A metal Eveready lamp that would have been fitted to the front of your bicycle. When turned on it would have lit up to help you see where you were cycling at night and to alert other road users.

This lamp would have run on two type D batteries & these would have connected and conducted an electricity supply to the filament bulb.  The batteries were big and did not last long and if the filament in the bulb became damaged then the lamp would not glow.

As this lamp is made of metal it probably dates from pre-1960’s as plastic lamps became more popular in the 1970’s.

Bicycle lamps were originally lit by candles, then oil powered, gas, battery and these days dynamo.  Dynamo is powered by a person spinning the bicycle wheels, the slower they go the duller the light.

It is a legal requirement to have lights on your bike at night and the Highway Code Rule 60 states the following:

At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.

Eveready first appeared in 1898 in America.  By 1918 the British company split from the American company. In 1910 the filament bulb was introduced and as the bicycle was a popular mode of transport the company continued to concentrate on producing torches and bicycle lamps. Eveready closed its last UK factory in 1996 after being sold to an American company.


Key theme(s):


More information:

Date 1950s, 1960s
Material(s) MetalGlass
Item number MBPO149

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Have you ever owned a bike?
  • Did you find it easy to ride?
  • Where did you cycle?
  • Did you go out at night and did you have a lamp?
  • How was your lamp powered?

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