Sans Rival Chimney for 14''' Kosmos Lamps

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Sans Rival Chimney for 14''' Kosmos Lamps
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Kosmos Lamp History - Sans Rival Chimney History - Sans Rival Dimensions -
Purchase the Sans Rival Chimney - Test Results by Peter Brickell
More user praise.

(More information on Kosmos lamps)

Wild & Wessel of Berlin (W&W) in 1865 developed the "Kosmos" burner, where a flat-wick formed is round.  Wild & Wessel was producing a side-draft burner in 1883 with a flame spreader, a year before the Henkle patent flame spreader was put into production by Charles Upton in his Rochester lamps.  (See more on side draft burners here.)

Both side draft and center draft lamps were produced concurrently  for years, side draft burners being less expensive to produce because the font did not require the expense of a center draft tube.  Indeed, side draft "Kosmos" lamps are still in production, more than half a century after the last Rayo center draft lamp was produced in August, 1955 in Meriden, CT. 

Both side draft and center draft lamps employ the flame from fuel burning above a wick to provide light.  The size and shape of the flame front determined the light output.  In general, center draft lamps used a flame spreader to produce a wide, relatively flat flame.  Side draft lamps used flame height to have a sufficient flame front to provide adequate lighting.

Center draft lamps generally had a burner cone which provided a constriction to induce a draft, whereas for a side draft burner that necessary constriction was part of the chimney. And that is the beauty of the Sans Rival chimney - it was designed to encourage the flame to be stable at 3 1/2 to 4" in height by using triple chimney constrictions to increase the draft.  The increased draft associated with the Sans Rival chimney induces a cooler burner and font, and that means the flame is more stable, burning for many hours without changing the flame height. 

The genesis of the Sans Rival chimney (sometimes referred to as "Phenomen") appears to have been the work of Mr. P. Bayle; his experimental work on chimney combustion principles influenced many subsequent chimney designs as his work was published in the Scientific American Supplement No. 458 on October 11, 1884.  (Kindly provided by William Sogge).

[Please note there were many types and styles of "Kosmos" lamps, some with true wick carriers, some without.  Some used wide flame spreaders and require a bulge style chimney (true Matador) while others used a narrow flame spreader but nevertheless used a unique constriction type chimney, such as the Imperial/Vulcan lamps made by Wild & Wessel. A few rare lamps used a straight chimney.  In general, for those 14''' side draft burners which did not use a flame spreader, the Sans Rival chimney is literally without rival.]

Sans_Rival 14''' Kosmos Chimney, 2.031" base diameter, 10 3/4" tall - $46.95.  Borosilicate glass, made in the USA from a mold made from an original German Sans Rival chimney found in Norway. SOLD OUT AGAIN AS OF 7.15.18

Made in Germany. "There where several firms that imported “Sans Rival” chimneys into Norway from Germany: Peter M Kolderup (est 1854) and Johan Tomsen A/S (est 1904) being the best known.

"As for the age, these were catalogued  sometime between 1900 - 1930, though production probably ended during WW I. This I can say fairly accurate because of oil lamps I've seen in museums and photos from back in the day where one could see the sans rival chimney fitted to various oil lamps.

The Thomsen imported chimneys were the most exclusive ones: superb clarity, very heavy being made of thick "cristal" glass and almost never have air bubbles in them."  (See image below)

Information provided by William Sogge

The dimensions of the Sans Rival chimney are shown at right.  Expand the photo by clicking on it.  They are precise copies of the original chimney, but made in thermal shock-resistant borosilicate glass.

Base diameter:  2.031" - 2.05";  1.905" up to the pinch, which is 1.175".  The draft control constriction is 1.039" in diameter.  The base of the upper chimney is 1.030" in diameter, tapering out to 1.184" at the top.  The overall height is 10 3/4".  Both ends are highly polished so they will not chip. 

The two extra constrictions in the chimney draw the flame up to form a tall, beautiful "Christmas Tree" effect in brilliant white light, unlike any other Kosmos chimney.

By far the most common size Kosmos-style lamp is the 14'''.  They were produced in many countries in Europe for over a century.  It is therefore no surprise that chimney base diameters varied considerably for what was listed as standard 14''' lamps.  The Sans Rival chimney has a base diameter of 2.031".  I have other 14''' chimneys which range from 2.00" to 2.109" diameter - about the maximum diameter which will fit the burner.  All chimneys get hot in use, and glass expands when hot.  There should be spring finger tension to hold the chimney in place so when hot the chimney has room to expand.

Never used your fingers to bend chimney prongs - it is far too easy to bend the fingers too far and break them, plus the individual fingers will not be adjusted evenly.  If a chimney fits too tightly, gently bend the fingers out from the inside by using the convex side of a teaspoon.  To bend chimney fingers in, something about the diameter of an AAA battery can be held horizontally right in the curl of the chimney fingers and moved around the outside of the fingers, gently bending them in to have a uniform spring tension. Start the bending process at the wick raiser knob and end there for uniform concentricity.

At far right is a photo of the hunting cabin in northern Norway where William Sogge found the original Sans Rival Chimney.  And there is the 14''' Kosmos lamp burning brightly in the same place it has hung for a hundred years.

Near right photo - the signed original Sans Rival which was used to make the mold for my Sans Rival chimneys.

At right is a photo of a typical 14''' Kosmos Concierge.  Note the brilliant white light in the "Christmas Tree" effect from the Sans Rival Chimney.

