Jason Clarke Antiques

Late Victorian Self-Igniting Bunsen Burner on Stand


For sale, a Late Victorian Bunsen burner with stand.

An uncommon example of a Bunsen burner with an inlet gas pipe with stopcock at the base and a self lighting jet which by-passes the stopcock. This feature allows a smaller flame to remain ignited at all times giving the user the ability to apply the main supply via the stopcock when required and ignite the full flame at the turn of a handle. Presumably intended as a means of saving gas consumption whilst retaining speed of use.

The burner also comes complete with a three-inch flame spreading attachment to provide a broad flame and its original upstand into which the burner fits within the inner circumference of the base.  

From other extant examples, this burner is likely to be of early Baird & Tatlock manufacture but difficult to say with complete confidence without any associated markings. It is however, a rather more interesting example for its numerous features and also for the light quality of its manufacture.

The Bunsen burner was created in circa 1855 as a result of the German Chemist Robert Bunsen moving to a position at the University of Heidelberg where a new laboratory was being purpose built for his arrival. With the new installation of coal-gas street lighting in the area, the University also laid gas line to the laboratory and in 1854 Bunsen suggested certain designs for new burners to complement this development. The main design feature was the collar at the base of the burner which would allow for the control of the mix of gas and air prior to combustion thus controlling the heat and strength of the flame.   

Circa 1880

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