My father ‘ s carbide lamp

La lampe au carbure de mon père .
   My father ‘ s carbide lamp

             English version below the pictures

Je vais vous raconter mes souvenirs liés à cette lampe au carbure (lampe à acétylène ) qui vient de mon père Emile.:

photo taken by Janine Fauquet September 18, 2019.

I am going to relate you my memories linked at this carbide lamp( acetylene lamp) coming from my father Emile.

– «  Emile , dépêchez – vous ! Il fait nuit et votre femme et Michel vous attendent «  disait régulièrement ma grand ‘ mère à mon père quand il était en visite chez eux .

   Mon père se levait donc de sa chaise , mais avant de partir il avait à préparer sa lampe au carbure pour son vélo. C’ était dans les années 30/ 40 . La lampe est maintenant sur ma bibliothèque dans mon bureau et je la regarde souvent . ( voir la photos 1 ci – dessous )


   Ah ! C’ était un vrai rituel ., D’ abord il plaçait quelques morceaux de carbure ( carbure de calcium ) dans le bac du fond qu’il fermait ensuite hermétiquement. Puis il versait de l’ eau dans le réservoir à l’ arrière (photo 2). Ensuite avec précaution il ouvrait le robinet laissant couler l’ eau sur le carbure . La réaction produit de l’ acétylène . Il devait attendre encore un moment pour être sûr que le bec avait un bon débit d’ acétylène pur et enfin il allumait avec une allumette . Et encore il devait contrôler l’ écoulement de l’ eau avec une sorte de vis pour ajuster la taille de la flamme . Un quart d’ heure  plus tard il accrochait la lampe à l’ avant de son vélo et s’ enfonçait dans la nuit .

  Mes amis , quelle lampe ! La flamme était admirablement blanche et brillante et avec l’ aide de réflecteur et de la la lentille éclairait puissamment loin ( photo 3) .C ‘ était un plaisir de rouler la nuit . Et quand les pentes devenaient trop rudes , il poussait son vélo en marchant mais la lampe fonctionnait en permanence .

 Vous pouvez examiner la lampe photographiée ci – dessous . Ce n’ est pas une pièce de musée mais une part de mes plus tendres souvenirs . j’ ai aussi une vieille boîte de carbure scellée par mon père mais tout reste comme cela . La flamme est dans mon cœur maintenant .


Photo 1
La lampe au carbure de mon père
My father ‘ s carbid lamp .

carbure 2

photo 2
water reservoir on the back , carbide chamber at the bottom
réservoir d ‘ eau à l ‘ arrière , bac à carbure en dessous
carbure 3
photo 3
burner , reflector and lens
Bec , réflecteur et lentille


   – «  Emile , hurry up ! It is night and your wife and Michel are waiting for you «  my grandmother told my father when he visited them


    So my father got up from his chair , but before he went out he had to prepare his carbide lamp for his bicycle . It was in the years 30’ s / 40 ‘ s . This lamp is now on a shelf in my personal office and often I look at it .( see photo 1 above ) .


    Ah ! It was a true ritual . At first he put some “stones” of carbide ( carbide of calcium ) in the bottom chamber which he shut hermetically  . Then he poured water in the reservoir on the back ( photo 2). Then with precaution he switched the tap to let the water drip on the carbide. The reaction of the carbide with water gives gas acetylene .  He still had to wait a moment to be sure the stream of acetylene at the burner ( jet ) was strong and pure and at last with a match he lighted the jet . And yet he adjusted the size of the flam by the control of the flow of water with a kind of screw . A quart of hour later he hooked the lamp ahead his bicycle and went on the night .


  My friends ,  what a lamp ! The flame was amazingly white and bright and with the reflector and the lens lighted strongly long further ( photo 3). It was a pleasure to ride at night . And when the slopes became really steeper he pushed the bicycle in walking but the lamp was working permanently !

You can look at the pictures of the lamp above . It is not a piece of museum but one of my tender memories . I have also an old  can of carbide sealed by my father but all remains like that .The flame is in my heart now .

