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  Quirin Bulls Eye RSide.JPG - QUIRIN BULL'S EYE LAMP - Brass and iron Mauchline patent Bull’s Eye lamp, 10 1/2 in. tall to top of hook ring, 2 1/2 in. base dia., 2 1/4 in. glass lens, marked on top P.QUIRIN MAKER ST. CLAIR. with flat wick and two wick lifters; font, burner section and top bonnet are brass; gauze, support rods and hook are iron; lamp matches the patent exactly, extremely rare lamp manufactured early to mid-1880s by Peter Quirin Brass Foundry, St. Clair, PA, ex-Dave Gresko collection  [The bull’s eye safety lamps are highly sought after by collectors.  Patented by Robert Mauchline of Shenandoah, PA as patent No. 307,210 awarded Oct. 28, 1884, the lamp has also been referred to as Mauchline's Headlight or Bull’s Eye Surveyor Lamp. The latter reference as a surveyor lamp seems problematic since the patent application does not associate it with any surveying application.  Nevertheless the surveyor reference seems to have stuck.  Mauchline (1837-1899) was the district mine inspector for District 2 of the Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Field from 1881-1885 and author of the popular mining reference The Mine Foreman's Handbook of Practical and Theoretical Information in 1887.  At least three US manufacturers have made safety lamps based on the Mauchline patent.  James Everhart Maker and Hughes Bros. both of Scranton, PA have known models, all of which incorporate side openings in the burner tube compartment which the patent does not include.  An ad in the July 31, 1886 Mining Herald and Colliery Engineer shows that the Scranton Brass Works, James Everhart, Manufacturer was already producing the Bull’s Eye lamp as of that date.  However it is likely the earliest manufacturer of the lamp was the Quirin Brass Foundry of St. Clair, PA, less than 10 miles away from Shenandoah and Mauchline.  It is also telling that the Quirin model is an exact match to the patent lamp unlike both the Everhart and Hughes models.  As noted in the patent description, one end of the burner tube section is equipped with a concave reflector and the other end with a plano-convex glass lens.  The lens has a focal distance of 1 1/4 in. with a curvature to illuminate a 50-deg. arc.  The light is so concentrated that work can be done 30 ft. from the lamp and the lens renders the lamp more efficient as a detector of gas by making the elongation of the flame more visible in an explosive mixture of gas environment.  The lamp is equipped with two wick lifters on either side of the flat wick.  An interesting aspect of the Quirin lamp concerns the iron gauze.  It is likely that significant use underground in a wet environment would require replacement of the iron gauze.  Unfortunately, the gauze retainer ring inside the lamp is of such a diameter, it cannot be remove through the bottom of the burner compartment to allow the gauze to be removed and replaced. While some Everhart and Hughes bull’s eye lamps have a screw off lens that could facilitate removal, the Quirin does not.  The lens and reflector are pressed in to the burner compartment and removal would be very difficult. The Quirin bull’s eye lamps are quite rare with two, possibly three known examples in collections.  Peter P. Quirin of St. Clair was born at St. Ingbert, Germany in 1835, one of five children born to parents Johann Quiring and Barbara Schweissthal.  He came to America in 1853 and settled in St. Clair in 1854. In 1856 he married Catharine Stief and fathered seven children, five daughters and two sons, Peter and John.  As a trained master mechanic, he commenced his machine shop business in 1863 and opened a brass foundry located on South Nicholas Street in 1875.  The machine shop took care of repairs for the machinery of the various collieries around town including the Wadesville shaft sixteen.  It is thought he made the Mauchline patent lamp sometime prior to 1884.  The relationship between Quirin, Mauchline and Everhart is intriguing.  Quirin had been in business in St. Clair nine years prior to the patent award.  It is highly likely that Mauchline as a district mine inspector and Quirin’s work with collieries in the area made them quite familiar with each other.   Mauchline’s interesting note in his patent application states that he was aware that a lamp had been provided heretofore with a concave reflector and lens on opposite sides of the burner, (quite possibly Quirin’s lamp?), and that he did not wish to claim that in his invention.  His patent drawing is quite detailed, as a machinist might prepare, and matched exactly the Quirin lamp.  