The Vapalux pressure lamp bears a close resemblance with the Tilley lamp, in the way the burner works and how the mantle is attached. This is not surprising given that the company had previously manufactured parts for Tilley, although many improvements were incorporated such as a captive preheater torch. The earliest model, the E41, was characterised by having an internal gallery and a plain ventilator with separate slots for air intake and exhaust, very much in the Petromax style. Again, this is probably a reflection of the earlier production work that had been done for Petromax.
The Vapalux pressure lamp got a real boost when the Second World War started, as it was then issued as standard to the British army. This boost was enormous, and Willis & Bates produced up to 2000 lamps and lanterns per week.
In 1946, Willis & Bates began an association with Aladdin Industries of Greenford who marketed their output under the name 'Bialaddin' - thus the 'Vapalux' trade-name largely disappeared other than for some lanterns sold direct to the Army. Aladdin Industries of Greenford were also responsible for the development of the Bialaddin range of heater/radiators as well as the T10 and T20 table lamps, which rivalled the equivalent Tilley products of the time. In 1968, the association between Willis & Bates and Aladdin Industries of Greenford ended and Willis & Bates resumed the sale of their lanterns and the name 'Vapalux' re-emerged.
Until 2010, Vapalux lanterns were being made at the Pellon Works in Halifax. Although in 1997, Willis & Bates ceased trading, another local company, Bairstow Brothers (1985) Limited bought the rights to make the lanterns. Vapalux (and Bialaddin lamps and lanterns), continue to deserve a reputation for being well-designed and engineered as well as being totally reliable in use.
In early 2010, the British Army started to purchase battery lanterns and did not renew the contract,
MADE IN ENGLAND
But now made in Korea