I've marked up many a battle map in their bright light with a gentle hissing accompaniment.
2 years ago.