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Prest-O-Lite Gas Lighting Unit on Allis 20-35


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Old 01-12-2019, 06:15:47 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is offline
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Default Prest-O-Lite Gas Lighting Unit on Allis 20-35

Hi all!

I recently acquired this original piece of literature. It is from the Prest-O-Lite company. Covers the installation and parts of a Prest-O-Lite Gas Lighting Unit on an Allis 20-35 shortfender.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rrJCVSZ1bNYh8dPT8
https://photos.app.goo.gl/LLeW9rXh2trKdGJBA

There is no date on the paper, but must be from 1928 or after based on the shortfender 20-35 in the pics.
I had never seen this advertised before, so I had to have it. And I really have never seen one of these units in real life. Does anyone know if any of these still exist?

Or is anyone familiar with these units?

From what I have been able to look up so far (granted I have not spent a ton of time researching yet) it appears it was an acetylene tank that fueled gas lamps?

This would be really cool to see in operation!
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:35:27 PM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Re: Prest-O-Lite Gas Lighting Unit on Allis 20-35

I do know on a model T the gas lights had a tank on the running board that you put carbon and water in to make the gas and later on there was a grey tank with Prestolite cast into it that laid in a bracket there. Once in a while you still see a tank at the welding gas supply houses with Prestolite cast in it but most were for the soldering outfits plumbers carried.I know the fittings are different than the acetolyne tank for a cutting torch.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:28:53 PM
Oilpulled Oilpulled is offline
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Default Re: Prest-O-Lite Gas Lighting Unit on Allis 20-35

The acetylene gas, C2H2 is produced by calcium carbide, CaC2 + water, H2O. The carbon atoms in these molecules has a triple bond. It is unstable and the two carbon atoms in a molecule produce most of the large amount of combustion energy, making this gas effective for melting iron & steel. CaC2 can be produced by heating carbon (in coal) with limestone. Acetylene lamps use C2H2 and the carbide lamps make the C2H2 they use by dripping water on CaC2 or by dropping CaC2 particles onto water. I have a large construction lamp using the CaC2 particles and miner's cap lamps and hand lanterns using the water drops.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:26:59 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is offline
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Default Re: Prest-O-Lite Gas Lighting Unit on Allis 20-35

Now see I knew I should have been paying more attention in chemistry class maybe if they had talked about lights on antique equipment I would have not daydreamed so much

This setup must have been the tank you exchanged and not filled yourself, because it says "When the tank is empty, remove the tank and take it to the nearest Prest-O-Lite exchange dealer to be exchanged for a full one."

So does one buy Calcium Carbide anymore, or do people make their own by heating carbon with limestone like Oilpulled said? I know nothing about this, but find it fascinating How would one go about this? I imagine this may be dangerous?

Edit: so a quick Google answered some of my questions. Yes, you can still buy calcium carbide. very interesting, I'll have to do some more reading.
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