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Dodin's Patent Burner Joseph Dodin's
patent no. 39,524.
August 11, 1863,
Assigned to J. Edgar.
Image: eBay Auction
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White's Patent Burner Luther C. White's
patent no. 56,131.
Dated July 3, 1866.
Made by Benedict & Burnham Mfg. Co.
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HBH Chimneyless Burner M.L. Callender burner Feb. 18, 1862,
Made by Holmes, Booth & Haydens
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HBH Chimneyless Burner James Sangster burner March 25, 1865.
Pat. no. 34,782
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    sometimes less is more...     
Chimneyless Burners
Emil Trittin's patent no. 36,262 granted on August 19, 1862. Trittin, a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had four other patents for chimneyless and vapor burners between 1860 and 1863.

As the term implies, chimneyless or "no chimney" burners are a class of burners that are designed to operate without a chimney. For the purposes of this discourse, only those designed for coal oil or kerosene will be covered. There were many other types of burners manufactured that did not require the use of a chimney including whale oil, camphene and other burning fluids, and scores of vapor burners. These burners were produced by all the major lamp makers of the period.

One of the primary purposes of the chimney is to artificially induce a draft through convection to bring increased air, particularly oxygen, to the burner to promote more complete and thorough combustion. The hot air rising up through the chimney creates a upward current of air which serves to draw fresh air in through the perforations in the burner, providing a richer environment for fuel mixture. The chimney also protects the flame from stray air currents, drafts and wind which could affect the consistency of light output, through excessive and unwanted flickering, and in more extreme cases, extinguish the flame.

Zenith No Chimney Burner
Miller Catalog image
For Kerosene or Coal Oil. We would call the attention of the trade to our Patented Zenith No Chimney Burner. This Burner has been in use for years, and given satisfaction. It is by far the best and the only No Chimney Burner that gives a light equal to a Chimney Burner; it gives a solid, clear flame, without smoke. It is provided with our Patent Gas Tube, which is a preventative against explosions.

-- Edward Miller & Company, Catalog No. 116    

Many of the chimneyless burners were used extensively on dead-flame lanterns where the burner was inherently protected from stray currents by the globe and the entire lantern enclosure by design induced a draft from the base up through the lantern cap. The larger ones like the Zenith (above) and the American Diamond Light (below), were often used on chicken brooder lamps, but they were also manufactured and marketed for general use on hand and table lamps.

Silver Patent Burner
Thomas Silver, of Nyack, New York, received patent number 187,987 for this burner on March 6, 1877. This burner was marketed as the American Diamond Light Burner. The thumbwheel is marked: PATENT MARCH 6TH, 1877.

Chimneyless burners appeared as soon as coal oil and kerosene came into widespread use in the late 1850's and continued well into the late 1800's. During that period, there were over 150 patents granted, and there was no shortage of designs and claims. There were a number of reasons cited in the patent claims for the manufacture of a burner which did not require a chimney. Among these are reduced cost of manufacture and consumer maintenance; the purchaser need not be concerned with replacement of glass chimneys which are easily broken through use or carelessness.

Most employed a "cage," cone or other enclosure of metal, either solid or perforated, that basically replaced the glass chimney by directing the flow of air inward and upward. Many burners were also specifically designed to reduce the amount of heat transferred downward from the burner into the fount through a variety of methods, thereby increasing safety by reducing the accumulation of hot vapors in the fount.

Generally, there's nothing glamorous about the large no chimney burners. They are rather boring as burners go and look out of place on most lamps. The smaller varieties, like the Dodin's patent depicted in the margin, are more appealing to the eye and look nice on a finger lamp or small hand lamp. A few nice examples will certainly help to round out a collection of lamps and trimmings!

Depicted at left is the reverse of a trade card for Charles Waterman, a manufacturer and dealer in kerosene lamps from New York. This shows the SAVAGE burner patented by Orrin J. Savage & George P. Hawley, both from Ithaca, New York, on May 5, 1863; U.S. Patent Number 38,422. The SAVAGE burner is also shown in an early F.H. Lovell catalog.

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