Pressure Lamps International

Shah Light Industries, Mumbai, India

©AWMoore 2006

Shah Light Industries in Mumbai is a company that has produced lanterns and kerosene stoves for the eastern markets for several years. Dates and product range are uncertain, but my guess is that the 1980s onwards might be a good suggestion, though there is no real evidence of this at the moment. Shah Light Industries produce Petrox brand pressure lanterns in the Petromax style. The main product is 500cp lantern in three variations, light chrome on steel, all brass, and a version with a brass tank and a nickel plated steel top, termed the "half brass". As is nearly always the case with modern eastern lanterns, the globe is made from straight strips of glass held between two steel rings which are themselves fixed in place with either two or three draw wires. This Petrox lantern is rarely found outside India, as it principally made for local use. Overall build quality is rather average, but typically adequate for a home market product.

As noted elswhere on this site, there are many eastern manufacturers that are undocumented here, and tracking their histories is almost impossible, since they appear then disappear without trace, undergo name changes, and resurface as a different company.

India is a country not exactly renowned in the past for high tech steel manufacturing industry, but it is inevitable that there will be many a small product line turning out copies of established lantern designs for local use. It is most unlikely that these products would ever find their way onto the markets of the western world, especially in recent years as safety standards have exerted more and more influence and restriction on what can be imported into Europe and North America.

Pressure lanterns are still very widely used in India, especially in rural areas, where the portable nature of the lantern makes it especially useful. They are also widely used by street vendors at night. It is common practice in many eastern countries for users to remove the top cowl from Petromax style lanterns.


Petrox half brass 500 cp lantern with fluted globe


The top of the range brass Petrox lantern in 2006 sells in India for 780 INR, equivalent to about 9 GBP or 17 USD. For many Indian people, this represents between 2 and 4 days wages. The all steel version cost 425 INR for a brand new lantern, about 5.70 GBP or 10.75 USD


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