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Thread: Sustainable Light

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Branch Gordon's Avatar
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    Sustainable Light

    Converted my new standard lamp oil lamp into an olive oil/sunflower oil lantern. Still room for improvement...but it works well!


  2. #2
    Senior Member Branch Gordon's Avatar
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    So I did some digging around tonight on the Internet...on ways to improve the amount of usable light from a vegetable oil lamp. Turns out these were used quite heavily in the 1800's...based on a design by Aime' Argand in 1780.

    Argand lamp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I can't find ANY detailed info on how to build one however. It's absurd! This photo is the best I have found: Stage Lighting Museum - History - 18 century: innovations in stage lighting

    There was a patent filed...but I don't know how to access patents from that far back.

    An Ebay search brings up a lot of antiques...but it looks like they have all been converted to electric: argand lamp | eBay

    I found a guy on Youtube who has replicated the lamp...but he's the only person I can find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e98z...Y&feature=plcp

    That's real usable light...and sustainable!

    Has anyone else heard/read about Argand style lamps?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Branch Gordon View Post
    So I did some digging around tonight on the Internet...on ways to improve the amount of usable light from a vegetable oil lamp. Turns out these were used quite heavily in the 1800's...based on a design by Aime' Argand in 1780.

    Argand lamp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I can't find ANY detailed info on how to build one however. It's absurd! This photo is the best I have found: Stage Lighting Museum - History - 18 century: innovations in stage lighting

    There was a patent filed...but I don't know how to access patents from that far back.

    An Ebay search brings up a lot of antiques...but it looks like they have all been converted to electric: argand lamp | eBay

    I found a guy on Youtube who hasAgoc Travel replicated the lamp...but he's the only person I can find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e98z...Y&feature=plcp

    That's real usable light...and sustainable!

    Has anyone else heard/read about Argand style lamps?
    Its good that you are doing this reserch and working on ways to improve the amount of usable light from a vegetable oil lamp. My friend is also doing these reserches and he might haveheard/read about Argand style lamps. First of all I will ask him and then I will contact you.
    Last edited by JohnFedele; 07-30-2019 at 09:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Branch Gordon's Avatar
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    Bingo!

    The International Guild of Lamp Researchers

    Click on the "US Lighting Patents" link...and then searching for "Argand" brings up a ton of patents.

    I'm going to try and build on of these suckers...

  5. #5

    Smile

    Nice one, Branch!
    How hard was the conversion?
    Did you add anything, or it works out of the box? My granny used to have a couple of these lamps. I'll better start digging for them on my next visit and modify one.
    Here's some more info:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YImxXxdTowg&feature=plcp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmw4jJY0iXs&feature=plcp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAZuTuyb1OQ&feature=plcp
    This one is from a previous patent. The oil tank was above the burner because of the oil thickness and wicking problems.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpTf52bO4zw and Vegetable oil lamp with Argand burner - YouTube
    Yes, it's the same guy you talked about.
    Also: Gas Burners Old and New by Owen Merriman—A Project Gutenberg eBook
    I've read about an idea to use a parabolic reflector and a Fresnel lens with the Argand lamp (Winslow Lewis patent Patent US3692 - LIGHT-HOUSE LAMP - Google Patents) for lighthouses :
    Attachment 988
    They've also got up to 6 concentric wicks. Depending on how much light you need, you either light the outer ring or all of them (http://www.libraryindex.com/encyclop...ica/107-51.jpg).
    As for the patent number 1425 entitled "Lamp Argand's. Specification" was issued to Argand and published on July 3, 1784
    (Patents for inventions. Abridgments of specifications
    And it seems that the Argand lamp was also subject of a french patent. I'll dig on it later.
    And finally, more complete info in 'Brandy, balloons & lamps : Ami Argand, 1750 - 1803' by John J Wolfe.
    You can look for "More studies in early petroleum history" while you're at it...
    Cheers, and lots of beers!
    Valentin

  6. #6
    Senior Member Branch Gordon's Avatar
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    Conversion was very easy...although Lehman's sells an olive oil setup I think that is much easier to deal with. I already have the mason jars...so I just bought the wick holders from them.

    All I did was unscrew the burner from my oil lantern, take the top part off...and turn the whole thing upside down.

    They are easy to build yourself...I'm just concerned about the amount of useable light.

    I did watch all of those videos last night. I'm gonna call around this week if I can and see if anyone sells replicas of an argand style burner. I have very little experience with fabricating items...so it would be exceptionally hard for me to figure out how to build one from scratch (although I will tackle it if I need to).

    I found this interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZzFESI7BEY

    Same guy built a nice Copper oil lamp...uses vegetable oil, argand style burners, and non combustible wicks. Copper oil lamp - YouTube

    That is the ULTIMATE setup in my book. LOTS of light, no wick to mess with, and cheap renewable oil as the fuel.

    I just wish I knew how he did it...



