To assist, below is a glossary of terms and a few interesting facts for central draught lamps.

Font: The part of the lamp which holds the kerosene. Can be removable.

Embossing:  The three dimensional pattern pressed into brass or similar.

Inscription: Lettering, either raised (embossed) or stamped into brass, identifying the maker or type.

Collar: That part of the fount that the burner fits into.  Can be screw threaded or bayonet.

Vase: Only on vase, banquet and hanging lamps and is the ornate part of the lamp which holds the removable font.

Burner: A device to hold the chimney and enable the wick to hold flame.  Miller made central draft burners in four sizes No. 0, 1, 2, and 3 with five main patents. The five main Miller Patents   .  The most common of these burners is the No. 2 gallery which, to date, I have identified 18 different variations. Variations of the Miller No. 2 Burner

Wick Pull: The devise used to control the height of the wick usually attached to the fount - aka wick raiser.

Filler cap: The cap or 'lid' that closes the fill port or opening of a fount 

Thumb-wheel: The alternative to a wick pull, a small wheel used to control the height of a wick by turning, typically attached to the burner, but can be mounted in the collar of the fount.

Wick Carriage: A metal sleeve which slides up and down the inner tube holding the wick in place allowing for it to be raised or lowered.

Inner tube: A tube which goes through the font to enable air to be drawn up through the base to the inside of the burner.

Flame Spreader: A ‘cap’ which closes off the inner tube at the flame and controls the flow of air from the inner tube to the flame.

Chimney: To enclose and protect the flame and directs the flow of air.

Stem: Dictates the lamps height joining the font or vase to the base.

Column: A more decorative, elaborate and taller ‘stem’.

Base: The base of the lamp and is essential to the lamps stability.

Tripod: A bracket which fits around the burner to hold a dome shade.

Basket: A ring which fits onto the burner to hold a globe or ball shade.

Nickel plating: The plating of ‘Miller’ lamps with nickel is interesting.  Generally a ‘Nickel Plated Lamp’ was more expensive than the plainer brass version of the same style.  Giving a clean and popular ‘silver’ finish these lamps were much easier to care for and did not require regular polishing to maintain their appearance.  However, the very best and most expensive Banquet lamps, or those which were ‘decorative more than functional’ (like the Miller wall lamp you see) were un-plated brass – why?  Easy!  Lets face it, a nice highly polished brass lamp will always outdo a nickel plated one – and the very rich had servants to do the polishing.  So you find those lamps which were in regular use were nickel, but the very very best, those lamps for Ball rooms, Dining Rooms, Sitting Rooms etc. and decorative hanging lamps (again only the rich could afford them) were brass.


Japaning: A process of coating brassware (and other metals/wood etc) with a laquer (not unlike shellac) of various and varied colours.  Applied through a process of 'pouring' which left the surface free of any brushstrokes.