Pressure Lamps International

Prabhat Udyog Ltd (PUL)

©AWMoore 2003

There is a tendancy to think of India as only recently becoming involved in the manufacture of incandescent pressurised lighting equipment, but this is not actually the case. The reason is most likely due to the way the lighting industry has developed worldwide in the last 100 years, with China and other Eastern nations becoming prolific in marketing oil fueled lanterns based on early Petromax designs. India's manufacturing pedigree actually goes back further.

In the first decades on the 20th century there was a rapid increase in the use of pressure mantle lamps and lanterns, due to factors such as improved manufacturing techniques in Europe and North America, better quality and availability of hydrocarbon fuels, and a huge growing demand for bright portable lighting. One of the companies the forefront of European design was A. B. Hjorth, who used the brand name Primus on lamps and stoves that were eventually to become famous all over the world. During the 1920s, The Primus design was well tried and proven, and A. B. Hjorth began to spread their expertise to other manufacturing companies. The Prabhat company began manufacturing lanterns under license from Primus around 1930. At that time it was a "partnership firm", and was the first in India to make pressure lanterns. They were the first and only licencees of Primus in India, and A. B. Hjorth offered technical advise and collaboration in setting up of the plant. Some time after 1930 Prabhat became a private limited company, and in 1959 it became a public limited company.

They manufactured only in the brand name PRABHAT, which was synonymous in India for it's quality. In fact in those days and for many many years that was the only brand of kerosene pressure appliance of note in India, and the company never manufactured lamps in any other brand name.

Recently, Indo International has been set up to cater to overseas markets for Prabhat, and the brand continues to be well known and renowned for it's quality. The picture below shows their model 425 lantern


Prabhat 425

Another model produced by Prabhat is the 426, this is a kerosene lantern of 300cp output, with the standard type of spirit-fueled preheater.


Prabhat model 426


 Thanks to Jitu Karnani of Indo International for this summary of the Prabhat company history. See



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