Top Left Edge Main Banner Top Right Edge

Towns & Industry (1860-1880)

Anthony Neville's Lamps

Neville Lamps

Anthony Neville's Patented Smokeless Flame Lamp

In 1865, Anthony Neville, a young man living at Switzerville in Ernestown Township, received the first of two patents for a new type of Kerosene burner. Canadian Patent No 1924, dated November 23, 1865, was designed to produce a smokeless flame without the use of a chimney. To achieve this, Neville used a tall, flat wick tube with a variety of tips that allowed more oxygen to reach the lamp's flame. As long as the length of the wick was controlled, smoke would be reduced. A second patent, Canadian Patent No 2040, dated May 14, 1866, was obtained for a wick composed of an outer envelope, with two or three string-wicks at its core. DISCOVER MOREReadmore Arrow

The Neville Lamps feature a conoid font with a rounded shoulder and ring-shaped handle riveted to the side of the lamp. The lower portion of the font is the burner chamber, with the underside threaded to fit the collar. Two wick wheels rest inside the chamber, while a wick tube extends through the chamber and protrudes through the font, exposing a flared tip with a series of small holes around the rim. The patent is engraved on the thumb wheel of the lamp: "Neville's Pat. November 23. 65"

The Neville Lamps were fuelled by kerosene, or "Coal oil." Kerosene was discovered by a Canadian Geologist, Abraham Gesner in 1846 but it was expensive to produce. However, new wells tapped in Canada West and Pennsylvania during the 1850s, created cheap, plentiful sources of kerosene. By the 1860s, the Kerosene lamp became the primary source of light, replacing whale oil and lard.

Born in 1839 in Ernestown, Anthony Neville was the son of an Irish farmer, Mitchell Neville and his wife Clara. Anthony had begun experimenting with new kerosene burner types as a young man while still living at home with his family. On the 1871 Canadian Census, his profession is listed as, "Patent Broker." On December 27, 1872, he married Hattie Maria Johnson of Newton in the Township of York. By the 1881 Census, Anthony and Hattie were living in Hamilton with their three children. Anthony's occupation is listed as, "Mechanic," indicating he may still have been producing lamps at this time. However, by the 1901 Census, the family had moved west to Saskatchewan, and Neville is listed as a "Farmer". Likely, he was no longer involved with producing Neville Lamps. By 1916, he had retired.

Back ArrowHIDE

Back in Timeline 1784-1799 : 1800-1820 : 1820-1840 : 1840-1860 : 1860-1880 : 1880-1900 : 1900-1920 : 1920-1940 : 1940-- Forward on Timeline
Bottom Left Edge Bottom Edge Bottom Right