A guide to self reliant living











1. Food

2. Manna

3. Water

4. Sanitation

5. Medical,

6. Kerosene heaters and cookers

7. Lighting

8. Wood
cooking and heating

9. Communi-cations

10. Essential

11. Home
built items

12. Electrical; generators
and power

13. War preparedness

14. Gardening


Miles Stair's SURVIVAL










Miles Stair's SURVIVAL


Butterfly Pressure Lantern 828R

The Butterfly #828R pressure lantern is perhaps the most fuel efficient way to light a home.  Enough light is produced by which to easily read, and that is at a low setting!  The #828R is rated at approximately 400 cp, but the pressure can be reduced to put out about 150 cp while also reducing the noise of the lantern to barely above a whisper.  At right is one of my #828R's hanging from a swag hook in the front room ceiling.  The position is behind and between both of our recliners, so light falls directly on the pages of a book.  Another #828R hangs from a swag hook in the middle of the kitchen ceiling.


An extremely bright lantern, the Butterfly pressure lantern can light up a very large room. It is as bright as 3-4 100-watt light bulbs (using 500 CP mantles, included). They attain their brightness because they vaporize the kerosene (instead of burning liquid kerosene) and deliver the pressurized kerosene vapor to the mantle. Kerosene has more energy, drop for drop, than propane. Additional energy translates into more light.  New lanterns are now being shipped with 3 350 candlepower mantles plus 3 500 candlepower mantles.

St.PaulMercantile.com is the source for Butterfly stoves and pressure lanterns.

The Butterfly 828 Pressure Lantern burns kerosene, including red dye kerosene, with extreme efficiency.  Under adverse conditions they will burn home heating fuel and even diesel, but old or ''found'' fuels should first be filtered through several layers of coffee filters to remove any small pieces of debris. 

The pressure kerosene lantern was patented in Germany in 1910 by and used all over the world since then by military units, in field hospitals and kitchens, anywhere bright, reliable light was needed.  The Butterfly is a close copy of the original and widely used worldwide.

WARNING:  THESE LANTERNS ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE.  If you are not mechanically inclined or want an instant light without any work, you should use a wick-type lamp or a battery powered  lantern.  If you want to light a small room, this lantern may be too powerful for you. If you want a lantern that will burn a variety of various oils and produces a considerable amount of light very efficiently, AND you have some mechanical skills and are not in a hurry, this lantern is magnificent.

How to start your kerosene pressure lantern

You need

  • Matches or any lighter.

  • Petroleum jelly. (Optional)

  • Solid surface to work on.


  • 1-K Kerosene.

  • Use Methyl Hydrate (alcohol) in the spirit cup- available usually in the paint section of a store, sold as Shellac Thinner. (Rubbing alcohol does not produce enough heat).

Before you start

Be careful when unpacking. Turn the large red knob to 6 o'clock position - see the little arrow! This prevents accidental damage to the needle on top of the generator tube when unpacking - leave the knob there for now.

To install the mantle, undo two screws on the handle. Remove the top and pull out the burner assembly. Lantern comes with three 350-candlepower mantles from factory; we recommend 500 candlepower mantles since they burn brighter. Be careful when stringing the mantle around the porcelain nozzle, cut the ends of string when done. Now make sure everything is hand tight on the burner assembly. If you have loose fittings the light is not going to be bright and it may not burn properly! Now reassemble the lantern. You might want to leave the top off until the mantle is lit.

Put some clean kerosene in the tank - swish it around and dump the fuel out. You can use this fuel later if you pour it through a clean cloth or paper first to get rid of any particles. Also check that the rubber seal inside the "pressure gauge/fuel cap" is ok. You have a spare in the package. [It is a good idea to clean the tank once a year. And always use a filter funnel when pouring fuel into the tank!]

Lighting your Lantern should be done outside.

Fill the tank 3/4 full with clean 1-K Kerosene - you must leave some space for air! 1liter/quart bottle works well. Close the fuel cap hand tight. Now turn the red knob to 12 o'clock position (Closed).

Close the pressure relief valve - the little screw on the fuel cap.

Turn wheel so that the arrow faces upwards, close filling cap/gauge. After about 10-15 full pumps you should have enough air to light the lantern. The needle in the pressure gauge usually does not move until more air is pumped in. If the pump does not work correctly, unscrew cap of pump barrel, remove pump piston, grease and spread leather washer. Assemble pump pistol again. Maximum light output is attained if the pressure is pumped up to the red line on the gauge.

