Pressure Lamps International

Blanchard Lamps (British) Ltd. and William Still & Sons

Charles Street, London, UK

Fellows Road, Hastings, UK

©AWMoore 2004


Arthur Blanchard was an electrical engineer who worked on the development of vapour burners for use with gasoline and other hydro-carbon oils right on the turn of the last century. In 1901 he patented a device which he claimed reduced the build up of carbon in the vapouriser by super-heating the oil in a chamber near to the flame and allowing deposition to occur where it could later be cleaned out, so avoiding the spoiling of the jet. His lamp of 1901 is a simple device having a pressurised fount and a riser to carry the fuel upwards directly into a vertical burner, where the intense heat of a blue flame heated an upright mantle inside a glass globe. The same principle was applied to a cooking stove.

At this time Arthur Blanchard was living in Camden Town, Middlesex, and the patent documents of May 1901 make no mention of any engineering works, or of any other parties, and while not exclusive evidence, there is a suggestion that Blanchard was at this stage working alone.

blan 01 blan 02

By 1905, Blanchard was working from Hornsey, and jointly with one Harry Wood, he produced a design of burner which had three air inlet tubes housed within a fabricated gallery. This design may well have been the inspiration for Frederick Tilley some years later, when the inverted mantle burner became Tilley's special feature. Blanchard's 1905 patent was for "the production of a burner of the inverted type in which is combined the advantage of the thorough heating of the oil before reaching the jet, and a quick simple means of lighting." The flamboyance of the table lamp and wall lamp were typical of what Blanchard was to produce later on and into the 1920's. Oddly, the drawings show a totally enclosed glass globe, so lighting depended entirely upon alcohol being placed into a cup below the jet but above the mantle.

It should be remembered that the drawings shown here may not represent actual production lamps, but bearing in mind the later ornate creations, I like to think that they do.

A later patent dated 1908 shows Blanchard working with Ernest Burgoyne in London. The invention this time relates to the same style of lamps, but in respect of the tip cleaner, or needle which has come to be standard in just about every pressure lantern made since then. The principle could also be used with acetylene burners and automobile carburettors.

By 1915 there was a substantial range of Blanchard lamps available for special functions.

Model No

Type

CP

Burners

1680 (outdoor)

Donut (Lifebuoy)

500

1

2000 (outdoor)

Donut (Lifebuoy)

1500

1

-

Hanging

100

1

-

Hanging

300

1

Billiard Table

Hanging

200

2

1307

Hanging

300

1

1157 (outdoor)

Hanging

100

1

-

Table

100

1

 

blan 03 blan 04 blan 05

These images are from an advertisement published before WW2

Blanchard supplied lighting for Shackleton's expedition to the South Pole, and a period advertisement refers to surgical and operating lamps being supplied to the War Office (UK). Their address at this time was 151 Farringdon Road, London E.C.

It is known that Blanchard lamps were exported from England. An Advertisement appeared in the Illustrated Weekly of India, September 1929, claiming the lamps to be "punkah proof".

blan 06

Illustrated Weekly of India advertisement 1929

Two other Blanchard lamps are recorded in old advertising papers, the 1370 and the 1373. These are both 300 cp lamps for indoor use only, and appear to differ only in their overall height.

1370 01cat 1373 01cat

It is known that Wm. Still & Sons were operating out of London during this period, and as early as 1910 they were working with Arthur Kitson on the design of oil burners. The Charles Street address was shared by Still and Kitson. Sometime after this, but when isn't known, Still and Blanchard became one and the same. A huge double armed lamp, probably made for shops and stores, is our evidence. Dated 1932, it carries a brass crest on a heavy copper fount bearing both names. It is thought that production ceased not that long after.

blan 07

1932 Blanchard store or shop lamp

Not much more is known of William Still & Sons. Their products appear to be of a high quality, and not intended for the mass market, and that is perhaps why they didn't survive in the lighting industry, although there is a suggestion that their products included other heating related appliances. It is also know that William Still & Sons operated out of Kent. There are reports of a Lyons Coffee maker model reference PSEL and serial No 3887D271 and, according to the metal plate on the back, this was manufactured by William Still & Sons of Fellows Road, Hastings for J Lyons & Co Ltd. It is also reported that the Teashop tea boilers in the Lyons houses were made by William Still & Sons.

 

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