Bleriot acetylene headlamp, 1896.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of the original self-contained motor car headlamps made by Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) in 1896 and containing the type of acetylene diving-bell generator patented by Bleriot in 1900. The lamp has a cylindrical body at the front of which is fitted a concave mirror, while a vertical rectangular space within it houses the acetylene generator. Bleriot is best known as the first person to fly acros the English Channel in a heavier-than-air flying machine, a feat he achieved in 1909.