Lander's Acetylene Apparatus

William Landers stand at Leicester Show. The acetylene apparatus can be seen on either side of the front display.

William Lander of the Mill House at Hugglescote patented a novel apparatus for generating acetylene gas for use in lighting which he called the “Ideal Home”. It was described in the Railway Supplies Journal for May 1909 thus:

It is nothing more nor less than an acetylene gas plant constructed with some features quite distinct from other patents for the same purpose……..

The plant is intended for generating acetylene gas to be used in public and private buildings, such as churches, institutions, and dwelling-houses. In the country, away from any centre, there is frequently no public supply of gas, and what may be called a home generator is eminently useful and indeed necessary. Acetylene gas is not always a favourite—it is considered to have a certain amount of danger. Mr. Lander’s patent eliminates this disadvantage, besides ensuring more economy in the consumption of carbide than has hitherto been the case. There is absolutely no waste of carbide or gas whether the apparatus is working or idle. The generation of gas is automatically controlled, and in case of any mistake the generation stops, and thus indicates the danger of an accumulation of gas. As with ordinary gas, the danger perceived is quickly obviated……..

The apparatus operates without any difficulty, and automatically, and is commendably suitable for the uses we have enumerated, besides others which will present themselves to most people investigating the patent. The apparatus can be seen at work by anyone making an appointment, but to those unable to actually view, Mr. Lander will supply all those details for which we have little space here. The claim for safety is the most important one made in connection with this plant, because, as we have said, acetylene gas is frequently considered unfitted for anything but expert use.

Now as to price, a 10 burner light plant amounts to only £15, and a 100 burner light plant £75. In fitting a public building this sum is an inconsiderable item, and £15 is within the reach of a moderate income, and a well-made, durable apparatus for producing light is well worth the expenditure.

Comments about this page

  • I have recently found your page when researching family history after finding a box of my grandma’s papers in my mum’s loft. The Landers who owned the corn mill in Hugglescote are my grandma’s grandparents. In the box was the patent for this apparatus! My grandma grew up in Hugglescote before moving away when she got married. The photos on your website have been brilliant for helping me get an idea of places.

    By Fay (16 November 2023)

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