this is a Victor #2 headlight that was modified back in the day
Converted to self generation?
It looks like you would fill the tank with your favourite flammable liquid fuel, then pressurize it with the pump at the back. Crack the valve under the lamp leading to the burner and strike a match to light.
Then you could adjust your flame's height by opening or closing the valve.
I have seen something like that posted in the past, only it used a small Prestolite tank for fuel supply. Cool!
I'm pretty sure that's an old-fashioned blow torch rigged to the lamp. Jon, what does he burner in the lamp look like ? It sure makes for an ungainly "flashlight" !
here are the pictures of the burner
I want to see it burning!
I have a guess on what this light was used for. In the 1960's my grandfather, on my mothers side, told me about working the hard rock gold mines in Grass Valley Ca in the 1920's. Lighting the work area was always a problem, this light is small enough to be carried into the mine with a miner, and could be hung up from the bail handle on a driven spike in a drill hole, once lit it would get extra light on the work area.
I think Kevin's correct.........that lamp has "mining" all over it. Looks like a home made attempt at a large work lamp, but it wouldn't use carbide with that set up. Maybe pressurized gasoline or alcohol? Wouldn't put out a very white light, but enough for several hours of work underground.
I don't think I'd try to light it, even if you DID know what kind of fuel the original owner used.
I am not brave enough to light it
If it is a Victor 2, the mirror should be a 6-inch and would fit other Model T acetylene headlights as well, E&J, John Brown etc. Those Mangin mirrors are hard to find not cracked or chipped and I wouldn't light it with the mirror in it and risk breaking the rare mirror. This is an original Lancaster Mangin and some 3/4 burners.
Easy to take the mirror out and then play around with trying to light the lamp with an untested burner. I do that with burners that are supposed to be used in them. The flame hits that mirror for a short time and you have zilch!
It is a very neat find that could be put on a '13/'14 in about 15 minutes. I wouldn't even take the "character" dent out of the bonnet! <grin>
Ken in Texas
The old-time blow torches were generally fueled with gasoline. There'd be a pump to pressurize the vessel and a valve to adjust the amount of air/fuel mix at the burner. As a kid I remember seeing plumbers use them to melt lead into the joints of cast iron drain pipe. The flame could go from a smoky, candle like idle to roaring like the after-burner on a jet engine. Similar in technology were the Coleman camp lanterns that also burned (special Coleman fuel) or "white gas". They had mantles that gave a very bright white incandescent light. Perhaps this "invention" also used a mantle ? The wire at the other end of the tube opening suggests a support for a mantle. I can't imagine an "idling" blowtorch giving much light, and cranked up, it could literally melt down that headlamp !
Good thought for preserving the mirror in case you attempt to light it - it's pretty obvious when used it never got hot enough to damage the mirror, though - you have to ask yourself - "Do you feel lucky ?" ; )
The loop looks to be a place to adjust the flame. If you look close there is a lip riveted on around the tip of the burner, looks like a good place to put a Colman mantle which are self supporting when pointed down. Aladdin types which go the other way would need support. I would have that thing fired up and try it out using white gas and a Colman mantle. Good point abut taking out the mirror first. If you do fire it up, pull the pump and lube the seal. Motor oil should work fine.