One could conjecture that an agreement between Quirin and Mauchline permitted Mauchline to file the patent for the lamp already made by Quirin for considerations to Quirin, perhaps cash as well as sole-maker status.  Everhart’s known ad in 1886 and quite possibly even earlier confirmed that Everhart was already manufacturing the Mauchline patent lamp with notable changes from the patent drawing.  Everhart’s lamps include the patent date stamping.  Quirin’s lamps do not.  Patent recognition was a strong marketing tool even to the point that some mining items were marked with patent dates or patent pending where no patent actually existed.  The fact that no patent number or even patent pending marking exists on the Quirin lamp provides additional circumstantial evidence that the lamp was made before the patent filing.  Everhart was a major foundry in Scranton while Quirin’s business was machinist’s work with a very small foundry.  Again, one could conjecture that Quirin and Everhart as well as Mauchline reached an agreement whereby Everhart obtained the rights to manufacture the lamp for cash considerations to Quirin and/or Mauchline.  Only the fly on the wall of Quirin’s foundry when these discussions might have been held knows exactly what happened.  A personal visit to Ed Quirin, great grandson of Peter P. Quirin, in St. Clair in late March 2016 seems to support my conjecture.  The front page history of the Quirin Machine Shop catalog states that Peter Quirin invented the safety lamp in 1883.  That’s the family’s position.  To the rest of us, it’s a mystery unlikely to ever being solved.  Quirin was also an inventor of note, credited with patents for Improvement in Miners’ Tools (patent No. 165,580 awarded July 13, 1875) and a Nonfreezing Water Hydrant (patent No. 341,687 awarded May 11, 1886).  Quirin died in 1891.  The Quirin family continued the business, moving the foundry to Hancock Street and then to a larger facility on a hill overlooking St. Clair.  The Quirin business closed in 2011 but the machine shop is currently leased to another machine shop business.  The original brass foundry is gone with only an empty lot remaining on Nicholas Street.]  
Quirin Bulls Eye Front
Quirin Bulls Eye Top Marking
Quirin Bulls Eye LSide
Quirin Bulls Eye Back RSide
Quirin Bulls Eye Back LSide

Quirin Bulls Eye RSide | QUIRIN BULL'S EYE LAMP - Brass and iron Mauchline patent Bull’s Eye lamp, 10 1/2 in. tall to top of hook ring, 2 1/2 in. base dia., 2 1/4 in. glass lens, marked on top P.QUIRIN MAKER ST. CLAIR. with flat wick and two wick lifters; font, burner section and top bonnet are brass; gauze, support rods and hook are iron; lamp matches the patent exactly, extremely rare lamp manufactured early to mid-1880s by Peter Quirin Brass Foundry, St. Clair, PA, ex-Dave Gresko collection [The bull’s eye safety lamps are highly sought after by collectors. Patented by Robert Mauchline of Shenandoah, PA as patent No. 307,210 awarded Oct. 28, 1884, the lamp has also been referred to as Mauchline's Headlight or Bull’s Eye Surveyor Lamp. The latter reference as a surveyor lamp seems problematic since the patent application does not associate it with any surveying application. Nevertheless the surveyor reference seems to have stuck. Mauchline (1837-1899) was the district mine inspector for District 2 of the Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Field from 1881-1885 and author of the popular mining reference The Mine Foreman's Handbook of Practical and Theoretical Information in 1887. At least three US manufacturers have made safety lamps based on the Mauchline patent. James Everhart Maker and Hughes Bros. both of Scranton, PA have known models, all of which incorporate side openings in the burner tube compartment which the patent does not include. An ad in the July 31, 1886 Mining Herald and Colliery Engineer shows that the Scranton Brass Works, James Everhart, Manufacturer was already producing the Bull’s Eye lamp as of that date. However it is likely the earliest manufacturer of the lamp was the Quirin Brass Foundry of St. Clair, PA, less than 10 miles away from Shenandoah and Mauchline. It is also telling that the Quirin model is an exact match to the patent lamp unlike both the Everhart and Hughes models. As noted in the patent description, one end of the burner tube section is equipped with a concave reflector and the other end with a plano-convex glass lens. The lens has a focal distance of 1 1/4 in. with a curvature to illuminate a 50-deg. arc. The light is