Pressure Lamps International; Handi Works Pty

Pressure Lamps International

Handi Works Pty Ltd (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

©AWMoore 2003


Handi is one of the few native Australian pressure lanterns, and its success can be attributed as much to the absence of sound competition as to the efficacy and functionality of the lantern itself. The Handi is a lantern that you either love or hate, and there are members in both camps! I've heard the lantern described by one Aussie as a "brilliant bit of kit" and just as succinctly by another as "a real bloody mongrel". My own experiences lie somewhere in between - but for a genuinely impartial view, see the story told by the current owner of the Handy Works Pty on . On this page, Albert White tells the tale of how, on a bad night when the lamp wouldn't light, his father would hurl the unlit lantern into the bush.

The Handi Works Pty, of Brisbane, came into being in 1932 when the company was started by the Hughes family. The company stayed in Brisbane manufacturing products such as irons, lanterns, stoves, refrigerators, and more recently anodized aluminium garden furniture. The current owner, Mr Albert White, has a very extensive web site devoted to Handi products and history - so do take time to visit the virtual Handi Museum This is a very extensive site, and is worth exploring in full.

Regarding lanterns, there appears only to be one model number - the model 3. This lantern could be set up to burn either kerosene or gasoline, but the vast majority of lanterns are for kerosene. In fact, the model name is "KeroPet", and only a change of jet and pricker wire is needed to convert from kero to gas or Shellite. If models 1 and 2 existed, they do not seem to have survived, but is quite possible that the brand started with model 3. (I worked as a design engineer for many years in the UK gas industry, and our marketing people would never start a product with serial number 0000001 - it was always 0010000 or some random number high up the scale. There is a psychological disincentive for having any product with serial number one !) The model 3 comes with painted, nickel plated or copper finish tank, and with grey, red or black enameled steel tops with wide or narrow caps. Older lanterns always seem to suffer badly from exfoliation on the top hoods, and the near horizontal pump is awkward to use.

keropet 01

Handi KeroPet model 3 (gasoline version)

Some spare partss are still avaiable from Handi, so if you have one of these lanterns, there is no excuse for leaving it in the shed - contact Mr White and get it back in working order.



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 ...

Lamps for Sale

 If you have a lamp or lantern for sale you can advertise it here, free of charge. Just send a couple of photos and your location details. There are no hidden costs, I'll just pass on any inquiries and then you arrange the sale yourself. To avoid problems it's much better that buyer and seller arrange to meet and agree the sale, as I can't be responsible for lost packages or failed payments! If you can't meet, then always use shipping methods with signed-for delivery. ************** ...


This is where you can display a photo of a pressure lamp spotted in an unexpected place. (Actually, some places might be expected, so send the photos in anyway)   A couple of Petromax lanterns in amongst the baking produce at Smith's Farm Shop, Chapel Brampton Rushden Railway Museum, Sept 2016 The lamp collection at Rushden, no BR49 there!                    x

United Factories

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Foote Mfg

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