Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Willis and Bates

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Dec 1921.
Bialaddin Lantern

of Pellon Metal Works, Halifax, North Yorkshire; and 184 Brearley Street, Birmingham. (1922)

Willis and Bates of Halifax produced the Vapalux brand of paraffin lamps and lanterns.

1800s The company was established.

1897 The company moved to Halifax. The current factory, named the Pellon Works, was built in Reservoir Road and was completed in 1900.

Initially, the company made spun-metal parts for the textile industry but they soon diversified into making parts for other industries - particularly those of the gas and the rapidly developing electrical industries of the time.

At the end of World War I, Willis and Bates diversified further and became involved in the manufacture of parts for Petromax paraffin pressure lamps and lanterns.

1922 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Pellon ware, Jardinières, Vases, Coal Boxes, Fancy Metal Goods; Teapots, Vacuum Washers and other metal domestic articles. Advertising Novelties. (Stand No. K.3) [1] p86[2]

1925 They started making lamp and lantern parts for the Tilley Lamp Co - a relationship which lasted until 1938 when Willis and Bates began manufacturing and selling lanterns on their own.

WWII The Vapalux pressure lamp was issued as standard to the British army. This boost was enormous, and Willis and Bates produced up to 2,000 lamps and lanterns per week.

1946 Willis and Bates began an association with Aladdin Industries of Greenford who marketed their output under the name Bialaddin - thus the Vapalux trade-name largely disappeared other than for some lanterns sold direct to the Army.

1968 The association between Willis and Bates and Aladdin Industries of Greenford ended and Willis and Bates resumed the sale of their lanterns and the name Vapalux re-emerged.

Vapalux lanterns still being made at the Pellon Works in Halifax, although in 1997 Willis and Bates were bought by Bairstow Brothers and are now a subsidiary of that company.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Wikipedia
  • [2] Bairstow Brothers Web Site