Coleman Model 226
Born in January, 1993

Don't forget to review our lantern safety pages.

How Pressure Appliances Work

Coleman® stoves, lanterns, lamps and irons use the same basic principles of operation, and have since the early 1900s. Pressure devices place and maintain their fuel under pressure, convert that fuel to a gas vapor and then control the manner and rate at which it burns.

To create light, a lamp or lantern applies an intense flame to a mantle that incandesces (illuminates) when heated. To create heat, a stove or burner uses the Bunsen effect to produce a small but very hot flame.

To help you understand the process, I have broken it down into three parts.

Part One: Under Pressure. How the appliance builds and maintains pressure on the fuel source.

Part Two: Making Gas. How it delivers the pressurized fuel through a heating chamber where it is vaporized.

Part Three: Making Light.  How it mixes vapor with air and burns it to produce light.

This discussion focuses on a Coleman® lantern, but it applies to pressurized lamps, stoves, heaters and irons, to include those made by other manufacturers. Differences between lanterns and stoves are covered in Part Four: Making Fire.

If you are new to pressure appliances, I recommend you take a few minutes to become familiar with them by reviewing an “exploded parts” diagram. Click here for a lantern graphic, or here for a stove graphic that can be used as reference for our discussion.

The graphics in this portion of the website can be enlarged. Simply click on the figure and a new window will open with a larger one.

Part I:  Under PressurePart I: Creating and maintaining pressure

Making Gas from FuelPart II: Heating the fuel to create a gas vapor

Part III: Igniting the vapor to luminesce the mantle

Part IV: Talking about stoves & burners

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