    Quote Originally Posted by vallentin View Post
    Nice one, Branch!
    How hard was the conversion?
    Did you add anything, or it works out of the box? My granny used to have a couple of these lamps. I'll better start digging for them on my next visit and modify one.
    Here's some more info:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YImxXxdTowg&feature=plcp
    History of Modern Lamp, Part 2, Tubular Argand Lamp - YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAZuTuyb1OQ&feature=plcp
    This one is from a previous patent. The oil tank was above the burner because of the oil thickness and wicking problems.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpTf52bO4zw and Vegetable oil lamp with Argand burner - YouTube
    Yes, it's the same guy you talked about.
    Also: Gas Burners Old and New by Owen Merriman—A Project Gutenberg eBook
    I've read about an idea to use a parabolic reflector and a Fresnel lens with the Argand lamp (Winslow Lewis patent Patent US3692 - LIGHT-HOUSE LAMP - Google Patents) for lighthouses :
    Attachment 988
    They've also got up to 6 concentric wicks. Depending on how much light you need, you either light the outer ring or all of them (http://www.libraryindex.com/encyclop...ica/107-51.jpg).
    As for the patent number 1425 entitled "Lamp Argand's. Specification" was issued to Argand and published on July 3, 1784
    (Patents for inventions. Abridgments of specifications
    And it seems that the Argand lamp was also subject of a french patent. I'll dig on it later.
    And finally, more complete info in 'Brandy, balloons & lamps : Ami Argand, 1750 - 1803' by John J Wolfe.
    You can look for "More studies in early petroleum history" while you're at it...
    Cheers, and lots of beers!
    Valentin

  7. #7
    Senior Member Branch Gordon's Avatar
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    I just found the following information here: Lamp Wicks - The Lampworks

    IMPROVEMENT IN LAMP WICKS --

    "Our engravings show a novel substitute for the cotton lamp wick. The wick, two forms of which are shown in Figs. 1 and 2, are made of glass, and are filled preferably with pulverized gypsum, although any finely-ground stone, mineral, or metal may be employed. The bottom of the glass tube is closed by wire gauze, or other suitable strainer, through which the fluid flows; and is carried by the capillary attraction of the pounded material to the top of the wick.

    Thus a permanent wick is obtained, which may be employed with any form of lamp, and will last for an indefinite time. It may also be used in connection with an open cup, which the inventor terms a poor man's lamp. A perforated card is laid upon the top of the cup or tumbler as a support to the wick.

    It may be used either with or without a chimney, and it is claimed that with good kerosene oil it is perfectly safe, and consumes less of it, while it may be also used as a candle.

    Patented through the Scientific American Patent Agency, September 14, 1869, by Edward D. Boyd, of Helena, Ark."

    --SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, JANUARY 1, 1870


    So it appears the pulverized gypsum would work well for a wick. Just crushed up in a copper tube.

    I'm gonna buy some copper tubing and gypsum and try it out.

    Amazon.com: Mueller/ B&K UT04005 General-Purpose Utility Grade Copper Tubing Coil: Home & Kitchen
    http://www.amazon.com/Gypsum--1-lb/d...eywords=gypsum

    Quote Originally Posted by vallentin View Post
    Nice one, Branch!
    How hard was the conversion?
    Did you add anything, or it works out of the box? My granny used to have a couple of these lamps. I'll better start digging for them on my next visit and modify one.
    Here's some more info:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YImxXxdTowg&feature=plcp
    History of Modern Lamp, Part 2, Tubular Argand Lamp - YouTube
    History of Modern Lamp Part 3, Mantle Lamp - YouTube
    This one is from a previous patent. The oil tank was above the burner because of the oil thickness and wicking problems.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpTf52bO4zw and Vegetable oil lamp with Argand burner - YouTube
    Yes, it's the same guy you talked about.
    Also: Gas Burners Old and New by Owen Merriman—A Project Gutenberg eBook
    I've read about an idea to use a parabolic reflector and a Fresnel lens with the Argand lamp (Winslow Lewis patent Patent US3692 - LIGHT-HOUSE LAMP - Google Patents) for lighthouses :
    Attachment 988
    They've also got up to 6 concentric wicks. Depending on how much light you need, you either light the outer ring or all of them (http://www.libraryindex.com/encyclop...ica/107-51.jpg).
    As for the patent number 1425 entitled "Lamp Argand's. Specification" was issued to Argand and published on July 3, 1784
    (Patents for inventions. Abridgments of specifications
    And it seems that the Argand lamp was also subject of a french patent. I'll dig on it later.
    And finally, more complete info in 'Brandy, balloons & lamps : Ami Argand, 1750 - 1803' by John J Wolfe.
    You can look for "More studies in early petroleum history" while you're at it...
    Cheers, and lots of beers!
    Valentin

  8. #8
    Senior Member Branch Gordon's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Ok I think I have a design laid out. I am not a pro in photoshop by any means...so this is a very crude drawing. Incidentally it kinda looks like a penis lantern, haha...so just ignore that.

    This is how I THINK it needs to be laid out according to what I've read here: Argand burner (oil lamp) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia

    argand burner with non-combustible wick.jpg

  9. #9
    Thanks!
    Keep us posted.

  10. #10
    Simpliest version is to near fill a glass jar with sand, the greater the dimension the greater the flame. 1/3 fill fill with a light oil by pouring down from top. Ignite surface. Too much flame and the glass will smoke. Without glass not much light will be shed. Alternative is a pipe into any sealed container. A flame helds over the end of the pipe will start a vapour draw that ignites, and shall continue to burn untill fuel resevoir empty.

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