I started collecting invalid feeders believing that they would be relatively cheap! Indeed, plain white examples can easily be found for £1, but the more ornate types can be very expensive. As the name suggests, they were used to feed people who were ill. Various styles were made, with a right handed bowl type, being the most common.
Left handed, double and triple handed examples were all made. Ornate feeders would have been used in homes, whilst many hospitals had their own feeders marked with their badge.
Since two cycle lamps were found in my parents’ home in the 1960’s I have been fascinated with the variety of types available and the quality of their construction.
Three firms dominated the market---Joseph Lucas, Miller, and Powell and Hanmer---all of Birmingham. Some of my lamps have a wonderful aroma which cannot be recreated. Acetylene lamps work by dripping water onto small lumps of carbide. The reaction between the two substances produces acetylene which burns with a brilliant white flame. Carbide was available from camping shops into the 1970’s as potholers were still using acetylene lamps. Recent enquiries confirm that acetylene lighting is still used in large cave systems where they are permitted, the main restriction being the size of the cave!
A large oil lamp, possibly from a tricycle?