Coleman US lamps before mid-1920's

"The Efficient" pendant arc lamp, No. 6,
was manufactured by Irby & Gilliland
in Memphis, Tennessee, 1899-1903.
After selling these lamps for Irby & Gilliland,
W. C. Coleman bought the company.
This nickel plated lamp is in Dick Sellers' collection.

The Efficient was replaced by The Coleman Arc Lamp.
It is also embossed Made by The Hydrocarbon Light Co.,
Wichita, Kan.
This lamp, serial No. 8685, was restored to running condition
by Jim Nichols and is now in Jim and Jan Nichols' collection.

The Model R Reading Lamp with a # 74 shade in opal, left, and green cased, right.
Less than 20,000 of this model were shipped between 1909 and 1916.
Note the upper air regulator screws.
The burner shape helps distribute heat from the mantles to the generator (center).
The lamp on the left and center is in Ron and Charleen Becker's collection,
while the lamp on the right is in Dwayne Hanson's collection.

By 1917 Coleman offered to convert torch lighting lamp models
to match lighting with a Quick-Lite burner.
The Model R Reading Lamp had to be sent to the factory
for conversion since the stem above the handle had to be cut and threaded.
Dealers were advised to send the entire lamp; the conversion cost $3.50.
This converted Model R lamp is in Dwayne Hanson's collection.

This early Model A, the first designated "Air-O-Lite,"
was introduced 2 years after the Model R, in 1911.
Fewer than 25,000 were made in the 13 months it was in production.
It had a curved air tube and an improved burner.
The 306 shade was the standard shade for this model; note the short supports for this shade.
This lamp is in Jim & Jan Nichols' collection.

The Nichols have run their Model A lamp
with the optional green cased version of the 306 shade (Vantiger).

United Factories existed in Kansas City, Missouri from 1908-17.
This company, like Sunshine Safety below, was presided over by William Hoffstot;
both were located at the same address.
This Model A, In Darcy Vantiger's collection, is badged for United Factories (lower image).
Please contact me if you have any lierature or appliances
identifed as United Factories, Kansas City.

Coleman also made their Model A for Sunshine Safety circa 1912
when Sunshine Safety was a new company in Kansas City, Missouri.
Shade holders varied in size and shape according to the shade to be supported (Hanson).
In this case the "fancy shade" that Sunshine Safety supplied
required the shade holder with the longer supports in the middle image
This lamp and original shade are in Dwayne Hanson's collection.

The Model H torch lit lamps were made from 1912 - 1916
and came with the 306 shade as seen here (left image).
The heat bell in this model has a design limited to Models H and A (center image);
heat bells help torch lighting models run as designed (Hanson).
This lamp is in Jim and Jan Nichols' collection

This is the Ker-O-Lite No. AVK307 lamp
with the # 307 matching shade.
Coleman shipped 4,284 of this model
between 1913 and 1918.
Note the arc lantern burners.
This lamp is in Ron and Charleen Becker's collection.

A later version of Model A or AA lamps was made from 1912-22.
The burner assembly (left image) includes many of the same parts
as on the early Model A, above on this page.
A variety of shades were available including this 314A shade (right image),
making the model number for this lamp AA314A.
This lamp is in Dean DeGroff's collection.

Model AA314B (left image), in Michael Merz' collection,
and 314c (right image), in Darcy Vantiger's collection,
were also made for this lamp model.
Model AA314C has the optional (reproduction) fringe
and was running when this image was taken.

Coleman's 314D "purple and red tulips" shade was unique
because the patterns were different
between the front and back sides (Vantiger).
This shade, in Bruce Dolen's collection,
is seen here on a Model A lamp in Mel Taylor's collection.

Model AA314E, in Michael Merz' collection,
includes the frosted (opaque) version of this shade
and ten, 8-point stars cut into the glass.

There is not much information available on Model 35.
This torch lighting gasoline lamp was made for several years circa 1915.
It was unusual at the time because it had a straight-sided fount;
so it was possibly a step in the development of the CQ lamp fount.
The burner assembly is the same as on an arc lantern (Vantiger).
This lamp is in Jon Heiderich's collection.

The Model "M" Air-O-Lite (left) and Model "N" Air-O-Lite (right) lamps.
The Model "M" was made in Wichita, Kansas, from 1915 to 1919.
George Rocen also has the wrench and torch for preheating the generator on this lamp.
The Model "N", in Shirley Willard's collection,
lacks the tip cleaner of the Model "M" and dates to the same time period.

Model Q was made in 1916 - 17
using the same handle and fount parts as on Models M and N above.
Since Coleman used the new "Q" match lighting burner on these lamps
the model was simply referred to by that letter.
The only marking on this lamp, in Larry Hillhouse's collection,
is the stamping on the fiber cap (lower image).

Coleman made the torch lighting Model P lamp from 1915 to 1918.
This lamp has M burners as Model M above.
The fiber valve wheels are unstamped.
This lamp, in Ron & Charleen Becker's collection, is stamped on the bottom:

Coleman made this lamp model 118 for their Yale Light Co., Chicago, Illinois.
The lamp appears in the 1916 Yale Light Catalog 36.
This was the last year for Yale to feature torch lighting appliances.
The mixing chamber (right image) is the same as used by Yale Mfg. prior to Coleman ownership,
but with two ridges across the top to support the shade holder.
This lamp with original shade is in John Anderson's collection.

