Dornoch Historylinks Image Library

Carbide bicycle lamp
Historylinks
Carbide bicycle lamp

A silver metal carbide bicycle lamp overall dimensions 165mm high, 203mm in length (with spring bicycle clip attachment fully extended) with glass lens bell aperture 106mm diameter. The side of the lamp burner has two oval shaped red and green glass apertures, aligned port and starboard, each with embossed lighthouse with beam of light. The bottom carbide powder container has a knurled screw base for the replenishment of powder and wording 'Miller's Betalite' and 'British Made' the silver lettering on a black background. The globe shaped water tank is above the power container with a winged cap at its top for lamp gas adjustment i.e. water drops onto the carbide powder. This adjustment would be necessary during the lamp's use. A right angled tube leads from the powder container to the lamp head. The front lens enclosure can be released using a clip on the right (starboard) side of the lamp for the purposes of lighting the gas. A clip attachment from the lamp enclosure to the angle of the gas flow tube releases the whole of the lamp housing for cleaning of the flame reflector. Carbide powder could be purchased from Chemist shops or bought in tins at some garages. At the rear of the lamp are dual, hinged spring arms with a slot enclosure at the rear which would clip onto small angled arm which formed an integral part at the centre of bicycle handlebars.
Picture added on 15 December 2015 at 14:19
Comments:
I remember (Miss) Kirstie Grant, science teacher at Dornoch Academy in the 1950s, had an ancient motor-bike with a carbide lamp like this one. She motored home to Rogart at the weekends.

[Miss Grant can be seen riding a more modern form of transport in picture #1007]
Added by John Ross on 04 January 2016
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social history

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