Information requested about The Clifford Lamp Company & William Clifford's patent Flame Safety Lamp and Stokes' Cut Off System

The Clifford Lamp Company Bonneted Clanny Lamp with "Stokes's Shut off".

Can anyone provide me with any further details about the above lamp and its makers, the Clifford Lamp Company of Sheffield, South Yorkshire? In addition can anyone throw any light on what exactly is a "Stokes's Cut Off" mechanism.

The lamp is of a type known as a bonneted Clanny. It measures 26 cm  from its base to the eye of its hook. The base of its oil vessel is 8.5 cm in diameter. It has six brass bars protecting its glass. In order to fill the oil vessel the lamp's burner has to be removed. It has one gauze. Its glass is 7 mm thick and one end is rounded? I do not know if this is its original glass. 

The Clifford Lamp Company Bonneted Clanny Lamp broken down into its component parts.

There are no identification number stamped on the lamp and its only markings are those stamped on the top of the bonnet which read "STOKES'S SHUT OFF / CLIFFORD LAMP Co.". 

The Clifford Lamp Company Bonneted Clanny Lamp - Bonnet top details.

I have no history regarding this lamp other than that it may once have been owned and used by the Sheffield Gas Company. What little I know about Mr. William Clifford, the lamp's patentee is that which I found in "Practical Coal Mining", Volume 5, 1907. To date I have contacted three mining museums including Big Pit, Caphouse and Sheffield Industrial Museum but have found little additional information.

Submitted By: Hywel Roberts
Date: March 2006
I have checked my files and the only information that I have comes from an advert in 'The Colliery Guardian', unfortunately I do not have a date for this.

"The Clifford Lamp Company, Clarence Works, Bath Street, Sheffield. Manufacturers of safety and other lamps. Sole manufacturers in the United Kingdom of Clifford’s Patent Lamps."
Some further information for you is that in the Library of the Institute of Mining & Mechanical Engineers at Newcastle on Tyne there is a catalogue of the collection of lamps that were formerly in the Institute's possession, compiled by A.Wedgewood. This catalogue was made in 1946 and includes descriptions of 79 lamps with photos of a good many of them.

The note on the Clifford lamp is:

"This lamp was produced in 1887 by Mr. W Clifford who had conducted tests on safety lamps at the Neepsend Works of the Sheffield Gas Company."

You can view the catalogue and access photos of the lamps, including 2 Clifford lamps, on the Institute's website at  and follow the link to "Papers" and then "other items".
Submitted By: Alan Vickers
Date: March 2006

Mr. A.H. Stokes was a HM Inspector of Mines and invented this type of air shut off system.
An Advertisement for the Clifford Lamp Company - Colliery Guardian 1886.

Submitted By: David Shaw
Date: May 2006

The Clifford Lamp Company produced two patent lamps (of which this is not one) and lamps with Stokes' cut offs systems under licence. Stokes was a mines inspector who patented this device - the cut off simply closes the upper holes in the bonnet. Stokes had a close working relationship with Davis Derby who also produced lamps with the same air flow cut off device.
Submitted By: David Barrie
Date: May 2006

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