Coleman made the No. 3 torch lighting lamp in 1916-17 (Vantiger).
This "Improved Coleman Reading Lamp" was not made in quantity in part
because production was changing to match lighting models including the CQ.
This lamp, in a private collection,
includes a No. 74 shade that is correct for this model.
Please contact me if you have one of these No. 3 lamps.

This early CQ lamp, in Jerry Engbring's collection,
was made between 1917 and 1919 when the first patent was marked on the air tube.
The only markings on this lamp are on the fiber handle cap and side (middle lower image).
Other early features include the rounded edge fiber handle cap (middle upper image),
4 5/8" tall fiber handle, plated steel finishing shell above the fount,
and soldered hex nut for the fuel tube on the fount bottom (lower image).

This early PQ chandelier lamp
lacks patent dates on the air tubes, has early style burner caps,
and valve wheels only marked with Close and arrows.
The fount bottom (lower image) is unusual because it is stamped.
Kameron Bissell, whose collection this is in, notes the stem sleeve
lacks a seam as found on other PQ lamps.

Coleman made their Model PQ for 13 years beginning in 1919.
This lamp is reported to have been used in a railroad station in southern Ontario
which could explain why it came with #334 Coleman metal shades
which are not often seen on this model.
This lamp is in Glenn Knapke's collection.

Coleman probably made this bracket lamp, Model PBQ, around 1918 (Vantiger).
This lamp, in Mel Taylor's collection,
has a smaller 7" diameter fount, a cast hanger/eye bolt,
and a Q70 burner assembly that lacks a patent date on the air tube.
It also has the older style burner caps
that lack a taper on the lower half where the mantles are tied on.

Coleman made the Model AQ around 1918-1920.
This one, in Fil Graff's collection,
has a 318 Coleman shade that was made later.
This model has the fuel valve above the handle
and a Q70 Quick-Lite burner;
the fuel filler cap is under the bell cover.

Neil McRae identified this lamp as Air-O-Lite Model DT.
This model appears in Coleman Shipping Records
in October, 1918 & for 17 months beginning in January, 1919 (Vantiger).
This lamp, in Rodney Redondo's collection, has a 2 quart Armco fount
and N type torch lighting burner.

An alcohol torch preheater was supplied with lamps as the above
as well as with lighting systems and street lamps.
The torch soaked in the alcohol in the bottle
and was applied to the stem of the lamp below the mantles
where it was allowed to burn down to preheat the lamp for running.
This is in John Carriere's collection.

This is the CQ 329 table lamp with small bug screens.
The Coleman company denoted the model with the shade number in sales brochures.
This was the CQ gasoline lamp with a 329 shade.
The "Protect-a-lite" screens were made to prevent flying insects
that were drawn to the light from breaking the mantles.
This lamp is in the collection of Dwayne Hanson.

Coleman began selling the Whirling Hand Demonstrator to dealers in 1922
so they could demonstrate the safety of Quick-Lite lamps in any position by rotating the lamp.
The clamp (bottom) holds the hexagonal valve securely.
The embossing (middle) is at the top of the cast iron stand.
This device is in Jim & Jan Nichols's collection.

Model CQ 333.
The sales literature lists this lamp as the combination shown.
It was sold complete with shade and large "Protect-a-lite" screen.
This lamp is also in the collection of Dwayne Hanson.

Coleman also painted the brass founts, handles, and perhaps the valves of the CQ lamp in three colors -
Flemish Brass (left), possibly Antique Gold (center), and Roman Bronze (right) in the 1920s.
The fount color descriptions in Coleman literature are vague and confusing
and don't match the images in those publications (Vantiger).
These three lamps, in the late Dick Sellers' collection,
are all undated and have #335 shades.
If you have a Classic Finish lamp that is distinctly green painted, please contact me.

The Model CQ was made with a variety of shades.
Here it has a 335A fringed shade.
The fringe is reproduction material
on the original painted glass.
This lamp is in Jim and Jan Nichols' collection.

Not all early shades were glass; these pre-1924 CQ lamps
are outfitted with a 334 green and white enameled steel shade (left)
and a 334 white and white enameled shade (right), both made by Coleman.
The lamp and shade on the left is in Dick Sellers' collection
while the lamp and shade on the right is in Kelly Williams' collection.

Coleman made the Model 532 for the Sunshine Safety Lamp Co.
Kansas City, Missouri.
It is similar to the CQ but has a wood handle
and the generator nut threads are female rather than male as on the CQ.
This lamp, with the original shade,
is in Shirley Willard's collection.

These lamps were made by Coleman for other companies.
The first lamp (left and center) is a ML-216 (Vantiger), stamped Arcolite CL 513 on the bottom of the fount
and was made for their Yale Light Co., Chicago, subsidiary.
It is in Shirley Willard's collection.
Model WZ (right), in Dwayne Hanson's collection, was made for Sears, Wards, Savage, et al.
and has the same burner and 306 shade as the ML-216.

Coleman made few of the De Luxe Quick-Lite lamps (left)
and fewer of the De Luxe (Quick-Lite) Parlor lamps (right) in the mid 1920's.
The two-piece shade and pot metal fount covers on the lamp on the left
were made by Edward Miller as was the one-piece fount on the right.
Fil Graff owns the lamp on the left, which is running,
and Peter Ecklund owns the one on the right.
Note the two different designs on the fount covers.


The content and opinions expressed on this page belong to the author of the page and are not endorsed by North Central College. The College accepts no responsibility for the content of these pages.

© 2000-2018 Terry Marsh

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional