J & R Oldfield of Birmingham made a large selection of oil lamps and other accessories, such as mirrors, for use on vehicles from the early 1900s. They were marketed as the DEPENDENCE brand. The major part of their production appears to have been oil lamps for commercial vehicles and traction engines. Judging by the lamps I have seen the lamps were identified by different series of numbers, which helped identify the style of lamp.

The 4xx series appears to have been oil side lamps similar to lucas ones with rounded bodies, 439 were fitted to Garrett undertype wagons like ours. These lamps come in matched pairs where the doors are hinged on opposite sides. The conventional way of mounting the lamps is to have the catch on the outside and the door to open in towards the vehicle. Oldfields made lamps for the Sentinel Waggon Works with a badge at the rear of the lamp marked with a Sentinel badge.

439 600  439 601

439 602  439 603
Oldfield 439 lamps as fitted to Garrett undertype wagon 34841, when new.

The Sentinel badge on the back of an Oldfield Lamp.

The 5xx series were square bodied oil side and tail lamps, ranging in size from what was referred to as "tri-car" through small to large.

Oldfield 564WD and 570 Willcox1200

Side lamps 595 and 564, 564WD, 584WD; tail lamps 506, 540, 554, 562, 570 and 580. There are many more codes in addition to these.

The extract below is from a Brown Bros catalogue of 1921.

IMG 1569 1200

8xx series lamps included the steam wagon water gauge lamp 886 and a square nickel plated side light number 879 and a taximeter lamp number 850.

The Brown Bros. catalogue above refers to 846 and 847, which were brass and nickel versions of 540.

oldfield 886

This is the water gauge lamp used on Garrett and Sentinel wagons; probably on other makes as well.


The Oldfield Taximeter lamp number 850.


In the late 1920s Oldfields made Oil-Electric lamps to be used on vehicles as an electric lighting set. Having found that our wagon was probably fitted with a Garrett electric headlamp, we have assumed that the rest of the set was converted to electricity and we are trying to make up a set of Oldfield Oil-Electric side and tail lights. We have the remains of a tail light with the electric conversion but this is a 540 and our wagon was originally fitted with a 570 tail lamp. Can anyone tell us if the Dependence 570 was offered with the electric conversion. We also have a 439 side lamp that is fitted with a removeable ruby lens at the back of the lamp. This could be conveniently swapped fro a bulb holder adapter of the correct thread. Does anyone have any details of the side lamp oil electric conversions? If there are any of these lamps available for purchase we would like to buy them to complete a period lighting set for our wagon.

1731Oldfield500      1732Oldfield500

1733Oldfield500  1734Oldfield500

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