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Butler Blow Torches: A History

And a background to other Canadian Blow Torch manufacturers & suppliers

Hopefully this article will be of interest to anyone who had a personal or working connection with William H Butler, the Butler Company, or to anyone with an interest in Canadian Blow Torches, or Blow Torches in general. 

Butler produced blow torches from 1940 until 1973(?) during which time they were almost certainly the main manufacturer of blow torches in Canada. 

It is hoped that Coleman enthusiasts will also find the article of interest.

Blowlamps: The Primus Date & Number Coding System 

And a brief history of the PRIMUS name, and a short guide to identification, c1895 to c1922

This is an article that was originally produced for the Blowlamp Society publication, Blowlamp News. In the light of further research, it has been revised, adapted and extended for website publication.  

It is written from the perspective of the blowlamp, but has relevance to pressure stoves or pressure lamps. 

An A to Z of British Blowlamps

Manufacturers, Brand/Trade names, and other names

This A to Z has been adapted from, and supersedes, a version originally produced for the Blowlamp Society quarterly publication Blowlamp News, editions BN84 & BN85. 

Although it is based on a number of lists and other sources, it is by no means exhaustive. Some of the blowlamp names & references are obscure, but are still included even if there is no, or little, information about them.

Please note this A to Z is subject to updates.

The British Optimus

And the Kings Norton Metal Company

This Optimus Nobel 2 paraffin blowlamp, of one pint capacity, is clearly stamped Made in England, London, and British Make, so rather than being produced by Optimus in Sweden for resale in Britain, it seems likely to have been made for Optimus by a British manufacturer.

One clue is that an almost identical blowlamp is to be found which is associated with the Kings Norton Metal Company Ltd, Birmingham, which, as a part of Explosives Trade Ltd in 1918, later became Nobel Industries in 1920.

Blowlamps / Blow Torches

Collections past and present

It will be noticed that the condition of the examples shown varies greatly. Some have been fully restored, others partially so, whilst some are "as found". 

As all enthusiasts and / or collectors are aware, there is no single "correct" way to acquire, clean or restore blowlamps. Each has his or her own preferences, methods and special interests.

Examples are grouped by country of manufacture.

Blowlamps / Blow Torches

Links to catalogues, leaflets etc for a number of Blowlamps and Blow Torches, and related equipment.

Barthel, BAT, Bladon, Clayton & Lambert, Burmos, Coleman, Craftsman, Dominion, Dunlap, Express, Hahnel, Hauck, Kitson Empire, Lenk, 

Macleod, Max Sievert, Optimus, Otto Bernz, Parasene, Phoemax, Preway, Primus, Turner, Veritas, White Mfg., William A Meyer, Patents, Articles, Tool Catalogue (George Adams), Miscellaneous

Links to other websites 

Other collectors and  related sites of interest.

French Blowlamp Collectors Club, French Collector, Coleman Collectors Club, Tools for Self Reliance (Milton Keynes), Swedish Patent Database, 

Great Dorset Steam Fair, Max Sievert Specialist & Collector, Classic Camp Stoves, Old Engines, The Engineman,  

The Blow Torch Collectors Association, Adeclas, Zangobob's Blow Torch Heaven, Grace's Guide, The Old Copper Website, Espacenet (European Patents), The Blowlamp Society.

A Family Resemblance 

Parasene, Phoemax, RM, Taymax, and the Veritas connection.

This article - open to further research - is about a group of four English manufacturers. The attention is on the blowlamps which they produced and retailed under their own names, as well as a number of trade names. It is believed that at least three of these manufacturers supplied blowlamps for others, notably for Falk Stadelmann & Co (Veritas) and for various other retailers such as Thomas Plant Ltd (Plumbob), and Fletcher Hardware (Two Tiger).

Easilit Blowlamp Company,  Kings Norton 

Yates Brothers, Darwen, Lancashire 

A work in progress

The Yates brothers in question were Thomas (b.1874) and his brother Edwin (b.1871) both born in Darwen, Lancashire. Thomas was a traveling salesman for his father's company of wallpaper merchants. 

His brother Edwin was a solicitor, and notable in WW1 for taking up the issue of men who wanted to join up, but who didn't meet the minimum height requirements of the British army. The result was the "bantam brigades".

Barthel Patent Brazing Lamp

A work in progress

A number of British manufacturers / retailers have been identified as having produced or sold versions of what has been referred to as the "Barthel Patent" Brazing Lamp. Although the name "Barthel Patent" has no known particular origin, possibly other than usage amongst collectors, there are some related references.

Most of the names listed can be identified as retailers, but just how many were manufacturers is unclear. Barthel are believed to have produced the original version, which retailed with the name "Diamantin". 

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