The Sans Rival's enhanced draft and flame control allows for the brightest white light on any 14''' Kosmos lamp.  And that wonderful draft control means that even at a very low setting, for example as a night light, the lamp produced clean, odor free burning.  So clean, in fact, that the chimney seems to stay clean and without a trace of smudge even after many days of burning.

At right is a pretty poor example of a 14''' Kosmos lamp.  I purchased this dog almost 20 years ago.  There was a pinhole leak in the glass font.  Fixed that with radiator epoxy.  I fired it up and it smelled horrible.  It traveled to a shelf in a storage room and stayed there for all this time.  A few days ago I dug it out, straightened the collar so the chimney would be fairly close to vertical, installed a new wick and tried it again.  Still smell horrible from a too-rich mixture not be able to fully burn in a conventional Kosmos chimney.  I stuck on a Sans Rival chimney and it burns white with absolutely no aroma.  The Sans Rival chimney burns hot and the secondary combustion chamber burns up all residual vaporized fuel so there is no aroma when burning the lamp!

The visible flame shown in the photo at right is not maximum height.  In this test I only had perhaps an inch and a half of fuel in the font.  The wick had to raise the fuel over 7" and that is too great a lift to sustain a full burn without an apparent capillary deficiency. If the font was 3/4th full of fuel it would sustain a flame above the secondary combustion chamber in the chimney.  But it works!

esting and trials.   The Sans Rival chimneys are AWESOME! What a relief for us 14''' Kosmos users! Thank you!!! Pretty much all my 14''' Kosmos lamps are going to be wearing them soon.   Peter Brickell, Toronto 8.15.11


Test conditions:

LAMP - "Brickell Hybrid" with a modern A. P. Gaudard 14-line burner on a painted glass font and non-original base

FUEL - 1-K kerosene from a service station (fully taxed fuel, thus not dyed). Not quite as good as the expensive packaged
1-K at the hardware store, but very close. My standard lamp fuel for non-problem lamps.


Standard 14''' Chimney

Sans Rival 14''' Chimney


Test A:

San Rival Chimney, burner turned up until it started to smoke and nudged back to a clean burn.

Light level at 21" away with flat field light meter attachment and angled to get maximum illumination reading = Exposure Value
(EV) 3.75 @ 100 ASA/ISO (36 Lux)


Sans Rival chimney at maximum

Test B:

Standard modern 14-line chimney (perhaps B&P or Gaudard) on same lamp. One I consider typical of today's Kosmos chimneys (poor constriction shape). Chimney was about 1/2 inch shorter overall than the San Rival. Turned up until it smoked and then turned back until it burned clean.

Light level at 21" with same meter arrangement and angled for maximum illumination reading = Exposure Value (EV) 2.88 @
100 ASA/ISO (27.6 Lux)

Standard chimney at maximum

How good is the draft induced by the unusual shape of the Sans Rival chimney?  At left is the same lamp as above - but burning diesel fuel!

EV levels are logarithmic, thus a change of ± 1 EV is twice or half as much light. So, the San Rival put out 3.75 - 2.88 = 0.87 EV more light = 1.8X as much light as the standard chimney was capable of. So almost twice!

Disclaimer - none of this was precise science! I just tried to equalize the conditions and photographic angle for the comparisons.
Peter Brickell, Toronto    August 15, 2011

More user praise.

Jan. 15, 2017

I received my sans chimney rival yesterday and placed it on my Gaudard concierge with #14 burner today.   It's astonishingly bright, stable, and completely odorless. A bit of scientific wizardry rendered in  borosilicate glass.  I'm very pleased and will be ordering again.
Thanks, W. Boske, Illinois


Hi Miles!
The Sans Rival #14 Kosmos Chimney certainly delivers all that you advertise!
While I have not yet measured the light output with a radiometer,
to my eye at least, it is twice as bright as a standard "STRAIGHT" side
Kosmos chimney, before smoke. Also......... the color temperature to my eye, is whiter,
which would lend credence to a higher combustion temperature.
-(Which in turn explains the reduction in smoke/smells experienced as well!)
I will DEFINITELY Send you the results as soon as I get time to do a complete set of tests,
as to intensity and so on.
You really hit this one right out of the park!
John B. in NY


August 19, 2016

Hi Miles,

I wanted to let you know how happy I am with your 14"' Sans Rival chimneys. I've been so impressed that I decided to order more of them to replace all of my standard 14"' chimneys.

Over the past few months I've been testing the Sans Rival chimneys on various 14"' Gaudard/Kosmos burners. The light output appears to be nearly double the light of standard 14"' chimneys. In addition, the range of light output from low to high is very good and stable.

It's my opinion that your 14"' Sans Rival chimneys have the best balance of light output, fuel efficiency, and ease of lamp operation when compared to other burner-chimney combinations.

For example, the 14"' burners with your chimneys are not fussy to operate and don't need the same level of attention as my 20"' DHR Matador burners. The 20"' lamps generate a lot of heat in the burner which changes the capillary and vapor pressures feeding the flame. The DHR 20"' flame height has to be frequently monitored to make sure it doesn't rise too high in the chimney. In contrast, I've been able to set the 14"' Sans Rival flame height and it tends to be rock solid for long periods of time.

My testing also showed that a 14"' burner with your Sans Rival chimney creates more light than a Gaudard 20"' burner with a Matador chimney. And it does this with considerably less heat build up in the burner.

Hats off to you Miles for a fine job on your Sans Rival chimney.

Best regards, Jim Pylant



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