For sale is a great vintage BRASS BLOW TORCH with a wooden handle from an unknown manufacturer. The torch stands about 9 1/2 inches high. The base of the torch is 5 and 3/4 inches in diameter. This tool is believed to date to the 1930s. Torch is not functional and has been modified to function as a lamp base. The bottom has a hole drilled which is largest enough for an electric cord. The top also has a threaded rod to fasten a lamp rod to if one was so inclined. A collectible vintage tool for display or to modify into an unusual desk lamp.
The three companies, which were to dominate the blowtorch business from the beginning of the twentieth century until the 1960’s became active in the manufacture of torches in the 1890’s.
Three brothers named Lambert started the Clayton & Lambert Co. in Ypsilanti, MI in 1882. In 1887, John N. Clayton, who had invented a burner for a plumbers’ furnace, joined the brothers. By the 1890’s Clayton’s burner was applied to a paint-burning blowtorch to be followed by many more blowtorch and furnace products.
Otto Bernz founded his company in Newark, NJ to manufacture tools and supplies for plumbers. By the turn of the century, Bernz had added blowtorches and furnaces and built up a successful business selling both product lines under the Bernz name, and as a contract manufacturer for some of the large department and mail order stores. The company moved to Rochester, NY in the 1940s.
The Turner Brass Works originally made harness and saddle fittings, as well as components for bicycles. By the 1890’s, Turner was making blowtorches, and its merger with another Chicago torch maker, the White Mfg. Co., led to Turner becoming the largest of all the blowtorch makers.