Tilley lanterns

Neil McRae got this Model PL52 (on the left) out of an old stable.
This lantern dates to the mid 1930's and is outfitted with a reproduction mica globe
and finished as it would have been originally.
The Model PL53 (right image) dates from WWII and differs from the PL52
in that it has the glass globe and a steel fount.
Both of these 300 cp kerosene lanterns are in Neil McRae's collection.


This PL53 was made during WWII
for the military as evidenced by the blue grey painted fount.
The fount was made of tinned steel due to the shortage of brass.
The fount decal alerts users to the care
necessary to protect the fount from moisture.
This lantern is in Geir Wilhelmsen's collection.

Tilley EX4

The Tilley EX4 lantern was made and exported in the 1930's and perhaps the late 1920's.
An early version, in Kenny Connolly's collection (left), had a combined tip cleaner
and air release valve (center) which was later replaced with the familiar control cock
and separate air release screw (right) (Jim Dick, Tilley The Versatile Vapour Lamp, 2000)
Neil McRae dates his EX4 (right) to 1936-40, which he got from Australia.
This model was replaced by the Tilley EX100 (below).


Another 300 cp kerosene lantern,
this EX100 model was made for export from 1938-46.
It shares the same steel fount as the PL53 above.
This model shows up in countries such as Australia and Canada.
Neil McRae made a new shade (and ventilator) for his lantern
by taking a disk spun to the right shape,
cutting slots and attaching the steady lugs.


Tilley Model PL55 dates to the later 1930's
Instead of the usual 1.75 pint capacity fount,
this model has a 2.5 pint fount (Jim Dick).
This lantern is in George Burl's collection.


Model SDR, which may stand for Short Double Reflector,
is unusual in that it has a circular parabolic reflector above and below the mantle.
The burner is the standard 300 cp but Tilley claimed 400 cp for this lantern.
This lantern was expensive when it was produced from about 1945-46 (left) and 1946-52 (right).
These lanterns are in Neil McRae's collection.


Two types of the original Model X246 storm lantern were made between 1946 and 1950.
The earlier version (left and center-running) has a brass globe cage and ventilator
and a brass globe support ring rather than wire.
The later version of this model (right) has a steel globe cage.
Both of these lanterns came from the collection of the late John Findlay;
the earlier model is in Will Nelle's collection while the later model is in Neil McRae's collection.


Three later versions of the Model X246, 300 cp kerosene lantern -
The version on the left was made from 1950 - 54; note the bail attachment to the frame.
The version in the center was made from 1954 - Oct. 57; the Tilley name is now stamped on the side of the fount.
The version on the right was made from October 1957 - April 1961 and are date stamped on the bottom of the fount.
The lanterns on the left and center are in Neil McRae's collection
while the lantern on the right is in Steve Clark's collection.


In the 1950s Tilley also made De-Lux versions of the above X246 lanterns.
These were plated in Speculum over the brass.
The late John Findlay found this about Speculum in a book about metal alloys:
16.5 parts tin, 32 parts copper, 4 parts brass, & 1.25 parts arsenic.
Neil McRae, in whose collection this 1950 - 54 lantern is,
believes that Speculum was only used by Tilley during the 1950s and perhaps until 1963,
when they moved from Hendon, U.K.


Tilley made the X246A with straight frame legs for several months in 1961 (McRae).
This X246A, in Jason Tyler's collection, is date stamped August 1961;
the model number is stamped in the side of the fount.
Jason replaced the burner, vapourizer, washers, and control cock.


By November 1961, Tilley had changed to bent frame legs
from the straight leg version above.
this lantern is in Alex Swanson's collection.


Model X246A (left) was made until 1964; this one is dated March '62.
The original gold paint was removed.
Model X246B, right, was made from about Sept. '64 on.
This lantern, dated Jan. '91, only produced 188 cp vs. 300 advertised cp.
These lanterns are in Neil McRae's collection.


Model X359 is the same as X246A except that it has a preheater torch
(using kerosene and air under pressure from the fount)
and thus does not use the usual meth spirits torch for preheating.
This lantern, in Steve & Jill Wood's collection, is dated Nov 1960.
According to Jim Dick in his book on Tilley, this short lived model was introduced in 1959
and was likely Tilley's only model to feature a preheater torch.


Models  BR49A, left, and BR49B, right.
The BR models differed from the X246 models
in having the preheater device and an extended cage.
The BR49A was made from 1961 to '64,
while BR49B was made from around 1964 to '70.
This BR49B was made in Jan. '69.
These lanterns are also in Neil McRae's collection.


These are (l-r) a Tilley X458 "Flounder Fishing" model, X410A, and X460 -
three small fount lantern models that Tilley made primarily for export.
All are 200 candlepower vs. their standard 300 cp and date to the early '60's.
Model X410A came with the CH1 conversion head
with 3 air intake tubes (compare to Model X410 below).

These lanterns are in Neil McRae's collection.


This Tilley X410 is date stamped July 1957 and predates Model X410A above.
This lantern, in Ralph Trask's collection, includes the optional shade ring.
The slightly longer 1865 vapourizer provides room for the meth spirits torch
and allows the shade ring to rest on the rim of the ventilator.
Model X410 has the same burner as Tilley Model AL15
and has 2 air intake tubes (McRae).

 

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