Petroleumlampen gehört zum Projekt belongs to the project

An excerpt from the book "The Moloch of Paraffin", 1887
The Lamp to blame, not the Oil. A little more than a year ago, at a Parafiin Lamp mquest at Plumstead, the Jury asked the Coroner whether it was not possible to put a stop to these fatalities; upon which the Coroner replied that he was sorry to say that although deaths were constantly happening, he was not aware of any cure for the evil. This reply represents pretty correctly the attitude of the Government and of eneral in the matter. A Lamp explosion is an act of Society in God; and man, in his present imperfect condition, is not responsible for it. Such a barbarous view of the matter is one I wholly repudiate. God may make Petroleum Oil, but, judgig by results, the Devil alone is responsible for bad Lamps. Sir John Humphrey, the late Coroner for East Middlesex, at one of his many inquests over persons killed by Lamp explosions, said it was a “pity people did not pay more for Oil,” implying that the Oil was to blame, not the Lamp. But this view—that a good Ov in a bad Lamp rous fallacy. Sir Frederick Abel will eliminate the evil—is a dane and Mr. Boverton Redwood, our two best enti Lamps and Oils, have declared that a good high-priced Oil (e., an Oil with a high flashing point) may be more dangerous in a bad Lamp than even the cheap Paraffin sold in poor nei ibourhoods Consequently the chief source of the mischief les in the Lamp. : authorities on The commonest type of Unsafe Lamp. r The commonest type of Lamp im use among the people is that with a flat wick, moved up and down by a wheel, and haying a reservoir of china or glass. It is sold from sixpence upwards, and in poor neighbourhoods the windows of oil and colourmen’s shops may be seen crowded with them. A large proportion of due to this Lamp, which not only violates one of the fundamental laws of safety by having a breakable reservoir, but possesses no safeguard whatever against communica- tion between the light and the vapour in the lamp. If, therefore, the wick be too narrow—and an ill-fitting wick is a frequent source of danger with these flat wick Lamps—or if a joint be defective, or the wick tube become enlarged and distorted by use, the conditions are produced favourable for an ex- plosion. “I have shuddered,” writes Mr. Crosby, a Pimlico Oilman, “when people have “shown me burners with the FROM AN ILL-FITTING WICK, OF DIS" TED WICK TUBE, wick attached and burnt or “charred quite half-an-inch down the burner, 2 solely from “an ill-fitting wick. Lamp “dealers ought never to suffer or allow a person to guess a “wick without the burner.” Moreover, this type is very difficult to keep clean, because it is not easy to get at all the parts \ of the burner, particularly below SS Es the gauze; thus charred wick f 74 is apt to accumulate and gene- rate a blaze just above the small air orifices on each side of the DANGER FI A DEFECTIVE JOINT, wick tube, and in immediate contact with the reservoir gas. Altogether, therefore, this Lam) of the masses is about as bad as bad design and bad workmanship could make it, and comes clearly under the category of “such trash” as the Jury in the Goodwin case recommended should be suppressed by law. The Lamp of the Lower Middle Classes. The next common type of burner, botli here and on the Continent, is that known as Cosmos, which may be seen in every oil and colourman’s shop, and very frequently in the elegant designs given herewith. ‘The 5 wick is a round one, or, rather, a flat wick is wound into a circular condition. If it does not fit closely, a firing passage is left between the flame and the reservoir, and where the wheels revolve in the tube is usually an air orifice, which is a permanent source of dangerous intercourse between the flame and the Paraffin vapour. In common with the usual flat wick burner, it possesses the defect that the lighted wick can be readily turned down into the reservoir of heated oil. The improved form of called the “Vulcan,” has a flame Cosmos burner, spreading button fixed into a narrow hollow tube running down to the re- servoir. If this button be DANGER OF A Cosmos BURNER. omitted, there is an air passage left exposed from the flame to the reservoir. Almost invariably the reservoir is of china or glass, often of the flimsiest character; and by a perversity, in many cases these flimsy glass reservoirs rest inside handsome strong bronze stands. Hence if these lamps, which at the distance look showily strong, be upset, the stand allows the weak glass reservoir to drop out, and break to pieces on the floor, Like the lamps of the masses, these lower middle class lamps foul easily, and it is not a simple matter to cleanse them, even with patience and strong soda and water.