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Tilley storm lantern X246B May 1978: this model has been in production since 1964.
Operation of a Tilley lamp (Video)
Large Tilley radiator R55 from 1957[1]
Tilley Lamp TL10 from 1922-1946[2]

The Tilley lamp is a kerosene pressure lamp.


In 1813, John Tilley invented the hydro-pneumatic blowpipe.[3] In 1818, William Henry Tilley, gas fitters, was manufacturing gas lamps in Stoke Newington, and, in the 1830s, in Shoreditch.[citation needed]

In 1846, Abraham Pineo Gesner invented coal oil, a substitute for whale oil for lighting, distilled from coal. Kerosene, made from petroleum, later became a popular lighting fuel. In 1853, most versions of the kerosene lamp were invented by Polish inventor and pharmacist Ignacy Łukasiewicz, in Lviv.[4][5][6][7] It was a significant improvement over lamps designed to burn vegetable or sperm oil.

On 23 September 1885, Carl Auer von Welsbach received a patent on the gas flame heated incandescent mantle light.[8]

In 1914, the Coleman Lantern, a similar pressure lamp was introduced by the US Coleman Company.[9][10][11]

In 1915, during World War I, the Tilley company moved to Brent Street in Hendon, and began developing a kerosene pressure lamp.[12]

In 1919, Tilley High-Pressure Gas Company started using kerosene as a fuel for lamps.[13]

In the 1920s, Tilley company got a contract to supply lamps to railways, and made domestic lamps.[12]

During World War II, Armed Forces purchased quantities of lamps, thus many sailors, soldiers and airmen used a Tilley Lamp.[12]

After World War II, demand for Tilley Lamps drove expansion to a second factory, in Cricklewood, then a third, merged, single factory in Colindale.[12]

The company moved to Northern Ireland in the early 1960s, finally settling in Belfast.[citation needed] It moved back to England in 2000.[citation needed]

Competing lamps

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ "R55 Radiator from 1955-1960's". Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  2. ^ "TL10 Table lamp from 1922-1946". Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  3. ^ Tilley, John (April 1814). "LIX. Description of a hydro-pneumatic blow-pipe for the use of chemists, enamellers, assayers, and glass-blowers". The Philosophical Magazine. 43 (192): 280–284. doi:10.1080/14786441408638024.
  4. ^ "The Petroleum Trail". Archived from the original on 2009-08-28.
  5. ^ "Lukasiewicz, Ignacy". Encyclopedia of World Biography.
  6. ^ "Pharmacist Introduces Kerosene Lamp, Saves Whales". History Channel.
  7. ^ "Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1822–1882) – Polish pharmacist and Prometheus". Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  8. ^ Breidenstein, Jürgen. "Principle of Petromax: Kerosene Pressure Lantern Principles of Operation". STUGA-CABAÑA. Witten. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  9. ^ "Coleman US lanterns 1914 – 1920". The Terrence Marsh Lantern Gallery. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  10. ^ Bebb, Frank. "How to date your Coleman® Lamp, Lantern and Stove". The Old Town Coleman Center. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Our Story". Coleman. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d "Tilley History". Tilley Lamps. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  13. ^ "Tilley Lamp Co". Grace's Guide To British Industrial History. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  14. ^ "Aladdin". Classic Pressure Lamps & Heaters.
  15. ^ "BAT". Classic Pressure Lamps & Heaters. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  16. ^ "Bialaddin". Classic Pressure Lamps & Heaters. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  17. ^ "Fama". Classic Pressure Lamps & Heaters.
  18. ^ "Optimus". Classic Pressure Lamps & Heaters. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  19. ^ "Solar". Classic Pressure Lamps & Heaters. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  20. ^ "Veritas". Classic Pressure Lamps & Heaters. Retrieved 10 November 2022.