The Evolution of the Kerosene Mantle Burner, By Anton Kaim
Imperial Lighting Co. is pleased to announce a fantastic new resource for collectors and students of liquid fueled mantle lamp burners. In co-operation with the author we are proud to offer this unique and very important resource in our books and resources section at www.ImperialLightingCo.com
Now, Lets meet the Author!
Anton Kaim was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1948. After elementary school and technical training he joined shipyard ‘The Rotterdam Dry dock Company’ (RDM) in 1964 as a technician/serviceman. With an interruption of 16 months of military service, he worked there until June 1973.
In August of that year, he was admitted to the day course of the ‘The Dutch Association for the Training of Teachers for Technical Vocational Education’.
In just two years, he completed a three-year course with the diplomas in Mechanical Techniques, Technical Engineering and Pedagogy. In 1975 he was appointed as a teacher of Mechanical Engineering Courses at the 2nd Technical School on the Beukelsdijk in Rotterdam. A school for primary technical education.
In 1980 Anton married Willemina J. Venema. They have two children, Eline and Robert.
During a conversation in 1980 with his father-in-law, G. Venema, about hobbies and interests, i.e. technology and history, Mr. Venema took an old kerosene lamp from his shed, asking Anton if this was something he liked. This was certainly the case, but Anton’s questions such as: who designed it, made by whom, where and when made, could not be answered. Inquiries with others also yielded nothing.
But Anton’s interest in old lighting was piqued!
A search for answers was started which brought him to the ‘European Patent Office’ (EPO) in Rijswijk. This turned out to be a treasure trove, with thousands of books full of patents from all over the world.
After a search and with some luck, all those questions were answered. His father-in-laws lamp was designed, patented and manufactured in 1883 by the Belgian lamp company ‘Lempereur & Bernard’ (L&B) from Liège. It was improved by them in 1886 and Anton quickly discovered his lamp was the improved model from 1886!
More lamps and lanterns were collected in search of comparative material. The questions only increased! Also the visits to the ‘EPO’! There, interesting patents were copied on the spot for a fee then studied and selected at home.
In 1981 Anton received a beautiful brass harp lamp for his birthday from his wife, Willemina. The lamp’s reservoir said ‘Famos 120 cp. Foreign’. Apparently a lamp made in one country and sold in another. A lamp that also should give a very bright light, 120 cp. It did not! All questions that came up with this lamp where only answered in the course of a 25-year quest! After adding some missing parts, the lamp indeed gives a lot of light!
The maker was the German lamp company ‘Ehrich & Graetz’ from Berlin who developed this mantle lamp in 1928, commissioned by ‘Falk, Stadelmann & Co., Ltd.’ from London. The ‘Famos’ was produced under that name, exclusively for the British market.
In the meantime, a diligent search was being conducted for a book on the history of incandescent mantle burner lamps. It was not found, it did not exist!
During all those years many mantle burner patents were copied and studied. The Internet came and with this also contacts with people outside the Netherlands. The information from the patents found came in handy. Questions could be answered. Often those contacts themselves also yielded new and extremely useful information. The circle was complete!
Around 2007, Anton had collected so much mantle lamp information that he had the idea to make a book of it by himself. This plan was further elaborated after his retirement in early 2010. In 2013, the first edition was published in three languages: Dutch, English and German. At the end of 2019 the improved and extended version was ready and for sale.
Anton has created exactly the book he had been looking for so many years ago! Order yours today!