''Neverout'' Oil Lamps for the WWI Columbia and Great Western Military Bicycle

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Mercian

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 1, 2016
516
52
France
Oh well, it's all swings and roundabouts....

after the mild disappointment of the lamp above, this week I did buy another variation of the Military Neverout in France for half the price of the one above's postage from the US.

This one is a nice survivor, lightly used, with scorches on the paint, but with the majority of the original Army olive paint still in place.

And no USA stamped on the front.

As a guess, perhaps an early "off the shelf" lamp supplied to start the military contract (WW1 contracts were urgent to start with, going to war was slightly unexpected), before the tooling was modified to stamp USA?

Apart from the burner being stuck in the lamp, I am very happy with it.

Best Regards,

Adrian

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Bozman

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 6, 2009
765
Alexandria, Virginia United States
You can ease the burner out of the lamp by placing a slotted screwdriver in the slots next to the adjustment knob. Press down and it will come out.

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Mercian

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 1, 2016
516
52
France
Hi Boz,

Thanks for the help (-:

It was a bit tougher than that, I was concerned about bending the slots with the force I put on it. In the end I eased the tube surrounding the burner away from the burner a little at a time with a knife tip, and squirted WD40 down the gap. Eventually there were two or three faint crunching sounds, and it was free. There were a couple of spots of verdigris on the inside of the tube gluing the burner in, but they cleaned off without a problem.

The original wick had been completely wound down into the lamp, and there seems to be paraffin wax in it, which I guess is evaporated lamp oil reidue. I'm going to clean this one out, and get hold of a new wick and oil, and fire it up. (-:

Have a Good Weekend,

Adrian
 

ChadC

Look Ma, No Hands!
Mar 24, 2018
60
45
Monterey, CA, USA
I was just in the hardware store, which of course there's no cell reception so I couldn't look it up....these use plain old lamp oil and wicks?
 
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Bozman

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 6, 2009
765
Alexandria, Virginia United States
I was just in the hardware store, which of course there's no cell reception so I couldn't look it up....these use plain old lamp oil and wicks?
I've replaced a few of my lamp wicks with new lamp wicks. You just need the same width. When you fill the lamp make sure you drain out any excess kerosene that pools in the fiberglass wool.

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hoofhearted

Saint Lactose The Tolerant
Jan 20, 2010
4,291
Fairborn, Ohio

blackcat

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 4, 2017
188
54
Le Raincy, France
Hello;
Small finds from home, 2 beautiful lamps NEVEROUT with their supports.
a first model and a second model no stamped USA.
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Look a t the number of rivets on the 3rd photo above the wheel for adjusting the wick.
Regards;
Serge
 
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Mercian

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 1, 2016
516
52
France
Hi All.

And just when you thought that everything to say about Neverout lamps had been said, here's another variation. (-:

I have this one on the way to me. When I first saw it, I passed it by as civilian because of the lack of paint, the lack of a U.S.A. stamped on the front, and the bail, which I thought was probably a later addition.

Then I looked more closely, and saw the U.S.A.

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The bail certainly is not correct for 'Military Model' bicycle lamps, but it is well done, and may be original (I hope to find out when it arrives), and so possibly there for use on another vehicle instead. Larger versions of these bails do appear on truck lights of the era.

Anyway, the interesting bit is the U.S.A. stamped on the side of the lamp, making it Military, and another place to look for markings. The bail is over the top of this, so is obviously added after the stamp.

I know from research for an article that I am writing that there was concern that early Military Model bicyles were not marked as US property, and I think that's why some frames are not marked, and others are marked USA. Same with the headbadge, I think the first ones are plain, and then the later ones have the extra U.S.A. stamped into them above Columbia.

With the Neverout lamps, an easily detachable piece, it would have been even more important to mark them. I have the plain unmarked one from post 41 above, where the only indication of it being military is the paint. I wondered then if this was an 'off the shelf' item to supply the Army urgently.

This one has no paint, but I think that they started stamping U.S.A. on an easily accessible part of the lamp to indicate military property.

I also think the ones with U.S.A. pressed into the skirt of the lamp follow this. Neverout have by now had time to modify their press tooling.

As ever, this is a theory, and I'm happy to discuss alternatives.

Best Regards,

Adrian

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Mercian

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 1, 2016
516
52
France
Hi All,

just as a follow up to the post above.

The brass polisher wasn't able to quite remove all the green paint, it's still there in those difficult to reach places.

The handle/bail appears original to the lamp, same 'tone' of brass, square (early 20th century) nuts, and the same amount of carbon on the bolt heads on the inside wherethe lamp has been used.

I still don't think this design is for a bicycle, but possibly for some other small motor vehice or motorcycle. Or, I suppose a cart or waggon.

I would imagine stamped USA ones like this do exist for bicycles, though.

I have asked on a forum dedictaed to WW1 vehicles, to a resounding silence!

Best Regards,

Adrian
 
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