Tag Archives: carbide lamps

Earth, Water, Air, Fire & Durians

Haha, am not about to demolish the ancient Greek postulate about the 4 elements of nature.

Recall that carbide lamp of olden days?  Lumps of smelly calcium carbide – we called it “chao thor” (臭土,stinky earth) – was put into that galvanized iron can, and water was then added onto it. (I cannot remember the detailed internal construction of that can now). In  a short while we had acetylene gas coming out from the tip of the slender vertical pipe.

A lit match touching the tip would cause the gas to burn with a bright flame.

What about the durians?  Well, my best memories of this lamp are associated with the durian sellers who plied their trade by night in my kampong.  For its time, this lamp was indispensable in helping to put their “king of fruits” in the proper limelight.