____________________________________________________________

Je me souviens quand j’ étais un jeune enfant , j’ étais assis dans un siège fixé sur le cadre du vélo entre mon père et ….la lampe accrochée au guidon . J’ étais émerveillé par la lumière et sa puissance  . Il y avait peu de voitures  à ce moment là . La lampe à acétylène ne craignait pas les phares des autos de l’ époque . Quand il pleuvait j’ entendais les « pshitts «  des gouttes d’ eau qui se vaporisaient sur le chapeau brûlant de la lampe . C’ était réjouissant . Et quand la pluie devenait trop forte nous trouvions un hangar près de la route et là , j’ écoutais le bruit des gouttes sur le toit de tôle et me tenait près de la lampe les mains au chaud (sans toucher bien sûr )
Je n’ ai jamais oublié le divin frisson ressenti alors.
.

Une nuit de 1940
A night in 1940

   I remember when I was a young child , I was sat on a seat  installed on the bicycle frame between my father ..and the lamp hooked at the handlebar . I was amazed by the light and its power . There were only a few cars at this period . The acetylene ( carbide )  lamp had no fear of the car lights ! When it was raining I heard  sounds like “ pshittt” made by the rain drops vaporized by the very hot top of the lamp . I enjoyed this  . And when the rain became stronger we found a shelter by the road and there I listened to  the sound of the drops on the iron roof  and I stayed near the lamp that kept me and at first my hands warm .( without touch of course ) .
I never forgot that divine thrill felt then

   

About fauquetmichel

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104 Responses to My father ‘ s carbide lamp

  1. Your recall places us right in the scene Michel, I can easily imagine the young boy and his father out for a ride. Such a wonderful sketch. It’s delightful to visit those memories with you . Love ❤️

  2. puffpop says:

    How fascinating ! I have never heard of such an amazing lamp. Your father gave you light. A treasured memory… You are blessed to have such a caring father and such a wonderful light.

  3. That lamp is certainly interesting. Your drawing and description of the memory are sweet.

  4. What a beautiful lamp that holds sweet memories! 🙂 How wonderful to hold it and touch it and think of your father! 🙂
    You have taught me about this carbide lamp…I knew nothing of such lamps before reading this blog. And the way you described your memories of then, it gets our senses involved now. 🙂
    I can tell your father was a very loving, warm person, and a light in your life! As you are a loving and warm person, Michel, and are a light to so many people, including your friends here on WordPress! 🙂
    I love when you share your drawings! They are always a joy! 🙂
    Thank you for the smiles this blog-posting brings, Michel! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) to you and Janine 🙂

  5. judyrutrider says:

    What a great piece of nostalgia! One of the wonderful things about growing old in this time is being able to observe the progress of science. Now our bicycle lights have sophisticated, rechargeable batteries and LED bulbs that can light up the trail for hours with the touch of a button. Unlike your father’s simple lamp, the modern ones are too complicated for most users to understand how they work beyond the charging and use.

  6. What a wonderful memory! It is a fascinating device, and I can picture the scene perfectly.

  7. mrswrangler says:

    What a wonderful story to go along with a neat antique from the past. Hope all is well in your world.

  8. Wonderful memories Michel! Thank you for sharing them.

  9. blb1 says:

    I assume you told this wonderful story to your Grandchildren. 🙂

  10. Lavinia Ross says:

    I never knew how these lamps worked. I love the story of the lamp, and your drawing, Michel! These stories of another time are wonderful to read. The line you wrote, “the flame is in my heart now”, is beautiful. I, too, love the sound of rain on a metal roof.

  11. Mon grand père maternel, un ange, se prénommait également Émile, dit Titi. Merci, Michel !

  12. Irlene S Flansburg says:

    Great story Michel 🙂 I have too so many items from my mother and father that bring back memories of my childhood.

  13. Carole says:

    Il devrait trouver le même procédé pour nous éclairer l hiver qd on rentre de balade à cheval l hiver 😂. Bonne journée à vous deux je vous embrasse bien fort Carole

  14. Marion says:

    What a treasure this lamp is, Michel! 🙂 So good you’ve kept it all these years, and have the lovely memories to go with it. Lovely sketch that tells the story. ❤

  15. Joyce Hutt says:

    a beautiful story, and such wonderful memories you carry in your heart all these years later. your postings on facebook always bring a delight and a smile.

  16. Susan Joos says:

    What a treasure you have! Not only in the lamp itself, but also in the memories it can evoke! I have never seen such a thing in person. I have seen similar items in historical programs, but I bet they weren’t the real deal!

  17. wissh says:

    I love this entry, photos, drawing and memories. I can easily visualize the scene through your words, Michel. I was unfamiliar with these lamps so I learned something as well. Oh, and my grandfather’s name was Emil. He was killed in Poland during the war. May I share this blog post on my Facebook?
    Love, Christine ❤️

  18. Rachel says:

    Good memories, Michel.

  19. Ahhhh, thanks for sharing your memories, Michel. What we experience as children makes wonderful memories as we age. The simple things in life keeps us connected with family. I wonder, with all the technology we now have, what will future generations remember/enjoy about family happenings? Is bigger and better always better? Love your sketch. Love Marilyn ❤

  20. What wonderful memories ❤

  21. thank you for sharing your stories – i hope you have shared these many times with your children

    i know they never had a chance to meet your father, but by telling the stories to them, this beautiful light will live on with them as well ❤

  22. calmkate says:

    awesome memories of a caring and practical father, you have much in common Michel!
    I have seen a couple of cavers still using such lamps 🙂

  23. It’s a beautiful story to read. I love how you said the flame is in your heart now.

  24. neilc693 says:

    I can only imagine the quality of the light, and it must be next to impossible to obtain the carbide blocks now. Something struck me as a little funny in your post and so I looked on the internet—those were carbide of potassium, not carbonate of calcium as I first read, or else the cliffs of Dover would have detonated long ago! 🙂 I would love to have a working model.

  25. Love this post. You took me with you back to a wonderful time and on a sweet journey. Awesome.

  26. Julie says:

    Its lovely to read about your memories about your father and the lamp:-)

  27. mcbery says:

    That is interesting. I never drove bike at night much but many around here do. They use flashing lights and reflective gear to stay safe. Blessings to you today Michel.

  28. Gail says:

    It would be thrilling to ride at night. I’ve seen carbide lights around here that were used on the hard hats of coal miners. You do great sketches!

  29. Pam says:

    Such wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing.

  30. suester7 says:

    Lovely story, Michel! I love how you tell it – it brings us back in time.

  31. bernard25 says:

    Bonjour Mon AMI MICHEL ces souvenirs doivent te rappeler plein de choses de ton enfance
    Comment trouver le bonheur

    Surtout
    Ne le cherche pas le bonheur dans tes souvenirs
    Cela te ferait beaucoup plus de mal
    Tu retrouverais les bons ainsi que les mauvais
    Si tu veux trouver le bonheur
    Cherche le dans le présent
    C’est seulement là qu’ il t’attend et là tu éviteras ceux qui peuvent te faire du mal
    Alors vit ton bonheur dans ce présent
    Belle semaine à toi , tes proches tes amies
    Pour toi une partie de mon bonheur
    Bisous Bernard

  32. cocosangel says:

    That Carbide lamp must be amazing. I find some of the olden day stuff are better than the recently built equipment.

  33. kmaidy says:

    Elle est belle cette lampe et bien conservée !

  34. marica0701 says:

    Oh wow, I have never seen a lamp like this before! I really enjoyed your explanation of the process to light it, and your memories surrounding it!

    Take care!

    p.s., I have been quite busy with other things so I have not yet had time to post an update on my blogs. I will try harder to write this week!

  35. L. Marie says:

    I have never seen a lamp like that. What a treasure. And what a treasure that your father took such care of you.
    Love to you and Janine. ❤️

  36. That is a wonderful and warming memory. And to have that relic to bring alive those night rides with your Grandfather, thank goodness you kept it close. Thank you for sharing your memory and your Grandfather’s clever night light with us!

  37. cjjustice1 says:

    I learned a lot about the carbide lamp. I don’t think I have ever seen or heard of such a lamp. I loved the memories that you shared about riding at night with your father, the comfort and light of the lamp and the rain. So many precious memories evoked by the lamp! It reminds me of the verse – Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

  38. cjjustice1 says:

    I forgot my closing! ((Hugs)) and Love – Carolyn ❤

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