Light My Fire

Posted: 19th January 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography, The Antiques Toad Show
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Someone, light me on fire… please.  We’re just digging out from a rather nasty blizzard here on Vancouver Island today and I find myself longing for things of fire and warmth.  Toads get chilled easily, and with no opposing thumbs to use in the creation of fire we tend to gravitate towards items that are warm this time of year.

We’re heading back to the Metchosin Pioneer Museum today in our running photoblog series “The Antiques Toad Show“.  Today’s post is going to take a look at several antique items we found on our adventures the day we had full access to the facility after-hours.  It was a really fun day finding and exploring in the museum, which is full to the rafters of great items and artifacts to enjoy.

Antique Torch - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Torch - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Those who follow our blog on a regular basis know well of my love for the beautiful Mrs. Toad.  Typically she is the only one who can get my fire going, but today we take a look at something else entirely.

Who here doesn’t like a nice flamethrower?  If you can drive it, or it sets stuff on fire, we love it here at The Hollow.  This is an antique blowtorch, probably used in the early days of welding and metal repair and prefabrication.  As we can see in this image, it is weathered and appears to be well used, but does remain in pretty good condition overall.

Antique Torch - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Torch - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

To me this unit appears to run on liquid fuel of some type.  I am sure one of our readers here could probably add some information in regards to this classic piece, and we’d be grateful for that.

The textures and weathering in this piece are just wonderful.  Modern torches are more often than not made to use a gas, like propane or acetylene.  This is probably rooted somewhat in safety, as it’s pretty easy to imagine someone from these times accidentally lighting themselves, their loved ones and/or precious items on fire with such a simple unit.

Antique Torch - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Torch - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Here we have another torch we found during our expedition.  Slightly different in design but fundamentally the same, this piece had some truly interesting weathering evident.  It presented an item of interest that was too good to pass by.

As we went about doing our shoot on the day we were at the museum, we were truly struck by the profound nature of some of the pieces.  In many cases you can almost feel the energy of the people who used and owned these artifacts in the time they were prevalent, and we find that it’s really important to document these items to preserve them for the generations that follow.  I have no doubt that during the time these were in active use, the owners didn’t give second thought to the historical importance of them…  but I can honestly tell you that now, all these years later, they held the imagination of a Toad and a Mudpuppy quite captive.

And on that note, it’s time to go and warm up a tad here.  I just saw a penguin making it’s way across the parking lot…  I must go ask it how it stays warm in this climate…

Thank you so much for your visit today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have.




  1. avatar Rick says:

    It’s amazing how inovation works. Sometimes you wonder how you ever used the older tools compared to modern ones. I hear the PACNW is getting hammered. Stay warm and safe!

    • Thanks Rick, so very much! We actually had a rather nice day yesterday; Mrs. Toad and I went home, closed the blinds, started a fire and enjoyed “snowpocolypse 2012” from the safety of The Swamp. Thanks so much for your kind visit and comments today, we sure do appreciate it!

  2. avatar johnsotiriou says:

    Great detail, Scott. Fascinating back story.

  3. Well done on bringing out the textures and details in this piece. Wonderful write up as usual. Stay warm. It’s been cold in Toronto as well. I’d really like to see some sun.

  4. avatar Fred Norris says:

    You are right Toad ,who doesn’t love a great flamethrower!You really have captured a couple of great ones here,thanks for sharing mate.

  5. Another wonderful series from the Toads! Well Done!

  6. avatar ehpem says:

    Hi Toad – interesting to see this up close and photographed so well. I have a couple of these in my shed somewhere. They are gasoline fired blow torches. Treat with care! If you want more information, and have several hours to spare, then this is as good a place as any to start reading:
    http://www.blotorches.com/

    • You know the best things, my friend! We really appreciate that information, it adds a lot of depth to our story and post here. I can’t help but wonder, are they still producing these, or have the gas based ones taken over completely now?

      • avatar ehpem says:

        Well, that is something I don’t know. I think that these devices are a bit diabolical and prone to exciting flareups and so on. I know I would not use one when a propane blow torch is so much more predictable. However, white gas Coleman stoves and lamps can be pretty alarming at times, and they are still made. So, maybe in the right place you could get one. They make sense for working in remote places where gasoline is likely to be available and small bottles of propane less so.

  7. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    When I made out my list of what I wanted for Christmas, I forgot to put a flamethrower on the list! Darn. Great series of images Toad with excellent details and textures.

    • It’s never too late to start working on next years list, Len, I am!! LOL 🙂 What great comments, my friend, thank you so much for all of your friendship and support here, it truly means more than we can properly express.

  8. avatar Mike says:

    You have done the flame throwers a great amount of justice Toad. I hope the Mrs. wasn’t too jealous. I also hope you are braving the storm well. You don’t often get to see that much all at one time! Stay safe

    • You know it, Mike! Today, it’s raining ice, which is a lot of fun to drive in. Good thing I’m a Toad, and tend to hop about mostly. LOL 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words, my friend, we really do appreciate it!

  9. avatar Jim Nix says:

    great shots Toad and stay warm my friend!! hope all is well!

  10. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Things look more like mini handheld flame throwers than “torches”, lol. Awesome shots Toad!

  11. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    Great shots Scott my friend. I am really loving this series, reminds me of a place in Devon we visited a few times.
    Hope you Toads are good in the swamp and that it thaws out soon.

    • Thanks Chris, that means an awful lot to us here my friend!! We’re doing fine, we’ve got each other and really that’s all anyone needs! Thank you so so much Chris, we can’t begin to thank you enough for all your friendship & support!

  12. Very cool torch :)! In my faculty there was a little museum with very old measurement devices. I like very much these old gadgets in general :).

    Thanks for your comment. I hope you could view the merged versions (some days ago you could view the old and new versions merged in a only image, those pictures were the most interesting of de series, but I had to deleted them because of a license issues…).

    • Oh, no, I didn’t get a chance to see the merged ones! I have been very busy with work here lately and find myself a few days behind on following everyone along sometimes. I am sorry I missed them. But, I really did enjoy the post you made, it was great! And many thanks for your kind visit and comments here, we really do appreciate it!