© Arto Hanciogullari und T. Tsekyi Thür

Repairs on Kerosene/Paraffin Lamps

Repairing kerosene/paraffin lamps, like cleaning them, is a complex subject. One can hardly imagine how many different repair jobs can be involved if one has not yet bought a great many lamps at eBay auctions like me. As I mentioned, even lamps touted as "complete" and "fully functional" are often cases for repair.

The nature and technique of the repair to be carried out is of course highly dependent on the material. I try here to describe most of the repair work involved according to my personal experience.

There are some jobs that are easier to do by hand than others, which require a lot of skill and some practice. Smaller repairs on glass and ceramics can be done without previous experience. In the case of metalwork, there are some tricky repairs that should perhaps first be practised on unimportant objects before venturing into an expensive or rare lamp.

A special chapter is the repair of burners that would not be usable in a defective state. Especially with expensive, rare burners, it is worth every effort to make them workable again. In this context, I also describe how to make shade holders and globe holders that deviate from the conventional dimensions.

For some of the works I present here, one may wonder whether they can be handled by anyone. For some other works, you may need courage to take the first step.

"Whoever dares can either win or lose. He who does not dare has already lost".

So, with this in mind, do not hesitate to carry out smaller and simpler repairs on your lamps yourself at first, and more complicated and demanding ones with advanced practice. If you succeed in a repair, you will be proud and feel that you have only now taken this lamp into your possession. The old lamps, these little companions and illuminators of people for more than a century, really deserve to be restored to their former glory and functionality.