Help date my carbide lamp?

Discussion in 'Antique Bicycles Pre-1933' started by Brian R., Dec 31, 2017.

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  1. #1 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

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    It's a brass Miller Monarch acetylene lamp, made in Birmingham. No patent numbers or dates. Lighthouse symbol on red and green side lenses. I've found no info after a thorough 'Net search. It must be 1890s to 1920s but I'd love to know the exact year range it was sold. Failing that, if someone has a catalogue page that shows it, please tell me the year. Finally, did brass lamps precede the silver coloured ones or were they sold concurrently? Please and thanks!
     
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  2. #2 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Hi Brian, I can give you a start date, after 1898, when the first British made Carbide lamp was produced in Birmingham by Lucas. The first commercial Carbide lamp was the US Badger Brass 'Solar' of 1897.

    Happy New Year,

    Adrian
     
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  3. #3 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    I live for the CABE

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    Hi Brian,
    here's an advert from 1922 that shows your lamp, plus the associated rear lamp also. I'll see if I can find anything earlier.
    Darren.

    Im19220215BN-Miller.jpg
     
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  4. #4 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    I live for the CABE

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    18 shillings and 9 pence, the equivalent of £0.99p. in todays money!
     
  5. #5 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    I live for the CABE

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    I was wondering if there any traces of nickel plating lurking anywhere on your example? Most acetylene lamps were nickel plated brass construction.
    Some people do like to polish them up if the plating's wearing away.
    There is a pdf file online if you search for 'H.Miller Co. Lamps'. Has an interesting explanation of why that lighthouse symbol was used.
    Unfortunately the file is too large to upload here.
     
  6. #6 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Thank you both. I didn't know there could be a tailight attachment, cool! No traces of nickel plating. The 1922 catalogue page is very helpful. I'm working on two Ladies bikes right now, 1896 and 1918, so I will put the Miller on the 1918. I will look for an early kerosene lamp for the 1896. Happy New Year!
     
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