Pressure Lamps International

Bialaddin Lamps

©AWMoore 2004

The exact year when Bialaddin pressure lamps were first made is not certain, but was probably in the early to mid 1940s. The make was very popular in the United Kingdom during the 1950s and 1960s, but earlier versions were probably in use in the 1940s. I believe that before WW2 Aladdin and Petromax Germany had a trading alliance, because 1930s adverts show the two names together. Around 1941 the last Aladdin Petromax adverts disappeared, and the name Bialaddin appeared. Bialaddins were made by Willis and Bates of Halifax, England, and marketed by Aladdin (hence Bialaddin ?) until 1968, when the relationship between the two companies apparently ended. Willis and Bates continued making pressure lamps under the brand name Vapalux. The Vapalux range, which I think also began in the 1940s, shared common components with Bialaddins, and probably shared some engineering with Tilley, who used Willis and Bates as sub-contractors between 1927 and 1938. Willis & Bates were incorporated as a registered company (00224284) on 7th September 1927.

Model 300 was, apparently, the first Bialaddin pressure lantern, and was in production before 1942. This was followed by Model 300X which was virtually identical.


Bialaddin model 300X

In1950 Model 305 came into production, but only until 1954, when Model 310 was introduced. This was coloured green, or chrome plated, with a green ventilator, and was the mainstay of the Bialaddin range until 1959.


Bialaddin model 310

In 1957 Model 315 came into production, and in 1967 this was replaced by Model 320 until the end of the partnership between Aladdin and Willis and Bates in 1968. Among these models some were produced as military version, either for the War Office or the Air Ministry. These versions are usually marked with WO or AM on the support collar.

The first table lamp was, I believe, Model T10, which had a cream painted pear shaped fount. This lamp was made between 1954 and 1957. After that date the fount was changed to a rounded shape, similar to that of the lanterns, and the name changed to Model T20. This continued to be made until 1961.

 bt10 bt20

Bialaddin table models T10 (Left) and T20

All Bialaddins are single mantle types buring kerosene (paraffin). The mantle is a double tie, with the generator (vapouriser) passing through the mantle. Early lanterns had maroon coloured founts, later models were green or chrome over brass. Early ventilators were brass and enamelled steel, later ones were all steel with green enamel finish.

Willis & Bates as a company were dissolved in July 1998, the business being taken on by Bairstow Brothers, who continue to manufacturing business at this time.



Links to other sites

Links to other sites - this page is desperately in need of an update! It's coming soon, but in the meantime here are a few of the best internet sites for lamp collectors.   David Greenwood - a knowledgeable and friendly collector is at    Currently off-line Fil Graf has one of the original reference sites at Juan has a good site for Focus and Petromax at ...

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