so concentrated that work can be done 30 ft. from the lamp and the lens renders the lamp more efficient as a detector of gas by making the elongation of the flame more visible in an explosive mixture of gas environment. The lamp is equipped with two wick lifters on either side of the flat wick. An interesting aspect of the Quirin lamp concerns the iron gauze. It is likely that significant use underground in a wet environment would require replacement of the iron gauze. Unfortunately, the gauze retainer ring inside the lamp is of such a diameter, it cannot be remove through the bottom of the burner compartment to allow the gauze to be removed and replaced. While some Everhart and Hughes bull’s eye lamps have a screw off lens that could facilitate removal, the Quirin does not. The lens and reflector are pressed in to the burner compartment and removal would be very difficult. The Quirin bull’s eye lamps are quite rare with two, possibly three known examples in collections. Peter P. Quirin of St. Clair was born at St. Ingbert, Germany in 1835, one of five children born to parents Johann Quiring and Barbara Schweissthal. He came to America in 1853 and settled in St. Clair in 1854. In 1856 he married Catharine Stief and fathered seven children, five daughters and two sons, Peter and John. As a trained master mechanic, he commenced his machine shop business in 1863 and opened a brass foundry located on South Nicholas Street in 1875. The machine shop took care of repairs for the machinery of the various collieries around town including the Wadesville shaft sixteen. It is thought he made the Mauchline patent lamp sometime prior to 1884. The relationship between Quirin, Mauchline and Everhart is intriguing. Quirin had been in business in St. Clair nine years prior to the patent award. It is highly likely that Mauchline as a district mine inspector and Quirin’s work with collieries in the area made them quite familiar with each other. Mauchline’s interesting note in his patent application states that he was aware that a lamp had been provided heretofore with a concave reflector and lens on opposite sides of the burner, (quite possibly Quirin’s lamp?), and that he did not wish to claim that in his invention. His patent drawing is quite detailed, as a machinist might prepare, and matched exactly the Quirin lamp. One could conjecture that an agreement between Quirin and Mauchline permitted Mauchline to file the patent for the lamp already made by Quirin for considerations to Quirin, perhaps cash as well as sole-maker status. Everhart’s known ad in 1886 and quite possibly even earlier confirmed that Everhart was already manufacturing the Mauchline patent lamp with notable changes from the patent drawing. Everhart’s lamps include the patent date stamping. Quirin’s lamps do not. Patent recognition was a strong marketing tool even to the point that some mining items were marked with patent dates or patent pending where no patent actually existed. The fact that no patent number or even patent pending marking exists on the Quirin lamp provides additional circumstantial evidence that the lamp was made before the patent filing. Everhart was a major foundry in Scranton while Quirin’s business was machinist’s work with a very small foundry. Again, one could conjecture that Quirin and Everhart as well as Mauchline reached an agreement whereby Everhart obtained the rights to manufacture the lamp for cash considerations to Quirin and/or Mauchline. Only the fly on the wall of Quirin’s foundry when these discussions might have been held knows exactly what happened. A personal visit to Ed Quirin, great grandson of Peter P. Quirin, in St. Clair in late March 2016 seems to support my conjecture. The front page history of the Quirin Machine Shop catalog states that Peter Quirin invented the safety lamp in 1883. That’s the family’s position. To the rest of us, it’s a mystery unlikely to ever being solved. Quirin was also an inventor of note, credited with patents for Improvement in Miners’ Tools (patent No. 165,580 awarded July 13, 1875) and a Nonfreezing Water Hydrant (patent No. 341,687 awarded May 11, 1886). Quirin died in 1891. The Quirin family continued the business, moving the foundry to Hancock Street and then to a larger facility on a hill overlooking St. Clair. The Quirin business closed in 2011 but the machine shop is currently leased to another machine shop business. The original brass foundry is gone with only an empty lot remaining on Nicholas Street.] Download Original Image
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