If you will join me in the work by providing clearly
scanned pictures of any unusual "Wick Turners" that you have access
to, together with some background details about the burner that
they operate, then I will collate the material here in a format
that can be easily researched by visitors to this website. (Come
on! Don't be shy. I have received nothing so far - 17/01/04)
My experience, after nearly 30 years collecting
lamps, is that I never stop learning and that particularly in regard
to burners there is still much new information out there waiting
to be collated. I hope that we will cover both common and rare burners,
so that newcomers to this fascinating hobby of ours will benefit
at all levels.
You can see that I have started the wick turning
by choosing a selection of Hinkswick turners to help you turn
the pages on this website.
It's a tremendous achievement and quite amazing
really that the basic design of the Duplex Burner has remained
unaltered for 142 years and is still in production for use
in paraffin lamps today. It's my favourite burner with so many different
variations on the basic theme. Here is a little background information
about it's development.
In 1865 Messrs James and Joseph Hinks of Birmingham
secured a patent for improvement in the burners of mineral oil lamps
"whereby two or more flat flames or one circular or nearly circular
flame may be produced by the use of two or more single wicks". Under
this patent they manufactured their Duplex Lamp which quickly
became so well known and popular as to go far in superseding all
other forms of lamps.
An innovative feature, so familiar to us today,
was the incorporation of a lever that raised the double
extinquishers, "whereby not only is the light instantly extinguished
but the wicks are also covered and protected from dirt , while all
evaporation by the wick holder is prevented." They further devised
an automatic lighting attachment which obviated the necessity of
raising the glass chimney for lighting the lamp. This was the familiar
turning key we find on older quality lamps, omitted of course
on cheaper burners, even in Hink's day and inevitably on today's
modern version of the duplex burner, which is still being
manufactured though not to the same quality or style as achieved
by Victorian manufacturers.