At a recent local car show, one of my fellow participants came over to my 1916 Model T touring car - the oldest car there by at least 20 years - and showed me this modified oil lamp.
The lamp has a standard burner and is fitted with an electric light socket very similar to that used in the Model T headlights from 1915 on. The modification appears to be professionally made.
The outside end of the light socket has a rubber-like plug with two wire openings and set screws, like a Ford head light. Both ends of the socket have bayonet openings.
Any idea of the maker and when it might have been made? There were no visible markings on the lamp.
There were lamps made that operated on either oil or electricity. They were included on several high-end cars around 1910 through 1914, by which time, most major marques had gone full electric. They were also sold after-market for people that wanted to upgrade lesser cars. Many, but not all, had a manufacturer's name on them.
This appears to be a left side sidelamp with the small red lens to warn of right-of-way. The large clear lens puts light ahead. The small red lens goes on the car's left side to show a driver from your left that you have the right-of-way, and he must stop. A blue or green lens goes in the right side sidelamp which shows green to the coming driver from your right, telling him that HE has the right-of-way. Hopefully you are paying proper attention also.
A tail-lamp would have a larger red lens.
There were several major manufacturers of lamps in the era. They made many dozens of models of lamps with many shapes, variations, and sizes. Finding a match for a specific lamp can be very difficult.
I have a tail-lamp that has both oil and electric. It also was not a later modification. A lot of original ads can be found in era magazines offering combination lamps. I will use mine to add a brake lamp to my '13 T, and use the oil for the tail light.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Was the idea of using both oil and electric so that you could park your car on a dark and narrow street and not run the battery down overnight?
When the wick is adjusted properly how long with the oil lamps burn when filled with kerosene?
That type lamp, kerosene and electric was standard on my 1913 Buick.
There must have been a company that did that conversion. It's very well done. I used to have a friend with a '13 T that had Victor side lights that were done just like that.
The company that did that was the company that made the lamp. Some lamps were made that way from day one, as Wayne & Chris also state.
They will burn for a long time but I have often wondered how many hours. I'll set up a John Brown 110 and see what a "long time" is. My guess is 8 hours....we'll see.
Ken in Texas
From a 1914 catalog:
My 1914 Buick has electric/oil side lamps. It is an original car.
Here's an E & J taillight which has been electrified. The bulb socket is a double contact type. Looks like a factory job to me.
I think they look quite similar to the one I saw FN_Car_-_Lucas_side_lamp_(462057847) . The one I have seen belongs to Lucas Industries. Also check with the furniture stores who sell lamps like surplus furniture http://www.surplusfurniture.com/en/kamloops/accessories/lamps/1/ ,they might know about old designs