The trouble and annoyance that is often experienced by persons trying to light a lantern in the open air, say on some windy night, is by this invention entirely obviated. Oftentimes it is desirable to obtain a light quickly, just as a person would want to' fire a pistol immediately, and not have to wait to load and cap it at the moment its aid was needed ; so with an ordinary lantern, it must either be carried lighted or lighted when wanted, which is a process that in the house occupies some time, and much longer out of doors. The lantern which is the subject of our illustration can be prepared at any time, and by merely touching a trigger with the thumb ? the lantern is lighted. It is applicable for the open air or the sick chamber, and its construction we will now describe. A is the lantern containing the lamp, B. A' is the door to which the lighting mechanism is attached, and C is the handle. The match, D, is placed in a socket, E, provided with a spring, F, which holds it firmly in its place. This socket is attached to the bent rod, H, confined in the wire loop, G, and terminating in the spring, I, fastened to the door, A'. Fig. 2 shov/s the operating parts, which are con- nected with the door. A bar, J, is held up by the spring, K, pressing against a cap on its upper end and on the handle, and this bar is hinged at I to a catch, L, projecting through the door, and hinged to a bar, M, that is also hinged to the door at m. N is a curved plate, either corrugated or carrying a piece of sandpaper. The operation is as follows :—The match is placed in the socket, E, and pulled Back over the catch, L, which keeps it flat against the door until a light is wished, when the thumb is pressed on the cap on J, and L being depressed allows the spring to pull back E, and drag the match quickly against the plate, N, which ignites it, at the same time the hooked bar, Jl, ascends, and its hooked end throws off the extinguisher which ordinarily covers the wick. The match then burns over the wick and ignites it, and at the same time consumes that portion of the match which would interfere with the light, so that it drops off and leaves the light free to burn. It is a good lantern, and was patented Jan. 5, 1858, by the inventor, Albert C. Richards, of Newtown, Conn., who will furnish any further particulars. It was noticed on page 147 of the present volume of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.
This article was originally published with the title "New Self-Lighting Lantern" in Scientific American 13, 24, 192 (February 1858)