Home:  Vehicle Products: CARBIDE LAMP, 1930's


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A small tablet Calcium Carbide CaC2 is placed in the reservoir in the base, tap water is placed in a chamber above, this is released onto the tablet, on contact with water the tablet will fizz producing acetylene gas, C2H2 which is ignited at the burner. The rate of flow of the water can be controlled to give varying amounts of light. When the tablet has been exhausted the unit has to be cleaned before being reused.

Your comments:

  • About 55 years ago a schoolmate gave me one of these - exactly the same model. Surprisingly, a local bike shop still sold carbide. It worked well and gave a good light, but I never used on my bike as I had a dynamo or battery lamps. I remember my father telling me that boys had their own way of topping up the water reservoir when it ran low.
    .......... Alan Turner, Camberley, Surrey, UK, 27th of August 2014

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