Spirit cup: fill the bottle with brass nozzle with isopropyl alcohol (Methyl Hydrate). Inside the lantern you see a brass cup with a pipe sticking up - fill it up all the way. There is a round hole on the bottom part of the lantern, which is bigger than others to give you access with butterfly stamp on top of it. Light the fuel in the cup and let it burn until it is almost gone. You can now turn the red knob to 6 o'clock position (Open) and watch the mantle getting brighter. If the mantle is new see note below. You can now fully pressurize the lantern up to red mark or until it gets hard to pump, meaning there is enough pressure.

To turn the lantern off, release the pressure in the tank by opening the screw on the fuel cap, you will hear hissing sound as the light dims. You will also smell kerosene. When no pressure turn the red knob to 12 o'clock position (Closed). Leave the pressure screw open if lantern not in use. This will prevent any pressure build-up in the tank.


Regulating the light intensity: The light intensity can only be regulated by rising or decreasing the pressure. Never use hand wheel for this operation.

Insufficient pressure: In case of insufficient atmospheric pressure or too slow turning of wheel when lit, the flame may draw back into the mixing tube which can be observed by a loud gurgling roaring and low intensity of light. In this case, the wheel should be turned fast from left to right several times until the lantern burns normally. Otherwise the lantern should be extinguished completely and relit immediately. Air pressure in the tank must be increased.

Cleaning the nipple: In case the light intensity decreases despite sufficient pressure and sufficient filling, clean the nipple by turning the hand wheel fast up and downwards.

Tight fit of nozzle and nipple: In case a flame appears around the mantle and the mixing tube starts glowing, extinguish the lantern immediately by turning the hand wheel upwards. Cool down vaporizer upper part. Screw nipple tight with spanner (included) or replace it.

Warning: Insufficient Preheating: The recommended preheating time is 90 seconds. In case of insufficient preheating time, the kerosene will not be gasified and this results in flames on the upper part of the lantern. Remember to be always calm! Turn the hand wheel upwards and open the valve of the filling cap/gauge to decrease pressure. Wait until kerosene is burnt out completely and start the preheating process again. Rubbing alcohol is only 70%. Isopropyl alcohol of 91% to 99% (from a pharmacy) burns much hotter and the preheating more reliable.

High Temperature: While putting the lantern into operation, it develops high heat. Cool it down for at least 10 minutes before doing service or repairs.

After Operation: After operation the nipple, nozzle, as well as all other screws should to be checked and tightened if necessary. Cool down lantern first!

Replacing the gas mantle: Remove hood and inner casing as described above. Clear away all sediments of the old mantle. Fix mantle as described above.

Burning down a new gas mantle. The optimal stability of the mantle is reached by burning it down with a lighter or a match. When the mantel is new it is going to burn and turn black, eventually turning white and hang there like a wet sock. Do not worry! It is all part of the process! Once the pressure enters mantel, after opening the red knob, the mantel will inflate like a balloon. It is now fairly fragile and you should not touch it with anything.

Replacing the leather washer: Remove pump piston. Unscrew pump piston nut and remove old leather washer. Grease and spread new washer for optimal function.

Replacing the nipple and needle: Loosen screws on frame. Remove hood, inner casing and glass chimney. Set inner casing on glass chimney to protect the porous mantle. Hold ring of vaporizer with one hand and unscrew nipple with spanner. Remove needle with needle key. Replace nipple and needle and assemble again.

Replacing the pump valve: Drain the container. Remove pump piston. Unscrew valve with long screwdriver. Tip lantern sidewards and let valve fall out. If necessary, remove valve washer from pump base. Assemble new valve with washer and screw it tight.


  • Different fuels have different break down periods. Kerosene usually varnishes within 4 to 6 months and that would make cleaning the tubing and jet a real chore.


Remember this:

  • Enough Fuel.

  • Enough Pressure.

  • Pre-Heat Fuel Long Enough. (If not you get black smoke).

  • Make sure mantle inflates. (When new).

  • No Leaks.

  • Do not rush.


  • If spilled kerosene catches fire - suffocate with wet towel or rated fire extinguisher.

  • In an emergency, this lantern can burn virtually any fuel lamp oil, stove oil, diesel fuel, etc., but these fuels produce more fumes and should not be used in an enclosed space.


Related subjects:

Kerosene Stoves, Lanterns and Ovens:

Kerosene heaters:

Kerosene, The Fuel, and Storage Tanks